Duke basketball fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Standout point guard Greg Paulus, despite differing conjecture, will spend his college years playing basketball for the Blue Devils in Durham.
Paulus, a two-sport star at Christian Brothers Academy in upstate New York, revealed his intentions this afternoon during a press conference at his school, exposing that he had, despite reports to the contrary, signed a letter of intent with Duke during the NCAA’s early-signing period, which ended on Nov. 17.
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Speculation had grown rampant that Paulus, arguably the top quarterback prospect in the nation, might decide that football was the best choice for his future. But much to the delight of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Blue Devils fans everywhere, that won’t be the case.
Paulus made a verbal commitment to Duke in September of 2003, but when the false reports surfaced last month that he had not signed with the Blue Devils during the NCAA’s early-signing period last month, rumors that he might be having a change of heart were fueled.
"On Tuesday, Nov. 16, I signed my letter of intent to play basketball for Duke and I am looking forward to playing for Coach K," Paulus said, adding that it was Krzyzewski's idea to delay the announcement. "Although I love football and am flattered by all of the attention, basketball is my passion."
It would have been easy to understand if Paulus ultimately had chosen football. This year alone, he passed for more than 3,500 yards and 40 touchdowns, leading his team to a 13-0 record and a Class AA state championship.
High-profile programs, including Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami, had continued to recruit the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, who’s been compared to Joe Montana, despite his pledge to Duke.
But those calls will stop now and the ACC will get ready for Paulus to bring his considerable talent to the hardwood. He is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 25 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 6 point guard.
"It was a tough decision at first, but as the process went on and everything continued to unfold, it became pretty evident and an easy decision that Duke was the answer," Paulus said.
Paulus averaged 23 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals per game as a junior, while shooting better than 48 percent from the floor. As a sophomore, he poured in nearly 25 points per contest, while dishing out seven assists per game.
Paulus is averaging 28 points per game so far this season and has scored 1,887 points in his high school basketball career. With 725 more points this season, he would eclipse Kenny Anderson’s state record of 2,612 points.
"I know many people will question this decision," Paulus said. "But my heart is telling me to play basketball."
He solidifies a Duke’s recruiting class that is ranked No. 1 in America by Rivals.com.