HAMPTON, VA — The Nike EYBL tour continued this past weekend as session 2 took place in Hampton, Virginia, and BDN was once again there to cover the grassroots event. One of the players who continues to impress with his hustle and great footwork is Devin Booker, a 6’5″ WG from Mississippi.
Many have wondered aloud if Grayson Allen’s recent commitment to the Blue Devils would affect Booker’s recruitment. We sought out the answer to that in our chat with Booker.
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski [private] watched him play in his last game yesterday and Booker showed well. Before that, Steve Wojciechowski took in one of his games.
Booker told Blue Devil Nation that Duke is still in contact with him and that the Blue Devils are still on his list. But he also admitted that the verbal from Grayson Allen does have some effect. At the same time, though, he followed up quickly by saying he is not afraid of competition and having to earn a spot wherever he decides to go to school. The most important factor in choosing a school will be the trust he feels with his eventual coach.
Booker said this his recruitment would slow in the summer while he just concentrates on getting better. Michigan State, Michigan, Missouri, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and some others have continued to show interest. He is set to cut his list by the end of summer but at this point he doesn’t know how many teams would make the list.
As for camps, it looks as if he will attend one of the Nike Skills Academies, but he was undecided on which one. He also mentioned a desire to compete with USA Basketball.
It remains to be seen what the future holds with concern to Duke recruiting him, but sources close to the situation indicated he was still on their list. [/private]
LOS ANGELES – Over the years Texas has mostly been known as a football state. High school football runs rampant in small and big towns all over the state. It’s become a ritual for cities to flock to their local high school games on Friday nights and watch the stars of the future. However, there’s been a change over recent years in Texas. What once was a football state has now brought out some of the top basketball talent in the country. One only needs to look at the team listings for the Nike EYBL and see that the state of Texas alone has four AAU teams in the league, more than any other state.
Next year Duke will sport two players from the state of Texas in sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon and incoming freshman Matt Jones. Duke will hope to continue the Texas pipeline by adding 2014 wing Justise Winslow. Winslow, who attends St. Johns School, a very strict academic institution, has been on Duke’s radar for quite some time now. The 6’6 wing has a chiseled frame that would allow him to step onto a NCAA court right now. Recently he was awarded the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the state of Texas, an honor that was won by Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart last year.
Winslow, who hails from Houston, credits his excellent academics to his brothers, specifically his older brother, Joshua Winslow, who plays defensive back for Dartmouth. Being an excellent student, Winslow says that academics will be a factor in his decision. His brother Joshua is pushing him to [private] choose the best academic school possible when Justise makes his final decision.
In the first session of the EYBL in Los Angeles Winslow’s Houston Hoops team went 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 24.5 points. His team is filled with athletic Division 1 prospects which include future North Carolina Tar Heel Justin Jackson, Khadeem Lattin and Kelly Oubre. On a team filled with talent Winslow still shines through. Winslow ran point-forward for Houston Hoops and looked very natural doing it. Perhaps his best attribute is his passing skills which allow an offense to be run through him. His strong frame allows him to get to the basket and finish through contact. Winslow also has a knack for not taking bad shots, a quality lost on many young basketball talents. In 4 games of the first session Winslow averaged 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, 6.8 rebounds, and 52 percent shooting from the field.
BlueDevilNation caught up with the top priority prospect and discussed his recruiting, his high school, why he likes to read the Wall Street Journal and other topics.
BlueDevilNation: What do you feel like you’ve most improved on over this past year?
JW: I think really just being a leader out there. Someone who my teammates can respect. Also my shooting and ball handling, reading pick and rolls and things like that.
BDN: What do you feel you still need to improve on?
JW: Well everything. You never can be satisfied, but, you know, especially my shooting and ball handling.
BDN: I don’t believe I’ve seen one yet but have you made a final list?
JW: No, not a final list. I’m down to 10 right now.
BDN: Who are those final 10?
JW: North Carolina, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Texas A&M, Baylor, University of Houston, Arizona, UCLA, and Stanford.
BDN: Do you have a timeframe for when you’d like to make your decision?
JW: I’m going to narrow it down pretty soon, probably going into June. Hopefully I can sign and be committed by November.
BDN: So the early period then.
JW: Yea, hopefully.
BDN: You had a few in-home visits recently. Take me through the Arizona one if you could.
JW: Well they were my first one. It was Thursday at noon. They came over and it went pretty well. Coach Miller thinks I’m the key to him getting to his first Final Four. But, you know, over the years I’ve built a good relationship with Coach Miller so it was really a comfortable visit.
BDN: You also had one with Duke as well. Could you take me through that visit?
JW: You know, Coach K, I had an unofficial visit with them this past spring also. Coach K thinks I can come in and step in and be that elite wing that they’ll be missing in the next couple of years with probably Jabari leaving and Hood leaving also. They just think I can come in and have an instant impact. And just the Duke brand and education.
BDN: What’s your relationship like with Coach K?
JW: Great. He was the USA basketball coach and I made the USA 17U team so I got to meet him there and talk to him there. He’s a great guy.
BDN: Speaking about your USA experience. Do you think that has translated over to your high school and AAU playing?
JW: I think with the USA experience, you know, no one’s really playing selfishly so it kind of helps you identify your role on whatever team you’re playing with. I think that’s something I carried into school and into AAU just to know my role and try to play to the best of my abilities.
BDN: Have the Duke coaches compared you to anyone by any chance?
JW: Well they compared me to Gerald Henderson and Grant Hill, things like that. But they also say that I’m special and unique in my own way.
BDN: You ran a lot of point for Houston Hoops, does that differ from your role in high school?
JW: Ah not really. I would just say in school ball I have the ball in my hand a lot and I run the floor. But out here, I do whatever the coach wants me to do and it goes back to just knowing my role and playing my role.
BDN: Are you taking any official visits soon?
JW: Official? No. I think I’m going to try and take an unofficial to UCLA soon because I haven’t been out there with Coach Alford there. So that’s something I’m looking to do.
BDN: Have you spoken with Coach Alford recently?
JW: Yea I had an in-home with him.
BDN: How do you like him?
JW: Oh he’s cool. He’s young, energetic. I like his style of play.
BDN: Other than a school championship next year, what are your personal goals?
JW: To win the Gatorade Player of the Year again for Texas.
BDN: You won it this year. Congratulations.
JW: Thank you. You know, to make those McDonald’s All-American game and the Jordan Brand game.
BDN: Did you get a chance to watch those games this year?
JW: I watched the McDonald’s game but I didn’t get a chance to watch the Jordan Brand game. You know that’s just one of my goals since growing up.
BDN: Oh absolutely. I wanted to ask you about your fantastic competitive drive. Where does that come from? Was it natural or did you learn it over the years?
JW: I think that just, being the youngest in my family, never winning, I just tried so hard to win. I used to get, not picked on, but, my older siblings would bug me and pick on me a little bit. Toughen me up. So I think that’s really what makes me a tough competitor.
BDN: You have an older brother at Dartmouth, correct?
JW: Yes sir.
BDN: What’s his influence on you like?
JW: He’s a great influence on me. He wants me to be the best player, but, in this recruiting process he wants me to go to the best academic school possible.
BDN: Well he’s at a great school. I saw you recently tweeted a picture of you reading the Wall Street Journal. Do you read that often?
JW: (laughs) Kinda, not really. But I think it’s good to be up to date with the current events, with the things going on in Boston and Korea. It’s good to know about those things.
BDN: Do you have a favorite subject in school at all?
JW: Math and physics.
BDN: You also said you recently saw the movie 42 (Jackie Robinson Story). How was that?
JW: Oh it was great. In school ball I actually wear 42 kind of for that reason. So that’s just a big role model in my life because he did so much for baseball and for other sports.
BDN: Oh I had no idea. You go to a fantastic academic school in St. Johns. How did that decision come about?
JW: Just, you know, my siblings, my brother, the one at Dartmouth went there. He was a big role model in my life. Going back to the academic thing he just wants me to go to the best academic school possible. So going there provided me with a chance because if basketball doesn’t work out..
BDN: You’d have something to fall back on..
JW: Exactly. Exactly.
BDN: Thanks a lot for your time. Good luck the rest of the weekend.
DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke quarterback Sean Renfree was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Renfree was the 249th overall pick in the draft.
“We couldn’t be more excited for Sean and his family,” said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. “I’ve said it before – I think Sean Renfree is the most accurate passer in this year’s draft class. A career completion percentage of nearly 65 percent for a major college quarterback is exceptional, and in Sean’s case, that happened for a reason because of his skill level, mental toughness and preparation. There has been no better representative of the Duke football program since we’ve been here, and the Atlanta Falcons are getting a young man who will have a positive impact on the field, in the film room, in the locker room and in the community; he’s just that type of special person. Today, Sean realizes a dream that so many boys have at an early age and no one is more deserving.”
In 2012, Renfree led the Blue Devils to the program’s first bowl appearance since 1994 and finished the year having completed 297-of-441 (.673) passes for 3,113 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The two-year Duke captain also received recognition for his off-field accomplishments this season by being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of both the ACC’s Jim Tatum Award and the Pop Warner National College Football Award. In addition, he was named to the AFCA’s Good Works Team and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native owns both the school’s single-season (.673 in 2012) and career (.647) records for passing accuracy while ranking second on Duke’s all-time chart for total touchdown responsibility (60). Renfree’s career passing yardage total stands third-highest in school history, trailing only Thaddeus Lewis (10,065) and Ben Bennett (9,614).
For his career, Renfree was 898-of-1,389 through the air for 9,465 yards with 51 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. On the ACC’s all-time lists, his totals rank third for completions, tied for fourth for 300-yard passing games (11), sixth for pass completion percentage and seventh for passing yardage.
Renfree is the first Duke player to be selected by the Atlanta Falcons since Ben Bennett was a sixth round pick in 1984. Renfree is the first Blue Devil quarterback to be chosen in the NFL Draft since Spence Fischer was a sixth round choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996.
Renfree becomes the first player chosen straight from Duke since Drew Strojny was a seventh round pick by the New York Giants in 2004. Ben Patrick, who played three seasons (2003-04-05) at Duke before graduating and playing his final year (2006) of eligibility at Delaware, was picked in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
I made my annual trip to Hampton, Virginia today for the Nike EYBL Session II event where most of the nation’s top players gathered to play in front of what seems like every major college coach in the country. As always, Blue Devil Nation focuses in on the players you want to hear about, and also gives you a heads-up on some new names popping up. That said, let’s get right into Day One.
Tyus Jones was Priority One for Coach K
If you have been living under a rock you might not realize that Duke is all in on Apple Valley (MN) High’s Tyus Jones, a 6-1 PG generally ranked as the second best overall prospect in the Class of 2014. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski watched Jones’ entire game, but of course so did other coaches vying for his services, including Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. Jones scored five points down the stretch, including knocking down a key three-pointer to give his team a 62-61 lead with 1:30 left in the game. He then iced it by drawing a foul on another three-point shot, though he took a nasty fall in the process. Jones, like always, rose to the occasion and willed his team to a win and that is the mark of a winner. That is what Tyus Jones is all about, for his team is not always as talented as its opponents, yet they find ways to win. Jones had 20 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds the last time I checked but those numbers may be a little off.
Jones told Blue Devil Nation that at this time he is looking at a making a Fall decision, and he reiterated that he would likely be a package deal with 6’10” center Jahlil Okafor, who balls for Chicago’s Whitney Young High and plays for the Mac Irvin Fire on the AAU circuit. If it’s going to be a package, that likely means it comes down to Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky, but the Blue Devils and Spartans have long been considered the leaders in most circles. Check out this video [private] with Jones –
Wojo watched Okafor sit
Duke Assistant Coach Steve Wojciechowski left no doubt that Duke is interested in Jahlil Okafor by sitting through his game — despite the fact that Okafor did not even play. Okafor is still nursing an injury and it’s unknown at this time whether he suits up before the weekend is out. This game was going on at the same time Tyus Jones was playing, forcing the coaches to split up.
Coach K takes in Harry Giles
Coach K was the first and only coach in the gym for the first half of Class of 2016 Harry Giles’ game. Giles is a talented young prospect with some skills. He attributes those skills to wanting to be a guard when he was growing up, but a growth spurt killed that. At one point, a Villianova assistant was overheard saying, “Coach K is down there too,” to John Calipari, who peeked in from behind the curtains. By that time, eleven more coaches were watching. K and Calipari ended up exchanging pleasantries for about three minutes and then retreated back to their neutral corners. Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, as always, was slithering around the gym as well. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but Harry Giles is just 14!!!! He will be the real deal when he grows into his body. He likes to direct teammates where to go and how to space properly. Giles did get upset when his teammate turned the ball over, costing his team the game. Giles scored 16 in the loss. The 9th grader will also compete with Team USA on May 28th of this year. Check out his video below –
K takes in Justise Winslow
Forward Justise Winslow, the major Duke target out of Houston, dished 5 assists in his game but somehow was credited with zero ,which led to his voicing displeasure on Twitter late last evening. Coach K made it a point to watch Winslow, as did Rick Barnes of Texas, Steve Alford of UCLA and John Thompson Jr. of Georgetown. Interest is now lukewarm for Theo Pinson, who seems to want to be coddled, stating that he wants to play for a team that really wants him. That team could be N.C. State, who is turning up the pressure. K and company have also been watching 6’6″ Stanley Johnson out of California, who I feel is a back up to Winslow now. Pinson is not totally out of the picture but he is not their player of choice at that position — Winslow is. Winslow said Jones and Okafor would be a package deal, but for Justise it is no secret that Arizona has made an impression, leading me to believe it’s a two team race — Arizona and Duke. Winslow glowed when talking about Wildcat coach Sean Miller and he liked the atmosphere in Tucson as well. Justise also mentioned that it was closer to home, meaning his mom could attend more easily. While K watched Winslow, Wojo took in 6’9″ PF Elijah Thomas, a 2015 prospect out of Texas.
I lost the previous update and this one is not nearly as good, but it should give you an idea of what happened yesterday. More to come. [/private]
In a state that is historically more known for their contributions to the game of hockey, a trio of rising seniors, Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaughn, and Reid Travis, have caused coaches to flock to the hardwoods of Minnesota. The standout, so far, has been the smallest of the three, 6’2″ Tyus Jones, a highly skilled and cerebral point guard from the city of Apple Valley.
In late March, Tyus Jones capped off a brilliant year by scoring twenty-six points, grabbing eleven rebounds, and dishing out eight assists in front of more than thirteen thousand people at the Target Center. That performance against Park Center HS helped Apple Valley HS (30-1), located just outside of the Twin Cities, capture it’s first state title in basketball and avenge its only regular season loss. With Tyus, throughout the journey, was his older brother, trainer, and best friend, Jadee, an assistant coach for the Apple Valley Eagles.
The coveted point guard credits his brother, Jadee, who puts him through intense basketball-specific training sessions, with developing his game and providing support through the years. Jones, who embodies the expression “Minnesota nice,” is quick to add that his critical support system extends to his parents, Debbie and Rob, who also both played college basketball, cousins, aunt, and grandparents.
As a reward for his season (averaging twenty-one points and nearly eight assists per game for the state champion) and work off of the court (B+ student and community involvement), Gatorade named the junior as their Minnesota Player of the Year for a second straight season.
Last July, Tyus Jones lead a very talented and deep USA Basketball squad to a gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championship in Lithuania. Jones felt that he was able to carry over the leadership and level of preparation that was a regular part of USA Basketball into his success in Apple Valley. Beyond the patriotic pride and handsome medal, Jones gained a close bond with the players, sharing the collective experience of training and playing for a communal goal. In particular, he became tight with his 6’11” Chicagoland roommate, Jahlil Okafor. Tyus felt that Jahlil shared many of the same core values that he had been raised with. They laughed and enjoyed playing with each other. By the end of their time in Lithuania, they decided that they wanted to continue playing together in college. They both independently reconfirmed that desire this weekend. Despite a four hundred mile separation, the duo communicate on a regular basis.
The young point guard with an old soul cut his list of suitors in March to seven: Minnesota, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Ohio State, and Baylor. A few months after Tyus Jones and his family visited Duke for their Countdown To Craziness, the first in-home visit for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski this year was to Tyus Jones’ living room. This weekend in Garden Grove, California, the four-time NCAA Championship coach was omnipresent for each of Jones’ four EYBL games, including his final game where Jones scored thirty-eight points and dished out six assists against a good CP3 squad. The ten pounds of muscle, mostly in his upper body, that Jones added to his lean 6’2″ frame enabled him to withstand the physicality of constantly penetrating into the heart of the defense.
After an EYBL game, Tyus spoke with me about a variety of topics, including his relationship with Jahlil, sharing an accomplishment with his family, the possibility of doing a one-and-done, his motto of T.O.A.O. (The One And Only), and his last time going through the AAU circuit.
With this being your last AAU season, what sort of thoughts and emotions were going through your head? Does it mean more to you?It’s kind of a surreal feeling to know that this is going to be my last AAU season. Every year, you just don’t think about it. You’re just go and you play, but it’s a different feeling, you know, knowing that this is going to be your last go-around. You know, with this being your last go-around, you feel like you’ve got to make the most of it.
Has it generally been a fun experience for you through the years?
Definitely, definitely. It’s something where you’re always with the best players, you’re playing against the best players, too, and you get to travel. It’s been a lot of fun through the years.
You’re also coming off of a state championship victory…
[private] That was just an unbelievable experience.
I was happy for you.
Thank you, I appreciate it. It was the first time for us to be able to make the state and to win it. It was a great feeling to finally get over that hump.
Did you feel redemption? What were your emotions when you walked off of the court that day?
You can’t even explain it in words.
I wish I could.
Yeah right, so do I. (laughs) You just can’t explain it, but it was great and I enjoyed it and it will stick with me forever.
How, if at all, did your experience with USA basketball, in terms of leadership, with that championship run?
Oh, it helped me a lot. Yeah, it helped a lot. I think just being out as USA at the training camp and then going overseas teaches you a lot. It’s just an experience to be sort of a different way of basketball at really the highest level.
You also recently won the Gatorade Player of the Year in Minnesota as a junior. That’s quite an honor because they take into consideration both basketball and your off-the-court work.
It really meant a lot to be able to win that award because I really just worked really hard for it.
Going back to the state title, you were able to share it with your brother and your friends, so it had to have meant more than some of the individual awards..it’s sort of a communal thing.
Yeah, that was great to be able to share it with them and my whole family. And my brother’s my best friend. He’s been with me since I was born.
I remember he coached you and trained you from a very young age. His name is Jadee.
Yup, Jadee Jones. He trained me and he worked me out. He pushed me from the player that I am today. I really give a lot of the credit to him.
It must have been really meaningful to him to win the state title with you.
Yeah, it meant a lot to him.
What do you think you’ve improved upon most since last summer?
I think really just leadership in general. I think I’ve tried to be as vocal as possible. I always just try to bring the team in and try to make sure that we’re playing as one.
It looks like you’re physically more mature than you were last year, at least in your arms and your upper body.
Yeah, a little bit, a little bit. I had an injury at the beginning of the winter season, so I wasn’t able to lift as much as I would have liked to, but during the season, we just got started and I really couldn’t catch up. That set me back a little bit, but I’m really able to go hard now and just improve.
That should help you as a point guard trying to get through the lane.
Yeah, it should. It’s very important. Good point.
You’ve had some recent in-home visits. Touch on them for the audience, please.
Duke, Baylor, Michigan State, and Ohio State were all in recently. They came and they did their presentations.
What was that experience like? Because as a kid, you never would have…
Yeah, that was crazy. You never think of that being possible growing up. It was such an honor having all of those coaches in your house. You know, sitting in your living room and talking to you. You know, it was just great. We had fun with it.
What about visits for you? Do you have any upcoming ones? I assume you haven’t been able to take any recently.
No, nothing recently and I don’t have any planned yet, but I’m probably going to be taking my officials in the fall.
I know you did some unofficials last fall.
Do you have a timeline for when you’d like to decide by and what’s the latest on your recruitment? These are things people are always curious about.
Hopefully, by the fall, but I can’t say for sure, you know. I don’t want to rush it. But, you know, hopefully in the fall. There’s nothing really new with my recruitment. I cut my list to seven. Baylor, Duke, Michigan State, Minnesota, Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio State.
That’s an impressive group. Last I heard, you and Jahlil are thinking about doing a pairing. Is that still the case? Are you still very close?
It is and we are. We’re still real close. We talk all of the time.
What do you like about Jahlil on and off the court?
Well, on the court, I think everybody knows that he’s the most dominant player in the country without a doubt. Everybody knows what he can do. But off the court, we really bonded because he’s a really great young man.
He’s also a lot smarter than people give him credit for.
Yeah, he’s smart. He’s got a great support system. He was raised the right way and I think that’s why..what we have in common, because I was raised the same way.
T.O.A.O., the one and only, that’s sort of become your motto.
How did you come up with it? How did it become your motto?
It did. It is. Some people try to, well, people don’t know what it stands for, but it’s just a saying that you want to be your own person. You got to strive to be the greatest person that you can be, the best of the best.
The best Tyus Jones you can be, not somebody else.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you don’t want to just be the next so-and-so, you want to be the best you.
I get so sick and tired of hearing about the next blank.
Yeah, exactly. You don’t want to hear that you’re the next somebody, you want to hear that you’re the best Tyus Jones. I only want to be the best Tyus Jones. That’s all I’m saying.
By the way, with Jahlil, are you going to do a joint press conference or who is going to decide first?
I’m not really sure. We’ll have to think about that. We haven’t really talked about that part. I’m not sure how we’ll do that yet.
What are your goals for this AAU season?
My goals are for all of us to win the Peach Jam. I think that’s what every team on the circuit’s goal is. We’re just trying to improve and get better and really come together as a team.
How do you feel about the squad?
I feel great about it. I feel like we’ve got a great bunch..great bigs, great wings, great guards. I think we’re all pretty smart. I think we’ve just got to play smart and try to connect.
Play to your strengths?
Is there any competition or rivalry between you and Mudiay at all?
No, sir. Eman is a great player. He’s just a great player and no, there’s no.
I was just curious.
No, he’s a great player and I respect him so much.
What is your relationship like with the various coaches on your list? Coach K, Coach Izzo, Coach Pitino.
No, I have great relationships with every coach on my list. You know, they’ve all done a great job. You know, really, that’s why they’re the coaches remaining. They’re the ones that I was most interested in.
Are they constantly contacting you or how often is it for you? Take the audience into your world.
It’s somewhat constant, but it’s not as bad as the stories you hear. You know, they’re very respectful. They know I’m a person and a student as well.
How often would you say?
You know, once or twice a week, maybe a couple of times, but you know, you’ll talk to the assistants even more.
What do your relatives make of all of your success and the hubbub?
They’re just going along and enjoying it with me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am and the person I am today.
I remember being very impressed when I was in Minnesota and you had all of your relatives lined up right behind me.
Yeah, my family has been really great. I feel like I’ve got a great support back in Minnesota. I couldn’t ask for a better one. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am.
What are going to be some factors in your decision?
There’s obviously a lot of stuff that goes into it. You’ve got to look at the school, being a part of it, in terms of giving you a good education. And all of the schools on my list have a great education, so that’s one factor. And then you’ve got to look at how the coaches relate to the players. Specifically, or especially, the point guard. You know, that’s the thing that I’m looking for and also what type of players are they bringing in and also the players that they have on the team and how they are off the court.
How important do you think chemistry and fit will be for you?
I think fit is the right word because you want to go somewhere where you’re comfortable. You don’t want to go somewhere where you can’t be yourself and you feel like you’re not a part of it.
Because you’re going to be around those guys more than anyone.
What are you working on with your brother? I know he’s a trainer.
Explosion, strength, just basketball specific training. You want to bulk up, you want to be stronger in a way that can help you. I worked with my brother on a lot of explosive stuff trying to get bigger and trying to get stronger with the ball.
And have you seen it pay off?
I have. Each year, I feel like I keep growing.
You’re dunking now.
It gets easier for sure.
What’s your favorite pass or favorite shot that you’ve ever made? Do you have one?
You know, any pass that I’m able to set up my teammates on, I enjoy. I enjoy it. I enjoy seeing them having so much joy. It helps us score. I threw a couple of nice lobs today.
Yeah, I saw.
(laughs) Those are always great. Those are always fun.
What’s your current size?
About 6’2″ and about 185.
In terms of the mindset, are you thinking on-and-done or staying beyond that and enjoying the college experience?
It’s sort of a tougher question
I think you need to go into it trying to have success. Don’t look past that…at all. If you go into it with the mindset of trying to have success, you’ll be successful. If you leave after one year, then that’d be great. If you stay all four years, then that’s just how it is. There’s really nothing that you can complain about. You’re going to college to play basketball.
LOS ANGELES – As Duke’s search for wing players continues it has brought them to Jalen Lindsey, a 6’6 swingman from Nashville Tennessee. Lindsey, who currently sports a 4.0 GPA, says that Duke has recently expressed interest in him. The swingman possesses solid athleticism which he thinks is one of his strengths. Lindsey, who plays for Christ Presbyterian Academy, is coming off of back to back Class AA state championships and many believe his team is in line for a threepeat next year. This past year he won the state championship tournament MVP as well as the Mr. Basketball award for the state of Tennessee.
BlueDevilNation was able to catch up with the Nashville product and discuss the new interest from Duke.
BlueDevilNation: For someone who hasn’t seen you before could you give us a scouting report?
Jalen Lindsey: I’m definitely, I’m really athletic. I use my athleticism a lot. You know, I can knock down the three too. It’s kind of an all around game so you gotta be prepared for anything.
BDN: What would you consider a strength of yours then? [private]
JL: Athleticism definitely.
BDN: What do you feel you have to work on?
JL: Oh definitely ball handling. That’s something I’ve been working on for months and months lately, years actually.
BDN: Is there any player you try and model your game after?
JL: Uh not really, not really.
BDN: You’re just kind of your own guy?
JL: (laughs) Yes sir.
BDN: Does your role differ from AAU to high school ball?
JL: Yea it’s completely different cause I’m like the tallest guy on my high school team so I’m kind of a post man, post-forward. And in here (AAU) I’m a 3 so I have to go back and forth between those two.
BDN (Andrew Slater): You won a state title this past year…
JL: Yes, yes. Second year in a row.
BDN: Do you view yourself as a 3 or a 2?
JL: I do, I view myself as a 3 and every college coach and a lot of my friends tell my I’m going to play the 3 in college and hopefully if I go to the NBA I’ll play the same position.
BDN: What’s your current height and weight?
JL: I’m 6’6 195lbs.
BDN (Andrew Slater): What kind of student are you?
JL: I have a 4.0GPA
BDN (Andrew Slater): Wow..you’re articulate so..
JL: (laughs) My dad, my mom and dad are on me about grades so I definitely work hard in class.
BDN: Do you have any recent offers?
JL: Not any recent offers. I have 20 total offers, I couldn’t name them all right now but not any recent offers.
BDN: Any schools that have recently come into play?
JL: Yea, uh, Duke has been coming onto me pretty hard. Duke’s been coming in pretty hard lately.
BDN: Have you spoken with them recently?
JL: I have. I spoke to Coach James like 2 days ago.
BDN: Did they say they’d be here to watch?
JL: Yes, definitely.
BDN: What do you know about Duke?
JL: You know, I know Duke’s a great school. Great coach and they got a lot of background and I really like Duke.
BDN: So you would be open to them?
JL: Yea, definitely.
BDN (Andrew Slater): Have you taken any recent visits?
JL: I haven’t. I haven’t.
BDN (Andrew Slater): Do you have any planned?
JL: I plan on taking some visits during the summer but I’m not sure which ones.
BDN (Andrew Slater): Are you going to cut down on your list?
JL: Yea, sooner or later I will. Sooner or later I’m going to cut down on it to where there’s less schools.
BDN (Andrew Slater): More manageable?
JL: Yea exactly. I’m just taking my time right now.
BDN (Andrew Slater): What are some factors that are going to be in your decision?
JL: Academics for sure. And then you got the facility and the relationship between the coaches is a big thing for me too.
BDN (Andrew Slater): Just out of curiosity how did you select your high school?
JL: My coach I’ve been playing with him since I was young..
BDN (Andrew Slater): I remember he played college ball at Vanderbilt?
JL: Vanderbilt, yea. So I’ve played with him since I was little, I was on his AAU team so I joined them and that was it.
BDN: And just one last question. You have a new teammate in Grayson Allen can you give me a scouting report on him?
JL: Grayson’s a great player. He’s athletic, he can dribble, he can shoot, he’s got the whole package. Grayson’s a great guy too so he’s fun to play with. [/private]