Montverde Academy’s RJ Barrett shoots a free throw against Bishop Montgomery in January. AP
Montverde Academy’s RJ Barrett shoots a free throw against Bishop Montgomery in January. AP

Duke

RJ Barrett, the No. 1 basketball recruit in the country, picks Duke

By Jonathan M. Alexander

jalexander@newsobserver.com

November 10, 2017 06:16 PM

UPDATED November 11, 2017 04:15 PM

R.J. Barrett, the nation’s No. 1 prospect, will be a Duke Blue Devil.

Barrett, a 6-6, 180-pound, five-star small forward who plays for Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., announced his decision on the Canadian sports channel TSN Friday night.

Barrett chose Duke over Kentucky and Oregon.

Barrett was previously a Class of 2019 recruit, but reclassified to the Class of 2018 earlier this summer. In July, he averaged 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game for Canada at the FIBU U19 World Cup.

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Barrett put up a huge performance in the semifinals of the tournament and helped Canada upset the John Calipari-led Team USA 99-87. Barrett scored 38 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out five assists. It was the most points ever against Team USA in the FIBA U19 Men’s Basketball World Championships.

Duke, with the addition of Barrett, will likely be the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. The Blue Devils have recently signed top prospects Tre Jones (No. 6 overall) and Cam Reddish (No. 4 overall).

Jones, at 6-2, 171 pounds, is the top overall point guard in the country. Reddish, who is 6-7, 211 pounds, is the No. 3 ranked small forward behind Barrett and Zion Williamson, also a Duke target.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander