Blue Devil Nation tipped off the masses that Duke came away enamored with California Supreme big man Marcus Lee (6-9, 210) after the Nike EYBL. Coach Mike Krzyzewski called Lee today with an offer which makes the second the Blue Devils have handed out in two days.
We had BDN Recruiting Analyst Andrew Slater on the scene and we made sure he spoke to Lee and that interview is on the way for BDN Premium members. We knew the call was coming and that he would likely earn a coveted offer to Duke and BDN just confirmed it via sources close to the team.
Lee told BDN's Andrew Slater yesterday that he credits volleyball, in terms of jumping, concentration, and being peaceful, with helping his shot blocking. "He's trying to carve out a niche as a shot blocker/rebounder. His brother and uncle will be the point men in his recruitment, " said Slater.
Lee told Slater that he grew up a Carolina fan, but said he's very open to Duke. He has a brother played college ball as well. Distance will not be a factor in his recruitment, but he's looking for a coach that he's comfortable with, like Miles Simon (his AAU coach), and warm weather is a must.
We will have Slaters' complete interview up for BDN Premium members shortly, so check back in.
There is a lot to talk about in this weeks Monday Musings column with concern to Duke Basketball, especially on the recruiting front. As you already know, Duke made an offer to 6-10 forward Austin Nichols and that kicks off the AAU season.
Speaking of the AAU season, Blue Devil Nation Recruiting Analyst, Andrew Slater covered the Nike EYBL and showed his prowess on the beat. Slaters' twitter site blew up this weekend with premium like information as it happened. Our premium members know that Slater is the best at what he does and now the secret is out that Team BDN is as good as it gets. My side kick is a protege of the infamous Tom Knochalski, a legend and pioneer on prospect evaluation and his in depth interviews and analysis on the front is unmatched.
Slater will unveil an interview with Marcus Lee who plays for California Supreme, a prospect who caught the Blue Devils staff eyes this past weekend. BDN tipped the nation off last night that there is a new kid firmly on the radar. But Slater also spoke with Jabari Parker and a dozen more true Duke prospects, so BDN Premium is the place to be this week, so join today and see just how awesome our AAU coverage is. You will love the value and knowledge we bring to the table, I guarantee it.
Is today the day Tony Parker decides? Well, if it is, it will put an end to one of the more bizarre recruitment's of the season. Parker has frustrated some national recruiting analyst to the point where they will not even give him the time of day with coverage. This talented young man would fit well with Duke next season but whether the golden opportunity dawns on him before his 4:00 scheduled decision remains to be seen. Parker has had a bit too much fun with the media and there will be a collective and anxiously awaited sigh from the schools still in the running for him in that the roller coaster will finally come to a halt.
There is still no word on when Philly product Amile Jefferson will decide but many feel it is down to Duke and N.C. State. I would think his choice would come this week, so lot's going on this week beyond the pending NFL Draft. Yep! Basketball recruiting is in bloom and Duke fans anxiously await the Jefferson decision to see if he will be added to the roster next season.
Congratulations to the Duke Men's LAX team for downing arch rival North Carolina to win the ACC Championship. The boys in royal blue scored 10 second half goals in a furious comeback for the victory and now it is on to the NCAA's.
Now that the Andre Dawkins news forced it's way out, there should be no more happenings around the team in that manner. I didn't say there would not be rumors, but hopefully people will learn to follow those sources with long time proven track records and not some poster who tells you he's the man and he said, she said the neighbors dog groomer, cuts Skippys' coat and Skip belongs to the guy that runs the cleaners where a player goes and a player told that player that another player said that so and so was unhappy at Duke . Silly, isn't it? Still, many would fall for it hook, line and sinker in the steadily growing and unstable world of web based reporting.
In ending, again, consider joining BDN Premium and see for yourself what you are missing. Duke will be on the trail this weekend at two events and we'll be out there just like this past weekend. And be sure to follow Andrew Slater on his twitter site and our resident football analyst Patrick Cacchio here and then there is of course my BDN site here.
Have a good week Blue Devil Nation and visit often for there will be a lot to talk about in the coming days.
The Duke Men's Basketball staff has been on the road and the first offer of the AAU season came today, going to Austin Nichols of Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis. Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski gave the 6-9 Tennessee native a call just moments ago according to Nichols' twitter site and BDN has confirmed the offer is legitimate.
Coach K went to see Nichols play on Friday during a pit stop before the Nike EYBL in Minneapolis. The head Duke man apparantely like what he saw thus the offer to Nichols who is in next seasons class of 2013. Many scouts feel he can play the forward and center position at the next level.
Duke joins Memphis, Texas and Florida as teams that have offered or showed passionate interest and more schools are likely to come in.
How bad were the web based rumors surrounding Andre Dawkins? So bad that the Duke Sports Information Department released a brief statement saying he will remain at Duke but could redshirt this coming season. It's a shame that we live in a world where some feel compelled to break something like this once they get wind of it.
But whether there is smoke or a blaze want-to-be insiders who are self appointed experts via an anonymous posting name or a twitter account force the issue to light before it's time. This has been the case with Andre Dawkins this off season and there seems to be no end in sight of fans that clamor to know all the details be they private or not and hang on every false and outlandish rumor.
While it is certainly natural for fans to show concern and want to know why a possible redshirt could take place, you can bet there are personal reasons. And personal reasons mean just that and are sensitive in nature. Unfortunately that leads to more speculation and people have a tendency to think the worst.
Dawkins came to Duke a year early out of high school and he is attending his dream school. And it is also a well known fact that he lost his sister to an very unfortunate automobile accident in season not that long ago. In short, he's been through a lot. But what I just said may or may not have something to do with what is going on, so you can see the danger of speculation which will lead to yet another probable release.
So while many of you are curious I encourage you to not speculate and be a part of the ridiculous rumors that surround the program these days. Allow the process to work it's way out for I can assure you it is a bit liquid in nature. Give Andre and the team for that matter a modicum of privacy.
And support Andre with well wishes instead of questions. Just act the way you want others to if you were in his place. Athletes are under a red hot light where almost everything they do is scrutinized and it's sad that every time you turn around, some fan wants to play insider on a message board and speculate so much it becomes real to many.
Just give Andre a break yall and if you want to come in out of the Wild Wild West of reporting, join BDN Premium and get accurate and timely info you can depend on. I'm unsaddling my high horse now and hope I at least made some of you think before you participate in the next rumorfest.
The Duke Blue Devils Men's Basketball staff will be more than a little busy in the coming weeks as the open recruiting period gets into full swing. Two prospects in Amile Jefferson and Tony Parker have yet to make their decision but the focus will soon shift to the Class of 2013 and 2014. BDN Premium takes a look at the new names and some you are familiar with in our latest team and recruiting update. And as always, our AAU coverage will be as good as it gets where recruiting analyst Andrew Slater will be updating you as the action happens this weekend from the Nike EYBL in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It's a great time to join BDN Premium where you are sure to be happy with what we feel is the best staff on the circuit.
Let's start with the class of 2012 and Amile Jefferson. The hybrid forward is expected to [private] make his decision at the earliest late this week and the latest next week. Jefferson has likely cooled on N.C. State with the return of C.J. Leslie but many will tell you they are still in the lead. Okay, NCSU types will tell you that. Had he been such a sure thing to the Pack he would have popped by now. The real competition for his services are Kentucky and Villanova. Both are making hard late runs but the recent transfer of Michael Gbinije certainly shows that their is playing time in Durham and I feel this is the Blue Devils biggest attraction.
Tony Parker on the other hand switched his announcement date for like the fifteenth time and is now slated to make his pick known at his Miller Grove High School next Monday. The buzz around the Jordan Brand All Star game was that he was UCLA bound and they are attractive to him. But Parker is a bit of a momma's boy and I think it will be hard for him to stray too far. He seemingly is still bucking going to Duke despite his parents being in their corner and that opens things up for Georgia. After all that has happened, a Georgia choice would be almost a great end to what has bordered on comedy. Truthfully though, I don't think Tony knows where he is going as I type, so there is still a crack in the door.
The coaches have been active at open gyms where Coach K went to see Julius Randle yesterday. The Blue Devils have the full court press on the behemoth in the paint and he is exactly what the doctor would order especially if they lose Parker which most feel will happen. Randle of course, is teammates with Duke bound Matt Jones for the Texas Titans AAU team and assistant coach Jeff Capel stays in regular contact.
This weekend kicks off our infamous AAU coverage where our resident recruiting analyst Andrew Slater will be in Minnesota for the Nike EYBL Session I. He will see the aforementioned Julius Randle and Matt Jones while there and we hope to hear from Randle. We hesitate to put too much of where our guys will be out for our comp tries to hire a stringer and the way I see it, we're not going to help them do their jobs or allow them to ride our coattails at events. The AAU events provide some of the most unprofessional media types you will run up on and the rumors, gossip and games played are tiresome. BDN only wants to concentrate on what we do while avoiding drama being dropped at our door step without provocation. We will continue to adhere to high standards and bring you accurate coverage.
The Nike circuit is loaded with prospect this season and Andrew will also take a look at Jabari Parker (2013) and Jahlil Okafor of Mac Irwin Fire. Parker is the top rated player in his class with Randle close behind. Jabari had long been a Duke target and Coach K has a great relationship with the Chicago native. Okafor is in the class of 2014, a bruising post player who has showed early interest in Duke and the Blue Devils got on him early. Watching the Fire will be a lot of fun this spring and summer.
Boo Williams is back on the radar, the system that produced Andre Dawkins. Allerik Freeman who made a name for himself as a Duke prospect of late and Anthony Barber are firmly on the radar. Barber is probably the prospect which best fits the Blue Devils needs while Freeman is a bit of a swing man without a set position at the college level at this time. Coach K will be taking a close look at these and other players on Saturday and possibly Sunday.
During last seasons Peach Jam, Blue Devil Nation took notice of Howard Pulley and PG Tyus Jones where we were the first Duke site to interview the fabulous 2014 prospect. He caught my eye the season before and I could see where he would gain interest thus the interview. Since that time, he is the nations PG of choice. While not a flashy player, he is a stat stuffer, a winner and far ahead of his years with concern to maturity,
Then there are a bunch of kids we like to say are being evaluated. This means Duke wants to take a good hard look at them and determine which will make the cut or deserve further evaluation. Team Takeover features Ismail Wainwright and Beejay Anya. It will be interesting to see how their organization reacts after Michael Gbinije transferred. Anya has been on the radar and teams will look to see how his body is shaping up as he gets older. Wainwright is under evaluation.
CIA Bounce out of Canada has been producing some big time talent and Duke will take a look at Tyler Ennis and Andrew Wiggins. You have seen several interviews here past with Wiggins and he will be a tough get with everybody on him.
MoKan Elite will feature Semu Ojeleye, another player Duke will consider and then there is CP3 and Theo Pinson, another player you have heard from in 2014. Pinson is not expected to get serious for another year yet.
Andre had the foresight to talk with Wayne Selden of BABC and he is now on the Blue Devils radar as well and will get a good long look from the staff. A new name on the radar is E1T1 prospect Joel Berry.
Austin Nichols was a player we hoped to see with Nike but will not be in EYBL this spring and summer. He is playing with M33M team out of Memphis that will be playing in a local event this weekend and then will be at Real Deal on the Hill in Arkansas next weekend. Coach K will stop into see him on Friday in Memphis.
The Blue Devils are all in on Rodney Hood, a player we made you aware of three seasons ago who grew up a Duke fan. The staff is working with the Hood family for an official visit and they have made sure hood knows of their interest through contact. Hood would add versatility and a bit of seasoning after a good freshman year at Mississippi State but he will have to sit out a year,
The bottom line is that Duke will drop and add player/prospects over the next two weeks so things are very liquid. I will be at Boo Williams in Hampton next week with the Nike kids and Real Deal is going on as well, another event the coaches will cover. This will be the first year coaches are allowed in Hampton and I am expecting a bit of a mess in an already crowded venue. It is clear that the priority is to go hard after Jabari Parker and Julius Randle while keeping Matt Jones in their view. With the Olympics coming up, the Blue Devils will have the max limit of assistants out at all times. Note to premium members - if you are not registered for the premium message board, please do so, then e-mail me at email@example.com so we can have you approved after checking your paypal payment. [/private]
DURHAM, N.C. - Duke freshman Michael Gbinije will transfer out of the program, school officials announced on Monday. The Chester, Va., native averaged 1.7 points and 0.8 rebounds per game while playing in 19 contests last season. Gbinije leaves Duke in good academic standing and is expected to transfer to another Division I school.
"We wish Michael [Gbinije] the best of luck and we will support him through his impending transfer," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He is a talented player with a solid future ahead of him."
Gbinije shot 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from the floor and made all seven of his free throw attempts as a freshman. He scored a season-high eight points and added three rebounds in a Dec. 19 win over UNC Greensboro.