Five-star winger Dariq Whitehead signed with Duke on Sunday, giving Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils their second of 20 rookies in the past four days.
Whitehead, who also visited the state of Florida and Kansas, made his official visit to Duke in June.
“Growing up, Duke has always been the school of my dreams,” Whitehead told ESPN. “I loved Coach K, the style of play and the type of players he recruited. Once my recruiting process started, I started to have mixed feelings seeing all the other opportunities. I was receiving so much love from different schools that I made up my mind It wasn’t until my official visit, when I set foot on campus, that I knew Duke was in the House.
The G League offered Whitehead on Saturday to join his team Ignite, worth an estimated $ 500,000.
“I recently had a Zoom call with Rod Strickland and Shareef Abdur-Rahim,” Whitehead said. “I was grateful for their offer to be a maximum G League player. I was truly blessed for the G League offer. They made the offer the day before I was hired and I didn’t have much time to really think as much as I could about going to college. “
A small 6-foot-6 forward from New Jersey who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), Whitehead is ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100 overall standings for the 2022 class. He is the No. 3 small forward, behind the Elite prospect Emoni Bates and all-round winger Chris Livingston. Whitehead has been outstanding for the Durant team on the Nike EYBL Tour this summer, averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists – including an effort of 26 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. decisive against another top 10 rookie Shaedon Sharpe and UPlay Canada.
Whitehead has grown into one of the most comprehensive and complete leads in the class. He is a top athlete who possesses a burst in the open ground and explosiveness when attacking the rim.
His game begins with defense. In Montverde, keeping Scottie Barnes, Caleb Houstan, Cade Cunningham and others made him a committed defender. Whitehead excels as a switch defender who can keep the ball in front or chase a shooter off a screen to challenge shots.
An active rebounder, he will remove it from the glass and be an outdoor playmaker. He has the mindset, the physical tools and the talent to be a centerpiece of Duke’s roster next year and an expected first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Whitehead is Duke’s second top 20 engagement since Thursday, when number 20 Kyle Filipowski signed with the Blue Devils. Filipowski was Scheyer’s first signing since he was appointed to replace Mike Krzyzewski in early June. Scheyer takes over as coach on hold, with Krzyzewski scheduled to coach the 2021-22 season before stepping down.
“Coach K told me he would always be there for me to help me. It meant a lot to me, ”Whitehead said. “Everyone sees him as a serious coach. I mean, he’s serious about the game. But he’s a very funny guy.
« [Scheyer] played and trained with Coach K. I was impressed with him and believe in him. “
With two seniors on this season’s roster, plus three underclassmen screened in the latest ESPN 2022 simulation draft, Duke is far from finishing in the 2022 class. The Blue Devils have offered summer goaltender Jaden Schutt in July and have positioned themselves well in his recruiting, while five-star prospects Dereck Lively and Mark Mitchell visited Durham in June. They are also in pursuit of the top 50 JJ Starling prospects.