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.
Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick point guard Kyrie Irving has committed to Duke and will announce sometime this week, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Irving is the No. 4 point guard in the Class of 2010 and the No. 9 overall player, according to Rivals.com.
“He’s definitely going to Duke and if he doesn’t announce it tomorrow [Wednesday] he’ll probably announce it Thursday,” said one Division 1 assistant coach involved in Irving’s recruitment.
“He has committed. I heard that from [a Duke assistant],” said a second coach who recruited Irving.
A third source close to yet another assistant coach recruiting Irving confirmed that he had committed to the Blue Devils.
“He told me it’s a done deal,” the source said.
Phone messages left for Kyrie and Drederick Irving were not immediately returned Tuesday night.
But Kyrie posted this on his Twitter feed after I initially wrote this blog: “I don’t know what’s going on with all these supposed sources but I have not commited to Duke.”
Irving took his first official to Duke the weekend of Sept. 25 and saw the Blue Devils beat N.C. Central 49-14 in football and watched as last year’s basketball team was honored for winning the 2009 ACC title.
He was greeted with numerous signs around campus heralding his arrival.
“Duke official was great! I enjoyed every single second…everything there fits me and is right for me…you never know what will happen,” Irving said then on his Twitter feed.
His father also indicated that Duke was his favorite.
“It is very appealing what they offer,” Drederick told me last month.
“It’s a great academic institution that offers great athletics. You get the best of both worlds. That reflects what I represent and what Kyrie represents but we’re still trying to be objective about it because there are still other elite schools that offer that academic excellence.”
After eliminating Indiana from the process, Irving still took officials to Texas A&M Oct. 9 and to Kentucky this past weekend for Big Blue Madness.
Irving visited Kentucky with St. Patrick teammate Michael Gilchrist, as well as Long Island stars Tobias Harris and Achraf Yacoubou. By all accounts, Irving enjoyed the visit to the school where his Godfather, Rod Strickland, serves as an assistant to John Calipari.
He was slated to visit Georgia Tech this coming weekend and Seton Hall Oct. 30. Obviously, if he announces this week those visits would be off.
Even before the Kentucky visit, Irving told Dime Magazine he was leaning toward Duke.
“I guess you could say that I’m leaning toward Duke,” he said. “I’m just not ready to commit. It was my first visit and of course I’m really high on them and like I said I have that feeling, but I think it’s only smart to compare it to something.”
He added: “Well, I’ve got that feeling with Duke, but I want to go on a few more visits to compare it all. I’m not ready to commit yet. I just want to make sure everything is right. Duke and Indiana were my top two schools, and Duke is up there, but I like the other schools too.”
Kevin Boyle, Irving’s coach at St. Patrick, told me last year that Irving could end up being the best guard ever to come out of New Jersey. That’s high praise considering that group includes Bobby Hurley, Dajuan Wagner and Jason Williams, among others. Boyle indicated in August that Duke and Indiana were the favorites but then Indiana was surprisingly eliminated during the process.
“I would not be surprised if he went to Duke,” Boyle said. “Any time you’re being recruited hard by the guy who’s the current and last Olympic coach [Mike Krzyzewski], it’s going to definitely be a concern for any [other] school when Duke’s recruiting you.”
Tom Konchalski, the longtime New York recruiting analyst, said Irving could potentially follow in the footsteps of Jersey point guards Hurley and Williams in leading Duke to a national title.
“I think he would probably beMike Krzyzewski’s best point guard since Jason Williams,” Konchalski said.
(Photos courtesy Irving Family & Duke Athletics)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.