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Next big ACC target: Caleb Houstan down to Duke, Virginia, Michigan and Alabama

As expected, 5-star 2021 forward Caleb Houstan has narrowed his list of schools down to four: Duke, Virginia, Michigan and Alabama.

North Carolina and Gonzaga — among several other power programs, like Michigan State and Arizona — were eliminated from contention.

Houstan is a top-10 overall prospect in the 2021 class.

Back in late July, the 6-foot-8 Houstan reclassified — moving up from 2022 to the 2021 recruiting cycle. This came about a month after Duke extended Houstan an offer.

The last 18 months have seen Houstan’s star take off as a prospect. First, in the summer of 2019, Houstan averaged 22.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for the U-16 Canadian National team.

During the 2019-20 season, Houstan’s profile rose while starting for the stacked Montverde Academy squad, arguably the greatest high school basketball team in prep sports history. Houstan helped lead Montverde (Fla.) to a 35-0 record, while playing with 2020 5-star prospects Cade CunninghamScottie BarnesDay’Ron Sharpe and Moses Moody.

 

Quick look at the teams

With AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero, Duke already has two commitments from 2021 forwards. Fellow 5-star phenom Patrick Baldwin Jr. could be next, too. Baldwin’s recruitment will likely come down to Duke and Milwaukee, where his father is the head coach. Currently, Duke projects as the favorite for PBJ.

Houstan’s versatile offensive game would be a nice fit in Tony Bennett’s offense — working both sides of Virginia’s blocker-mover or working the slot in continuity ball screen sets. (De’Andre Hunter excelled in this capacity during the 2019 title run.

Duke and Virginia are also in the top three for another 5-star 2021 talent: shooting guard Trevor Keels. Villanova is in the mix here as well. Duke is considered the favorite for Keels, who played prep ball with freshman point guard Jeremy Roach.

In late May, Alabama landed a commitment from 2020 4-star point guard Josh Primo, another Canadian prospect from Toronto. Houstan hails from nearby Mississauga — the same hometown as former Duke star RJ Barrett.

Alabama coach Nate Oats runs arguably the most NBA-like offense in all of college basketball: a beautiful mix of spacing, volume 3-point shooting and spread pick-and-roll.

 

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