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Thursday / March 23.
  • Brandon Ingram to Duke, Blue Devils Now Have No. 1 Class

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    phd2Pl8v_400x400Brandon Ingram may be from the same hometown as former North Carolina basketball star Jerry Stackhouse.

    But he’s headed to Duke, the Tar Heels’ archrival.

    The 6-foot-9 Ingram chose the Blue Devils on Monday over North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, N.C. State and UCLA, giving Duke the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation ahead of Kentucky, according to

    “Next fall I will be attending Duke University,” he said Monday at his high school. “I thought it was the best fit for me. Growing up I was a Duke fan and I love everything about Coach K. I want to impact the program as soon as I come in.

    [Mike Krzyzewski] just told me so much about myself. He told me how unique I was and coming in I would be an impact player and he would help me get to the next level after college basketball.”

    Ingram is ranked as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2015 by and is projected as the No. 6 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by

    If Ingram goes one-and-done, he would be Coach K’s fifth such player in three years, beginning with Jabari Parker in 2013.

    “Brandon brings a great skill set both offensively and defensively – outstanding shooter and has great ability to score in many ways,” USA Basketball junior coach Don Showalter told “He will be very tough to guard. He is quick and long which will make him a great defensive player and he takes pride in his ability to lock players down. He will be a great player at the next level.”

    As a senior in 2014-15, Ingram averaged 24.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.0 blocks and 1.6 steals per game to help his team to a 26-4 record. He earned MVP of the state championship after he finished the win with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

    The recent addition of reclassified point guard Derryck Thornton to Duke’s recruiting class made a positive impact on Ingram.

    “It impacts [my decision] a lot,” he recently told ESPNU. “That [lack of a point guard] was one of my concerns coming and looking at the particular schools so that impacts a lot.”

    Ingram joins Thornton, shooting guard Luke Kennard and bigs Chase Jeter and Antonio Vrankovic in the new No. 1 class that will replace Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones, who all declared for the NBA Draft.

    Ingram is close with Stackhouse, who also played for Kinston (N.C.) High and coached Ingram during the summer on Stackhouse Elite, and he is also close with former Tar Heel Reggie Bullock.

    “Today I created my own path,” he said of the North Carolina option. “I want to get there by myself with my family’s help and I want to keep on fulfilling my dream.”

    After winning four state titles at Kinston, Ingram said he wants to help Duke win back-to-back NCAA titles.

    “That’s one of my main factors in this process and I just hope that I can win another one when I get on the college level,” Ingram said.

    Ingram has said he likely would have committed to the Tar Heels in the fall had it not been for the academic scandal at Chapel Hill and potential sanctions.

    “[Coach Williams] talked privately a little bit, and they have just got the [notice of] allegations April 17th, so we’ll go from there and [Wednesday] with the next in-home visit so we’ll see,” Ingram recently told ESPNu.

    A North Carolina spokesman told that the school has not, in fact, received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.

    “The academic fraud investigation is killing them now in recruiting,” one source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

    Still, North Carolina has a loaded team returning with point guard Marcus Paige alongside Theo Pinson, Justin Jackson, Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks.

    Meantime, Ingram is the fifth high-profile recruit this month alone to spurn Kentucky, following Malik Newman (Mississippi State),  Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Caleb Swanigan (Michigan State) and Thomas Bryant (Indiana).


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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.