Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

John Wall will visit Memphis this weekend and then …

While John Wall will visit Memphis over the weekend, the word is that he is anxious [private] to visit Duke next week.  Tuesday is the target date at this time, maybe Monday.  In a brief exchange with John, he says his recruitment will almost assuredly go to the April 15th and beyond signing period.

While some rumors insist he wants to stay near home, a source close to the situation told me what they considered to be his final four.  That being Duke, NCSU, Memphis and Baylor.  The presence of Baylor says that he is still considering the overtures that Dwon Clifton will take care of him.  This is in no way something I want anyone to hint at at Devils Illustrated or anywhere else.

Anyhow, as of today, Wall is very open to Duke.  If this battle stays clean, then the Blue Devils have a great shot to land him.  Duke certainly has some good selling points and K's NBA connections are nothing to turn your nose up at.  Wall could more than better himself with a year under K and he would be on TV in that "all" of the Blue Devil games make it there.

A lot of people keep asking me to answer rumors from elsewhere.  If I haven't said anything, then I haven't heard anything different from what I tell you here.  No, UNC is not the leader for Barnes and to my knowledge, Knight will not verbal to UF in November.  That's all I have to say about that.  I could be wrong, but I'm generally pretty close. [/private]

Mason Plumlee signs a letter of intent to play for Duke University

[private]Mason Plumlee signed a letter of intent to play his college basketball for Duke University.  Mason

copyright BDNP
copyright BDNP

was the first of the Plumlee clan to originally verbal to Duke.  Shortly after that, his brother Miles joined the Devils.

Mason helped lead Christ School in Arden, North Carolina in the state title this past season.  He is a consensus top fifteen player in the prospects rating services.

Plumlee joins Ryan Kelly in the 2009 class.  Duke is still recruiting John Wall, hoping he will feel out the class.  Wall is the nations top point guard prospect and plays at nearby Releigh Church of God.[/private]

Ryan Kelly signs his letter of intent to play for Duke University

[private]Ryan Kelly signed his letter of intent today which is the first day of the early signing period.  Kelly, a 6-10 power forward, is ranked by scout as the #3 power forward and #11 overall player in the Class of 2009.  In July, Kelly was a starter for the USA Men’s Basketball U18 Team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Formosa, Argentina. As a junior at Ravenscroft, he was named the 2007 TISAC Conference Player of the Year, averaging 23.7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks per game.[/private]

Basketball Recruiting Update

Blue Devil Nation Premium has the latest hoops recruiting update up for members.  Give the gift of information this Christmas to a Blue Devil fan dear to you.  [private] Not too much to report on John Wall until after he meets with Coach K in person which will take place at the earliest convenience.  My sources are saying that Duke feels that they will become seriously

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Copyright BDN

involved with Wall and an offer is a mere formality at this point.   The Wall camp has been receptive to Duke getting in late and will not hold that against them.

So far, scheduling has been the culprit.  Also, there is a dead period in recruiting at this time.  Many feel Wall wants to stay near home, but there are a few things which need to play out before I'd be willing to guarantee that possibility.  In short, Duke is very serious about getting John Wall to wear the royal blue.  I will talk to Josh Smith sometime this week.  He is still on the radar and Coach Nate James has been in touch with the prospect recently.

Harrison Barnes has become a serious priority and Duke will stay on the hot prospect as much as the NCAA allows.  There is a good feeling that Duke is right there with Kansas as the leaders early on.  Barnes has become a bit tight lipped of late and will not talk of his meeting with K other than the basics.

Duke has been and still is going after Brandon Knight, possibly the best player in his class.  I have heard from his parents that he will likely take a different path than Kenny Boynton.  You know what they say though, anything can happen in recruiting.  Anything can change too.  For instance, Duke has explained to Wall that once they offer a kid they are faithful to him.  When Boynton selected Florida, Wall got the attenation and he will soon know if he doesn't already that Duke is committed to him and him alone for the final spot in the class of 2009.

Finally, Boynton was pushed to stay in state by almost everyone close to him.  I can't go into specifics, but things got a little greasy if you will.  In the long run, teams can point to Nick Calathes he would be a Gator midnight before his "We shocked the world," signing party.  Sometimes, kids will waste a colleges recruiting budget for their own game.

I went into the archives for this July interview with John Wall -

Locked  Wall is 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.

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 a 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 there 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 known 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 and 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. [/private]

Behind the scenes practice update and John Wall tidbits

K-ments - During some recent practices, Coach K shared some thoughts about his team.  He stated that Marty Pocius was one of the teams better three point shooters and that they would try to get him the ball in good position when he entered the game.  Marty has been playing surprisingly well, especially on the offensive end of the court.  He's still not the best defensive player, but he should provide some good depth in the back court.  The biggest plus is that Pocius has learned the system and knows where to be on the court.  [private] Now, if he can only drop Olek some hints.

He said that he hoped Elliot Williams could fill some of the roles that DeMarcus Nelson did this past season.  He likes Williams versatility and his ability to play good on ball defense on the perimeter.  He also mentioned that Williams was a good spot up shooter.  Williams played very well against Virginia Union and we'll see how he does this evening against Lenoir Rhyne.  However, in my views, he has a ways to go to get use to the size and speed of the college game.  When I talk of speed, in Williams case he needs to slow down a bit and let the game come to him.  This will come in time as will his strength, but expect K to bring him along at well, K's pace.

Coach also said that Duke would get out and run.  With their depth, he plans on pushing the ball and he seems as if he will go to the bench early and often.  He once again mentioned how important it was to keep Kyle Singler fresh and how having a deeper front line wold help.

He also said his team was healthy overall and that he hoped that would carry through the season.  "We have 14 healthy guys ready to go," said Krzyzewski.

"Do it, hear it, see it!"  K barked that out as he stopped practice on several occasions.  He meant for his team to talk a play through, see it later on film or at a half speed walk through and to then "do it."

K worked his team very hard with ACC Officials last week.  He then carried that over into more work, knowing and saying his team was tired.  He had a no contact practice after that, wanting to see how his team responded the next day when they went through two full practices in one day.   He was pleased with the results.

The Big Three- "Gerald, Kyle and Jon are the guys we will build around.  They are our best players.  That doesn't mean a Nolan Smith or Greg Paulus couldn't lead the team in scoring.  It simply means that these are the guys we feel comfortable building around, much like what we did in the Olympic.  We feel if the rest of the team can fit in around them, then we'll have a chance to be really good.  Don't get me wrong, we have some good players, but these three are our best." - Coach K

Jon Scheyer has played wonderfully in practice and worked his butt off all summer.  When prospects came to visit, they all mentioned Scheyer.  When teams are picked by individuals, he goes first or to the next guy with the second and third picks.  He has shown more leadership and his defense on the ball has vastly improved.

Kyle Singler is the smartest player on the court when he's out there and that is often.  Expect a fresh Singler to really blossom as the season progresses.  He has worked with Miles Plumlee to make him a better player and the two get along on and off the court.

Gerald Henderson is becoming a man among boys.  He is physically better than he's ever been and he looks like a future NBA player with his ability to go inside and out.  He is capable of making the jump to All American.

No secret anymore- Miles Plumlee has proved that he has a very well rounded game.  He plays smart, runs the floor well, has good hands and nice ball handling to go with a mid range offense game.  He also finishes nicley and has good hops.  His Dad told me he was under appreciated and you know what?  That won't last much longer.  I do expect he will struggle at times with veteran big men, but this kid has earned the starting nod as a freshman and that's a heck of an accomplishment.

The latest on John Wall- Wall will get together sometime soon with Coach K and the Duke staff.  At that time both will figure out how they will proceed.  Wall canceled his weekend visit with Memphis and I expect we will know whether Duke has offered no later than Monday.

Sorry for the delays in reporting of late due to computer attack.  It happens.  I lost two informative articles, but some of the info is a bit old now.  I will still go back over some practice notes and dig up the pertinent information in the coming week.  It looks like the Josh Smith interview will come next week, due to and overload in covering Duke vs NCSU in football, tonight's game, preparing player profiles and Monday and Tuesday's opener.  Thanks for your patience during this time.[/private]

Boynton, Knight, Smith updates up on Blue Devil Nation Premium (updated)

The Kenny Boynton watch was in effect this past weekend.  Boynton visited the Gators on his official visit and despite some [private] pressure by Donovan to get him to commit, Boynton came away saying he would take his other visits.  In short, this means he will be in Durham.  I suppose a little excitement may ensue when he comes to town on November 8th.  ***Breaking - Despite the rumors, I have not confirmed any of them with those who really count.  While it looks as if he is a bit of a UF lean, I will wait for confirmation from legitimate sources.

ADDENDUM - Kenny has made a decision to forgo his visit to Texas this weekend and will choose his school live on ESPNU at 6:30 EST.  As of last evening, he had told the Duke staff, he'd be making the visit to Durham.  As of noon today, he had not told the coaches it was Florida for sure.  However, the prevailing feeling among those who count is that Florida is the choice.  The Duke coaches felt very good about Kenny up until last night.  So, they are allowing him to have his day in the sun whether it's good for them or not.

A lot of you are wondering about Brandon Knight.  Well, he's a huge priority, but is somewhat on hold until the Blue Devils finish up with Boynton.  If KB chooses elsewhere, Duke puts on the full court press.

Harrison Barnes had a nice visit and left with a good idea of what Duke was about.  He will certainly consider the Blue Devils who are a lock to make his final five or less.  Duke will stay in close contact with Barnes until the time he decides.

I talked to Josh Smith Sr. the Father of Josh Smith Jr. while setting up an interview.   Coach James just so happened to have talked with him earlier that evening.  When asked which teams were the most active Duke, Georgetown and UNC came up with of course UCLA.  He said his son would make a decision by the end of this summers AAU season.  He also mentioned that he could decide early, but that he expected they would visit the Triangle before a decision.  He grew up watching Michael Jordan at UNC, but also mentioned he loves Coach K. [/private]

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