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Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Zoom in on Foreign Big Man

Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Zoom in on Foreign Big Man

Eventually, at least one 2021 center will likely hold a Duke basketball offer, and the first to do so might not be an American.

Considering that the last Canadian Blue Devil, R.J. Barrett, left Durham as the program’s all-time freshman scorer, it’s no surprise the Duke basketball recruiters are paying attention to another promising prospect from north of the border.

On Wednesday, per Stock Risers’ Jake Weingarten, associate head coach Jon Scheyer and two other assistants took a trip to see Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) junior center Charles Bediako, who hails from St. Catharines, Ontario. Weingarten tagged the 6-foot-11, 220-pound four-star as “one of Canada’s top prospects regardless of class.”

The 247Sports Composite ranks Bediako No. 40 overall in his class and No. 6 among 2021 centers. Only four months ago, he sat at No. 93 overall, so his name is suddenly attracting more attention. He currently holds under a dozen offers, though, with Ohio State, Florida, and Illinois as the biggest names (his Crystal Ball does not yet contain any predictions).

Not only does Bediako have a confident stroke from deep, but he also looks impressive for his size in terms of speed and handles in transition. However, his 7-foot-4 wingspan, body control, and instincts make his shot-blocking probably his top weapon. As for his visible weaknesses, for starters, he’s on the skinny side; plus, his footwork and repertoire of post moves appear limited.

As for whether Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will pull the trigger on inviting Bediako to join #TheBrotherhood, we’ll just have to wait and see. The staff has not yet extended any offers to 2021 centers. And the only other one to draw notable interest from the Blue Devils as of late is five-star Chet Holmgren, who ranks No. 4 overall in the class — No. 1 among centers.

Seeing that Bediako hasn’t yet scheduled any official visits, it doesn’t appear as if he is in any rush to make his college choice. That being said, he will turn 18 years old in March, meaning his 19th birthday would come about eight months prior to his first college game — i.e., based solely on his age, it’s worth keeping an ear out for reclass chatter.

At the moment, the only 2021 recruits with Duke basketball offers in hand are five five-stars: shooting guard Max Christie, small forward Jonathan Kuminga, small forward A.J. Griffin, small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and power forward Paolo Banchero.