Chase Jeter
Long Beach, CA
August 4, 2014

Chase Jeter – The aftermath (Open to Public)

Chase Jeter, the 6’11” five-star forward out of Las Vegas, committed to the Duke Blue Devils tonight. Jeter had just completed his play at the AdidasNations event in Southern California, where he earned MVP honors for his play in the third place game, where he scored 14 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and blocked four shots. He actually blocked about seven, but only got credit for four. In any event, after his postgame announcement at Long Beach City College, Blue Devil Nation was the only media outlet granted a private one-on-one interview with the newest Duke star-in-waiting. Here’s what he had to say.

BDN: First of all, I just wanted to congratulate you on your choice and your announcement.

CJ: Thank you.

BDN: How does it feel to have the decision and the announcement behind you now?

CJ: Definitely good. It feels great going into my senior year. I feel really, really comfortable with my decision and I’m just excited to be a Blue Devil.

BDN: Was it a burden for you to have to wait to make the announcement for a little longer than you originally had thought it was going to be, or not really?

CJ: Not at all. It was a personal thing and a familial thing as far as evaluating my decision and making sure that I took the time to make the right choice and give myself time to enjoy the recruiting process.

Chase and Chris Jeter Long Beach, CA August 4, 2014
Chase and Chris Jeter
Long Beach, CA
August 4, 2014

BDN: That was my next question. Did you enjoy the recruitment process? Some guys do, some guys don’t.

CJ: It definitely has its ups and downs. I was one of the earlier guys to commit, but I was just really comfortable with my decision.
BDN: You’re going to a terrific program, one full of history and which has had a tremendous amount of success over a period of decades, led by the winningest coach in college basketball history. How does it feel to be part of Duke Basketball, officially?

CJ: It’s definitely something special. The Duke guys, they play with such pride and energy, so that’s something you definitely want to go out there and represent with all your heart.

BDN: If you had to put your finger on it, what was it about Duke that ultimately made you choose that program?

CJ: The opportunity to play for Coach K and be able to play right away and have a strong presence.

BDN: Did that stand out for you as opposed to other schools?

CJ: Definitely. I feel like each school was a great choice for me. My final schools were, they were a great list, my final list of schools, but I just feel like Duke is just where I felt most comfortable and I felt it was the best place for me.

BDN: It seemed like you and your family had a terrific visit to campus in the spring and I know you bonded with Luke Kennard. I know your parents really like the Kennards, too. And you bonded with some of the other players on the team also. Was that an important aspect of your decision-making process, that weekend that you had in Durham?

CJ: Definitely, but every single visit I took was a chance for me to see who was there, what the campus environment was like, and it was a great opportunity for me.

BDN: It’s going to be a great recruiting class with you, Luke, and the transfer Sean Obi coming in, and who knows maybe they’ll add another player too. Anyone you would like to see join you and Luke in Durham out of your class?

CJ: Looking to get Brandon Ingram on board, you know he’s taking an official to UCLA this week –

BDN: And he’s going to Duke later in the week too.

CJ: Yeah, I know. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how everything works out for Brandon and we’re gonna try to get him on board.

BDN: You’re gonna work him?

CJ: Oh, definitely.

BDN: Was it tough to decide to go as far from home as you are going, or not really a big factor for you?

CJ: It was. I mean, I’ve been out on the west coast my whole life. I feel like I have a great relationship with my parents but at the end of the day, I felt like Duke was the best choice.

BDN: Last thing: Do you anticipate any kind of negative backlash or talk from the people at home, because I know there were a lot of people who wanted you to stay home and go to UNLV? Do you anticipate anything like that and if so, how are you going to deal with that?

CJ: Just ignore it, honestly. Like they say, haters aren’t my motivator. I just have to continue to do me. That’s what’s gotten me this far with the support of my family and my trainers and coaches so I just feel like I should just continue to do me. That’s all I can do.

BDN: I just wanted to congratulate you on making the decision. I hope you have a great senior season and I look forward to seeing you on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

CJ: Thanks, Tom.

Chase Jeter
Long Beach, CA
August 4, 2014

New Blue Devil Chase Jeter Sits Down With BDN

Chase Jeter, the 6’11” five-star forward out of Las Vegas, committed to the Duke Blue Devils tonight. Jeter had just completed his play at the AdidasNations event in Southern California, where he earned MVP honors for his play in the third place game, where he scored 14 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and blocked four shots. He actually blocked about seven, but only got credit for four. In any event, after his postgame announcement at Long Beach City College, Blue Devil Nation was the only media outlet granted a private one-on-one interview with the newest Duke star-in-waiting. Here’s what he had to say.

BDN: First of all, I just wanted to congratulate you on your choice and your announcement.

CJ: Thank you.

BDN: How does it feel to have the decision and the announcement behind you now?

CJ: Definitely good. It feels great going into my senior year. I feel really, really comfortable with my decision and I’m just excited to be a Blue Devil.

BDN: Was it a burden for you to have to wait to make the announcement for a little longer than you originally had thought it was going to be, or not really?

CJ: Not at all. It was a personal thing and a familial thing as far as evaluating my decision and making sure that I took the time to make the right choice and give myself time to enjoy the recruiting process.

BDN: That was my next question. Did you enjoy the recruitment process? Some guys do, some guys don’t.

CJ: It definitely has its ups and downs. I was one of the earlier guys to commit, but I was just really comfortable with my decision.

Chase and Chris Jeter Long Beach, CA August 4, 2014
Chase and Chris Jeter
Long Beach, CA
August 4, 2014

BDN: You’re going to a terrific program, one full of history and which has had a tremendous amount of success over a period of decades, led by the winningest coach in college basketball history. How does it feel to be part of Duke Basketball, officially?

CJ: It’s definitely something special. The Duke guys, they play with such pride and energy, so that’s something you definitely want to go out there and represent with all your heart.

BDN: If you had to put your finger on it, what was it about Duke that ultimately made you choose that program?

CJ: The opportunity to play for Coach K and be able to play right away and have a strong presence.

BDN: Did that stand out for you as opposed to other schools?

CJ: Definitely. I feel like each school was a great choice for me. My final schools were, they were a great list, my final list of schools, but I just feel like Duke is just where I felt most comfortable and I felt it was the best place for me.

BDN: It seemed like you and your family had a terrific visit to campus in the spring and I know you bonded with Luke Kennard. I know your parents really like the Kennards, too. And you bonded with some of the other players on the team also. Was that an important aspect of your decision-making process, that weekend that you had in Durham?

CJ: Definitely, but every single visit I took was a chance for me to see who was there, what the campus environment was like, and it was a great opportunity for me.

Chase Jeter Long Beach, CA August 4, 2014
Chase Jeter
Long Beach, CA
August 4, 2014

BDN: It’s going to be a great recruiting class with you, Luke, and the transfer Sean Obi coming in, and who knows maybe they’ll add another player too. Anyone you would like to see join you and Luke in Durham out of your class?

CJ: Looking to get Brandon Ingram on board, you know he’s taking an official to UCLA this week –

BDN: And he’s going to Duke later in the week too.

CJ: Yeah, I know. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how everything works out for Brandon and we’re gonna try to get him on board.

BDN: You’re gonna work him?

CJ: Oh, definitely.

BDN: Was it tough to decide to go as far from home as you are going, or not really a big factor for you?

CJ: It was. I mean, I’ve been out on the west coast my whole life. I feel like I have a great relationship with my parents but at the end of the day, I felt like Duke was the best choice.

BDN: Last thing: Do you anticipate any kind of negative backlash or talk from the people at home, because I know there were a lot of people who wanted you to stay home and go to UNLV? Do you anticipate anything like that and if so, how are you going to deal with that?

CJ: Just ignore it, honestly. Like they say, haters aren’t my motivator. I just have to continue to do me. That’s what’s gotten me this far with the support of my family and my trainers and coaches so I just feel like I should just continue to do me. That’s all I can do.

BDN: I just wanted to congratulate you on making the decision. I hope you have a great senior season and I look forward to seeing you on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

CJ: Thanks, Tom.

Chase Jeter
January 18, 2014

Chase Jeter Picks Duke

Chase Jeter January 18, 2014
Chase Jeter
January 18, 2014

Chase Jeter has decided the play his collegiate basketball for Duke University.  Jeter is a 6-11 Power Forward who played his high school hoops for Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.  Blue Devil Nation has an interview coming with Jeter from Tom Rubinson who has been covering Adidas Nations for us.  Join today, for more interviews from the Blue Devils to be and their top targets and check back soon for that interview.  It was good get for Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff.

Anthony-Boone-10-6-12

Three Concerns for Duke Football

Anthony-Boone-10-6-12Practice starts today for a Duke team looking to show the college football world they are for real, the 2013 season was not a fluke it was an indicator of a program that has turned itself around and is on the move up. Coach Cutcliffe will conduct a press conference at 12:30 pm and the team will conduct their first practice starting at 6:15 pm at the Brooks Practice Facility.

Optimism abounds these days in Durham. There is good reason for the optimism. Coach Cutcliffe is the National Coach of the Year, the team won a school record 10 games last season with 16 starters returning from that team, the Blue Devils have been to bowl games in back-to-back seasons, and recruiting is flourishing. To reiterate, there is good reason for the optimism. However, only viewing the future through rose colored glasses can be limiting, so with this article the question is asked: what’s keeping you awake at night?

There are three concerns affecting my sleep pattern:

Number One – Quarterback Play!

Anthony Boone throws too many interceptions. Moreover, he has a tendency to throw multiple interceptions in a game. Last season Boone threw a total of 13 interceptions, he threw interceptions in six of the 11 games in which he played. In four of those six games, he threw multiple interceptions: four against Virginia Tech, three against N.C. State, two against Florida State and two against Texas A&M.

Behind Boone, the quarterbacks listed on the roster have combined to take zero snaps at the collegiate level. Thomas Sirk, Parker Boehme and Nico Pierre are all talented prospects who the staff is very high on but they have no experience. If Boone struggles or is injured, the quarterback situation becomes tenuous at best.

Coach Cutcliffe has stated he intends to stick with the two quarterback system which has been so successful the past couple of seasons with the departed Brandon Connette taking over at quarterback in short yardage situations. This means at least one of the young quarterbacks will be seeing action from the start of the season in short yardage situations. The experience the select quarterback gains during early season games could be critical before the season is over.

Number Two – Defensive Line!

Duke yielded 26.6 points per game in 2013 a 9.4 points per game improvement over the 36 ppg allowed in 2012. Can the defense maintain or better the improvements achieved? Play along the defensive line will go along way in answering the question. Three of four DL starters from 2013 have graduated, which leads to the question: are the new guys more talented?

Defensive tackle Jamal Bruce was last season’s fourth starter so he is back to anchor the interior along with junior Carlos Wray who has played lots of snaps. The major concern is at defensive end and the ability to generate a consistent pass rush. Will projected starters Dezmond Johnson and Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo prove to be every down players who can both defend the run and pressure the quarterback? Can the staff devise a rotation at defensive end that takes advantage of all the players available to achieve success? The answers to those two questions are very important to the level of success the defense will be able to achieve in 2014.

Number Three – Injuries!

Injuries are an intangible so worrying about them is irrational. But no one ever accused sports fans of being rational so I opt to worry. A big part of the team’s success in 2013 can be attributed to a lack of injuries. The team was relatively injury free in 2013 so key players were consistently on the field at key times. In contrast, the 2012 team was decimated by injuries. Will 2014 fall somewhere in between? Hopefully the number of injuries incurred is a lot closer to the 2013 numbers than the 2012 numbers.

Obviously, the objective is for no single player to be unavailable due to injury at any point during the season; however, this is football so injuries are a reality.

The objective of this article is not to attempt to counter the optimism surrounding the program. That optimism is both real and deserved. The objective is to infuse a bit of self reflection. The program is in great shape due to a lot of hard work on the part of the players and the staff. A lot of hard work remains to be accomplished in 2014.

As far as the fans go, it is imperative they fill up Wallace Wade Stadium and cheer the team to victory starting on August 30 with the Elon game and continuing through to the Wake Forest game on November 29.

Brandon Ingram
Garden Grove, CA
August 2, 2014

Checking In With Prospect Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram Garden Grove, CA August 2, 2014
Brandon Ingram
Garden Grove, CA
August 2, 2014

Kinston, North Carolina’s Brandon Ingram is one of Duke’s top remaining recruiting targets in the Class of 2015. The slender wing is 6’8” and 180 pounds, but his father says he actually measured 6’9” at the NBAPA Top-100 Camp earlier this summer. Regardless, he is very long, and it looks like he still has room to grow. This soft-spoken young man is likely to grow physically, but is interested in growing as a person in college as well. In fact, when asked what the most important factors are going to be when he decides on which elite program he will become part of, Brandon responded, “Of course what will happen after college basketball and getting me to the NBA. But also developing me into a man. Helping me to be a better person and developing my character.” Yes, he wants to attend a college where the fans are into basketball. But he also wants to feel like he can fit in as a regular student on campus. “I want to be cool with everybody on campus, not just be a guy with an ego. I don’t like to show ego a lot. I know I’m a top player, but I’m just like everybody else. I just want to stay humble but hungry.” That certainly sounds like the right kind of attitude for a Duke basketball player.

But what’s he like on the court? His game is versatile. He is most comfortable in transition, both leading the break –though his dribble is a little high and needs to tighten up – or finishing on the break. In the halfcourt, he is a shooter, with good form and good results. Brandon is a thin guy, and though he can put on some weight in the weight room and will put some on naturally, it seems unlikely that he’s ever going to be a thickly-muscled player. But he is so skilled that he can finish inside against stronger players anyway. The stronger he gets, the better he’ll be on the interior, but for now he’s able to score in that area as well.

Brandon honed his game at a young age, with his older brother – eight years older – providing a constant challenge for him to improve. He always had a place to play, as his father Donald, who works at a welding company, ran a gym in Kinston that attracted all sorts of players in the area.

Brandon Ingram Garden Grove, CA August 3, 2014
Brandon Ingram
Garden Grove, CA
August 3, 2014

He feels like versatility is a real strength of his game, as he can shoot it, or if his shot isn’t falling he is comfortable taking the ball to the hoop with a quick first step. On defense, Brandon is disruptive with that length he possesses – that length being the first thing that anyone seeing him for the first time notes about him. With improved coaching at the college level, and the intensity he’ll bring to the college game, there is no doubt that he can use that length on the wing to cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses. But he knows he has areas to improve on in the coming year as well. Specifically, he says he has to “Just get stronger. My mid-range has improved a lot, just getting to the nail has improved, pulling up. But just getting stronger and that will help me out taking contact and finishing at the basket.” The kid knows himself – if he can gain some strength and be able to play through contact, it will take his game to another level.

Brandon believes he is a leader out on the floor, imploring his teammates to step up their effort if they’re behind in a game. To me, he appears to be a young man who is quiet by nature. Some can lead without being loud, without showing that fire. He is certainly a popular guy with the other players, and sometimes just having those relationships can help one become a leader, even if you’re not as outwardly vocal as others.

Ingram has had an excellent summer. He outplayed fellow elite wing Jaylen Brown head-to-head and came away with MVP honors in the Chicago Unrivaled Adidas camp. He has led his powerhouse team in scoring at this weekend’s AdidasNations event in Southern California, averaging 17 ppg in the three full games they’ve played (one got called at halftime.) But his summer is not over after AdidasNations. Look for him at the Elite24 game in New York City.

As would be expected, Brandon has a long list of college suitors. He has firm offers from Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, NC State, Wake Forest, and others. He says that UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, and Duke are recruiting him hardest. Brandon says that staying close to home for college is not necessarily going to be a big factor in his choice. But his father told me that he really likes the ACC, because with expansion, the league is just so tough and he feels his son would be tested against the best competition night in and night out by playing in the ACC.

Brandon Ingram Garden Grove, CA August 2, 2014
Brandon Ingram
Garden Grove, CA
August 2, 2014

While out in LA for AdidasNations, Brandon and his dad will be visiting UCLA on August 5. Then they will fly back to North Carolina and will visit Duke on Thursday, August 7, before a lot of the players leave campus over the weekend. He especially is looking forward to hanging out with Rasheed Sulaimon and Tyus Jones. Despite his dad’s feeling like he really would like to see Brandon in the ACC, after receiving a call from John Calipari this morning, Mr. Ingram said they would very likely take a visit to see Kentucky. And they will be at Kansas for their Midnight Madness.

But Brandon grew up a Duke fan, and he sees himself fitting in very well in the Duke program. “I can be an impact player right away. I can play my position but I can play all over the floor. I play in transition and in the half-court set. I like Duke’s style. They push the ball up the floor.” And he feels comfortable with the staff too. “It’s a very good program. I talk a lot with Coach K and Coach Capel. Coach K is a very down to earth guy away from the basketball court. He can develop me into a man if I go there. . . Coach Capel I text with every day. He’s a great guy, one of my good friends. We can talk about anything together.”

So Duke is very much in this one. But the competition is formidable, as you’d expect when the recruit is not only as talented as is Brandon Ingram, but when he is a young man from a solid family who is humble, hard-working, and team-oriented. Both Brandon and his father told me they plan on cutting the list to five by the end of August, and it is likely that Duke, UNC, and Kentucky will make that cut-down list, and that he would like to make a decision and commit before his season starts in October. He is an outstanding player and an outstanding young man, and Duke would be very fortunate indeed were he to choose to spend his college years in Durham.