A name to watch – Montrezl Harrell breaks out at TOC

Montrezl Harrell had a coming out party at the TOC -Photo copyright Rick Crank, BDN Photo

A new name making the rounds in recruiting circles is Monterzl Harrell [class of 2012, 6-7 North Edgecombe Magnet, Tarboro, N.C.]  a sturdily built kid who went toe to toe with J.P. Tokoto and touched his team for 29 points, including the best dunk I saw in the tournament.  Harrell went air born and thrust one down with power from the baseline this past Friday evening in the Dean Dome.  By my unofficial count, he blocked 5 shots in the game as well and by games end all who were witnessing were talking of him. BDN caught up to Harrell after learning that Duke [private] Assistant Coach Nate James had attended one of his practices a few weeks back.  Here is the skinny on Harrell –

Just press play –

More to come on BDN Premium – [/private]

Hot Duke prospect Alex Murphy talks recruiting [updated]

Alex Murphy - copyright Rick Crank BDN Photo

Many of you know by now that Alex Murphy is visiting Duke in an unofficial capacity today and BDN was on the scene at the Tournament of Champions to take in his play all weekend long.  It was the first we’d seen of him since watching him play in four games during last seasons AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida.  Murphy improved and is starting to grow into his body and he averaged over 20 ppg during the tournament.  We’ll get into his game a bit later but for now here is a

Q & A with Alex Murphy.  Part of this is a one on one mixed with a Q & A session with the media throng.   BDN’s coverage of two major events will continue all week long and you can get immediate reports from the Nike EYBL  in Los Angles on our message board as well by joining BDN Premium.

When did you first start playing basketball?

Basketball has always been a part of my family growing up and all of my brothers play.  My Dad never forced us to play despite playing in the NBA.  My mom played for the Finnish National team, so it’s in my blood and that’s awesome.  It’s what we do as a family and we can[private] all relate. [note to members - we will add the audio Q and A to this article shortly.  These were some additional questions we asked Murphy at a later time and more will be added.  Bare with me while I break in a new computer and get it set up and coordinated with the old one - thanks]

Style of play you prefer …

I like to get up and down, run.

How important is immediate playing time to you?

Yeah, but I am willing to come in and help a program in any way possible. If I have to come in my freshman year and not play forty minutes a game, that’s fine with me.  As long as I am becoming a better person and a better player, it’s fine with me.

Will you take all five official visits before making a decision?

I have no idea.  It could happen and it might not.  I don’t have a time table so when the time is right I will commit.

How are your academics?

I’m a strong student and like academics.  My school, St. Marks is a small school of three  hundred so we get special attention.

Do you want to follow your brothers footsteps to Florida?

Uh … a lot of people say wouldn’t you like to go to Florida and play with your brother, that’d be cool and others say don’t you want to go and do your own thing, so I mean it’s sort of like 50-50.

Is Erik happy with Florida?

Yeah, yeah.  He’s definitely happy.  He’s down there right now working out and in summer school.

Your team just won my the mercy rule but it seems the team is heading home?

We won and we would be playing in the championship game in the silver bracket but I’m actually staying to visit Duke tomorrow with my family.  We have to get back because our flight is at 5:00.

How do you feel your team fared this weekend?

We did well, we finished 5-1 I think … it was a good team and a well coached team that beat us.  We came out a little bit flat and could’ve done better but it was a good weekend individually and as a team.

How was the visit with Duke set up?

Just from talking with the coaches, my family and the AAU guys.  I will meet with the coaches tomorrow morning over there and head right out after that.

And your list of schools?

Right now it’s Duke, Florida, Arizona, Kansas, Syracuse, Butler, Iowa … a bunch of schools I can’t think of …

Has Duke or Carolina offered you?

Duke hasn’t yet not nor has Carolina.

[At this point his AAU coach came up and joked around]  That’s my AAU coach.  [rolling his eyes]

Is UNC recruiting you as well? [Inside Carolina entered the conversation]

Yes, they are.  They’ve talked to my AAU coach buit I haven’t heard a lot from them yet.  I think the interest is there, hopefully because Carolina is a good school, so …

Do you pattern ypour game aftrr anybody? {Ken Tysiac News and Observer}

My favorite player in the NBA is Kevin Durrant.  He can do everything and I always liked him in high school.  Guys like that, Mike Dunleavy, Mike Miller … a fairluy tall white guy that can shoot.

How tall are you? [Inside Carolina]

6-8, I’ll probably grow a little bit more.  My brother my father and my mom, all of them are tall so it’s in the genes.

What is the rest of the summer looking like? {Ken Tysiac, News and Observer]

I’ll be out in Portland for a few weeks with the Adidas Nations.  I’ll be doing a lot for work back home too.  July is busy with us going to Vegas, Chicago ….

What will you work on?

Definitely one thing I want to work on is getting stronger.  I weigh about 205 right now and to play at the next level strength is important.  Also my speed as well, I can get a little quicker and have more balance in my game.  Everything, I can improve on all aspects of the game.

Gabcast! Blue Devil Nation #0

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Duke set to entertain top prospects Alex Murphy and J.P. Tokoto

Murphy will take an unofficial visit to Duke tomorrow as will J.P. Tokoto. Action shot of Murphy by Rick Crank, property of Rick Crank Photos in conjunction with Blue Devil Nation

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils Men’s Basketball Coaches are set to entertain some of the nations top prospects for unofficial visits tomorrow.  Two of the names which stand out are Alex Murphy and J.P. Tokoto, both wing players in the class of 2012. Both Murphy and Tokoto’s team played their last games just moments ago.  Tokoto’s Wisconsin Playground Warriors lost in the semi finals while the New England Playaz won their game but they will forfeit moving to the final in that their team had to leave save Murphy.  The Playaz ended the tournament 5-1 while Wisconsin went 3-3.  BDN caught up to Murphy after the game and the rising senior said, “I’ll be visiting Duke tomorrow morning with my family.”  Murphy said that Duke had a firm place on his list and that they had yet to offer but that will in my opinion change tomorrow.   Murphy also mentioned that he has been hearing from North Carolina and that he would be open to their overtures.  When talking of his game, he mentioned former Duke player Michael Dunleavy.

Tokoto has family locally and they will take trips to both UNC and Duke tomorrow.  Tokoto is in the class of 2012 and he stated that he was a year away from making his final decision.  While Tokoto grew up a North Carolina fan, he is high on Duke but it’s obvious he is waiting to see if and when they’ll offer. For further details and interviews with both prospects and many more, join Blue Devil Nation Premium for full site access.  It’s a good time to join with coverage from the TOC and this weekend Nike Session 4 event from California on the way.  BDN is the only Duke site which covered both events and we’d love for you to join the rest of our satisfied members to talk recruiting.

Top prospect Shabazz Muhammad is high on Duke

Shabazz Muhammad played near the rim during his afternoon game at Duke on Saturday - Photo property of Rick Crank Productions in conjunction with Blue Devil Nation. Stsy tuned for updates and interviews from the Nike event in Los Angeles and the Tournament of Champions in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill

Durham, N.C. – BDN is on the scene this weekend to bring you coverage not only of the TOC, but the Nike EYBL session 3 in Los Angeles.  Look for some great offerings as the week goes on as we begin to churn out information from a busy holiday weekend.  One of the highlights of this weekend’s Tournament of Champions event is the play of Shabazz Muhammad, a Las Vegas native with all the tools for success. During yesterday’s event Muhammad dazzled the crowd at the Wilson Rec Center on the Duke campus with his play.  After starting slowly, Muhammad warmed up for 30 points on a jump shots and slashing drives.  More impressive is the fact that he plays both ends of the floor well where I counted four blocked shots from his wing  position.  Muhammad glowed when Duke was mentioned after this game as you will hear in this [private] audio –

More to come including scouting reports – [/private]

Duke prospect J.P. Tokoto chats up the nation

Tokoto snares a rebound in the Dean Dome during Friday evenings TOC action - property BDN Photo and Rick Crank

Chapel Hill, N.C. – BDN took in J.P. Tokoto’s first game at the TOC last evening as he scored 13 points to help his team to a close comeback win.  Tokoto is a nice athlete but needs work on his outside shot.  Prep Stars ranks Tokoto 5th in the class of 2010.  Here is the post game interview with [private] Tokoto.

More to come … [/private]

TOC Live – One on One with Marshall Plumlee

Plumlee scraps in his opening game at the TOC - photo property of Blue Devil Nation and Rick Crank

Chapel Hill, NC – The Blue Devil Nation is covering the Tournament of Champions and Nike EYBL Session 3 this weekend and the reports are starting to roll in.  BDN caught up to Duke prospect Marshall Plumlee last evening and here are his[private] thoughts –

Stay tuned for more action … [/private]