Duke Recruits Jones, Okafor to Square Off Thursday on ESPN2 | Zagsblog
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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.
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Monday / August 8.
  • Duke Recruits Jones, Okafor to Square Off Thursday on ESPN2

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    Duke commits Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor will square off Thursday night on ESPN2, giving the nation a chance to see the two future teammates share the court before they head to play for the Blue Devils next season.

    “It will be fun to see Tyus and Jahlil on the court together.  The Duke fans will get a glimpse of the pieces they are adding to their team next season,” Apple Valley (MN) coach Zach Goring, whose team hosts Chicago Whitney Young, told SNY.tv.

    The 6-foot-2 Jones is coming off a triple-double of 34 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Apple Valley’s 96-90 win over Hopkins on Tuesday. It was his second triple-double of the season.

    “My next game is Thursday against @Tyusjones06! I’m guarding him the whole game. #CLAMPS #LOCKUPS ????????????????Tune into ESPN 2 at 7! Lol zero buckets,” Okafor Tweeted.

    Apple Valley, meantime, will have to deal with the 6-10 Okafor, the top center in the Class of 2014 and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

    “Jahlil will be a big time challenge for our kids,” Goring said. “Not only is he big, but also extremely athletic.  Our goal will be to contest all his shots and keep him off the glass.”
    Jones and Okafor had long said they would attend the same college, and ended up pledging to Duke at the same time last month.
    “The key to any team is the middle of your team, your post man and your lead guard,” longtime New York recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv. “And that’s what you get. You get the best distributor in the country and the best post player.”

    The Blue Devils then added Houston wing Justise Winslow to a four-man class that had included shooter Grayson Allen.

    Duke remains in pursuit of 6-11 Texas big man Myles Turner, pitching the angle that Turner and Okafor can form a devastating 1-2 punch in the paint.

    Duke assistant Nate James recently watched Turner go for 29 points, 15 rebounds and 9 blocks in an ESPN game.

    Turner is also considering Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma State, and plans to sign late.

    Meantime, Okafor is among those who hopes that fellow Chicagoan Jabari Parker will stick around for his sophomore season despite the fact that he’s projected to be a top-3 pick.

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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.