College Sports

Cassius Stanley picks Duke as Blue Devils add to 2019 class

Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School guard Cassius Stanley in action in 2018.
Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School guard Cassius Stanley in action in 2018. AP

Duke put the full-court press on California guard Cassius Stanley and it worked.

Stanley picked the Blue Devils in an announcement on Monday, choosing Duke over Oregon, UCLA and Kansas.

It capped off a big weekend for Blue Devils’ coach Mike Krzyzewski who secured a commitment from Minnesota forward Matthew Hurt on Friday. That makes the Duke recruiting class of 2019 a five-man group.

Hurt and Stanley will join Vernon Carey, Jr., Wendell Moore, Jr. and Boogie Ellis in Durham next season.

Stanley (6-5, 180) is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports, and the No. 3 player in California. The Sierra Canyon senior is the No. 3 shooting guard in the nation and the No. 29 player in the country.

Early in the process it appeared to be a three-team race for Stanley’s talents, but Duke assistants Nate James and Chris Carrawell made Stanley a top priority recently. Stanley took a visit to Durham on April 12.

The Blue Devils’ 2019 class was already ranked No. 1 in the country before Stanley committed, led by five stars Carey, Moore and Hurt. With the addition of Stanley, Duke will have the top class for the fourth consecutive season. The Blue Devils have had the top recruiting class in the ACC for six consecutive seasons.

Krzyzewski will have to replace RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, who all declared for the 2019 NBA Draft. Williamson is expected to be the top pick, while Barrett and Reddish are predicted to be lottery picks as well. Tre Jones decided not to join his classmates in the draft and will return for his sophomore season, giving Krzyzewski a seasoned point guard to build around.

Upperclassmen Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier also declared for the draft Monday, but both left open the option of returning for next season.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talks about winning the ACC Tournament and having Jay Bilas present the award after the Blue Devils' victory over Florida State in the ACC Tournament finals in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.
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