Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Kenny Boynton wows Vegas with 33 points in comeback win

Kenny Boynton scored 26 second half points leading Team Breakdown to an 85-73 win during the opening day of the Reebok tournament in Las Vegas.

Boynton erupted after struggling with his shot in the first half where his team once trailed by 13 points.  Several of the nation's top coaches were on hand to see his performance.

Teammate Brandon Knight added 22 points and the two outdueled Abdul Gaddy (26 points) and Avery Bradley (18 points).  Team Breakdown faces D-One Sports today in a much anticipated match up with John Wall.

Wall led his team to a 87-80 win over Worldwide Orange, scoring 30 points in the victory. Here is TSN on the Breakdown game.

John Wall still wide open

Before I get into this interview, let me make this clear.  Kenny Boynton is the man for Duke.  If something goes south they might look at John Wall and he is still open to Duke coming in.  He is a very talented true speedy PG who slashes about the court and makes his teammates better with his abilty to get them the ball.  During this interview, I had two cameras on me for they were filming for a documentary on the process surrounding Wall.  You never know what might happen in recruiting.

[private]The last time I talked to you was in Durham during the TOC, has anything changed since then?

Not really.  I am still wide open and trying to get schools to come in.  The schools that are coming at me the hardest are Memphis and Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State so far.  Those are the ones coming the hardest but I think other schools are going to come around.

The last time I talked with your coach he said you were not near the point where you would shut down the process.  Does that still hold true?

Yes, that's still true, but after Vegas I'm going to narrow my list down going into my senior year.  You've got to get your five ... get your business set up.

So, is their anyone that would make the top five for sure ... right now ... anyone guaranteed a visit?

No, not yet.  There's a couple of schools getting close to it.

You just scored thirty points in your last game, but your team came up short.  Did you miss Ryan Kelly?

Yeah, Kelly's a big part.  He gives us a presence in the paint and as you could see we lacked that.  We weren't playing defense and getting back.  We just didn't make our shots but we played hard.

Is the AAU season taking a toll on you?

Yeah, it gets kind of tough, but you go back home.  In between you just ice your knees and relax.  We'll go to Vegas (Reebok) next and then I can rest for a little while before preparing for my senior year.

(I then turned my attention to his coach Dwon Clifton who is always by his side)  He said -

"I think he has an idea of what he wants.  I want him to be comfortable with what he does.  He has a lot of talent and I encourage him to get better and stronger.  I mean, now that people knows who he is some of the flaws he could once get away with he will now have to develop.  Now, everyone is going to start to push him and pull him and try to get him to go against his people and get him to feel like no one can tell him anything.  This world can eat him up.  I've seen it happen to too many players, myself included. (played at Clemson).  I don't want that to be the case with him."

So, will your coach be a big part of the process?

He's like a bigger brother to me.  I don't have one like that so he fills in.  With DC ... we can go out and stuff and just have a good time.  He's trying to develop me through this process because he went through it at Clemson.  So, when I make my decision, I am going to ask him or talk to him about it.

Who are some of the toughest guys you've gone against on the circuit?

Tommy Mason here.  He's really tough.

What does John Wall need to work on for his game to get better?

I've got to get stronger, work on my jump shot, defense, lateral movement ... there's a lot of stuff I can work on.  You just can't stop when you get on top.  I have some God given ability but I need to keep working because everybody else will.

What keeps you motivated?

Playing for my Dad.  He died when I was ten years old.  My Mom, my sister .. just want to get them to a better place.

How long have you know your Coach?

I knew him from the AAU circuit when I was about 14, but he really started coming in in the last two years talking to me.  Now he's my AAU coach and gives me advice.

Of the ACC schools, you mentioned NC State.  With you playing highs school ball down the road, do they push hard?

They come visit every game they can.  Duke came to a couple of my games this year.  Carolina came to a couple.

You've been to some of there games too, right?

Yes, I have been to a couple of Duke games and a Carolina game.

How did you like the atmosphere at those schools?

It's a good atmosphere.. crazy, people are going crazy everywhere at Duke and UNC ... all those fans.

Did Duke contact you at one time or are they in touch?

Coach Dawkins and Coach K came to a couple of my games.  They said they wanted to start recruiting me and stuff like that.  I took their advice and came to the TOC and was able to play a game in Cameron.

Have they been in touch since that time?

Uhhh .. I haven't talked to them since Coach Dawkins got the job at Stanford.

UNC?

No, haven't heard from them.

Thanks for your time and I wish you luck in choosing the right school.
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Plumlee shines, Coach K readying for China, Peach Jam and more

Duke commitment Mason Plumlee struggled a bit in his most recent game, but had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the previous game versus the Bahama's as Team USA U-18 team continues to win.  The semi-finals start today with Team USA taking on Canada.

The time has been set for 9:00 est for the Duke at Purdue game which is part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.  This link lists the time for all games.  An aside, Mason and Miles Plumlee's Mom played for the Purdue Women's Basketball team and his Dad grew up rooting for the school.  His parents will have the opportunity to see their eldest son Miles in action just up the road.

Speaking of scheduling, Montana is looking forward to their jaunt to Cameron which highlights the Grizzlies schedule.

Team USA wants to re-establish itself to the world.  This link tells of how they plan to do it.

Dwight Howard is looking forward to July 21st which will be the start of practice in the quest for the Gold Medal.  Coach K is currently busy ironing out the final plans.  This is surely a busy time of year for Duke fans.

Boo Williams won the boy's 17-U championship at the Peach Jam.  Blue Devil Nation Premium members have access to several interviews with the likes of Andre Dawkins, Jamil Wilson, John Wall and many more.  BDNP is a subscription service which takes you behind the scenes and allows access to discuss those issues on a premium members only message board.  Go to one of the paypal logos in the right side of the menu in this link which is our old site.

Andre Dawkins talks of his dream coming true and more

One of the highlights for Duke fans during the Peach Jam was a chance to view Andre Dawkins, the first commitment in the class of 2010.  DeMarcus Nelson still holds the distinction of being the youngest player Duke has signed, but Dawkins is not far behind.

[private]Dawkins is one of three 2010 kids that plays for Boo Williams U-17 team.  IOW, he is playing with the older guys.  Boo Williams is loaded as well with the likes of Deshawn Painter, Steve Pledger, Kendall Marshall,  Marshawn Powell, Ricardo Ratliffe and Tristan Spurlock.  This means, Dawkins comes off then bench and is depended on for his scoring ability.

In this past weeks games, Dawkins wasted little time showing why he is such a component off the pine.  Immediately upon enetering the game, he dribbled to the right of the key and drained a three.  Just seconds later he hit another.  Yes, outside shooting is his strength and he's clearly the best at this on a talented team.

There are games which his minutes are cut, but next year, he'll be one of if not the go to guy on a team that will still have Marshall at the PG and Travis McKie and James MacAdoo among others.  When he gets more minutes, he will be scoring around 18 ppg during the AAU season and will still have another year left.

Dawkins is still very much a youngster.  He has a baby face and his body is still developing.  Development will be the key for Dawkins and he knows it.  "I think I need to work on getting to the basket more and not being known as a one trick pony.  To be just a shooter ... eventually you can be stopped, so I have to add more than just one dimension.  The Duke coaches have told me to be more aggressive," said Dawkins.

During the high school season, Dawkins takes to the court with teammate Oklahoma bound Steve Pledger from the class of 2009.  Having played together on Boo Williams helps.  Dawkins had this to say about Pledger, "He can see the floor very well.  He's definitely a pass first guy.  To be that good of a scorer and passer makes him easy to play with."

I then asked him what it was like to be a Duke Blue Devil and he stated, "It's cool.  I can say I'm a Blue Devil and that I've accomplished a goal."  He went on, "Once you commit, you get a little ribbing.  Kendall Marshall and I go into our Duke-UNC mode, but we're still alright."  He went on to say that he looked forward to carrying the new found rivalry to the college court in the future.

Dawkins attended a couple of games this past season and plans on getting down for more.  I asked if he envisioned himself dropping a three as the Cameron Crazies erupting ... "Oh yeah!  That's the stuff you dream about."  Dream was the keyword throughout the conversation.  There were four instances where he said being offered by Duke was a dream come true.

Finally, the world wants to know about his fiend Josh Hairston, so I asked about him and Dawkins responded, "I like playing with Josh.  He's a good guy and we stay in touch.  I would love to play with him.  I thought he would have already committed,  It's a big decision for him, so you don't want to rush it."

Blue Devil Nation will have a complete scouting report on his game later this week.  I have now seen him play in seven times and have a pretty good feel for his game.  We will also have an extended, in depth interview with Andre coming next week.[/private]

Jamil Wilson talks of when he’ll make a decision

Some sites have reported Jamil Wilson has stated he will not announce his college decision until 2009.  If that were true,  he might could  play his way into a scholarship offer over the next year.  If Duke had to make a choice today, I am of the opinion that Jamil would be on the outside looking in with concerns to a Blue Devil offer, but I am not privy enough to state that as a solid fact.

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Wilson has been anything but consistent all summer (AAU season) long.  During the NBAPA Camp, he drained some threes or blocked key shots.  During the Peach Jam, Wilson grabbed one board, took the ball the length of the court and finished the play off with a driving lay in.  Any observer who saw certain plays would quickly recognize a budding star.

If one were to keep watching Wilson, they would see inconsistency.  Much like Daniel Orton, he plays very well in sequences only to get lost on the court making one wonder if they are watching the same player.

One of the things that bothered me during the Peach Jam was his not so emotional attitude.  It could have been sheer frustration, I mean, I'm not a psychologist.  Whatever it was, it just didn't seem positive or assertive.

Despite that, he would come out of nowhere to get a block or crash the board for a key rebound.  His offense simply wasn't there.  He scored just two points in one game and averaged around 8.5 for the tournament, his team going hime with a 2-3 record.

I had noticed one time when it looked as if he tweaked his ankle and subsequently talked to him about this and the recruiting process.  He mentioned that he had twisted his ankle a few weeks back and that it bothered him during the LeBron James Skills Academy, so I asked if he was still feeling the effects.  Wilson replied, "I came down wrong and kind of tweaked the ankle, but I'm fine.  I really try not to think about it, but I feel it's a lot better now."

I then wondered if he might be a bit tired from the wear and tear of the AAU season and asked him if the circuit was taking it's toll.  "Ummm, sort of, but I love the game, so it's okay."

In the previous game, he had put up a goose egg in the first half, but came back with 9 points in the second half.  "I really wasn't being assertive.  I wasn't looking for my shot in the first half.  I was trying to get out and get ahead and was working on rebounding.  I need to be more consistent," said Wilson.

When I told him he was tied for the lead at the camp in blocks after three games, he did light up.  "You got to play defense too, that's the way I see it," said Wilson.  I then took the opportunity to ask him if he had noticed coaches in the stand that were recruiting him.  "I didn't really pay a lot of attention, but sometimes on dead balls, I'd look up and see them.  It's not like I was trying to pick them out though saying here is a coach who is recruiting me.

Many at the event said Michigan State was the team to beat for Wilson and Tom Izzo and an assistant were present at three of his games.  I asked him if this were true and Wilson responded, "I think every team is the leader.  I'm wide open.  I haven't put Michigan State on the top of my list."

Several coaches were seen during his play, Marquette had two assistants around at all times, Wisconsin was low key, but they were there and several smaller schools from the Wisconsin are watched, as well as Northwestern and Coach Wojociechowski from Duke.

Wilson seemed more open than ever which surprised me.  Perhaps he was playing it safe with his comments.  He still lists Duke, Wisconsin, Marquette and Michigan State, but added Texas.  "The end of summer," said Wilson when asked when he wanted to make his collegiate choice. 

That certainly differs with what other sites are reporting and he told me this in a clear manner.  My reaction was that's not long, so I asked how he could make a decision that soon. "Because I've been thinking and chipping away at it and my Dad has been doing the same.  So, by the end of Summer, we should be able to release something."

Of the schools listed, Wilson has yet to see Texas or Michigan State.  Take that for what it's worth.  I couldn't help but ask again about the original take that he would not go out of state to college.  "That was mainly my sister, but Dad and sister want me to go off and experience life as a young man.  People can say things, but if I don't say it, it's a rumor."

Nobody can say that Wilson is a selfish player and if he harnesses his skill set, he will be a solid player at the next level.  To his credit, he volunteered to work on the extra drills at the NBAPA Camp while most of the players elected to kick back and rest.[/private]

Peach Jam Update, Xavier Henry and John Wall impress

Top Scorers - Xavier Henry 24.8, D. Richardson 22.0, Gary Franklin 21.8, Tommy Mason-Griffin 20.8, Terrence Boyd, 18.5, Carl Tankson 18.3, John Wall 18.3, Andrie Coleman 18.3

Top's in rebounds - Keith Gallon 44, Alex Oriakhi 42, Colley 36, Wall 32, Hamilton 31, Noack 31, Stinson 30

Top's in assists - John Wall 25, Phil Pressey 24, C. Payne 22, Marshall 20, Mason-Griffin 18, Selby 14

Blocked Shots - Oriakhi 10, Spencer 8, Riley 8, Noack 7, Ratliffe 7, Wilson 7, Johnson 6

There are no stats on the 16-U teams, but some of the best ball of the tournament is going on in this bracket.  Albany City Rocks went to 4-0 defeating Boo Williams, in a game with two loaded teams.  BDNP will have interviews with three of the players from these teams in the coming days.

Some of the U-16's who've played well as I watched are, Travis McKie, James McAdoo, a 2012 kid named Justin Anderson, all from Boo Williams.  Jason Morris who pulled double duty for the New York Gauchos and Team Playaz played well.  Morris took a nasty fall after a dunk and fractured both cheekbones and got six stitches.  He then played in the next game.  More details on BDN Premium.    Then there was Michael Gilchrist of Team Final, Taurin Buie, Will Regan and Tibias Harris of Albany City Rocks.

The top players I viewed in in the 17-U division were Xavier Henry (pictured), a physical speciman who never quits.  We will have a brief talk with this national prospect this week along with his teammate Daniel Orton who is close to a decision.  Henry will take four official visits to Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and Texas before deciding.

John Wall really revved it up in his last two games, but his team was eliminated going 2-3.  He is a serious talent worth the hype.  Keith Gallon of Houston Hoops is an absolute load and plays hard on the blocks.  Alex Oriachi looked very good down low as well.  Gary Franklin continued his torrid play, where he pretty much does it all.  And there were several Boo Williams and other kids which impressed as well.  Recardo Ratliffe and Steven Pledger rose to the top for Boo in their win today.  Pledger, who is not listed in the top 100 in Prep Stars has been consistent all summer.  He is, IMO, top 75 for sure.  Kammeon Holsey, who committed to Georgia Tech played two really solid games, scoring in the high 20's to lead his team the Georgia Stars to a 4-0 record.

The play offs begin today and the finals are tomorrow.  Complete coverage of the Duke prospects is available on Blue Devil Nation Premium.