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Duke Blue Devils’ Jeff Capel becomes Pittsburgh Panthers’ head coach

This could have a big effect on the recruiting trail.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no question that Duke has been the team to beat on the recruiting trail in recent years, but that just took a big hit.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh hired Duke assistant Jeff Capel to be the school’s next head basketball coach, according to 247 Sports. Capel had been an instrumental piece on the recruiting trail for his alma mater ever since coming back to the school in 2011, which followed a failed stint as Oklahoma’s head coach.

But while Capel didn’t last long as a head coach, he’s always been a tremendous recruiter, and he’s a big reason why Duke and Coach K surpassed John Calipari and UK in the recruiting hierarchy.

Will this help swing momentum back toward UK?

Only time will tell, but there’s no denying this is good news for UK. It will be interesting to see if this affects the recruitment of EJ Montgomery, which has become a heated UK vs Duke battle to finish off the 2018 class.