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Coach K's recruits who ranked in top 5 during the Rivals era

With the Mike Krzyzewski farewell tour preparing to get underway, there will be no shortage of retrospectives on the legendary Duke head coach’s legacy. His on-court resume speaks for itself, but his recruiting credentials are nearly as impressive. Krzyzewski has landed 18 top-five prospects since the Rivals150 was created back in 2003. Today, we have a look at each one as a recruit and what they became under Coach K. All-time greats such as Grant Hill and Christian Laettner are not part of this list, as they predate Rivals, but the pool of talent is incredible nevertheless.


RELATED: Krzyzewski's legendary career nearing its end

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30





RANK: No. 2 in the class of 2003

RECRUITMENT: Deng has the distinction of being ranked second in the 2003 class behind a guy by the name of LeBron James. Duke’s major competition in the fight to land Deng was the NBA, which was a real option for The Sudan-born star.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Deng averaged more than 15 points per game in his one season at Duke and led the Blue Devils to the Final Four. The Phoenix Suns selected him seventh overall in the 2004 NBA Draft and he was a two-time NBA All-Star. Now retired, he is currently the head coach of the South Sudan national basketball team, which ranks 97th in the world.


RANK: No. 2 in the class of 2004

RECRUITMENT: Livingston committed and signed with Duke over in-state Illinois, citing the relationship he'd established with Krzyzewski as the deciding factor.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Livingston, who came of age before the one-and-done era, never made it to Duke. Instead, the star guard elected to turn pro. He was the fourth pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and had a decade-long professional career that included nine teams and three NBA titles. He currently serves as the Golden State Warriors’ director of player affairs and engagement.


RANK. No. 2 in the class of 2005

RECRUITMENT: McRoberts committed to Duke just days after visiting campus and announced his decision during a ceremony at his high school. "Coach K is a great person and a great coach. I really like the family atmosphere. I think it will be a good place for me to be,” McRoberts told following his announcement.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: McRoberts played two seasons at Duke. He never quite lived up to his top-five billing, but he managed to become a second-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore before being selected by the the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Draft’s second round. McRoberts kicked around the NBA for years, playing for seven different franchises before hanging it up in 2018.


RANK: No. 5 in the class of 2007

RECRUITMENT: Kansas, Arizona, UCLA and Washington were all involved with Singler’s recruitment before the future Blue Devils star made his decision.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: A four-year player for Coach K’s Blue Devils, Singler toyed with the idea of entering the NBA Draft following his freshman season but stuck around. He was a massive part of the program’s 2010 national championship and was named MVP of the Final Four. He played a chunk of his professional career overseas but also played six NBA seasons for the Thunder and Pistons.


RANK: No. 4 in the class of 2010

RECRUITMENT: Irving’s decision to commit to Duke leaked to the public via news reports that Irving initially denied. He later announced his commitment on national television, choosing Coach K’s program over Texas and others.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Irving’s one season at Duke was limited due to injury, but the star point guard managed to shine in the games he played, averaging 17.4 points on 53.2 percent shooting. He was the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and remains one of the top players in the league.


RANK: No. 1 in the class of 2011

RECRUITMENT: The battle to land Rivers was a blueblood affair, as Duke beat out North Carolina and Kansas to land the top player in the 2011 class.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Rivers was a first-team All-ACC selection in his one season in Durham but saw the season come to an abrupt end courtesy of an opening-round loss to Lehigh in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The then-New Orleans Hornets selected Rivers 10th overall in the ensuing NBA Draft. Rivers has since played for six NBA teams and remains in the league.


RANK: No. 4 in the class of 2013

RECRUITMENT: Krzyzewski, who has long recruited well in his hometown of Chicago, wrestled Parker away from Florida, Michigan State, Stanford and BYU. The recruiting victory is made more impressive when you consider that Parker, who grew up as a member of the LDS church, spurned the Cougars to select the Blue Devils.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Parker was named a consensus first-team All-American during his one year in college but saw his college career cut short via an upset loss to Mercer in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He was drafted second overall by the Milwaukee Bucks and has played for a number of NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics, for whom he currently suits up.


RANK: No. 1 in the class of 2014

RECRUITMENT: Okafor was a package deal with fellow elite prospect Tyus Jones, and the two choose Duke simultaneously. The duo had narrowed their focus to include just the Blue Devils and Kansas before they announced their decision on national television.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Okafor was a first-team All-American in his one season at Duke and finished second in the Wooden Award voting. He landed in Philadelphia when the 76ers selected him third overall, and he has since played for the Nets, Pelicans and Pistons.


RANK: No. 4 in the class of 2015

RECRUITMENT: Ingram committed to Duke on the heels of the program’s 2015 national title. He chose the Blue Devils over Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina. The Tar Heels were thought to lead his recruitment for some time, but an ill-timed academic scandal at the school opened the door for Coach K.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Ingram took home ACC Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman and bounced to the NBA after helping the Blue Devils to the Sweet 16. Ingram was selected No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and was later traded to The New Orleans Pelicans, for whom he turned into an All-Star Game selection in 2020.


RANK: No. 2 in the class of 2016

RECRUITMENT: An injury ended Giles' senior season in high school prematurely, but he landed at Duke nevertheless. The five-star prospect was close friends with fellow Duke signee Jayson Tatum, which played a role in his decision.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Giles, who missed a chunk of his only college season while recovering from injury, never rose to the heights of Tatum. He started just six games as a Blue Devil, mostly functioning in a reserve role. Still, he declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, where he was selected 20th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.


RANK: No. 3 in the class of 2016

RECRUITMENT: Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Saint Louis made up Tatum’s final four. The five-star chose the Blue Devils the summer before his senior season after taking an early official visit.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Tatum’s Duke debut came later than expected, as he missed a handful of early-season games due to injury. He steadily improved as the season progressed, however, and was ultimately named to the 2017 All-ACC Tournament. He declared for the NBA Draft following his freshman season and was selected third overall by the Boston Celtics, for whom he has become one of the premier players in the league.


RANK: No. 2 in the class of 2017

RECRUITMENT: Originally a member of the 2018 class, Bagley reclassified after pulling the trigger on his commitment to the Blue Devils. The Arizona native chose Duke over both USC and UCLA, electing to bypass the regional powers to fly across the country and play for Krzyzewski.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Bagley’s one season at Duke was a massive one. He was named ACC Player of the Year and led the program to an appearance in the Elite Eight. He was selected second overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2018 NBA Draft.


RANK: No. 5 in the class of 2017

RECRUITMENT: Duval’s official final five as Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Seton Hall and Baylor, but the Blue Devils, Wildcats and Jayhawks always seemed like the only real possibilities. He chose Duke via an article in the Players’ Tribune and was thought to be the solution for spotty point guard play that had plagued the team during the previous season.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Duval averaged 10 points and five assists in his one season in Durham before forgoing his final three years of eligibility to declare for the NBA Draft. Duval was not selected and signed a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Duval has played in just three NBA games, but remains in the G League.


RANK: No. 1 in the class of 2018

RECRUITMENT: Barrett chose Duke over Oregon and Kentucky. Arizona and Michigan were also involved for a time, but they failed to make the final cut.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Barrett averaged 22.6 points per game in his one season at Duke and earned consensus All-American honors. The New York Knicks made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.


RANK: No. 2 in the class of 2018

RECRUITMENT: Kentucky and Duke battled it out to land Reddish, who opted to play for the Blue Devils despite playing for John Calipari in the 2017 U19 World Cup.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Reddish didn’t become the college superstar everyone thought he would, but still garnered an All-ACC honorable mention nod in his one season in Durham. The Atlanta Hawks selected him with the No. 10 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.


RANK: No. 5 in the class of 2018

RECRUITMENT: Williamson was part of a super class with fellow top-five prospects R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish. He, like many others on this list, chose Coach K’s program over Kentucky. He noted Krzyzewski’s legendary status in the post-commitment interview as a major reason why he landed at the school.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Williamson became a household name in his one season in Durham. He was a consensus first-team All-American and selected first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft.


RANK: No. 5 in the class of 2019

RECRUITMENT: Duke beat out Michigan State and North Carolina to land Carey. Miami was involved in Carey’s recruitment as well, as the five-star prospect’s father played football for UM. Still, the Hurricanes failed to make the final cut.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Carey played just one year at Duke, where he became a second-team All-American and the ACC Rookie of the Year. He was selected in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.


RANK: No. 5 in the class of 2021

RECRUITMENT: Banchero made the call for Duke early, choosing Coach K’s program over Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona, Washington and Tennessee.

AFTER SIGNING WITH DUKE: Banchero will play his first game for Duke this year and is expected to be one of the top freshmen in the country.