Duke reeled in the centerpiece of a monster recruiting class on Friday as five-star power forward Harry Giles announced his commitment to the Blue Devils.
The 6-foot-10 Giles will stay in the state of North Carolina and play in the ACC as the Winston-Salem native picked Duke over his other finalists of Kansas, Kentucky and Wake Forest.
A versatile forward who can rebound and score in a number of different ways, Giles is the fourth commitment in Duke’s 2016 class, joining five-star small forward Jayson Tatum, five-star point guard Frank Jackson and four-star forward Javin DeLaurier.
The addition of Giles means that Duke will likely have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and it makes them an instant national title contender when this group sets foot on campus.
While Giles is a decorated recruit and regarded as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, there are some concerns with his health going forward. In the first game of his senior season this week, Giles partially tore the ACL in his right knee and will miss his entire season at basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Giles previously tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee in 2013 and fully recovered from it recently.
Dominant during the spring and summer in the Nike EYBL with Team CP3, a healthy Giles showed why many consider him to be a potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
If Giles returns to his old self — and the past rehab of his left knee shows he’ll at least put in the necessary work to try — Duke could be considered the favorite during the 2016-17 season. Giles and Tatum are close friends and they’ve both won multiple FIBA world championships with USA Basketball and now Coach K hopes that duo can lead Duke to another national championship.
Landing multiple one-and-done players like Giles and Tatum also shows that Coach K and his staff aren’t slowing down when it comes to securing elite talent. Elite college basketball recruiting has increasingly become an arms race between Duke and Kentucky, with everyone else in college basketball lagging behind.
With this class that features Giles, Tatum and Jackson, Coach K has perhaps the most talented trio of players that he’s ever recruited in one class — which is saying something considering Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones just won a title.