Duke Blue Devils Unveil #2 Ranked Recruiting Class

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Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski who’s not just a basketball coach but a leader who happens to coach college basketball announced Tuesday the signing of Quinn Cook, Michael Gbinije [Ben-ih-jhay], Marshall Plumlee and Austin Rivers to national letters of intent. Duke’s recruiting class is ranked No. 2 in the nation by ESPN, Scout.com and Rivals.com.The team itself is currently ranked #1 in both polls

“We are extremely excited about this recruiting class,” said Krzyzewski. “In addition to being outstanding talents on the court, all four members of the class are outstanding young men and terrific students. Quinn, Michael, Marshall and Austin are each students of the game with high basketball IQs and well-rounded skill sets. They each have a bright future in our program and we look forward to watching them develop on and off the court.”

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Cook, the 2010 Washington Post Metro Player of the Year, was also the starting point guard on USA Basketball’s Under-17 team. He averaged 7.9 points and a tournament-best 7.4 assists per game while guiding Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in international competition in Germany . Cook, who is playing his final year of high school basketball at Oak Hill Academy [ Va. ], is ranked 20th overall by Scout.com, 28th by Rivals and 24th by ESPN.

Gbinije, a 6-6 guard/forward, also averaged 17.5 ppg to rank sixth in scoring at the NBA Top 100 Camp. On the AAU circuit, he led Team Takeover to the inaugural Nike Elite Youth Basketball League championship and was named a first team All-AAU selection by Slam Magazine. The Chester , Va. , native scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds in a 70-62 win over the St. Louis Eagles in the Nike EYBL title game. He also had a 24-point, five-rebound and four-assist effort at the Nike Global Challenge to pace USA East to a 129-123 win over USA West. Gbinije is rated No. 17 in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com, 21st by Scout.com and 25th by ESPN.

Rivers, ranked No.1 in the class by ESPN and Rivals.com, led Winter Park to a 29-6 record and the Florida Class 6A Championship as a junior. Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, enters his senior season with 1,967 career points at Winter Park . He is the favorite to win Florida ‘s Mr. Basketball honors and is a National Player of the Year candidate.

Rivers is coming off a strong summer that included a gold medal at the FIBA U-18 World Championship and a team championship at the AAU Jr. Boys Super Showcase. He started all five games along with current Duke freshmen Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston and led the U.S. in scoring (20.2 ppg.) and steals (2.0 spg.) at the FIBA World Championship. Rivers also ranked second in minutes played (23.0) and third in field goal percentage (.583). He set a tournament record by making nine consecutive 3-point shots and a Team USA record with 35 points in a 122-89 semifinal rout of Canada.

Plumlee, the younger brother of current Blue Devils Miles and Mason Plumlee, averaged 8.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and nearly three blocks per game while leading Chris t School [N.C] to its third consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools state title as a junior.

The 7-0 center has helped the Greenies to a 107-5 record over the past three years, including a 37-1 mark a year ago. Assuming both of his brothers stay at Duke for the 2011-12 season — Mason is entering his sophomore year and Miles will be a junior — it will mark the first time in ACC history that three siblings will be on the same team’s roster. The youngest Plumlee brother is rated 40th in his class by Scout.com and 44th by ESPN.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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