Duke has managed to lure the country’s No. 1 high school basketball player for the past two years; Harry Giles III in 2016 and Marvin Bagley III in 2017.
On Friday, Montverde Academy (Fla.) star R.J. Barrett secured the three-peat for the Blue Devils, picking Duke over Kentucky and Oregon live on Canada’s TSN.
“I’m really happy I got it off my chest,” Barrett said live on TSN. “I just felt at home at Duke.”
Barrett had a legendary run over the past seven months.
First, he averaged 25 points and eight rebounds a game at the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals and led Montverde to the title game where they eventually fell to La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.). Then, Barrett led the Nike EYBL in scoring, averaging 28 points per game for UPlay Canada.
But his most impressive accomplishment was leading Canada to the gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup. That run included a 38-point outing in an upset win over the Team USA, which was coached by Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Barrett is Duke’s third signee from the 2018 class, joining Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) shooting guard Cam Reddish, who is ranked No. 3 overall in the ESPN 100, and Apple Valley (Minn.) point guard Tre Jones, who is ranked No. 10 overall.
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