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ACC Recruiting: A Potentially Major Development

Guess which ACC school may be the favorite for the #1 player in high school - and no, it’s not Duke or UNC.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JUN 08 Pangos All-American Camp
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 08: Jalen Duren looks on during the Pangos All-American Camp on June 8, 2021 at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, NV.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well here’s some major news and an indication that NIL could really shake things up for various schools: Jalen Duren, who is currently seen as the #1 player in the class of 2022, is supposedly leaning towards Miami.

Over Kentucky.

And that assumes he does go to college.

If that’s true, and it’s a major if, it suggests that a school like Miami might be able to make a major move up in the ACC and college basketball in general, and not just because of Duren.

It could also be because of, or partly because of anyway, Miami’s hiring his AAU coach, DJ Irving, but let’s assume for the moment that NIL is a major player in this and let’s play scenarios. Here’s one to consider:

Like Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim, Jim Larranaga is near the end of a remarkable career. He’s 71 now and won’t be in the game too terribly much longer.

What happens if a rising young star, for our purposes say Nolan Smith, gets that job?

We’ve always thought that Miami should really be recruiting, or at least scouting heavily, in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. And you can extend that too. There’s no particular reason why Miami couldn’t have contended for Greivis Vasquez, who could have had a bit of home at Miami where plenty of Venezuelans live, and there’s really no reason why the school shouldn’t be scouting the hell out of Argentina, where basketball is thoroughly established and which turns out a lot of great players. Brazil too.

To us, that should be a given: who else but Miami should dominate recruiting in the Caribbean and Latin America?

But if NIL helps Miami to seriously contend for players like Duren, things could change very quickly for the ‘Canes.

However, not everyone is 100% sold on Duren. For one, he’s apparently not as tall as the 6-10 he’s listed at - more like 6-8. And for another, he’s apparently an old-fashioned post player at present with limited versatility. That might not be an issue for Miami or wherever he ends up, but it would probably limit his pro prospects.

No matter what though, he’d help Miami and in another potentially intriguing development, he may reclassify and could be on campus in just a few weeks.