Kyrie Irving chats with the local media

Kyrie Irving - BDN Photo
Kyrie Irving - BDN Photo

This is the first of two interviews with Kyrie Irving from last weekend’s Tournament of Champions event in the Triangle area.  This entire interview is in high quality audio, a new feature to BDN Premium which we will continue to refine.

Our members will also receive updates from AAU and Duke events, and there will be plenty of free updates as well.  Irving was quick to joke with the media as you will hear in the following interview.

Be sure to check out our new unique links section in the menu above.  It’s a great time to join Blue Devil Nation [private] Premium!

[/private]

Dual interview with Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton

Hairston and Thornton - BDN Photo
Hairston and Thornton - BDN Photo

The Blue Devil Nation has talked to future Dukies Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton on numerous occasions, but we felt you might like to hear them for yourself.  Here is the audio feed from an interview after the two friends and teammates led their team to a win in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Next up – Kyrie Irving and Dominique Ferguson.  It’s a great time to join BDN Premium and get full access  to the site.

BDN Premium – Ray McCallum Audio Interview

Hear Ray McCallums words for yourself at BDN Premium
Hear Ray McCallums words for yourself at BDN Premium

The Duke Men’s Basketball team has broadened their search for a point guard.  In fact, they have cast a wider net in the future with recruiting in general.  We’ll talk more about the new approach later, but for now, we’ll concentrate on Ray McCallum. 

With a glaring opening at the point guard spot, Duke has narrowed it down to three kids in the class of 2010.  McCallum is one of those three, and he possesses pure point guard skills.  He is a very good passer and loves to have the ball in his hands.  The young man loves to win and had some nice things to say about Duke in an interview conducted shortly after his Team Detroit’s game in Cameron. 

BDN will now bring you the audio from that interview.  We lead the way with opening questions but others join in as the session goes on.  We want you to hear this interview as it really went down and, around here, we do not use answers to others’ questions with a made up question that was never asked. [private] Audio will allow you, the fan, to hear the truth. Much more coming your way today and throughout the weekend.

Click ‘play’ on the icon below to hear the interview:

[/private]

BDN Recruiting Focus – Roscoe Smith Interview (free)

I received a tip that Roscoe Smith would be playing for the Baltimore Stars during the TOC, so I made it over to the

Roscoe Smith - copyright BDN Photo
Roscoe Smith - copyright BDN Photo

Wilson Rec Center at Duke University to check out his game.  Smith was not even listed on the roster when it came out, so he caught a lot of people off guard.  After all, this would be Smith’s first AAU game ever.  There was some mention that Smith had been offered by Duke, but this is not true at this point.

Do you have a list of schools?

Yes.  North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, UCLA, Villanova, Clemson, USC, Oregon, Oregon State.  There is a lot.

Do you have a time frame on narrowing it down?

No.

Will you play for the Baltimore Stars the rest of this AAU season?

Yes, I will.

You have participated in the LeBron James Nike Camp, but this is your first ever AAU  game, is that correct?

Yes, this is my first game.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

Naw, I never had a dream school.  I grew up mainly watching the NBA.

Is there a player in the league you pattern your game after?

Yes, Rudy Gay.

What kind of system do you see yourself playing in college?

I seem myself playing a wing forward, just wherever I fit in at.

Do you like a fast paced up and down type of game?

Yes.

If somebody had never seen you play, how would you describe your game?

Versatile.  I’d say a versatile player that can do anything.

When will you get serious about looking at a college choice and who’ll play a big role in the selection?

My family.  My mother and my father.  Probably after the Nike Camps when the summer ends and I have some free time with myself and my family.

Have you taken the PSAT or any other tests?

Yes.

So, there is no problem with qualifying?

No problem with qualifying.

Are you open to other schools?

Yes, I am always open.  That’s why I haven’t narrowed my list down.

Have you been on any unofficial visits?

I have only been on one visit and that was to Georgetown.

You listed a lot of schools, are there any which stand out?

You know, you know the North Carolina’s, the Kentucky’s and the Duke’s are the most talked about and popular programs, so they are going to always float around.

With Coach Calipari at Kentucky now, is that a good thing?  I mean were they looking at you all along?

They were looking at me all along.  In fact, I talked to Calipari last week and will start to build a relationship with him.  So I am just seeing how I react around the coaches.

What coaches came to see you during the April evaluation period?

A lot, it was a lot.

Any offers yet?

The majority of the schools have offered, about 30 or 25.

Anybody listed that hasn’t offered?

I have no idea because a lot of schools have offered me.

Have you had any contact with local schools besides North Carolina?

Yeah, I have had contact with N.C. State and Duke.

Where to from here?

We just go back to the motel and regroup.  What did you like about my game?

I liked a lot of it.  You are a pretty well rounded player from what I saw in the game.  Just keep working hard, never stop working.

Okay, thank you.

This interview may not be reprinted in part or whole without permission from Blue Devil Nation.net

Coming to BDN Premium - Two Kyrie Irving interviews, Ray McCallum audio interview, Dominique Ferguson interview, Mason and Marshall Plumlee interviews, Quin Cook interview, Michael Gilchrist interview and more.  We will also have pics and tidbits from the TOC.  All of this is coming from today until Sunday.  Subscribe now so you will not miss any of the action.  BDN tells it like it is with straight  and knowledgeable coverage.  Isn’t it time to join the hardest working and most informed Duke site around?

Scouting Report – Kyrie Irving impresses all weekend long

The New Jersey Roadrunners coach, Sandy Pyonin has coached some terrific players over the years and Duke

Kyrie Irving - copyright BDN Photo
Kyrie Irving - copyright BDN Photo

prospect Kyrie Irving is the latest.  Pyonin, one of the best AAU coaches in America, worked with former Duke players Bobby Hurley and Jason Williams.

Irving is a 6-2 guard prospect who plays his high school basketball for traditional power St. Patrick’s in New Jersey.  The young star has been climbing every recruiting guru’s list for the past several months.  Irving clearly established himself as a top tier player with his body of work during the Tournament of Champions this past weekend.

Irving put on a show in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, where he scored 40 points, going 12 of 17 from the field while hitting 4 of 4 from the three point stripe.  He was coming off a 23 point, 7 assist performance the night before at the Dean Dome.

Most of the recruiting types missed his Cameron performance that I was fortunate enough to catch.  By the time I traveled back to Chapel Hill during this marathon AAU event, the buzz was apparent.  Everybody was talking about Irving and many bemoaning the fact they missed his best game.

Irving has become one of the Blue Devils’ most important recruiting targets, but they will have some company for his services along the way. One fan held up a sign encouraging Irving to come to Duke, while another yelled “Kyrie Irving come to Duke.”

BDN talked to Irving a couple of times this weekend, but it was the chat in Cameron where he opened up about the

Kyrie Irving on Coach K Court in Cameron - copyright BDNP
Kyrie Irving on Coach K Court in Cameron - copyright BDNP

recruiting process  even more.  During that interview, I couldn’t help but notice the retired jerseys of #11 Bobby Hurley and #22 Jason Williams in the backdrop, wondering if his would one day hang there, too.

BDN Premium members will hear or read both interviews and comments from his coach this week.  BDNP has several interviews, pictures, scouting reports and tidbits from the weekend coming.

Scouting Report on Kyrie Irving – Irving has that rare inside and out game already established going into his senior season.  He has a sweet stroke from the three point stripe and hits the shot with consistency.  He rarely takes bad shots and almost always has his feet planted.  When the ball leaves his fingers he expects it to go in and one cannot help but notice how smooth he looks when releasing the ball.  It almost looks effortless for Iriving at times.  He has been called a tweener guard but, make no mistake, he can run the point with ease.  He gives that role up a lot on a team with little inside depth, but he threads the needle when going past the defense or into the lane.  His quickness allows him to get to the basket most any time he wants to.  He knows he is the man, so he baits the defense into double teams which frees up his teammates where he hits them on cuts.  He is an adept passer, especially when on a break.  He plays good on ball defense and stripped the ball four times in one game, scoring on the other end three of those times.  There were games where he got off balance from a bump or a slip on the slick floor, but he still made the play, recovering quickly.  Irving is not afraid to hit the floor and rises and flushes down dunks with ease.  Irving loves to find seams in the defense where he will take the ball to the rack.  Irvng is also an extension of the coach on the floor where he tells teammates how to space properly.  There are times when he looks unassuming, but he is always in the play and doesn’t take a lot of breaks from being in the play at both ends of the court.

Prospect Rodney Hood grew up a Duke fan

Rodney Hood  (6-6, 185, Meridan, MS, Class of 2011) – Hood likes to play facing the basket, looking for open lanes to slip through.  He has a smooth stroke

Rodney Hood - BDN Photo
Rodney Hood - BDN Photo

from the outside and a decent handle, but needs to play with more aggression.  He disappeared for several minutes at a time during three games I took in at the TOC.  Hood would put together a good half, only to score a bucket or less in the half.  He plays fairly good defense and can help out when teammates are beat to the rim.  There were two occasions where I saw him block what looked like easy lay ins from the side or behind the opponent.  He is a true wing player that will likely get better with seasoning.  He scored 23 points in a game I took in at the Boo Williams Invitational earlier in the AAU season.  Prep Stars has rated Hood around the 20th best player in his class at the moment.  With consistency, he can prove that rating valid for he has the tools necessary to become a good college player.

Rodney Hood! Tell me about your game?

I’m a competitor, I like to win and I do what it takes to win for my team.  I’m like a slasher and shooter and I like to get my teammates involved.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

It was Duke. [private]  When I was little I was a Duke fan back when Shane Battier was playing, but right now I really don’t have one.

Is Duke actually recruiting you?

Yes sir.  I’ve been able to talk to Nate James.

So, you will play in Cameron this weekend?

Actually, we are suppose to play there tomorrow.

Who will you look to when you get serious about choosing a school?

My Mom and Dad.  My brother!  He used to beat me up on the court all the time.

Which schools are recruiting you?

Georgia Tech, Baylor, Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Alabama and a few more.

How many of those schools have offered.  Pretty much all of them except for Duke.

So, would you like an offer from them?

Yes sir.  It would be a good accomplishment to get an offer from Duke.  I’m just playing hard trying to get better in the summer.

How would you describe your game to someone who had never seen you play?

A competitor, I always go hard and I like to win.  I can shoot, I can drive or pass it off.  I can do a lot of things.

I’ll let you get to your next game, good luck!

Thank you. [/private]