Doyel: In a class by itself

Vitale: Stellar recruiting class for Duke

Vitale: Duke, Florida eye plum recruit Randolph

Dick Vitale Archive

  Vitale Home     College Basketball     ESPN.com  

Plum recruit Shavlik Randolph commits to Duke


Oct. 2
Wow, what a magical week for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski!

Coach K and Temple coach John Chaney will enjoy their moment in the sun Friday, being enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, joining former NBA star Moses Malone in this year's outstanding class. Krzyzewski and Chaney deserve this great honor for their contribution to basketball.

Shavlik Randolph
6-10 standout Shavlik Randolph (42) has a good basketball pedigree.
It is even more magical for Coach K. His greatness will continue as the Dukies churn out W after W, thanks to a recruiting class for next season that is unchallenged. It is a class that will be as good as any he has brought into Duke.

In fact, recruiting guru Bob Gibbons of High School Basketball Report rates this group the best he has seen in his 28 years of evaluating high school talent.

Excitement galore will hit the Duke campus Wednesday when Shavlik Randolph, a 6-foot-10 standout from Raleigh Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., makes it official and announces his plans to attend Duke.

It came down to Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas and N.C. State in the race for the gifted Randolph, who has a supreme work ethic, according to those familiar with his abilities. It was a tough choice; his grandfather, Ronnie Shavlik, was N.C. State's all-time leading rebounder. There was pressure galore, as Randolph could have been the savior to revitalize the Wolfpack program under Herb Sendek.

There was also pressure to take his talents to Chapel Hill. Randolph's mom and dad both attended North Carolina, and many in-state high school stars have worn the Tar Heel blue. But when it was all said and done, he decided to go to a program with gifted athletes who know how to win.

Look at the class Coach K has assembled. The Blue Devils got a commitment from Shelden Williams, a talented 6-9 forward from Oklahoma. Rated by most of the scouting experts as a top-five player, Williams was a great coup. Another big man in the fold is 6-10 Michael Thompson from New Lenox, Ill. Then add superstar 6-2 point guard Sean Dockery of Chicago and 6-4 J. J. Redick of Roanoke, Va., whom Howard Garfinkel of Five-Star camp says is one of the best pure shooters he has ever seen. Believe me, he has seen 'em all!

Any of those five would be a marquee addition for any school; put them together and it is awesome, baby, with a capital A!

Another player is coming on board at Duke, 6-7 forward Lee Melchionni of Philadelphia. His dad, Gary, played at Duke years ago, while his uncle, Billy, was a superstar at Villanova. The younger Melchionni will walk on next season before receiving a grant for the 2002-03 season.

Coach K has to be smiling this week. With all of his accomplishments that have led to his Hall of Fame induction, the beat simply goes on. As is always the case with winners, they not only take care of today's business, they also think about the future.

For the Cameron Crazies, everything is beautiful. I can already hear people talking about the Dukies as a national-championship contender for years to come. It seems the in place to be, if you're a high school star, is Durham, N.C., wearing those four letters across your chest: D-U-K-E.

The Blue Devils have become college basketball's equivalent to the New York Yankees.

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories