It’s all officially official now, as Duke announced the signing of five-star recruits Brandon Ingram and Derryck Thornton. The pair join forward Chase Jeter, guard Luke Kennard, forward Antonio Vrankovic and preferred walk-on forward Justin Robinson in Duke’s six-man recruiting class. For the second year, Duke has the top-ranked incoming class in the country.
"We're ecstatic about our recruiting class,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “We addressed our team needs in the number of players, with losing four of our eight scholarship players, but also by bringing in a variety of talents. On the perimeter, the explosive scoring and the ball-handling that we have coming in is sensational. We have an outstanding point guard, a tremendous scorer and passer in Kennard, the versatility of Ingram, the ability of Jeter to play both big-guy positions, and then the developing big guy in Vrankovic gives us one of the most well-rounded classes and talented classes that we've had the opportunity to bring in here at Duke."
Krzyzewski also commented specifically on Ingram, a forward, and Thornton, a point guard.
"In Brandon's case, his ability to handle the ball as a 6-9 player and not just handle it, he could really be like a point guard,” Krzyzewski said. “Because he's 6-9 with a 7-3 wingspan, he can play big, too. The versatility that he has, his intelligence and his ability to score from all those positions, or help others score, make him a very multi-dimensional player."
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About Thornton, who is graduating from high school a year early to enroll at Duke, Krzyzewski said, “"Not everyone that handles it has to be a point guard, but Derryck is a true point guard. His ability to pressure the ball is impressive. Really, I think he does that as well as anybody I've seen in high school basketball in the next two classes. And then he's a pass-first guard. He can pressure the ball on defense, but he can put pressure on you offensively by bringing it up quickly and then getting by people to get some easy baskets for us."