Amile Jefferson Signs With Duke Over NC State, Kentucky

on May 16 2012 12:19 PM
Mike Krzyzewski
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski embraces Bobby Knight after win No. 903. REUTERS

Amile Jefferson, one of the nation's top basketball recruits, signed with Duke University on Tuesday afternoon over a host of other attractive suitors.

The 6-foot-8, 200-pound McDonald's All-American chose Duke over North Carolina State, Kentucky, Villanova, Ohio State, and Temple. Jefferson held his decision close to vest for months -- he signed on the last day of the spring signing period -- but ultimately decided on the school that he felt was the best fit for him.

In the end, I wanted to choose the school that I thought fit me best on and off the court, Jefferson said at a press conference at his Philadelphia-area high school. I think I made a great choice.

Duke is a prestigious school, a school that's going to challenge me on and off the court. I'm excited about that challenge. It's something I wanted.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski agreed that it was a good fit and released a statement Tuesday night that called Jefferson a perfect young man for Duke university.

Jefferson told reporters on Tuesday that he was excited to play for such an amazing coach and that he hoped to learn from him, feed off his energy.

Jefferson is rated the 25th-best player in the country for 2012 by ESPN after he averaged 19.9 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game last season.

His style of play is somewhat reminiscent to former Blue Devil Lance Thomas, who currently plays in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets, and he should be able to get immediate playing time at Duke. The Blue Devils lost Miles Plumlee to graduation and desperately needed another talented big man like Jefferson to join Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly in the frontcourt.

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