Mike Krzyzewski secured the first commitment of his 2017 class Friday when 4-star shooting guard Alex O’Connell offered up a verbal pledge to play for the Duke Blue Devils.
After just capturing gold in Rio as coach of the USA men’s basketball Olympic team, Krzyzewski is now back to doing what he does best: locking up elite talent. Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils are bringing in the best 2016 recruiting class, and the 2017 class is now off to a rousing start.
O’Connell took to Twitter to announce his decision.
— Alex O'Conne11 (@Alex_OC11) August 26, 2016
O’Connell also spoke with Evan Daniels of Scout.com on his decision to further his education and basketball career at Duke.
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“They checked all the boxes for me,” O’Connell said. “The basketball opportunity, it’s in the ACC and the coaching staff. My dad, Julian Barfield and I feel very comfortable and it’s like a home away from home. Playing for Coach K, the strength of schedule and the NBA exposure, Duke has it all.”
O’Connell, a 6’5”, 170-pound shooting guard from Alpharetta, Georgia (Milton High School) is rated as a 4-star recruit according to 247Sports. The site ranks him as the No. 71 overall prospect in the 2017 class and the 16th-best shooting guard in the country. 247Sports also regards O’Connell as the ninth-best basketball player in the state of Georgia.
He chose the Blue Devils over strong interest from Syracuse and Louisville. O’Connell also owned offers from Arizona State, Auburn, Charlotte, Clemson, Florida International, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Iowa State, Kansas State, Lehigh, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, North Florida, Ole Miss, Western Carolina, William and Mary and Xavier.