Breaking down Trevon Duval’s potential destinations

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Five schools remain — still — for top-ranked point guard Trevon Duval. I’ve taken a stab at dissecting all five destinations to project how the next few weeks may play out in his recruitment.

I haven’t perfected reading minds yet, but I find it fair to consider a few general factors that go into a recruit’s ultimate decision and apply them to Duval’s situation.

Immediate playing time is likely 1-A or 1-B on Trevon’s list of priorities along with existing or incoming talent that projects at the Sweet 16 level and beyond for the 2017-18 season.

Beyond those two variables are tertiary desires like proximity to home (Delaware) — which seems to play a role here — program prestige, add-on incentives like Seton Hall’s Under Armour affiliation or Duke’s incredible home atmosphere, and so on. 

For this analysis, I’ll take a look at purely playing time and fluctuating talent as those are infinitely more concrete than hearsay in the realm of shoe deals.

Favorites: Duke Blue Devils

First up is Duke, the universal favorite to land Trevon Duval. It would be crazy to bet against Coach K in pretty much any recruiting battle save John Calipari’s Kentucky, but that’s what much-maligned Kevin Willard is trying to do.

The Dukies lose two-guard Matt Jones (32.9 mpg, 7 ppg) plus leading scorer and wing Luke Kennard (35 ppg, 19.5 ppg) from their backcourt along with a series of forwards in Amile Jefferson, Jayson Tatum, and Harry Giles to either graduation or the pros; junior guard and leading assist-man Grayson Allen (14.5 ppg, 3.5 apg) remains undecided about his NBA future, Allen is a borderline first round choice.

As far as playing time goes, Duke has a pair of highly-rated two-guards already signed in Gary Trent Jr. and Alex O’Connell while freshman point guard Frank Jackson (25 mpg, 10.9 ppg) is probably expecting to be handed the reins next campaign. If Grayson Allen returns, that will make the Blue Devils much stronger on paper, but it also eats up a lot of shots and minutes that otherwise would have been Trevon Duval’s.

One can spin the outcome of Allen’s decision two ways, both of which can benefit Duke: if he stays, there are less touches for Duval but a much more potent team. If he leaves, there is only one primary ball-handler in Frank Jackson and therefore 30+ minutes per game available.

I tend to believe that Allen staying hurts Duke more though — it will be much tougher for Duval to get the playing time he will demand up front in that scenario. Either way, Duke will be tough to beat here.

The Contenders: Kansas Jayhawks and Seton Hall Pirates

From what I’ve gathered, there has only been recent chatter about two schools that can compete with Duke — that’s Kansas and Seton Hall.

On a potentially positive note for Duke and Seton Hall, it looks like Bill Self’s program may be operating as if their future will not include Trevon Duval.

A waiting game was employed by Duval’s camp — rightly so — to see if key players from his final five schools would leave for the pros or stay, resulting in the recent news that rising senior point guard Devonte’ Graham (13.4 ppg, 4.1 apg) will return for his senior year, joining incoming top-50 point/combo guard Marcus Garrett in Kansas’ backcourt next year.

That playing time situation isn’t exactly an easy sell but it also doesn’t completely eliminate Kansas, though the recent addition of Memphis transfers Dedric and K.J. Lawson (both forwards) ate up the last two available scholarships that Bill Self currently has, pending another departure. 

While far from a source, I’ve also seen various Kansas-affiliated fans on Twitter stating how Duval is not headed there, adding to the train of thought that they are no longer a serious threat.

Moving on to Seton Hall, odds are you already know the projected situation for next season: Kevin Willard has no lead-guards on the roster (though Khadeen Carrington can play point guard for 5-10 mpg) while Angel Delgado deciding to return is mandatory for Duval to even consider South Orange.

That said, it appears that Seton Hall has by far the cleanest slate as far as playing time goes. Duval would have the keys handed over to him and could see as many minutes as physically possible in a way that not even Isaiah Whitehead had when he was a freshman — Whitehead averaged 27 mpg in his first year.

The Dark Horses: Arizona Wildcats and Baylor Bears

For perhaps telling reasons, another pair of top-25 programs in Arizona and Baylor are on Duval’s final list, but neither have received the same type of buzz that has surrounded the aforementioned three schools.

Well-known for their ability to pull top-ranked guards, Sean Miller returns senior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (5.9 ppg, 4.1 apg) and adds top-100 floor general recruit Alex Barcello this off-season to replace freshman guard Kobi Simmons (8.7 ppg, 2 apg), who looks like he is off to the NBA — two-guards Rawle Alkins (10.9 ppg, 2.1 apg) and Allonzo Trier (17.2 ppg, 2.7 apg) also have a pending status, both eat up a ton of shots and minutes.

Despite the potential to lose a lot of firepower, it appears that the Wildcats are set at point guard for next season, though who can really turn away a top-ranked recruit? 

Finally, it’s time to see what sort of chance the Baylor Bears have.

Like Arizona and Kansas, Scott Drew has a seasoned point guard returning next year in senior Belgium-native Manu Lecomte (12.2 ppg, 3.8 apg) with rising junior Jake Lindsey (4.7 ppg, 3.1 apg) likely pegged as a back-up.

In addition to tracking Duval, Baylor has been across the Atlantic to recruit French point guard Joel Ayayi in what looks to be a back-up plan and a supplemental addition alongside Lecomte and Lindsey.

In sum, Seton Hall is clearly the destination for Trevon Duval with the most available playing time, though the Pirates obviously did not make it as far as all four competitors in this year’s NCAA tournament and aren’t projected to advance as far as all four schools next season without Duval or a seasoned point guard added to their rising junior class.

It remains unclear when a decision date will be set, but Duval’s recruiting saga could stretch to May as early-entrants candidates like Grayson Allen have all the way until May 24th to make a final decision about the Draft.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think we have a good shot with Duvall. His friendship with Powell will help. He’s spoken highly about the opportunity to play in the BE and in the Garden for the BET. Will be interesting to see how all this plays out.

  • As always, please add any corrections/additons to the above. This is just what I gathered from an hour or two of research

    • hallstorm

      Any word on whether Darrington (who would form a great back court with Carrington, by the way. Could confuse people….) is coming for an official visit? How about Mamukelashvilli? Is he still interested (I feel like his is waning…)?

      Also read that Big East does not allow players to play for another school if they signed an NLI. Would that eliminate Waters?

  • VinBick

    The kid gets plenty of great exposure playing for the Hall in the Big East. Fitting in with the existing blue-bloods will make for one powerful, exciting team on the national stage. Great story all around.

    Of course, at Duke he can lean some tripping techniques….

  • SHU95

    There seem to be a lot of moving parts in terms of roster changes (players both leaving and coming in) at the other schools which presents a variety of drawbacks in my opinion. Kansas is seemingly out unless they lose another player unexpectly, and even if, does Duval even start there with Graham back? I look at Duke, they either return people which squeeze minutes or they have a whole new roster of freshmen which creates that unknown…(see SHU 3 years ago)… same Really holds true with Arizona & Baylor as with Duke, tons of moving parts. If our ‘lone’ moving part Angel comes back… I honestly think SHU is the best choice for him for all of the reasons we have all spoken about for the last several months…bottom line- he can come here make the ‘Sweet 16’ & leave a legend… or go to any of the others make the Sweet 16 and get criticized or be a forgotten footnote in terms of college. Let’s see how things play out with AD….

    • Apparently there was a report — I think from Zagoria — that Kansas wants to play (or use) 3 PGs next season.

      That’s all fine and well, but does Duval want that? Probably not.

      • SHU95

        Interesting… but still, too many moving parts if it were me, that said, who knows if an 18 year old would see it the same way…

  • z06

    I would love to see this Guy at the Hall,and I don’t think he is 1 &done , I would even say whitehead was better. comming out high school.we more big bodies to many guards only 1 ball .

    • Interesting take, I’m pretty sure he is universally thought of as a 1-done. As opposed to IW, where his second year was likely unless he had an amazing FR campaign

    • SHU95

      I admit I haven’t seen either of them play enough at the HS level to say which is better at this point in their development…. The thing about Duval is that the is a true PG, where IW had to develop into one in order to have a position in the Pro’s. Since Duval has a more natural position, I would think his path to the Pros MAY be easier. The true test will undoubtably be on the court next season wherever that may be…. Either way, u make good points

  • Marklemore84

    He tweeted he was in NYC last night. Clearly he’s fond of the city. Between that and Chris’ dream its a virtual lock at this point.

    • 🙂

      • z06

        I agreed with you,He will be going to the Hall take it to the Bank

  • The Other Matt

    I honestly believe he either goes overseas and plays professionally or ends up at Seton Hall. He’s been adamant in saying that he’s going to school but who knows with the NCAA and him having came from Advanced Prep in Texas, which he left due to the concerns to of qualifying, before transferring to IMG Academy. I do believe that he does have a future deal with Under Armour all but in hand, and there’s no doubt that that he has a connection to the area, keys players on the team, and staff, especially Sha(heen) Holloway. And in the fact, Seton Hall is the only Under Armou school, as I stated in a previous post, and that if there are any qualifying questions resulting from his time at Advanced Prep, or otherwise, then the likelihood of him going to Duke seems questionable considering their lofty academic standards. I’ll be honest, I’m just reading the tea leaves here though, and using the information given to make an informed opinion.

  • jfp1992

    Any word on Sandro Mamukelashvili? Is he still in the mix?

  • PadrePirate

    Thanks, Chris. Good job laying it all out. I think we’ve got a chance, although I haven’t had any mystical Duval visions or dreams. The big problem, IMO, is that if he waits until May 24 to commit somewhere, that leaves us virtually out of the market with all the other plan B transfers. What kid would want to hear, “you’re not our first option, so we’ll call you back in late May, if you’re still around…”? I hope that Angel gets a couple of work-outs, and they send him back (soon) to South Orange with a “things to improve” list for this year.

  • hallstorm

    Kevin Marfo is coming for a visit next weekend (20-21). Not sure if he can be anything more than a Rashed Anthony-type, though. I am hoping Billmeier can help Darnelle Brodie to become a good post player, but that remains to be seen.