Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Trevon Duval Returns to Jersey, Recaps Kansas Visit, Looks Ahead to Duke, Arizona Trips
ROSELLE, N.J. — Trevon Duval returned to New Jersey this weekend for a pair of games in front of family and friends just as his recruitment is heating up.
The 6-foot-3 point guard is considering Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Seton Hall and was coming off an official visit to Kansas. Following Sunday’s game against New Jersey power The Patrick School, Duval will head on his second official visit to Duke beginning Tuesday. He will be on campus for Thursday’s huge rivalry game against North Carolina.
“Next I’m visiting Duke, I’m going down there Feb. 8th,” Duval said after going for 12 points as IMG Academy (FL) beat Our Savior New American, 65-44, in the Tom Richel Memorial Hoopfest at Roselle Catholic High School.
“That was most convenient, I really wanted to go to that Carolina-Duke game, actually. That’s how I planned that.”
Duval and his IMG Academy teammates passed through Durham, N.C. on Jan. 27, the day after they saw the Virginia Tech-North Carolina game. He said he met “almost the whole [Duke] team.”
“It was fun, watching them practice,” Duval said of Duke. “The day before a game, we watched them practice the day before they played Wake Forest. It was rally my first time seeing them practice and seeing the [Cameron Indoor] Stadium and everything.”
Duke still needs a Class of 2017 point guard after Matt Coleman chose Texas and Quade Green picked Kentucky.
“They need a point guard badly so they want me to come in and run the show,” Duval said of Duke.
He added: ‘They’re Duke, really, so that’s what they really say. And also that they need a point guard and they have one of the biggest stages for me to play on and they think I can fit in.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who just returned to the sidelines on Saturday for the team’s win over Pitt, spoke with Duval during the practice last month.
“We had a really good conversation about basketball, the school and how Duke really is,” Duval said.
The Duke staff has compared Duval to Kyrie Irving, the former St. Patrick’s and current Cleveland Cavaliers star who was one-and-done in an injured year at Duke.
“They think I pass a little bit better than him,” he said. “He’s a little bit more of a scoring guard.”
As for the Kansas trip this past week, Duval sounded highly impressed by the visit, which included the Jayhawks’ 73-68 win over No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday.
“Kansas was great,” he said. “They treated me well. They showed me all their facilities and everything that they had going and overall it was a good visit.”
Duval stayed with 6-8 freshman wing Josh Jackson, who like Duval is a projected one-and-done.
He was also exposed to historic Allen Field House for the first time.
“No, I’ve never seen nothing like that before,” he said. “The environment was amazing, you could barely hear the person next to you speaking, so it was great.”
As far the school’s message, Kansas needs a point guard next year with Frank Mason graduating. Junior Devonte Graham could also head to the NBA, while Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman becomes eligible on the wing.
“Basically they need someone to come in and fill in Frank’s job really,” Duval said.
Trae Young is set to announce Feb. 16 and is considering Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If Young picks Kansas, are the Jayhawks out for Duval?
“Yeah,” he said.
Following the Duke visit, Duval plans to visit Arizona in late February, though no date has been nailed down.
Arizona already has the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in 2017, per Scout.com, highlighted by DeAndre Ayton, the projected No. 1 pick in 2018 per DraftExpress.com.
Meantime, no dates have been set for visits to Seton Hall and Baylor. Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard and Shaheen Holloway are expected for Sunday’s game against The Patrick School following Saturday’s win at Georgetown.
“[They were] my first offer, they’re really close to home,” he said of Seton Hall. “They need a point guard also, they fit my playing style.”
As reported here previously, freshman shooting guard Myles Powell is also recruiting Duval to the Pirates.
“He’s been recruiting me, kind of telling me I need to come on and make that move,” Duval said. “But then again he doesn’t do it too much to where it affects our friendship.”
As for Baylor, Duval said he has no date set on a visit, although he did see them against Kansas.
In terms of a timetable on a decision, Duval said it could happen anytime.
“I really don’t know when,” he said. “It’s something I gotta sit down and think about after I take all my visits. But I think after I take my visits, I should have some type of idea where I stand.”
He added that the process is more difficult than he thought.
“It’s still tough,” he said. “I thought making some visits and all of that would make things a lot easier, but it’s kind of getting tougher.”
Wherever he lands, Duval could only be on campus for a year, since he’s the projected No. 6 pick in 2018 by DraftExpress.com. So he views it as a business decision.
“I feel a lot of my decisions from now on are business decisions, just with my image and everything that ties into that,” he said. “If I do end up only going one year, then I better make a difference.”
In the meantime, Duval and his IMG will turn around and play The Patrick School on Sunday, although the Celtics will be without Kentucky-bound big man Nick Richards after he was ejected from Saturday night’s game.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s a rematch. We played them in City of Palms. It was a tough game. They were beating us pretty much the whole game so I know [Sunday’s] going to be a really tough one and I’m just ready to go out and play.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.