Gerald Henderson enters the NBA Draft

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke guard Gerald Henderson announced on Saturday that he will make himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft to be held on June 25 in New York City. Henderson has not hired an agent.

“After a lot of thought and discussion with my family and the Duke coaching staff, I have decided to enter the NBA Draft,” said Henderson. “Playing in the NBA has been a goal of mine since a young age and I am thrilled to have the opportunity. My three years at Duke have been a tremendous learning experience and have helped me develop both as a person and as a player.”

Henderson, a first team All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament team selection last season, led the Blue Devils to a 30-7 record, the program’s 11th ACC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2008-09. He led the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, while also ranking second in rebounding (4.9 rpg) and assists (91) and third in blocked shots (28) and steals (46). Henderson scored in double figures 31 times in 2008-09, including 11 games with 20 or more points scored. He was also named to the Wooden Award, AP (third) and the FoxSports.com (second) All-America teams last season.

“Gerald is an impressive young man on and off the court,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We had great conversations about his NBA prospects and we are 100 percent behind his decision. Gerald is coming off a great season and he has an extremely bright future as a professional. We are ready to help him in any and every way during this process.”

Henderson is one of 59 players in school history to score over 1,000 career points and ranks 39th at Duke with 1,262 points. He played in 103 career games with 79 starts and finished his career with 435 rebounds, 182 assists, 101 steals and 69 blocks. Henderson shot at least 45 percent from the field in all three seasons and shot a career-high from both the three-point line (.336) and free throw line (.761) during his junior year.

If Henderson were to remain in the 2009 NBA Draft, Duke would return nine letter-winners, including four starters, from a year ago. Early entries have until June 16 to decide on whether or not to remain in the draft.

Tri MVP’s named during the Duke Basketball Awards Banquet

Team celebrated the 2009 ACC Championship
Team celebrated the 2009 ACC Championship

DURHAM, N.C. – The trio of Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler shared the Swett-Baylin Award for Most Valuable Player at the annual Duke Men’s Basketball banquet on Friday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Henderson, a Wooden Award All-America and first team All-ACC choice, also received the Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award, True Blue Award for most charges drawn (20), the Best Field Goal Percentage (.450) and Best Defensive Player.

Scheyer, the ACC Tournament MVP, also received the Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award, the Iron Duke Award for most minutes played (1,214), the Best Free Throw Percentage (.836) and the Most Assists (102). He has recorded the best free throw percentage in all three of his seasons at Duke.

Singler, a second team All-ACC selection and 2K Sports Classic MVP, had the Best Rebounding Average with 7.7 rebounds per game. It is the second straight season he has posted the top rebounding average.

Senior Greg Paulus was named an Academic All-America for the second straight year and received the Dr. Deryl Hart Award as the top scholar-athlete. He has been named the top scholar athlete in each of the last two seasons. He also received the Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award for the second time in his career.

The Glenn E. “Ted” Mann, Jr., Award, which is given to a reserve who contributes the most to team morale, was delivered to freshman Elliot Williams. The Coach’s Award for a player exemplifying the commitment and values of Duke Basketball was given to Lance Thomas.

Three other awards were handed out Friday night. Joey McMahon and Griffin Tormey received the Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award, Elise Rose was given the Harry Rainey Spirit Award and John Roelofs was the recipient of the Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award.

2008-09 Duke Men’s Basketball Award Winners

Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler
Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Greg Paulus
Glenn E. “Ted” Mann, Jr., Award (Reserve Contributing Most to Team Morale): Elliot Williams
Coach’s Award (Player Exemplifying the Commitment and Values of Duke Basketball): Lance Thomas
Iron Dukes Award (Most Minutes Played): Jon Scheyer
Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Awards: Gerald Henderson, Greg Paulus, Jon Scheyer
Best Field Goal Percentage Award: Gerald Henderson
Best Rebounding Average Award: Kyle Singler
Best Free Throw Percentage Award: Jon Scheyer
Most Assists Award: Jon Scheyer
Best Defensive Player Award: Gerald Henderson
Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: Joey McMahon, Griffin Tormey
Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Elise Rose

Duke Football Quick Hitter – Matt Daniels is ready to step up

Matt Daniels - BDN Photo
Matt Daniels - BDN Photo

Matt Daniels will likely be the starting right safety for the Duke Blue Devils in just his second season.  Daniels took the time to talk with Blue Devil Nation and we’d like to share his thoughts with you.

What is different when preparing for the 2009 football season?

This year I will be more of a leader because last season we had more seniors.  So, I feel like I have to step up and be a leader.  I’m just going to bring a lot of effort and energy and keep everybody on the field hyped and ready to play.

With the losses in the secondary, do you have people ready to step up?

Oh yeah, big time.  We have Jordan Bias coming in, a redshirt freshman.  He’s been making a lot of plays in practice and the spring game.  We look for a lot of big things out of him.   Then there’s Catron Gainey, he’s doing good.  We are a little weak at cornerback, Leon [Wright], he’s hurt.  Since we had so many people hurt, a lot of guys are starting to step up.

You’ve seen the offense this spring and you saw last season’s.  What are your thoughts on the differences?

Last year we lost a lot of key players, we lost Eron Riley, but Austin Kelly was playing slot last year and he’s really making strides.  And we have Donovan Varner coming in and, oh, man, with those two it’s something serious.  And we have Brandon King coming back.  He’s a key component that we missed last year and Huff.

… and the toughest guy to tackle is?

Aw man, Patrick Kurunwune … man, he runs hard with those big thighs and keeps his feet churning.  I really like the way he runs and he keeps his path low.

… the toughest to cover?

Aw man, it’s between Johnny [Williams] and Varner [Donovan].  Don is like real quick, bam, bam, bam, he’ll give you a head fake.  Johnny, on the other hand, he’ll beat you off the line and then there is AK [Austin Kelly], he’s real smooth, so it’s hard to tell which one is the hardest to cover.

You guys are really young.  You are really young and already playing.  Do you see this as a positive down the road?

I definitely think it’s a positive because the more young people we have, the more it’s going to be like a group and we’ll keep things going.  At the same time, we have some key seniors like Vinnie Rey who we really look up to, but the young bucks are really starting to come along and the coaches are showing us what it means to be a part of Duke Football.

Roundball Recruiting Internet Radio – John Wall discussion

AAU Coverage and discussion on Rounball Recruitng
AAU Coverage and discussion on Roundball Recruiting

If you would like to hear an internet call in radio show on college basketball recruiting, check out this link.  I was a last minute guest on Marc Maggard’s Roundball Recruiting show where we discussed John Wall and other recruiting issues. It’s free to listen to the replay and you’ll want to go to the April 23rd show.  We discuss Harrison Barnes, Andre Dawkins, Duke and Kentucky recruiting and more. Here is the link:  Roundball Recruiting Podcast

BDN Premium Interview – Duke Prospect Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo
Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo

Harrison Barnes is solidly in the top five players in his class and he continues to earn the reputation of one of the best if not the best player in 2010.  Barnes is playing for two AAU teams this spring and summer and is fending off the media frenzy at each event.  BDN talked to Barnes about that process and his play of late in the following interview.  We also got his AAU coaches’ thoughts on what he brings to the table as a player in another BDN Premium offering.

What is your favorite part about the recruiting process?

I would say that I like the fact that I develop relationships with a lot of big time coaches and [private] new friends and develop relationships with them.

How do you put up with all of the media attention?

I mean, it just comes with the territory.  If I am going to make this a career for me someday, I have to deal with it.

You grew up watching NBA ball and not so much the college game, right?

That is correct.

So you are not really that familiar with college basketball traditions?

That is correct, I just see all of the colleges as equal in my mind.  I didn’t really follow college basketball growing up, so a lot of the traditions I am unfamiliar with.

Is it presumptuous to think this might come down to Duke and North Carolina?

I mean it’s a little premature that just to say that they are big time schools and that I am going to go there.  I will have to evaluate a lot of the programs to see what their system is like and go from there.  I think it’s finding out just what’s best for me instead of the biggest school or the number one ranked school.

So where does Harrison Barnes go from here with concerns to the recruiting process?

Now that the  NCAA Tournament is over and AAU ball is in full swing, I am going to take a few weeks and do some close evaluating of some schools and then I will start to eliminate some of them.

Timetable for a decision?

I will probably make my decision after my official visits, which will be sometime in the Fall.

Will you take the five allotted visits?

I will probably take as many as necessary.

Are you looking for a certain type of school?

No not really.  I think I can go anywhere as long as it’s what’s best for me.

Are you looking to make a quick jump to the NBA?

Well, there we’ll have to … I will have to judge that once I am in college.  It’s a much different game and I’ve seen a lot of high school phenoms not get into the league, so we’ll see.

And the most important factors with concern to a school choice will be?

Definitely academics.  I want to contend for a national championship and the coaching staff that will make you better.

So by wanting to play for the national championship – is that for exposure?

No,  I’m actually very competitive and I want to play for a team that can get to a national championship.

Your team has won three straight games after opening the tournament 0-2.  Can you comment on that?

It’s an unbelievable feeling at such a high level tournament.  Even though we are in the bronze division it’s still a huge accomplishment for us.

Going back to this win tonight.  You told me yesterday you loved to play defense and it was your defense which played a big role in this close win.  Your man had to call timeout on an out of bounds play and then you altered your man’s shot.  Could you just comment about that?

Well, we knew we had to get this win if we wanted to play again, so we just really locked down and did what we had to do to win.

You scored 18 points in the second half.  Did you feel as if you had to rise to the occasion and take on a heavy offensive load?

We knew we had to get this win here to keep going and I did what it took to do that.

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AAU coaches’ comments on Harrison Barnes (Diedre Jacobs, Howard Pulley) -

Harrison has been a great asset on our team.  He’s offensive minded, he plays hard and brings a different attitude to our team.  His mental preparation I have never seen before in a young man his age.  He shares the ball and is kid who  can score anytime he wants to.  When he penetrates he is looking to kick it over and make others look better.

He’s one speed.  In the van coming over he is mentally preparing for the game which is unbelievable for a teenager.  He already prepares like he’s at the next level.  And with the younger players on our team, where we dress four sophomores, they are feeding off that.  It’s important to have a fearless leader like that who takes every game seriously.

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Closing comments – Harrison Barnes will play the remainder of the season for All Iowa Attack on the AAU circuit, but  will attend some of the nation’s best individual work camps.  He will play for Howard Pulley again during the Nike Peach Jam in July.  Barnes is playing it close to the vest, but Duke is in very good shape at this time.  Keep in mind that one national site was hovering during this interview and asked a few of the questions.  In short, Barnes is a lot different away from the throng of media and, while I don’t think he affiliated Sports Nation Network with Blue Devil Nation, he seemed really relaxed around me, even asking for his stats so he could tell his Mom how he played when he called her later in the evening.

Barnes continues his torrid play and has caught the eye of many of the nation’s best talent evaluators.  He is a consensus top five choice and will likely average out around #2 when a consensus of the new ratings come out.  BDN will follow Barnes’ progress all summer and will cover him closely as we have since he officially hit the radar last July.  In fact, we were the first Duke site to interview this talented young man. [/private]