Paul Biancardi: Jahlil Okafor Is Going To Be A Special Player At Duke
ESPN.com’s director of basketball recruiting, Paul Biancardi, joins Mac and Jim to discuss Kentucky’s recruiting, two and through, the national title game, and impact recruits in the ACC.
On John Calipari’s recruiting strategy at Kentucky: He has a philosophy that instead of getting one or two of the [one and dones], I need more than that and I can get more than that and if I can get them to buy in an play as a team, we have a chance of being national champs or goign to a final four. I don’t think he wanted to do it with all freshmen, like he is this year. His ideal recipe was to bring in the Anthony Davis’s and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s to blend in with some upperclassmen.
On how much a Two-and-through would help players: The longer they stay in school, the longer they make mistakes and the longer they grow and mature the better they’ll be. You go from a boy’s world to a man’s world in college basketball to the NBA and it’s man’s world in every way. The travel off the court, the things that surround you as a young man with millions of dollars, it’s a mature world and they’re not ready for all the things that come at them. I think it would be great for the college game and great for their development.
On the most impactful recruit on Tobacco Road next year: Jahlil Okafor. He’s the number one player in our ESPN rankings. Haven’t seen a guy like him with his back to the basket who can score so easily. Now, he’s going to need guards to get him the ball, but his footwork, his hands, his size and his touch inside is dominating in the high school game. He’ll get double figure points. I don’t know if he’ll get double figure rebounds, but he’ll be a guy opponents have to double team and he’s a good passer. This low post player is going to be special at Duke.
On who’s better, Tyus Jones (Duke recruit) or Joel Berry (UNC recruit): Today, it’s Tyus Jones. He manages the game better, he’s a better facilitator and he can score the ball a little bit better than Berry. Although, I love Joel Berry. He’s a leader and a winner, he’s close second.