Duke Blue Devils Addition of Justise Winslow Solidifies Impressive 2014 Class

By Kris Hughes

As if the additions of both Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor weren’t enough, the rich have gotten even richer as the Duke Blue Devils have earned a commitment from 5-star Houston, Texas swing forward Justise Winslow. Winslow announced his decision this afternoon to make the move to Durham, and in the process further solidified what will undoubtedly be the best recruiting class in college basketball for 2014.

At 6’5″, 208 pounds, Winslow is the classic Division I swing forward. Winslow’s natural strength and aggressiveness gives him the edge over smaller and lighter opponents on both ends of the floor and his ability to drive to the basket with authority and shoot the jumper as well as be a defensive terror makes him one of the country’s most complete players, regardless of position.

Winslow has earned comparisons to similar hard-nosed defensive players with solid skill sets, guys like Danny Granger and Ron Artest. His physical style doesn’t belie a high basketball IQ which made him a natural target for Mike Krzyzewski and a player who will naturally compliment the skills of Jones and Okafor in a trio who is certain to play plenty of minutes next fall, regardless of whether Jabari Parker stays in the mix for his sophomore season. That possibility is even more enticing now for people who follow college basketball. Watching those four players play together for even one season could truly be special, whether you love Duke, or like so many, love to hate them.

A pairing of Winslow and Parker on the floor at the same time with the speedy Jones and the bulky and bruising Okafor in the paint is reminiscent of some of the better team cores we’ve seen in recent college basketball history. While 2013 promises to be a great season to watch across the college basketball landscape, the notion of what the Duke Blue Devils could bring to the table in 2014 is even more enticing.

Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer, Business Analyst and College Content Coordinator for Rant Sports.

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