Two rankings came out Monday that are interesting for Duke fans, but not necessarily very reliable or important.
First, the new AP poll came out yesterday and Duke moved up from #9 to #7.
We like to see Duke ranked. More importantly, we hate to see Duke unranked. That’s not a great feeling. But to figure out what ranking is appropriate?
That’s really hard most of the time. Last season Gonzaga was undefeated and #1 - until Baylor just took them apart in the title game. Is Kansas really better than Villanova? Would UCLA beat Purdue?
It’s at best an approximation, a guess. Gonzaga is currently ranked #1, partly (but certainly not entirely - they’re very, very good) because Chet Holmgren is on the roster. But he’s three games in and while one was exceptional, the other two have been fairly pedestrian.
So who knows? That’s what March is for. Kill them all and let the tournament sort them out.
The other ranking is for recruiting classes.
Duke’s class is signed now and very promising. Kyle Filipowski, Derek Lively, Dariq Whitehead and Jaden Schutt are all likely to play in the NBA.
But it’s really impossible to know.
Talent is really critical obviously but of the four, Schutt seems to have the highest commitment level. That’s not to demean anyone else, it’s just that the kid is laser focused.
But he’s also the least celebrated and the one of whom the least is expected.
Shoot, look at the Filipowski twins. Kyle got offers from Duke and Kentucky and others. Brother Matt went to Harvard. He also didn’t have the choices Kyle did. They’re genetically identical but one has moved ahead of the other athletically. Does that mean that Kyle will always be better? Not necessarily.
At Gonzaga, Holmgren is (fairly) seen as a breakthrough recruit. He’s the guy mostly likely to have a successful NBA career.
Their best player is Drew Timme though and Timme, while he was sought after - Duke was highly interested, among others - is not seen as a huge NBA prospect. NBADraft.net, for instance, lists three Gonzaga players currently in their mock draft, but not Timme, who is looking like the next college Player of the Year.
So a lot of this is for entertainment value. And of course, one of the most entertaining parts of this is Kentucky fans who thought they would have the #1 ranked class.
Don’t get us wrong, we still think it’s a lot of hooey to rank classes. But Kentucky teeth gnashing at losing to Duke on the court and then for the #1 recruiting class? That’s fun. That’s a lot of fun.