Since the arrival of Coach Jeff Capel in the spring of 2011, the state of Texas has been more of a focal point for Duke recruiting. In the class of 2013, the Blue Devils have already received a commitment from 6’5″ Matt Jones of DeSoto and are heavily pursuing 6’8″ Julius Randle of McKinney to add to Rasheed Sulaimon, an incoming freshman guard from Houston. For the class of 2014, they have offered 6’5″ Justise Winslow, a versatile wing from the Houston area. In the class of 2015, Duke has made contact with such Texans as Rockwall teammates and friends 6’4″ Austin Grandstaff and 6’8″ Elijah Thomas, as well as 6’7″ Mickey Mitchell from the Dallas area.
Wes Grandstaff has been involved in grassroots basketball at a variety of levels as a coach, tournament director, scout for HoopScoop, and AAU program director. His son, Austin, is a skilled rising sophomore from the Dallas suburb of Rockwall, who said that he tries to model his game after Steve Nash. This past high school season, the combo guard averaged nearly fifteen points, five rebounds, and five assists for Rockwall, and shared his district’s co-newcomer honors with his friend, Elijah Thomas, who plays with Grandstaff for both Rockwall and Nike Team Texas.
Austin Grandstaff, who already holds offers from Texas A & M and Arizona, is scheduled to visit Duke University with Elijah Thomas. Recently, he spoke with me about a variety of topics, including his upcoming trip to Duke.
Overall, how do you feel that you played this summer?
Overall, pretty good. I think or feel like I’ve played pretty well. I’m happy about it.
How do you think that you benefit from your dad being in the business of basketball? You’ve grown up in it.
Yeah, I’ve been around it for a long time and so I’m used to it. You know now that I get to do it, it’s pretty cool.
It’s an exciting time for you.
Yes, definitely, I get to play and show what I’m capable of. It’s been great.
What’s your relationship like with Elijah (Thomas)?
He’s like my brother. We go to school together. He lived with me for a little bit and, now, his mom moved to Rockwall. We’re really like brothers.
You’ve certainly got good chemistry out there.
Yeah, it definitely helps us.
For the audience that hasn’t seen you play in person, what would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths are scoring and getting my teammates involved. My weakness is probably my strength, but I’m working on that right now.
Well, I was going to ask you about what exactly are you working on right now or in your down time.
Yeah, i’m working on mostly strength and speed and ball-handling. That’s really it right now.
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