Prized power forward Wendell Carter commits to Duke

ByJeff Borzello ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wendell Carter, who was the top uncommitted prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, has committed to the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday.

Carter chose the Blue Devils over in-state schools Georgia and Georgia Tech, as well as Harvard. He has reportedly already signed a letter of intent.

Duke was considered the heavy favorite for Carter for most of his recruitment, as the Blue Devils had zeroed in on Carter as their top big man target in the class early in the process. He visited the other three schools on his list, and Harvard was indeed a legitimate option, but Duke was clearly the team to beat.

Carter, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Pace Academy (Georgia), is ranked No. 3 in the ESPN 100 for 2017. The top player at his position, Carter is a dominant performer inside. He averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks on the Nike EYBL circuit with Team CP3. At Pace last season, Carter put up 21.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.5 blocks, leading his team to a state title.

He also won two gold medals with USA Basketball, the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2016 U17 World Championship. Carter averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in just 15.3 minutes this past summer at the World Championship.

Duke's frontcourt will look very different in 2017-18, with senior Amile Jefferson graduating and No. 1 incoming freshman Harry Giles likely leaving after his freshman season. Former five-star recruits Marques Bolden and Chase Jeter will likely return, but Carter should slot into a starting spot immediately. Carter and Bolden would form one of the most productive and efficient inside tandems in the country.

Carter is the third member of Duke's 2017 recruiting class. He joins five-star guard Gary Trent Jr. (No. 8) and ESPN 100 wing Alex O'Connell (No. 88). Carter and Trent publicly discussed playing college basketball together several times, with Trent telling ESPN in June it was "100 percent."

Duke is still eyeing the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, with Mike Krzyzewski targeting Mohamed Bamba (No. 4), Kevin Knox (No. 7) and Matt Coleman (No. 27) to round out the group.