Duke wasn’t in the Final Four, but that didn’t prevent the men’s basketball team from making a splash over the weekend.
Point guard Tre Jones posted a picture on Instagram with the caption “Year 2?” and a shrugging emoji, hinting he could return to the program next year.
The comments had predictable reactions: Fans were excited, teammate Alex O’Connell responded with a “let’s gooo” and emojis, incoming Chosen 25 big man Vernon Carey Jr. put in eyball emojis and a devil.
But then there was an unexpected comment: Chosen 25 power forward Matthew Hurt, who has not announced his decision.
Joey Baker, Alex O’Connell, Vernon Carey Jr., and…….
all commenting on Tre’s posts pic.twitter.com/kd1JdyIvNS
— Ball Durham (@Ball_Durham) April 7, 2019
A simple “My guy.”
That could just be friendship between the two. They both attended high school in Minnesota, with Hurt at John Marshall (Rochester, Minn.) and Jones an alumnus of Apple Valley.
But could it mean Hurt is planning to join the Blue Devils?
Social media certainly took notice. It’s not the only thing that’s pointed to a Duke-Hurt union.
A fan account on Twitter pointed out that Hurt follows a more Duke-related Instagram accounts – coaches, players, alumni – than any other school.
Matthew Hurt following many Duke associated accounts on Instagram. Incoming freshman, coaches, current players and alumni, and the official MBB account. Follows other collegiate pages as well, but none as many as Duke. Announcement April 19, LET’S GO DUKE 😈💙🤟🔥 #TheBrotherhood
— The Blue Devil (@TheBlueDevil8) April 5, 2019
ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony posted a screenshot to Twitter as well with the caption “Looks like Tre Jones will be back as a sophomore at Duke, alongside Matthew Hurt” and others.
He cited the Instagram post, of course, meaning he doesn’t have confirmation — but he said it’s “Big CBB news that broke during the Final Four and is likely to become official soon…”
Looks like Tre Jones will be back as a sophomore at Duke, alongside Matthew Hurt, Vernon Carey, Wendell Moore, Boogie Ellis, Javin Delaurier and others next year – according to this IG post. Big CBB news that broke during the Final Four and is likely to become official soon… pic.twitter.com/HRkGioTQpg
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 7, 2019
Recruiting site 247Sports predicts Duke ahead of Kansas.
At the McDonald’s All American Game, Hurt told USA TODAY High School Sports he’s “mainly focusing on” Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. That means he’s cut out Minnesota, something confirmed by local outlet TwinCities.
If he does go Duke, Hurt and Carey would be a formidable frontcourt duo. Both were named to the ALL-USA Second Team this year, and Hurt would be the fourth 2019 Chosen 25 player to commit, setting Duke up for perhaps a more successful NCAA Tournament run than this year.
Hurt’s decision date is April 19. Is he still undecided? Or is he just undecided publicly?