Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Taylor Bowen Talks Recruiting

The John Wall Holiday Invitational has a rich tradition of bringing some of the nation's top prospects to the Triangle area. I headed over to check out two prospects Duke has offered in Matas Buzelis and 6-8 Taylor Bol Bowen where both play for Brester Academy out of New England.

Bowen put up numbers of 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting and 3 of 4 from the three-point stripe. He also added 2 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. And he is consistently putting up steady numbers across the board in three games at the event.

The budding star caught my eye on night one in that he makes his team better when he is on the court. He is unselfish, has a nose for the ball, and is long and lean allowing him to alter the game defensively.

I like that Bowen plays intelligently and within his game. In other words, he rarely forces things to happen that lead to turnovers. He can go up to flush a dunk, get in passing lanes and moves the ball quickly to teammates when the ball is in his hands.

He has been improving steadily and will likely start to creep up in the rankings with his versatility and stat-stuffing game. His outside shot has been questioned by some but he nailed three of tour three-pointers today. And he has worked on his ball-handling showing pride in that as he answers the questions below.

It is easy to see why Duke coach to be Jon Scheyer extended an offer to Bowen. He seems to be a solid young man, focused and the right combination of being humble and confident at the same time.

I can see how he'd fit in any college system. Every team needs an unselfish player who could become a disruptive force with continued work. I saw enough in my two vies of him to see him as a late bloomer that may soon shed the label of being a little raw. From my vantage, his versatility makes him one of the best players in the class.

Which schools are most involved in your recruitment of late?

As of right now, I am hearing from schools like Duke, UCLA, Georgetown and Providence a lot. There has been a lot of teams from a lot of conferences but right now my focus is on getting better.

What are you looking for in a school?

I am just looking for a school that will give me an opportunity to play my game and be me really. You know, just a second home. I am not going to ask for playing time or minutes I just want to come in and earn it with work.

What have you been working on of late with concern to your game?

I have been working on a lot of my guard skills and I think it showed up here. I know I need to work on my shot but I am really just trying to put together a good game and focus on what I do best.

You mentioned Duke earlier. What kind of relationship do you have with Jon Scheyer?

Coach Scheyer is a great coach for sure. He was one of the first to reach out to me on June 15th and I really appreciate that. Obviously, I have been a big fan of Duke and what they have going on there. (Note - He is speaking of the open period and when coaches can make contact with prospects.)

Has he spoken to you about how they might use you in the system yet or is it a little early for that?

Definitely a little bit but I will give you an idea of what was said. He just wants me to come in and use my length and athletics and versatility.

Now, you reclassified... is that still on as planned?

Absolutely, yes, as a freshman I went to St. Georges and I really appreciated that opportunity when I had it but I will graduate next year [2023] for sure.

I know you are close to your brothers and have a home gym with them?

Yeah, yeah.

Are they a part of your inner circle and who will help you make your college decision?

It is going to be me and my close coaches and trainer. It is really a tight-knit circle with my family and coaches. That is really it, there is no outside noise and I just want to continue to focus on my game.

I have seen a lot of guys play over the years and your play of late has you poised to move up in the rankings. Your game has improved to the point where everyone is noticing. How will you stay grounded if that kind of thing starts to happen?

Well for me I know I am not number one and I am not the best I know that there are guys out there ahead of me and that drives me every day. I want to kill that guy who is in front of me every time.

Are Academics big for you?

Yes, most definitely. My mom instilled a work ethic through discipline and education was a part of that.

I read in another interview that if you didn't make it to the NBA, you would possibly seek work in basketball in front offices, etc...

I really want to get my degree for sure and my mom always said if you are not going to play basketball you have got to get your degree. Even if I make it she says I still have to get my degree from a good school so that is high on my list as well. No chance I would never be okay with the NBA not working out. If that doesn't work out I am going overseas for I want to play until old age But once I am done with the game I still want to be a part of it in that there are so many different things you can do.... so many different levels all the way up to the pros. I just love the game and love being around it.

What advice do your brothers give you?

My brother just give me advice to just be me and play hard. My brother Deng is one of the hardest workers if not a harder worker than me and I feel like if he was 6-7 or whatever he would have been one of the best players in the nation. But he worked hard and walked on at UVM.

For the Matis Buzelis interview, you must be a member of Blue Devil Nation.

Matas Buzelis Talks Recruitment -Scouting, Notes Too

Brewster Academy lost their opening game of the John Wall Holiday Invitational but they have two more games in Raleigh to prepare them for their conference season.

As a boarding school, they have just come back together as a team after an extended lay off and they showed a bit of rust as they adjusted to different rules as well. They will play again this evening at the JWH Invitational and on 1:30 the following day.

Brewster HC Jason Smith on Matas -

He is a really good kid and someone I enjoy being around on a daily basis. He is engaged in the classroom and off-campus activities. Matas is hearing basically from everybody in the country.

Matas Buzelis on being recruited by Duke and what is his relationship like with Jon Scheyer?

It's great just to talk to these types of coaches and get that attention.

Do you have a visit set up with Duke?

No, I haven't, actually.

Is there anything in the works on that front?

I haven't really thought about it but me and my parents will be scheduling something, for sure.

What is the most important thing for you in the recruiting process?

The rest of this article, game analysis on all the Duke prospects at the event you must be a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium which allows you to view thew entirety on the message board.

Mark Mitchell to Duke

Mark Mitchell has committed to the Duke Blue Devils where he will play for Jon Scheyer. Mitchell is one of the nation's top-rated prospects. Mitchell plays his high school ball for Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas.

Mitchell is closing is on 6-9 and has a solid frame physically. He has just returned from an injury as he continues to reacclimate himself to the timing of the game.

The newest Blue Devil to be is another can't-miss prospect who joins future teammates Jaden Schutt, Derick Lively, Dariq Whitehead and Kyle Filapowski. This class is collectively ranked the best in the land.

Mitchell has lauded his relationship with Scheyer and the rest of the Duke staff where they kept in constant contact throughout the process. Mitchell chose Duke over Missouri and UCLA. He is a consensus top 10 prospect.

Scheyer Inks 1st Duke Class

DURHAM – Duke men’s basketball associate head coach Jon Scheyer has announced the first four members of the Blue Devils’ 2022 freshman class with the signing of Kyle FilipowskiDereck Lively IIJaden Schutt and Dariq Whitehead during the NCAA’s early signing period. The Blue Devils’ incoming class is ranked No. 1 currently by ESPN in its 2022 class rankings.

With Scheyer tapped as the successor to head coach Mike Krzyzewski following Coach K’s retirement at the end of this season, Duke is one of just two schools with four signees rated in the top 50 of ESPN 100’s class of 2022 rankings alongside Kentucky. Duke has finished in the top four in each of ESPN’s class rankings since 2014, including a streak of seven consecutive seasons (2014-20) in which the Blue Devils inked a top-two class.

The NCAA’s early signing period is open until Nov. 17, 2021, with the regular signing period April 13, 2022 through May 18, 2022.

Kyle Filipowski – 6-11 – 220 – Center – Westtown, N.Y. – Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Mass.)

·         Coach Scheyer: “I’m really excited to have Kyle and his family in our family. Kyle was the first in this class to announce he was coming to Duke, and his trust and belief really meant a lot to me and our staff. Kyle is 6-foot-11 but he has guard skills. He’s really versatile, is a big-time passer and playmaker and he’s one of the best rebounders in high school basketball. Kyle is someone that can play inside and out, can score in the post and can also shoot well beyond the three-point line. His toughness and versatility will make him a terrific player at Duke.”

·         A five-star center

·         Ranked as the No. 10 overall player and No. 2 at his position (center, behind Duke signee Dereck Lively II) in ESPN 100’s class of 2022 rankings

·         The second-highest rated player from the state of New York in his class

·         Named the Massachusetts Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2020-21

·         Averaged 21.0 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game in junior season

·         Competed for NY Renaissance on Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 13.0 points and 8.2 rebounds in eight games

·         Named to the 2021 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 World Cup, where he led the Americans to the gold medal

·         Led Wilbraham & Monson to the 2020 New England Prep School Athletic Council Class AA championship and was named tournament MVP

·         Committed to Duke on July 29, 2021

·         Chose the Blue Devils over Syracuse and Ohio State, among others

Dereck Lively II – 7-1 – 215 – Center – Chester, Pa. – Westtown School

·         Coach Scheyer: “We’re excited to welcome Dereck and his family to Duke University. Dereck is coming off a terrific summer where his Team Final won the Peach Jam championship and he’s played at a high level at Westtown. Dereck fits the profile of a modern-day big man. He can run the floor, he can finish above the rim and he’s a great pick-and-roll player that can either pop or he can rim run and be a threat. The thing he does that is unique is he can really space behind the three-point line. On the defensive end, he’s elite. He’s the best shot blocker and rim protector in high school basketball and he can switch and guard one through five.”

·         A five-star center

·         Rated as the No. 2 overall player in ESPN 100’s rankings for the class of 2022

·         Ranked No. 1 at his position (center) and No. 1 in the state of Pennsylvania by ESPN

·         Competed for Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit during the summer of 2021, leading them to a Peach Jam title

·         Led the EYBL with 3.7 blocked shots per game in 15 contests while adding 8.4 points and 6.7 rebounds

·         Recorded 13 points, 10 boards and three blocks in the EYBL Peach Jam championship game on July 25

·         Former Blue Devil and current Atlanta Hawks forward Cam Reddish also attended Westtown School

·         Committed to Duke on Sept. 20, 2021

·         Chose the Blue Devils over Kentucky and North Carolina

Jaden Schutt (pronounced “shoot”) – 6-4 – 175 – Shooting Guard – Yorkville, Ill. – Yorkville Christian High School

·         Coach Scheyer: “Jaden is someone who has dedicated a lot of time and energy to his craft. He’s a terrific player and a premier shooter in this class. Jaden has great feel for the game and moves incredibly well without the ball, which not only opens up things for him but his teammates. He has championship pedigree on the AAU circuit, has played at a high level and is excited to play in this spotlight and on this stage at Duke. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jaden and his family with us and we can’t wait for him to get on campus.”

·         A four-star shooting guard

·         Rated as the No. 47 overall player in ESPN 100’s rankings for the class of 2022

·         Ranked as the No. 8 player at his position (shooting guard) by ESPN

·         Averaged 26.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 steals as a junior in 2020-21

·         Has made 217 three-point field goals through three seasons at Yorkville Christian

·         Competed for the Illinois Wolves on the AAU circuit, helping lead the team to the Under Armour Association 17U title in the summer of 2021

·         Committed to Duke on Sept. 2, 2021

·         Chose the Blue Devils over Michigan State and Florida, among others

Dariq Whitehead (pronounced “DA-reek”) – 6-6 – 190 – Small Forward – Newark, N.J. – Montverde Academy (Fla.)

·         Coach Scheyer: “Dariq is a big-time player who’s been battle tested during his time in high school. He’s played for Montverde since his eighth grade year with a lot of other special players and has played in big-time environments. That will really help prepare him for the transition to Duke. Dariq is someone that can guard multiple positions on the perimeter. He’s a great defender and athlete with great skill and feel for the game. Dariq really had a trust in us during the recruiting process. It’s an honor to welcome him and his family to Duke and we couldn’t be more excited to coach him.”

·         A five-star small forward

·         Ranked as the No. 5 overall player in ESPN 100’s rankings for the class of 2022

·         Rated the No. 1 player at his position (small forward) by ESPN

·         Helped Montverde Academy win the GEICO High School National Championship as a junior in 2020-21

·         Averaged 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals during junior season

·         Netted 16.5 points per game on .510 field goal shooting in 11 games with Team Durant on the Nike EYBL circuit in 2021

·         Participated in the 2019 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team October minicamp

·         Left hometown of Newark, N.J., to attend Montverde Academy at age 13

·         Former Blue Devil and current New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett also attended Montverde Academy

·         Committed to Duke on Aug. 1, 2021

·         Chose the Blue Devils over Kansas and Florida State, among others

·         His older brother, Tahir Whitehead, played linebacker in the NFL from 2012-20.

Duke Offers Sean Stewart

Duke has offered Sean Stewart a 2023 6-8 power forward prospect from Windermere, FL. during his visit to campus. Nolan Smith, Chris Carrawell and Jon Scheyer have been working the recruiting trail hard.

It’s Duke for Dereck Lively

The Duke Blue Devils land the nation's top big man when 7 footer Dereck Lively announced that he will ball in Cameron Indoor Stadium next season.

Lively is the real deal and a player who soared up the rankings after showing off top-end improvement over the spring and summer.

The budding star played for Team Final in the Nike EYBL summer league and that organization has produced a lot of top-end prospects over the years.

Duke coach to be, Jon Scheyer and his staff of former Duke teammate Nolan Smith and Chris Carrawell quickly made Lively II an immediate priority when it was learned Mike Krzyzewski would be in his last season in Durham.

The addition of Lively gives Duke a solid four-man class to date. He will join SF, Dariq Whitehead, PF Kyle Filipowski and SG Jaden Schutt in a class that is still forming. It is worth noting that the Blue Devils have

The newest Duke verbal commitment is a possible game-changer on the defensive end where he is tall, long and agile with quick hops. His upside is on the offensive end where he has been working on stretching the court with newly found three-point range.

The Bellefonte, PA. native has a unique skill set that will be attractive to NBA teams where he will in time be a lottery pick. The one thing he will likely have to do is work on adding weight but he is already a force on the blocks where he plays above the rim. The weight he does have is lean muscle, so expect the young man to fill out his frame with natural maturity.

Lively spurned Kentucky and Penn State to play for the Blue Devils.