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2015 EYBL MVP Harry Giles commits to Duke

By Alec Kinsky, D1 Circuit, 11/06/15, 12:00PM EST


The next time Harry Giles steps on a basketball court, it will be as a Duke Blue Devil.
This week has been whirlwind for the No. 1 recruit in the country, who went down with a knee injury two minutes into Oak Hill's season opener. The 2015 NIKE EYBL Most Valuable Player was diagnosed with a torn ACL yesterday, ending his season for No. 1 Oak Hill Academy and turning Giles' focus immediately on the next step in his path; his college decision.
Giles (2016 ESPN No 1) bumped his decision up as soon as he was diagnosed, which proved to be fantastic news for Coach K and company. Giles joins St. Louis Eagles star Jayson Tatum (2016 ESPN No. 2), forming undoubtedly the best recruiting class in 2016. Since the inception of recruiting rankings, today marks the first time the top two recruits from the same class have committed to the same school. He is the second ESPN 100 No. 1 recruit to commit to Duke in three years, following Mac Irvin Fire product Jahlil Okafor.
Giles was absolutely extraordinary in the EYBL, averaging 18.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals in 21 EYBL contests. The 6-foot-10 combo forward proved to be nearly unstoppable, shooting 54.4% from the field and 68.5% at the Peach Jam.
The ACL injury Giles suffered on Tuesday isn't nearly as serious as the setback he faced in 2013. Playing for the USA U16 team, Giles suffered a gruesome knee injury, tearing his ACL, MCL & meniscus. With modern technology, Giles should be able to make the same recovery he made before - and come back better than ever.
"The ACL/MCL tear in 2013 really set him back," Paul Biancardi said, ESPN's Head of Recruiting. " But the ACL can be repaired very strong nowadays. He came back stronger than ever before, he had a dominating summer. No one could stop him."
Giles' commitment gives Duke their third straight No. 1 recruiting class by ESPN Recruiting Nation. He will join Tatum, as well as guard Frank Jackson (ESPN No. 14) and Javin Delaurier (ESPN No. 44). Tatum was confident in Giles picking ESPN, especially after the bond they created at USA Basketball.
"We were roommates at USA Basketball this past season," Tatum told ESPN. "When you spend over 30 days together you either grow closer or apart. We got closer."
The pair put up major numbers in the 2015 NIKE EYBL, averaging a combined 39.0 points, 19.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.3 blocks. 
"They were the two best players in the EYBL," Prep Circuit contributor Nate Bucsko added. "It wasn't even close. A healthy Harry Giles is a scary thought."
Giles has been through the road to recovery before, and that should help him with this most recent injury setback. He will miss the entire high school season, but should be ready to roll for Duke when he enters his freshman season.
"I think he understands the rehabilitation process and the mindset that goes with it." Biancardi added. "I think he'll be back stronger than ever."
Giles knows everything will be okay. His confidence is undeniable.
"I'm good emotionally," Giles told ESPN after his commitment. "I'm focusing on coming back, having two strong legs and being ready to play."
If the past is any indication, Giles will be better than ever as a Duke Blue Devil.

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