Matt Jones is set to graduate this year, while the popular opinion is that Jayson Tatum and Grayson Allen both declare for the 2017 NBA Draft, where they are both projected to be first round picks.
On Thursday night, Duke landed a fixture for the backcourt for the 2017-18 season in Gary Trent Jr., rated as the No. 13 overall recruit in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard had visited UCLA and Michigan State before announcing his commitment.
Trent is the son of the former NBA lottery pick and current Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach. He is currently at Prolific Prep in California. But he began his high school career at Apple Valley High in Minnesota, the same program that produced former Duke one-and-done Tyus Jones. Trent played with Jones’ younger brother, Tre (a 2018 point guard who also has a scholarship offer from Duke), in high school and on the grassroots circuit.
He joins a recruiting class that includes 6-foot-6 guard Alex O’Connell. He’ll likely share a perimeter with Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard when he reaches Durham next fall.
With the abundance of talent that is either graduating or declaring for the draft on the current Duke roster, it’s obvious that Coach K is far from done on the recruiting trail. The Blue Devils are still in play for top prospects Wendell Carter, Quade Green and Kevin Knox among other five-star recruits.
In 17 appearances with the Howard Pulley Panthers in the Nike EYBL, Trent averaged 22.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He also played the USA Basketball U17 team that won the World Championships this summer in Spain. On a loaded squad, Trent started in all seven games, averaging 12.7 points per game.