ATLANTA – Duke’s last stellar four-man recruiting class was in 2014 and was made up of Grayson Allen, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.
At the McDonald’s All American Game that year they announced the nickname they’d come up with for their group – Four Quarters.
A year later, the Four Quarters led Duke to a national title.
The illogical logic in that brief walk down memory lane is this: Nicknames matter.
“That might be the secret to winning it all,” Apple Valley (Minn.) point guard Tyus Jones said with a laugh.
With that, Jones, Spartanburg Day (S.C.) wing Zion Williamson, Montverde Academy (Fla.) guard R.J. Barrett and Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.) shooting guard Cam Reddish have been in talks about the moniker they’ll assume.
The process makes sense for the highest ranked class ever assembled since recruiting rankings kicked off in the early 2000s. Duke has the top three players in the class, which has never happened before.
“Well, Cam is supposed to be coming up with the name,” Barrett said. “Sooo…”
Reddish settled on Four Kill4s.
“I like that because when you have a killer mentality on the court, you’re gonna do whatever it takes to get the win,” Reddish explained. “That describes all of us perfectly. We’ll replace the ‘A’ with a ‘4’ to bring in the number. It’s not my final answer, but that’s what I’m thinking for now.”
Jones played around with Four Puzzle Pieces, which Barrett also seemed to like.
“We’re the pieces and we’ve got Coach K who’s the ultimate puzzle solver,” Jones said. “He puts us together and when the puzzle is together the mission is done.”
Still, in the end, Four Kill4s seemed to be the consensus, due in large part to the reference to the mentality.
“We all just want to win,” Williamson said. “Of course it’s only meant as a basketball reference, so nothing negative. We’re all killers on the court. That’s what it takes.”
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