Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

That Kid Carter – Wendell Carter is a Blue Devil

Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video on twitter this morning.
Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video 

To nobodies real surprise, Wendell Carter made his decision to play basketball at Duke University official this morning.  An imposing big man who stands 6-10 with strong physical play, Carter is a sure thing at the collegiate level.

The Blue Devils had been on Carter for well over a year, where Jeff Capel took the lead assistant role in the process.  And there was no shortage of Coach Mike Krzyzewski making his intent known all along.

Carter had long been thought a Duke lean despite some flirtation with Harvard coached by former Blue Devil coach and player, Tommy Amaker.  Other big time schools did not bother even ringing his doorbell past a certain point feeling he was just too good of a fit for the Blue Devils.

Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.
Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.

The writing was on the wall even more-so when Gary Trent Jr. selected the Blue Devils.  The two were and always have been a package deal and look forward to playing with one another.  This was also another case of how Krzyzewski's USA Basketball connections helped once again, for both were mainstays in the youth program for the country.

Carter averaged 21.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.5 blocks, leading his team to a state title at Pace Academy last season.  During the camp season he played for CP3 in the Nike EYBL Circuit and had numbers of 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in a system where you play lesser minutes.

Having seen Carter play over the years, I can tell you that he's a baller.  He's likely a power forward but can play center.  He's big, long and imposing with solid basketball instincts.  Carter is simply  beast to be arround the rim where his presence alters shots.  He can drain a jump shot or put the ball on the floor to score and finishes strong around the basket.

Carter should flourish in the Duke system where he will likely be playing with some solid perimeter guys.  The Blue Devils might return Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard while adding Trent and others before others before the recruiting period is said and done.

The Blue Devils will now turn their attention to Kevin Knox, Matt Coleman and Mohamed Bamba.  And who knows, another player could be in the mix before all is said and done.

In closing, Duke got one of the best big men in the country to join Gary Trent and Alex O'Connell.  Those additions have the Blue Devils moving up in the team rankings and they are far from finished.

Gary Trent Jr. is a Duke Blue Devil

Gary Trent Jr. is a Duke Blue Devil.
Gary Trent Jr. is a Duke Blue Devil.

cw7_k8pwgaaztt4One of the nation's top sharpshooters, Gary Trent Jr. also known as G-Money, selected the Duke Blue Devils on ESPNU over Michigan State and UCLA.  Trent is a fill it up offensive standout who some say is a basket waiting to happen.

''At Duke it’s the brotherhood there and Coach K showing me the things that I can do there.  With Coach K, everything is top of the line,'' said Trent before donning a Duke cap.    He continued, “He wants me to come in and be who I am. He wants me to play my game. He wants my ego. Bring my whole package with me and be ready to play.”

Trent Jr. joins Alex O'Connell in a two-man class thus far in the early campaign.  Much like other Duke players past, he had a strong connection  to USA Basketball.  He also played AAU Basketball for Howard Pulley which produced Tyus Jones and has another Duke prospect for one season from now in Tre Jones.


The second player to be for Duke a season from now, visited Duke in an official capacity for Countdown to Craziness.  There, he joined his good friend Wendell Carter, who will be making his decision any day now as well.

The two could form yet another package deal for Duke and they will not stop recruiting there, for they're in hot pursuit of Coleman, Kevin Knox and Mohamed Bamba.  Both Trent Jr. and Carter Jr. sported Duke caps on their visit.

Gary Trent during Coundown to Craziness- Mark Watson
Gary Trent sat with Wendell Carter during Countdown to Craziness Mark Watson

Trent is a consensus top ten or better pick and stands 6-5 weighing in at a legitimate 200 pounds.  He has a knack for scoring and opening the ga me up for teammates as teams concentrate on him.

As good as Trent is today, his game is still evolving where he hopes to become a triple threat player.  He has a good first step and can finish with both hands around the basket.  Also worth noting is that he is the son of Gary Trent, who had a successful NBA career.

Gary Trent was a sharped dressed man during his decision.
Gary Trent was a sharpeddressed man during his decision. ESPNU

Trent is a high-octane scorer with a tough mentality.  I have seen his work ethic up close and personal on the Nile EYBL Circuit where he drills in between games instead of socializing.  During the games he scores the ball in a variety of ways, but may be best off the dribble at this stage in his career.  He also has the tools to become a good lock down defender with some more coaching and work.

Duke Visits Gary Trent Jr.

Gary Trent Jr. is already familiar with Cameron Indoor Stadium. He can help replace Jayson Tatum pictured with him here in that he is expected to leave for the NBA.
Gary Trent Jr. is already familiar with Cameron Indoor Stadium. He can help replace Jayson Tatum pictured with him here in that he is expected to leave for the NBA.

The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball staff has been rolling right along on the recruiting trail.  Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils have seen many key prospects up close and personal, including Kevin Knox , Wendell Carter Jr., Mohamed Bamba and Gary Trent Jr. as well as others during the open period.

Last evening Duke had their in home visit with key prospect Gary Trent Jr.  Krzyzewski's entire staff consisting of Jeff Capel, Nate James and Jon Scheyer was there to speak of the Duke way of doing things.

There is plenty to talk about when the Duke staff visits.  National Championship rings are worn and this kind of thing is what is expected when wearing the uniform.  Duke has also had phenomenal success in developing players for the next level. The staff likely spoke of developing as a person both on and off the court and the top notch NBA style facilities in Durham.

Gary Trent Jr. may be the next big time Duke verbal commitment.
Gary Trent Jr. may be the next big time Duke verbal commitment.

Then there are the Cameron Crazies and the fan passion to speak about and the constant national spot light as well.  I think you get the picture that Duke Basketball is an elite force without me going further.

The most impressive thing to me about Gary Trent Jr. is his work ethic and his desire to get better.  During a Nike EYBL event I attended last summer, Trent could be seen drilling himself in between games.  While most players were socializing, he was looking to the next game his Howard Pulley team would face while going through workouts.

In watching Trent, you realize he can score the ball.  He is one of the most effective offensive talents in high school basketball.  Perhaps, he is the best.  The budding star has the ability to play great defense as well and expand his game.

Duke has made Trent one of their most important targets.  He visited with his AAU teammate Trey Jones last season where he took in a Duke game while standing with the Cameron Crazies.

Trent will be visiting Cameron Indoor Stadium again for the much anticipated Countdown to Craziness on October the 22nd.  It is also worth noting that he will be joined on that visit by Wendell Carter. These two outstanding players have developed a close relationship on the Nike EYBL circuit.

It is also worth noting that both Trent and Carter have USA Basketball experience as well.  That experience has been something which has worked out well for Duke of late.  After all, Mike Krzyzewski just led the nations team to a third Gold Medal.

Duke is in a position to offer a lot of playing time and open spots to the nation's top prospects.  Duke will lose every projected starter on this years talented team.  In fact, they could lose as many as eight players.

The Blue Devils have had one verbal commitment to date from Alex O'Connell.  Should a player like Trent commit, say shortly after Countdown to Craziness; that would get the ball rolling for the next great class.

Gary Trent Jr. Down to 5 Schools

Co3iRA2UsAE9CSnGary Trent Jr. is one of the Duke Blue Devils most sought after targets.  Today he announced his final four schools via twitter which includes Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State and UCLA.

Trent has been a constant star on the Nike EYBL circuit this season and a participant in the USA Basketball program.  Trent most recently announced that he would transfer from Apple Valley HS in Minnesota to traditional power Findlay Prep.

Trent played for Howard Pulley where he teamed with another Duke prospect in Tre Jones who is the brother of National Champion Tyus Jones.

The shooting wing guard is considered a top ten or can't miss prospect at the college level.

Gary Trent  Senior was the 11th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.  His size and power play garnered him the nickname "The Shaq of the MAC". when he played for Ohio. His Ohio University No. 20 jersey was retired on January 21, 2012, during halftime of an Ohio vs. Miami, OH game.

You can follow Gary Trent Jr. on twitter @THAT_KID_GARY.

BDN Extra - Gary Trent Jr. on his unofficial visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium last season where Duke entertained several key prospects -

Gary Trent visits Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke last season. Picture here with Jayson Tatum.
Gary Trent visits Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke last season. Picture here with Jayson Tatum.

It was fun, it was crazy.  Every time you see them on TV with people putting their hands up or out on the out-of-bounds happens.  You kind of get a feeling of what it is like to be in a game there in person and they are crazy and loud.  I like the little Harry Potter feel the campus has to it with the old buildings.  It was nice.  I got to see their facilities too and they're top-notch. Everything is great there and the standards they have, it's all just really good.

Gary Trent is a Solid Prospect

trentThe last time out on he AAU Circuit, Duke prospect Gary Trent cemented himself at the top of his class with stellar scoring performances.  The Howard Pulley wing guard is one of the main reasons his team remains undefeated against Nike's very best in this seasons EYBL.  A prolific and confident scorer, Trent shows that he is never afraid to score the ball as his defense continues to improve to help make him a rounded player.  Down point guard Tre Jones, Trent fought through a deep thighbruise to team with an upstart player to keep the hopes alive for the rarest of things, an undefeated EYBL season.

''I got hit in the quad and the face,'' said Trent the game after going for 47 points.  As he was doing so, it was clear that he had friends at the Hampton session at the packed out Boo Williams facilities.  During that time many of the top players stopped to give him props on his scoring performance news that seemingly travels quickly through the eight basketball courts.

Among those to talk with him were Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter just to name a few.  Drama is seemingly nothing new for Trent and his Pulley teammates in that they had to come from way behind in one game to win in overtime while riding two of his scoring outbursts for victories.

All of this added up to me seeing a much improved player on the court since a season ago, where Trent remains cool under pressure while allowing his teammates to take some of the load.

Trent was quick to prop his teammates as well, including Brad Davison who had just concluded a stellar break out performance. ''We've known he's had potential for greatness, so for me I am really not surprised by his performance.''  Davison was the talk of the tournament after a game where he filled in for Tre Jones and logged in 37 points.

Trent also plays with the aforementioned Jones who suffered a hand injury late in the tournament.  Jones is his Apple Valley teammate and the brother of Tyus Jones who helped lead Duke to their last National Championship.

Here are some more comments from Trent when I caught up to him for a quick one on one interview -

On his 47 point outburst and what was going on in his mind during the performance -

''We were really just trying to stay undefeated.  Coming off a game like that everybody is going to look at you to shoot the ball first.  So, today, in the next game, I saw the double team, traps and stuff, so I tried to find my teammates and get everybody involved. It's great.  We had another tough game like this early this morning and our team had our back against the wall and we won.  We keep winning in these situations, so we want to keep it going. We know if we play together, great things can happen and if everybody plays hard, we should be successful no matter what.

Where are you in he recruiting process, who has been staying the most active of late?

It would be Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas ..

Blue bloods ...

Yes, it's still an open process right now. He then stated that he would be going for sure to a high major school in college.

Who are some of the last coaches you've heard from?

UCLA called, Coach Jeff Capel from Duke texted me.  That was the most recent.

What did they have to say ... what did Capel have to say?

Just to keep it going, keep it turned up and play hard.

I mostly cover Duke.  I saw you down in Durham on a visit sitting with the Cameron Crazies.

Ahem, yeah.

What was that visit like?

It was fun, it was crazy.  Every time you see them on TV with people putting their hands up or out on the out-of-bounds happens.  You kind of get a feeling of what it is like to be in a game there in person and they are crazy and loud.  I like the little Harry Potter feel the campus has to it with the old buildings.  It was nice.  I got to see their facilities too and they're top-notch. Everything is great their and the standards they have, it's just good.

Who are some of the guys you would not mind playing with at the college level?

There has been some talk of me and Wendell Carter being a part of a package deal and we've been talking about that for a year now, so that could happen.  We are trying to get one more player to come with us but I don't know how that is going to work out just yet.

You can't say those names of the possibilities just yet, huh?

No, not yet.

Back to Wendell and yourself, the two schools on your list are Kentucky and Duke, right?

Yeah, right now we both have Kentucky and Duke on our lists and Kansas offered us, UCLA and I think Michigan State as well.  We have a handful of offers together.

Who do you guys have in the morning game?

Man, I am not even sure, I just show up and play.

I notice you warming up in a pretty serious manner before game son the sideline.  Are you a but of a workout warrior?

Oh yeah, every day.  I work out every day of the week and only take Monday off.  I got that work ethic from my father who instilled that into me at a young age.

What's wrong with your man Tre Jones there?

I don't know yet.  He then yelled, Hey, Tre come here.  He;s got some ice cubes on his hand.

In closing - It is obvious that Howard Pulley is a close knot bunch and that they have each others backs.  I then discussed a few more things with Jones and Trent as other players continued to show their respect off them remaining undefeated.  Jones who is a year behind Trent was to see a doctor on Monday and he injury did not seem serious but did keep him out of the two games.  Meanwhile,  Trent was clearly one of the best wings available for the power teams he lists.  We will also have a chat with the younger Jones coming up shortly, so stay tuned.

It’s Duke Blue for Marques Bolden

Ce0G6tFWEAAnwBEGood things come to those who wait.  Patience is a virtue.  Both of these sayings apply today with concern to Duke fans who had to wait a long time for Marques Boldens' decision.

After cancelling his announcements on a few occasions, Marques Bolden  to the microphone today and announced he would wear the four letters spelling out Duke on his jersey next season.  The announcement took place at DeSoto High School in Texas before his classmates, media and on lookers.

His announcement clearly gives Duke he top recruiting class in the nation.  Bolden joins a cast of Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Frank Jackson, Javin DeLaurier and Jack White next season at Duke.

“We’re thrilled to add Marques to an outstanding incoming class,” Krzyzewski said. “In addition to his elite length and athleticism, he is a highly-skilled big man who can really score the ball. He runs the floor well, rebounds on both ends and blocks shots. Marques has tremendous potential and a bright future, and we’re excited to coach him at Duke.”

The Blue Devils also return Amile Jefferson from an early season injury, Matt Jones, Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard as key components added to the stellar class.

Bolden is a true post player with plenty of talent.  He can play with his back to the basket or stretch the floor by going outside.  He finishes well around he rim and is getting better and better as he grows into his body.

A team can never have too many talented post players and Bolden will be a part of a solid rotation down low for Duke, likely to be the pre season number one team in all the land next year.

Standing at 6-11 with solid weight, Bolden put up impressive numbers of 24.3 points per game and averaged 10.2 rebounds to go with 2.6 clip of blocks per contest for DeSoto.  It is worth noting as well that he will join another alumnus from his school in Matt Jones for one season at Duke.

Bolden was named a McDonald's All American and played in the Jordan Brand All Star game as well as the Nike Hoop Summit.  His best accomplishment to date came this past season where he led DeSoto to a coveted state title.

The Texas native visited Duke on September the 18th of this past year.  He had been offered by Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski since June the 4th of last year.

In the end, Bolden chose to play in Cameron where Duke Blue will be the color of his college career.  He is a big time, solid prospect that will contribute right away.