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2020 ACC Recruiting: It’s Early, But Virginia May Be Leading

For what it’s worth in July 2019

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Duke v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils greets head coach Tony Bennett of the Virginia Cavaliers before the start of a game at John Paul Jones Arena on February 9, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

After last year’s sensational run to the national championship, it’s not surprising that Virginia is doing well on the recruiting trail: with three solid commitments (Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Reece Beekman and Carson McCorkle), the Cavs currently are seen as the ACC and national leader, ahead of Duke (Jeremy Roach and Jalen Johnson).

It’s interesting because while Duke’s recruits are both Top 20, none of Virginia’s are rated higher than the 40s.

Not that it matters.

No one understood Ty Jerome’s full potential other than Tony Bennett, and Duke has quietly developed lightly regarded Jordan Goldwire into a very dangerous weapon. No one saw Ja Morant coming.

The point is that recruiting is an inexact art at best and while it might be tempting to think that other schools will end up with better classes than Virginia does, don’t. At least not yet.

Bennett has a proven knack of finding underrated guys who fit his system perfectly. Think Jerome. Think Kihei Clark. Think Jack Salt.

Duke recruits differently, putting more of an emphasis on athleticism.

People will keep reranking and sifting classes for a while yet but the final proof is what they accomplish while in school. And there’s simply no way to know that until they’re done.

And while Duke and Virginia have a solid lead, keep in mind that UNC, Syracuse and Florida State, all of whom usually recruit well, each just have one commitment so far.

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