By Joe Henricksen
The City/Suburban Hoops Report has found the recruitment of Deerfield's Duje Dukan a bit puzzling. However, with an offer from Arizona State Thursday, maybe it's finally starting to make a little more sense.... hopefully.
The Hoops Report's adoration for the talents of Dukan have been endless -- and pretty loud and clear -- since he broke out with such a productive junior year and then flourished this spring and summer on the AAU circuit playing with Steve Pratt's Chicago Elite team. Still, the high-majors were -- and continue to be -- slow to come around. While a multitude of mid-majors covet the 6-8 wing, the high-majors have sniffed around a lot but with signing day a few weeks away there has been nothing. So give credit to coach Herb Sendek and the ASU staff, who Pratt says came through with the offer. Why it took a Pac-10 school from thousands of miles away to be the first, well ...
Dukan can play at the high-major level. While he may not be the ideal fit in certain systems, in the right one he can certainly play a role. That's because Dukan's greatest attribute translates to any level, which is that he can flat-out sit out on the perimeter and shoot it with the best of them. He has the size and the high release point to be able to get his shot off. He is extremely skilled, sees the floor and passes exceptionally well for a player his size.
To put it in simple terms, Dukan was a late bloomer. He was productive but not spectacular as a junior. But you could see the potential and skill level coming together. Then came the confidence, which he showed during the spring and summer. The knock, at least at the high-major level, will be his lack of strength, questionable foot speed and who he will guard. Again, he is just scratching the surface and continues to grow into his body. Dukan's high basketball I.Q., with great bloodlines, work ethic and overall size will help overcome many of his weaknesses.
Sometimes when a player floats under the radar it just takes one high-major to come through and others follow. Arizona State has certainly made the leap of faith and, as a result, is front and center in the Dukan recruiting. Will others follow?