Many mid-major colleges were looking at Capital Prep guard Kahlil Dukes. But when a major conference school from the West Coast showed intense interest, his decision was easy.
Dukes, who averaged 21.8 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals last season, said USC appealed to him for multiple reasons.
“It’s a major conference, and the school has cinematic arts as a major, which I’m interested in,” he said. “I also like coach [Kevin O'Neill] and their pick-and-roll offense.”
Dukes, a 5-foot-11-inch junior, had consecutive 40-point plus games in the Adidas Super 64 last weekend in Las Vegas. Dukes is a member of the Connecticut Basketball Club.
He’s the first oral commitment for USC for the 2013 class. He’s projected to play point guard for the Trojans.
Two years ago, Dukes played primarily point guard for Capital Prep because coach Levy Gillespie wanted to diversify Dukes’ total game. Last season Dukes played primarily shooting guard. He was instrumental in leading the Hartford team to the Class S title game, in which it lost to Immaculate-Danbury.
Last season, Dukes, a member of The Courant Fab 15 team, received interest from such schools as Quinnipiac, Drexel, Sacred Heart, Rice, Vermont, Florida International, Loyola Marymount, UTEP, Ohio, Robert Morris, St. Peter’s and St. Bonaventure.
“USC came on and saw me play AAU ball,” Dukes said. “I’m going to visit there in September.”
Moving from a Class S team in Connecticut to the Pac-12 doesn’t intimidate Dukes.
“Coach [Gillespie] always told me it doesn’t matter where you came from, if you can play well and work at it, you can play at the highest level,” Dukes said. “That inspires me.”
By TOM YANTZ - The Hartford Courant