In the span of a few seconds Friday afternoon, Duke became the likely favorite for the 2014-15 national championship. That's what happens when two of the five best high school players in the country announce their decision to be Blue Devils.
Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones are both headed to play for Mike Krzyzewski and Duke.
They chose the Blue Devils over Kansas and Baylor.
Long thought to be a package deal, neither player ever really wavered in that aspect of his recruitment. Okafor and Jones didn't play high school or AAU basketball on the same team, but represented USA Basketball together and became close friends from playing at elite camps and tournaments around the country. A couple of teams attempted to split them up, but it never worked. Despite various rumors to the contrary, Okafor and Jones followed through on their package deal.
Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center from Whitney Young (Ill.), is ranked No. 1 in the 247Sports Composite. He is an absolutely dominant force on the inside, and is the best back-to-the-basket player to come across the high school landscape in a very long time. He can get position on the interior, and then is able to score in a variety of ways. Okafor is also capable of passing out of double teams. He has terrific hands and is an outstanding rebounder.
Meanwhile, Jones is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) who is ranked No. 5 in the 247Sports Composite. It became clear a couple of years ago that he would be the best pure point guard in the country, given his high-level basketball IQ and ability to run an offense and control tempo. Jones is a great passer with vision, but he's also very adept at scoring in his own right. He has good range to the 3-point line and while he isn't overly explosive, Jones can change speeds effectively.
Okafor and Jones join previous commit Grayson Allen in Duke's 2014 recruiting class. Regardless of who stays and who goes pro from this year's Blue Devil team, it's certainly not a stretch to say that Duke will be the favorite heading into next season. Okafor gives them the most dominant big man in the country, while Jones is clearly one of the top point guards in the nation. Even if Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood decide to go pro, Krzyzewski will have the pieces to win a national title.
Moreover, Duke likely has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country now. The Blue Devils will be the only team in the country with two top-five recruits at the end of the early signing period. And Duke might not be done just yet – long-time target Justise Winslow is also still on the market.