Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Tre Jones Decision Coming Sunday

Nike EYBL Tre Jones

Duke Basketball hopes to get some good news this Sunday when standout point guard Tre Jones will make his college choice.  Jones has blown up on the Nike circuit this season to become the top rated player at his position.

His brother, Tyus, played at Duke and helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2015 National Championship.  Duke fans hope to see another Jones do the same thing.  Stay tuned for more news on the front and until then read our interview with his brother at bluedevilnation.net.

Marvin Bagley III Is Set For Duke Visit (Edited)

Marvin Bagley takes aim

There will always be some buzz around Marvin Bagley III and for good reason. Bagley is a sure fire NBA player to be who will spend one year in college preparing for what should be a long career.  The star prospect most recently concluded his AAU season at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina. During this seasons sessions he scored more total points than any other player for a 25.8 ppg average.

Most consider Marvin Bagley the top player in his class and that is plain  to see when watching how easily he handles high level competition.   Bagley works hard around the glass and collects rebounds as if the ball was his to take home and he is an efficient scorer.

Bagley always  has a target on his  back and every team he faces a player wanting to make a name for himself in the match up. "Oh yeah, I mean, I expect it. With all this attention and everybody talking about you in the media I expect people to come hard at me and I have to be ready.  I just have to work harder with that happening and stay with my game," Bagley said.

The schools who call the most per Bagley are the ones that recruit him the hardest and his list is made up of Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC.  He claims to still be taking the process one day at a time while enjoying the ride, yet he will start to take some unofficial visits and soon,  In fact, he will be on the campus of Duke University this week after visiting family in the area.

Bagley told Blue Devil Nation during a Q & A session, "After the Peach Jam is over my family is going to take a visit to Duke to see a little more of the school.  I have been on a visit there but didn't get to see a lot, so this time I hope to see way more.  I am excited about it and can't wait.''

Also soon to get unofficial visits are USC and Arizona.  While the recruiting process is closing down for Bagley, neither him or his family have yet to give any firm timetables which would involve a decision.  Bagley also clearly stated that he would be visiting Kentucky as well and that he planned to see all the schools on his list.

During events, Bagley gets asked all kinds of questions including answering rumors.  Some have speculated he would not go to college, but Bagley denies those accusations, stating, I am really excited about playing in college so wherever I go, I will be excited."  And which ever school he chooses will be equally excited in getting a player with his skill set.

When asked what he is looking for in a school, Bagely said "I want to go somewhere where I can get better.  I want to grow as a person and be around great people and in an environment that I feel like is helping me grow.''  That statement would appear to say he wants to be challenged and go to a school that has success at getting players to the next level.

There is much talk of package deals where prospects want to play together in college, but Bagley says that his focus is on what is best for him and his family more so than it is playing with certain players. During the process, Bagley has been the center of attention for a few years now even as an underclassman. Until this year, he was always buffered by his parents in interviews but that too was a learning process.  Now, he rolls off answers as if that tutelage helped him.

When asked if he was enjoying the process, Bagley stated, "Not a lot of kids have this many colleges calling upon them, so I am just blessed and I thank God everyday for the opportunity."  While some may see his statement designed to be humble, there is a sincerity in his eyes which makes one know it is true.  The fact of the matter is that Bagley has been able to remain both grounded and humble during the process to date.

During one of his games at the Nile Peach Jam, Kevin Durant of the world champion Golden State Warriors entered the gym.  As he strolled to his chair trying not to be hounded for autographs, he stopped to greet and hug Mike Krzyzewski who coached him for USA Basketball.  After the two exchanged some words, he went to his seat where he obviously wanted to see what they hype was about with Marvin Bagley III.

When asked of the VIP guest watching his game, Bagely answered, "It was weird at first because I watch KD all the time and I was actually at one of his games when they played Cleveland this year.  So yeah, I was sitting there watching him and now he is there watching me, so it was a weird feeling but we came out and played hard tonight."

The truth of the matter is that Bagley is a Nike star as is Kevin Durant.  He will one day get a shoe deal just like some that have come before him if he makes the right choices. And lets not forget that some who are recruiting him are among of the biggest Nike schools which include Duke, Kentucky and UCLA. Arizona also signed with the swoosh king in 2015.

Duke is in a pretty good place with concern to recruiting Bagley but they are in a heated competition for his services.  His Dad, Marvin Bagley II is originally from Durham and has family here to this day.  In fact, in a conversation with him it turns out we played junior high basketball at the same school.  But while while his local roots are interesting it is worth noting that he has been gone 20 years and entrenched in the Arizona area of late.  "We won't be going to college for family," stated the father but he also said it certainly doesn't hurt.

Then there is the recent talk of Bagley possibly reclassifying.  The truth is that he has the talent to do so but it is also factual that there would be some hoops to jump through in short time.  Bagley is a solid student but his Dad more or less squelched the talk as rumor via his twitter account, but that does not mean it is off the table.

What is currently factual is that Duke is recruiting Marvin Bagley III hard.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski is at every game he plays,  He is clearly a coveted prospect for the Blue Devils where Mike Krzyzewski has spent an enormous amount of time from the Hampton EYBL session until the Peach Jam finale making sure he was front and center for Bagley.

Nike Peach Jam Day One

Nike EYBL Peach Jam
Nike EYBL Peach Jam

Day one of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam Finals are complete and there were some stellar performances  by Duke prospects.

In the opening play-in game, Nike Team Florida pulled away for an 82-77 win over Team Final.  One of the Blue Devils top prospects in Cameron Reddish scored 44 points, with 7 made three pointers, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in his teams loss.  Considering the fact that he just finished up play with USA Basketball, this was an impressive performance.

E1T1 United held on for one basket win over Nike Phamily.  Blue Devil prospect Marvin Barnes III scored 25 points while grabbing 15 rebounds to go with 2 steals and 2 blocked shots in front of Mike Krzyzewski.  Another Duke prospect Emmitt Williams had 13 points and 8 rebounds in his teams win.

The Bradley Beal All Stars crushed the PSA Cardinals behind four double-figure scorers.  Duke PG prospect  Darius Garland went for 15 points and 2 assists.  On the losing team, 2019's Cole Anthony who also has the Blue Devils future interest scored a game high 34 points and had 6 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in a stat stuffing outing.

A late bucket from Tre Jones helped Howard Pulley hold off Mokan Elite for a single point win.  Jones, who is the brother of former Duke star Tyus Jones ended the game with 13 points,  7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Duke was also represented by Jeff Capel and Nate James while Jon Scheyer was checking out Zion Williamson a couple of hours north in the Adidas Gauntlet event in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Duke Basketball Staff Hits the Recruiting Trail

Zion Williams and Tre Jones on a visit to Cameron.
Zion Williams and Tre Jones on a visit to Cameron.

The Duke Men's Basketball staff led by HOF coach Mike Krzyzewski will be out in force the rest of the month.  The reason is that this time of year are the most important days in recruiting.  The dead period ended today with concern to live views and that means planning and travel miles for weeks to come.

The Blue Devils staff will be in Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale  to watch the likes of sensational dunk artist Zion Williamson and others. Williamson is playing in his backyard to what will be standing room only crowds.  They will also take the 2.5 hour drive south for the Nike Peach Jam.

Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III

The Peach Jam will be especially loaded for the Blue Devils.  It all starts with the nations top prospect Marvin Bagley III, who is expected to visit Duke shortly after the event ends.  Bagley lists Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC as his finalist.

download (1)Duke has long been recruiting other stellar players as well including Cameron Reddish.  Coming off his duties with Team USA, Reddish and his teammates will need to win a play in game.  Reddish is a gifted, long prospect who is in the cross hairs of Duke and Kentucky,

Then there is the watch for a point guard where Duke is in the running for the two best.  Tre Jones is the brother of Tyus Jones and he exploded early on this season.  And then there is Darrius Garland who has been ranked at the top and had the Blue Devils interest for a good while.

And let us not forget RJ  Barrett who led Canada to a win over Team USA recently.  The versatile and talented prospect is expect to reclassify and he is a major Duke target.

There are many other Duke prospects which we discuss on our members message  board as well.  Duke will also be checking out the likes of 2019 prospects which include PG Cole Anthony, but the emphasis will be heavily on the 2018 young men where Duke has yet to land anyone in the class.

Duke will be facing major losses after the season and could go after as many as six players to fill the void.  Stay tuned for more as the week progresses and reports from both major events.

Duke Prospect Cameron Reddish Playing Well

Cameron Reddish
Cameron Reddish

Duke Basketball recruiting is getting serious this month as they chase down commitments from a talented class.  One of the players they have long coveted is Cameron Reddish.  The youthful forward has been playing exceptionally well with USA Basketball.  He scored 15 points during Tuesday’s 98-65 win over Italy.    He also grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 steals and a blocked shot as USA Basketball is  now 2-0 and moving forward to the round of 16 which starts today.  Reddish commands attention when he is on the court and is at the top of the rankings in every service. You can see a replay of his last game below -

Duke Offer Excites Cole Swider

Cole Swider offered by Duke
Cole Swider offered by Duke

When the dust cleared from this past weekends NBA Top 100 Camp, Cole Swider ended the event as the third leading scorer at 14.8 ppg. The dead-eye shooter from beyond the three point stripe was recently offered  by Duke and the Blue Devils likely lead for his services.

One long time analyst said Swider had an extra bounce in his step during the event.  It is up to conjecture whether a visit to his dream school which is Duke had anything to do with that.  But it is clear that the Blue Devils see a player who fits their system and one they want to coach.

It is also clear that Swider is  not only a solid prospect, but that he likes Duke and that he could very well commit early.  In fact, he officially visits Duke this week on June 23rd and 24th.  That is one day after the NBA Draft and starts this Friday.

You had an injury in your second game which sidelined you...

Yeah, I came down wrong in the first half and just turned my ankle, but it is better now.

How do you feel about your play thus far?

I have been playing pretty well, shooting the ball well, my teammates are helping.

How is the recruiting process going?

It's going well.  I recently visited Duke and it went really well.  The meeting with Coach K was awesome.  It was awesome that they offered,  That was my dream school growing up and to finally get the opportunity to see them and what they're all about was nice.  They said they'd been watching me and asked if they could get into my recruiting.  And I said it is a good thing you called because I was about to narrow it down to eight, but yeah, I can see it being a good fit, especially for me.

You have mentioned you may be making a decision sooner than most kids.  Why is that?

Recruiting is fun in the beginning, but towards the end everyone starts to want you and I don't want to waste any ones time, so...  I am going to figure out when my parents come up pretty soon what I will do and trim my list.

You said Duke was a dream school.  What was it you liked about them?

They were my dream school and I loved watching them play.   Jon Scheyer called me and we've been talking ever since.  He said he could see me being a Duke basketball player and talked to me about that.  Growing up, I use to look up to Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith... those are some of my favorites.  I remember watching when they won the national championship against Butler when I was in the 4th grade and it was awesome.

Describe your game in your own words.

I shoot the ball really well.  I crash the boards and I can attack the basketball too.  I will do whatever the coach needs me to do.  I guess some see me more as a wing but I will do whatever a coach asks me to do.

What are some of the things you are looking for in a school, a program and a coach?

I want to see if they have a plan for me coming in and hope to play right away.  And hopefully, they can help me get to the next level.

Who will play a role i n helping you decide where to go at the next level?

My high school coach and my parents.

What are you like off the court?

I think I am a pretty sociable guy with my friends.  I just love playing basketball and practice every day.

What about Michigan?

Everyone says I fit into their offense and they came in kind of late, but have been texted me a lot.  Everyone has pretty much contacted me about the same.

I know Xavier has been on you.

Their coaching staff texts me every single day and they have been there from the start.

Villanova?

Jay Wright wants me to come in and get buckets, so...I am really cool with Jay Wright, he's awesome.  They have done a good job recruiting me.

Will you be taking more visits?

Yeah.  I am  not sure yet as to where I want to visit.  Like I said, I will sit down with my parents.

You said, you would be deciding early.  What will that entail?

I don't have a timeline but have an idea of the schools recruiting me and what they are about.  I don't think I will take all my official visits. They spend a lot of money and if I know of four schools I want to consider or less I won't take all the visits.  I haven't seen Michigan, Miami and Indiana but the rest I have.

What are your impressions on visiting Duke?

Seeing  Coach K in real life was kind of crazy.  He didn't really differ from some of the things I imagined but it was cool, it was just Duke. Me and my parents had a chance to sit down with Coach K and talk to him a little bit.  I talked of the strength and conditioning and with some advisors.  Coach K came back and we watched some film together.  It was really cool.  Coach K said he wanted to offer me a scholarship and it was awesome.