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Duke Recruiting: Scouting Isaiah Evans

The 2024 commit has more than a passing similarity to Brandon Ingram

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Duke
Nov 30, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke recruit Isaiah Evans (in black) cheers with Duke Blue Devils fans during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won 81-72. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke’s 2024 recruiting class got its first 5* commit last week from Isaiah Evans, a prospect who Duke fans may know best from having an absolute ball with the Cameron Crazies on his visit to campus.

Evans is listed as 247’s #10 overall recruit in the 2024 class, and given his rapid ascent up the rankings (he was ranked as low as #71 in late 2022) he could end his prep career even higher. The wing is listed at between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8 by the various recruiting sites, but what’s consistently noted is his long and lanky frame given that size.

Sound familiar?

Yes, Evans has been dubbed “Baby Brandon Ingram” by many. Beyond a similar body type, both hail from North Carolina, and both have shooting guard skills in a big small forward’s body.

It’s these similarities that contributed to Rivals spotlighting Evans as a prospect who could quickly rise in their rankings back in February. Travis Graf not only noted his outside shooting prowess, but his plus defensive abilities given that Ingram-like length.

However, others view Evans’ jump shot as a work in progress. On3’s Jamie Shaw noted some mechanical inconsistencies that hamper his outside shot, but also emphasized his defensive abilities, high basketball IQ, and competitive desire.

Watching some raw tape on Evans showcases both this potential but also the fact that he remains relatively raw. Evans drains some nice transition 3s, but also bricks a few more ambitious shots (perhaps given the lower level of competition). He shows a nice ability to get into the paint off the dribble, but finishes inconsistently. What does jump off the screen is his defensive impact: Evans is active on the glass and uses his length to disrupt passing lanes and challenge shots consistently.

Evans still has a year of high school to refine that jump shot, but that defensive acumen and effort will surely travel with him to Durham and fit into Jon Scheyer’s scheme. As it stands, Evans will likely be able to guard 1-3 in college at a high level, and if he fills out his body he may be able to guard less bulky college 4s as well.

With at least some combination of Jaylen Blakes, Jaden Schutt, Caleb Foster, and Jared McCain projected to bring experience to the backcourt in 2024, we can expect Evans to play major minutes immediately to complement those guards on the wing. Whether he’s a one-and-done level player likely depends on whether he showcases a consistent three point shot at the college level. If he does, Evans’ floor would be the 3-and-D player the NBA covets, while his ceiling could be a trajectory like Ingram’s. If he doesn’t, Evans’ NBA prospects might depend upon his body filling out, potentially meriting a multi-year stay in Durham.