DURHAM The Cameron Crazies have long considered themselves an important arrow in Duke’s basketball recruiting quiver.
So when super recruits Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow made their official visits and witnessed Saturday’s win against Bowie State at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the hard sell was on.
Okafor, a 6-10 center from Chicago, is considered to be the top recruit in the country. Jones, a 6-1 guard from Apple Valley, Minn., is a consensus top-five recruit, and Winslow, a 6-5 small forward from Houston, Texas, is in everyone’s Top 15.
All three accepted the free “Here Comes Duke” shirts that were being handed out to students and others as they entered the building.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski complimented the sellout crowd on creating a good atmosphere.
“Over the years, they have been really important to the process because they are us, they’re part of us,” the veteran coach said. “That’s been the beauty of coaching here. … The crowd is part of what we do, and that’s why they’re called the sixth man. That’s why they stand, and that’s why it’s been a great 34 years.
“They’re a huge part of that. They’re known worldwide. We have to keep working on it, though. They were good.”
Each player got his own chant at some point during the game.
“Jahlil Okafor, come to Duke! … Tyus Jones, come to Duke! … Justise Winslow, come to Duke!” the fans said. And as the clock ticked down at the end, simply, “Come to Duke!”
And there were also signs.
• “If I were you I would come to Duke”
• “If you can read this sign, you should come to Duke”
• “Our house is your houses”
But perhaps the best sign was a map of the Eastern half of the country, with arrows pointing from all three players’ homes to Durham.
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