R.J. Barrett announced during a broadcast Friday on Canadian sports channel TSN that he chose the Blue Devils over finalists Kentucky and Oregon. After forward Marvin Bagley III reclassified in order to become eligible this year, he went on to choose Duke, allowing Barrett to overtake the top spot and come in a year behind him.
Barrett chose the Blue Devils over OR and Kentucky, with the Canada native visiting all three schools in September. He averaged 28.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while also getting to the free throw line almost 14 times per game. His jump shot is developing, very capable.
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The performance that left many jaws agape was Barrett's 38-point, 13-rebound, 5-assist tour de force in Canada's 99-87 semifinal victory over the U.S team coached by John Calipari. The report also said he was "not afraid of the moment" and praised him for his ability to play with confidence. In addition to his fellow incoming freshmen, Duke could easily return current freshman and former five-star recruit Gary Trent Jr., giving the Blue Devils an array of perimeter talent that would be tough for any other program to match. Although he probably won't be around for long: Barrett could well be the top pick in the 2019 draft after going one-and-done in Durham. Although there is a chance the Blue Devils land Zion Williamson and hold the top three players in the class, Duke is not expected to be the leading contender for his services. The Blue Devils host Elon on Friday night.