Filipowski took visits to Syracuse, Ohio State, Indiana, Iowa and UConn in June, but his trip to Duke toward the end of the month changed the direction of his recruitment. The Blue Devils extended an offer to Filipowski on his visit and became the favorite shortly thereafter.
“At the end of the day, they just checked all of the boxes for me,” Filipowski told ESPN. “They are a national level team, my academics were very important to me, and I had a good feel for the environment and campus. Just being around that type of environment and having those relationships, I really feel like when I’m done with my time at Duke I’ll be the best version of myself, both on and off the court. I can just envision myself growing there with the people I’m surrounding myself with.”
A 6-foot-11 big man from New York who attends Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Massachusetts), Filipowski is ranked No. 20 overall in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class. He’s considered a top-five player at his position. Through eight games with the New York Rens grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit, Filipowski averaged 13.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists, shooting 58.3% from the field and 46.2% from 3-point range on 13 attempts.
Filipowski is a playmaking big man with the size of a center but a unique ability to handle and pass the basketball. He has terrific hands and touch, can take the ball off the glass to start the break, or face-up and attack his man in the half-court. He has totally transformed his body in the last 18 months and dramatically improved his athleticism in the process.
Filipowski is Duke’s first commitment in the 2022 class, and the first recruit Scheyer has landed since being named Mike Krzyzewski’s replacement in early June. Krzyzewski will coach the Blue Devils during the 2021-22 season before stepping down next spring. Scheyer has spearheaded Duke’s 2022 recruiting efforts, with Krzyzewski not going on the road in June and July to watch recruits.
“Coach K retiring didn’t change how I felt about Duke,” Filipowski said. “I’ve been building this relationship with Coach Scheyer for over six months now and the vision he has, not just for me but for my class, is something that I can envision myself in. I believe in him and what he is planning. I think being a part of that and helping him make his own name at Duke would be something very special for both of us. I just wanted to carry on the dynasty of Duke, but also create a foundation with Coach Scheyer.”
With Filipowski in the fold, Duke will now turn to its perimeter targets. Top-10 prospect Dariq Whitehead is expected to announce his commitment this weekend and the Blue Devils are considered the favorites heading down the stretch. Duke offered fast-rising guard Jaden Schutt earlier this month and has put itself squarely in the mix for the Illinois native. Scheyer and the Blue Devils also hosted five-star frontcourt prospects Dereck Lively and Mark Mitchell for visits in June.