Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Coach K and company set to visit Kenny Boynton Jr.

[private]The Duke Men's Basketball staff will be more than just a little busy this week. On the first day that they can be back out on the road, which is tomorrow evening, Coach K and company will have an in home with Kenny Boynton Jr. and his family.

Boynton is one of the nations top guards, arguably the best in the class of 2009. Duke has been recruiting him consistently for a long time. He reminds most Blue Devil faithful of Jason Williams. Williams won a national title, was named national POY which led to him being a lottery pick in the NBA draft. Like Boynton, Williams was a offensive scoring machine that could play both guard spots, but he settled in on the point at Duke where he learned the trade from Coach K.

Long the buzz of various basketball crazy Duke message boards, Boynton is a prospect that fans dearly want to see rock Cameron. There is a heated battle for his services and he's maintained all along that he would take his five official visits.

Florida has really turned it up for Boynton, attempting to make a move while Krzyzewski was coaching Team USA to the Gold Medal. Boyntons friend, Eloy Vargas is already a Gator and he is of course from the sunshine state like his friend.

If Boynton were to choose Duke he would remain in the constant media spotlight of a team which has every game televised and one which is in the basketball fanatical ACC. He could very well be the focus of any school he chooses in a list that includes USC, Memphis, Georgia Tech and Texas along with Duke and Florida.

Florida will come in the night after the Duke staff, but you can bet that there will be a lot to think about in the Boynton household. While UF has a wonderful basketball program, they sometimes play second fiddle to Gator Football. Still, the local allure might be as attractive as the national spotlight and playing for a living legend in Coach K.

In the end, the decision should come down to where can he better prepare for his goal of the NBA and which school will continue to support him once he is in the league. College will be nothing more than a temporary stop for the talented Boynton but his choice will go a long ways in defining him as a future player.

Make no mistake that the Blue Devils covet and care about young Boynton. They want him to be a part of what looks to be a very talented team. Duke will always compete for national prominence, but the addition of Boynton would be another step towards a national championship.

The staff has layed it on the line and Blue Devil fans have followed his every AAU move. Now all they can hope for is that Boynton sees the golden opportunity available for him in Durham.

Blue Devil Nation Premium has covered Kenny Boynton from the very start and you can follow the process even closer by becoming a member. You can subscribe here. We will be moving to our new home very soon![/private]

In Depth Interview With 2010 Prospect Harrison Barnes

As you already know, Duke has made five offers in the class of 2010.  This is a departure from the way they have done things in the past, meaning they have adjusted to the times.  While the offers are firm, Duke is still keeping eyes on some other kids, but we’ll talk about that later.

[private]Harrison Barnes holds one of those offers and the Blue Devil Nation got the latest from him last evening.  The interview was approached from a national stand point to ensure accurate answers.  As you will see, this one will go on for awhile and there are no true leaders at this time.  So, enjoy the interview and don’t read too much into anything.  FWIW, he really seemed to enjoy the conversation, so I hope that translates in this long and in depth interview.  Needless to day, we will not need to talk to him anytime soon for he was very open.

You were in Orlando recently for the AAU Nationals.  How did you play there?  Was it a good tournament for you?

Yes it was. We played well as a team and I also played well.  We made it to the Elite  before bowing out.

You play for All Iowa Attack Black, right?

Yes sir.

Let me make sure I have the general background information correct.  You play for Ames Senior High and are 6-6, 195?

I do play for Ames High and the figures are close enough.  I am around 190 now.

And you averaged about 17 ppg and 8 rebounds as a sophomore?

Yeah.

(Jokingly) Okay, I’m doing pretty good here so far.

Yes.  (while laughing)

Okay, back to Orlando.  I suppose you saw a lot of coaches in the stands?

Yes there was.  There were a lot of coaches which offered me a scholarship out there along with other schools that are showing interest.

So, there has been a lot of new schools come in of late?

Yes.

The last time I checked, I think you had eleven offers?  Is there more than that?

Right now it is bumped up to like twenty.  Do you want me to read them off to you?

Sure, that’d be great.

Off the top of my head.  I think I have a list right here.  (seemed as if someone were handing or writing a list for him for he spoke the teams slowly).  DePaul, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, USC, Tennessee, Texas, TCU, UCLA … umh.  I think that’s it.

Okay.  I think I had seen somewhere where UNC and Duke were looking at you. They haven’t offered?

Oh!  Duke!  They have offered.  North Carolina has shown interest but they have not offered.

With such a list of schools with deep traditions, do you think the local schools might be a little upset wanting to keep you in state?

(Laughs)  I don’t think they’re upset, but happy for me.  (meaning Iowa State)  You get pressure.  Some of the fans will say you should go to school “A” or school “B.”  I think in the end I picked another school they’d be okay with that and would understood I was doing what’s best for me.

Are you from Iowa your whole life?

Born and raised in Ames.

Being in the backyard of Iowa State, were they your favorite team?

Actually I grew up watching the NBA.

Speaking of the NBA, do you have aspirations to go to the league one day?

Yes.  (emphatic)

You are just 16 and have two years of high school ball left.  Have you thought how long you might stay in college?  Would you be a one and done guy?

Right now that’s so far off because the league is such a different animal than high school.  I mean I haven’t done anything at the college level yet, so ….

How do you keep yourself grounded.  Scout has you number three in your class, Rivals five, ESPN seven … That’s a lot of hype.  Is it hard to keep your mind grounded despite soaring in the rankings?

Not number one! (laughing)

(Laughing back) Okay, so number one is the deal now, if you hit that we will have to go back to that question one day.

Well, what I find that keeps me grounded is that there is always good basketball players no matter where you go,  Whether it’s the gym down the street or at the national level.  And I want to be the best, so I work hard every day trying to be the best I can be.

So, your goal is to be the best, number one?

Ah, in high school … yes, I would like to be number one.

Let’s get into recruiting a little bit.  I understand you will make your decision after your junior year?  Does that still hold true?

I will take my official visits and will decide shortly after that.

Have you been on or set up any unofficial visits?

At this point in time, I have not been on any unofficial(s).  I’ve been to Iowa of course.  I’ve been to the USC Elite Camp.

Have any schools talked to you about setting up unoffcials?  I don’t think you can take officials, until what, your rising senior year?

Yes, that is correct.  My Mom and I are discussing when we might can go out and see some schools.  We’re discussing that.

When will you narrow down the list?

(spoke carefully)  That is not a priority right now.  There are so many things that need  to be done, like finding out more about the schools.

You talk a lot of your Mom, so your parents will play a big role in your decision?

It’s mostly just family, my Mom and I.  She says no matter where I go she will support me 100%.

You have offers from as far west as UCLA and as far southeast as Florida.  Would she ever consider moving to follow you or is she entrenched in Iowa due to family and having lived there her entire life?

She will stay in Iowa no matter where I choose to go.  That fact that my sister (I will keep her name to myself) will be in middle school going into high school.  So she doesn’t feel like she would want to interrupt her education.

During the LeBron James Skills Academy, you sort of blew up and got a lot of eyes turning your way.  What was the experience like there?  Did you get to meet LeBron?

It was a good experience. I got to meet LeBron and Chris Paul and (emphatic) I got to go out and play against some of the nations best.  It was an opportunity to go against great players and measure yourself against them.

You will be playing in the Nike Global Challenge, right?

I will and it runs the 7th through the 11th.  It’s supposedly the top thirty players that were at the LaBron Camp and we will be divided into four teams.  We are the United States and we will play against foreign teams.

Would it interest you one day in playing for the USA?  The Olympics are getting ready to start … Duke is recruiting you, is it kind of cool watching Coach K?

(laughs) Yes, it is, it is.  It’s a great honor just to have known him let alone have him recruit me.

So you guys have talked before?

Yes I have.

Would that interest you playing for Team USA one day?

Yes it would.  Getting to the league is my goal, but playing for Team USA, that would be a great honor.

You speak of getting to the league,  Would that mean you would look for a team with a coach that has a track record of getting players prepared or have success in numbers?

Yes and no.  I would like to go to a school that sets me up for the NBA, but that wouldn’t be one of my main issues.  My priorities are academics and fitting in well with the basketball team.

Have you given any thought as to what you might like to take in college at your young age?  Is there anything that interests you?

Business Administration and Finance.

You were on the track team, competing in the high jump, long jump … ?

(laughing) You know your stuff.  I have been into track before basketball.

Okay, so that’s kind of when you started your athletic endeavors, huh?

That’s correct.  I started track in about the third grade.  I didn’t really get involved in basketball until aboutthe fifth grade.  If I had to choose, it would be basketball.  I do run track.  I did so this past season and will likely continue to through high school.

How did you get your start in basketball?  Is it something that just happened?  Was there a mentor who said something like I think you will do well in hoops?

My Father played at Iowa State.  His name was Ron Harris.

Okay!   (jokingly) So there are really some Iowa State ties, huh?  You have your Dad there, grew up in the backyard, your little sister is probably saying, brother don’t leave me …  I mean you have to be the pride of Iowa.

My sister is okay with where ever I go.(Laughing)

What Head Coaches have you talked to?

Head Coaches would be, Coach K, Coach Donovan, Coach Self, Coach Floyd, Coach Williams at Maryland, Coach Wainwright, Coach Gillespie, Coach Webber …

Wow! That’s a who’s who.  Kentucky has really been pushing hard from what I’ve heard.  I think I heard that Jeff Berstrom??? had some ties to Iowa State?

Yes, he was working with the aerotech program for one year at Iowa State and then went to Kentucky.

(I then asked about some assistants who were supposedly lead recruiters which he confirmed.)  So, what will you do the rest of the summer?

When I am home I just rest my body and hang out with friends.  It’s been a long season and I haven’t had a lot of time here with my family.

I can only imagine.  I’m sure your Mom is happy to finally see you.

Actually, she travels to all my tournaments with me.

Oh she does?  That’s fantastic she is able to do that.  Is it nice having her on the road with you?

Yes, she is always there for me.

So both of you are well traveled for the AAU circuit is all over the place.  Were there any pars of the country you really liked?

Yes we have. (laughing)  We have been on the road constantly, so we’ve had little time to sit back and reflect.

How are your academics?  Every thing I have heard about you says that you are very well rounded not just on the court but off.

I have a 4.39. (laughing)

That’s pretty good!

It’s okay.

Oh, so you want to be number one in academics to?

I would strive for the perfect score, but I came up way short.

How are you dealing with the media end of the process.  I am sure you are getting a lot of calls.  Does it become tiresome?  I know sometimes they can pound the phone lines.

Not yet.  Right now it’s something I can manage.  My Mom is okay with it so far.  She wants what’s best for me.  I get about two or three calls a day.

What position do you actually  play in high school?

Actually, I play everywhere.

That’s what I thought.  That’s often what goes on at the high school level.

Yes!  I play a forward to kind of a wing to bringing the ball up the floor, just where ever.

What do you envision yourself playing in college?

The two or the three.

You are sixteen and 6-6.  Do you still feel as if you are growing?

I think I might grow about two or three more inches.  I have grown about two or three inches in a little over a year.

You have a bright future and I greatly appreciate your time and have enjoyed talking to you.  I will be following your progress throughout your career.  Tell your Mom thank you for letting me talk with you and the best of luck to you throughout your career.

Thank you!  I enjoyed talking to you as well.[/private]

BDNP Hoops Recruiting Update – Ryan Kelly offered

Ryan Kelly was officially offered a scholarship when he visited the Duke campus on an unofficial visit today. [private] The Duke staff is in the process of setting up an official visit. Kelly was accompanied by his family.

Duke Coaches will be allowed back on the road on September 9th and will visit the Boyntons on that very day. Duke is also ironing out a date for his official visit despite various internet rumors which said he would not visit Durham.

Mason Plumlee will come in on his official with his parents on September 12th to the 14th. That same weekend on the 13th, Duke will entertain Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton on a visit. They will be joined by Duke commitment, Andre Dawkins.

Duke could very well end up with a class of Plumlee, Kelly and Boynton in 09. I will keep you updated.[/private]

Currently on Blue Devil Nation Premium

[private]We've just put up the latest on commitment Andre Dawkins of Atlantic Shores who talked about Coach K and the Olympics and the desire to play with prospects Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton.

Speaking of Josh Hairston a player Duke covets, we have an in depth interview with the prep star where he discusses his upcoming visit to ... You'll get that and much more as a member where BDNP brings you the latest skinny. Also up is and extremely in depth interview with another prep sensation, Harrison Barnes.

We are in the process of moving the site, but if you want to join BDN Premium and read the latest offerings, simply e-mail me at watzonebdp@gmail.com.[/private]

Andre Dawkins discusses Coach K, prospects he wants to play with and more

Andre Dawkins is already preparing for his junior season despite the fact that his AAU ball just ended. In fact, he pretty much thinks about basketball all the time. [private]Dawkins of course, is Duke’s only current commitment in the class of 2010, but if he has it his way, that will soon change.

Dawkins stated, “I stay in touch with Josh (Hairston) all the time. It would be great for me at Duke with a couple of guys that I know already. Tyler Thornton was the other player he was referring to. He grew up with Tyler and complimented him for continuing to develop his game.

While Dawkins has lost touch with Thornton who moved, he remains tight with Hairston and mentioned Hairston was close to Thornton and that he wanted to get his cell number. “It would be so easy to mesh as a team with these guys both on and off the court,” said Dawkins.< Dawkins said he felt Josh would make a decision soon and hoped he could get down to Durham before he makes his decision. “He may make one last visit to the schools he likes in order to make an informed decision. Josh knows I want to play with him at Duke and I think they have a good shot, but you never know for sure what might happen.” Dawkins first memory of Duke was in 2001 when they won the national title with a talented cast of players. “Growing up my Dad was a Duke fan and when I was a kid, I always wanted to be just like him,” said Dawkins. As Dawkins aged, Duke grew on him even more and he eventually chose Duke for his own reasons and not that of his Dads. My Dad and I have sat down and watched a lot of Duke games,” said Dawkins. He went on to say his Dad was the first person to put the ball in his hands, but that he didn’t pressure him like some little league Dad’s . “He never crossed the line making me do something I didn’t want to do,”

He went on to say that his Dad let him do his own thing and admitted that he thought he knew more about life when he was twelve or thirteen. “He stood back and let me do it my way until I saw I couldn’t do it all on my own,” said Dawkins. At that time, Andre Jr. started listening more to Andre Sr.

Dawkins said that playing for Boo Williams older team had both pros and cons. He felt at times like he should be playing more but still felt he benefited from playing with older guys. Dawkins is the go to guy in high school for Atlantic Shores Christian where he played alongside Steven Pledger who committed to Oklahoma.

The young budding star said he wasn’t as confident at times in that he usually came off the bench as the sixth or seventh man. The lack of repetitions seemed to bother him. Despite that feeling, Dawkins would light it up in many of the games I saw him play in, proving himself to be a terrific outside shooter. “I just wish I could have showcase myself more,” said Dawkins.

When looking ahead he wouldn’t commit to play for Boo Williams again next season at this time. He said that is something that he would discuss with his parents at a future date. He again stated that his sole focus is on the upcoming high school season.

Dawkins will be called upon to play multiple positions on his team in the Fall. “Most of the time I’m on the wing, but there are times when I need to play down low against certain teams, said Dawkins. This has added to his versatility, but he is projected as a wing guard or small wing forward at the collegiate level.

As for more visits to Duke in the coming season, he stated that he wanted to talk to Coach K in order to set some games up. He did mention that come rain or snow, nothing would keep him away from the UNC game and that he planned on watching future teammates' exact revenge over last seasons defeat in Cameron.

I then asked about his playing with teammates who have committed to UNC, namely Kendall Marshall. “He can be on the computer and if he has to type in Duke, he’ll tell me to type it in because he doesn’t want to do it,” said a laughing Dawkins. He said the two were already playing around with each other but when it came time, it would be all business.

Dawkins love watching Coach K in the Olympics and developed a worry. That worry being that Coach K was getting use to coaching the best pros around and that he may take off to the NBA. “It was nice to have the opportunity to see how great of a coach he is,” said Dawkins. He continued, “Hopefully he doesn’t get too wooed by the NBA.

He was also in awe of Coach K’s ability to get the players to play good defense, again stating teams would likely come at him with big money. In short, Andre really wants his chance to play for Krzyzewski.

Andre went on to say that Wojo and Coach K each called him while in Beijing, China. He also mentioned that he received some e-mails. K’s call was before the Gold Medal game and it was obvious that Dawkins appreciated that. "It still hasn't quite sunk in yet that I will be playing my basketball for Duke and Coach K," said Dawkins who then said it makes him want to get better so that he doesn't disappoint.[/private]

Josh Hairston talks recruiting and an upcoming unofficial visit to … find out by joining BDN Premium

Hi Josh! This is Mark Watson with Sports Nation Network and I was wondering if I could chat with you about the recruiting process and where you stand?

Yes sir! No problem.
[private]
Let’s start with your list! Is it the same or have other teams been added?

It’s Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Memphis and Clemson.

Clemson? They’ve kind of come in a little late … I guess Oliver Purnell made a pretty good impression?

Yes sir. He went to a couple of my games in Vegas. They’ve always had somebody at the games of late which is impressive.

I’m going to go down your list so you can give me some comments on each one …
We’ll start with the Virginia schools. Virginia. What are your thoughts on the Wahoos?

Virginia was one of those schools that recruited me early. I’m very close to Coach Leito and Coach Courtney. I’ve been down there for three or four game so far. I’m comfortable there.

Now, Virginia Tech. Correct me I’m wrong. Isn’t your Mom an alum?

Yes. They were one of those schools who came in after UVA. When they came in they made a huge impression. We went down there for a football game. You know the campus is beautiful. The fans are crazy and Coach Greenberg is a unique coach who I talk to all the time. He’s a great guy … his staff is great and I had a good time down there.

Okay! We’ll stay in the ACC. Tell me about Duke.

Aw Man, um. Duke, was um. Duke is just Duke. They came in when I went down there and I fell in love. They’ve got a beautiful campus and some top notch guys. I know some guys … I know Andre Dawkins who is going there. I talk to him all the time. Duke is … when I went down to Duke I definitely felt at home. I’ve got family who are close to Duke. My grandparents live a couple of hours away in Martinsville, Virginia.

Martinsville is pretty close to all of the ACC schools … or Virginia, Virginia Teach and Duke. You seem to like Duke. What do you think about Coach K and what he did in the Olympics recently?

I actually talked to him yesterday. I get out of school at 2:20 and he called at 2:21. Coach K is probably one of the best there has ever been. He’s very professional. He takes everything very seriously but not to where he is yelling and stuff all the time. He’s a great guy when he laughs and jokes with everybody. What he did with the Olympic team … that was phenomenal with Jason Kidd and LeBron. What he did making them play together was amazing.

What about Georgetown?

Georgetown was the first to recruit me. I’m very close to Coach Thompson and Coach Burke. You know they are 45 minutes away from my house, very close to home, but um, I’ve been there several, several times with my AAU team or just making visits up there. I like it.

How about Memphis?

Memphis was one of those schools who didn’t show up until recently. I’ve got an offer but I really don’t know too much about them. We were going to try to make a trip out there but I’m not sure if that is going to happen. There a new school.

Do you have any unofficial visits planned to these schools?

Um, right now I’m looking at the September 13th to head down to Duke. I talked to Coach K about it and my family, we are going to work things out. I don’t have anything else right now, but I’m going to get there. Did I mention Ohio State?

No, you didn’t.

They’re definitely one of my top schools. Sorry about that.

That’s okay. Tell me about the Buckeyes?

I went up there when they played Michigan State in football and it was crazy up there. They love Ohio State. I got a chance to sit down with Coach Matta and Coach Miller. I really do like Ohio State and I’m very close to Jared Sullinger. You know, we talk almost every other day. They’re definitely in my top.< What is the timeline for your decision?

I definitely want to have it done at the beginning of basketball season or no later than the end because I don’t want to go into my senior year thinking about where I want to go. I definitely want to get it out of the way this year and just be happy with my decision and just relax and play basketball.

You said you talked with Coach K. Have you talked to any other coaches of late?

Yes. I talked to Coach Greenberg and Coach Matta.

Will you stay with your same AAU team or will you cross that before summer starts?

Yes sir! I will stay with DC Assault. I’ve grown so close to them … I call them all my brothers and we all talk. During high school season we separate. Some as far as Maine … during AAU season we are definitely close because we win so many tournaments.

Have you thought about what you might take in school?

I really haven’t thought about it yet.

Let me make I got this … you have no other officials set up?

Not at this time but we’re still looking at September 13th down at Duke.

You mentioned friends … do they try to sway you to go to there school?

Yes sir! I’m friends with Nolan Smith who actually goes to Duke. We talk. Every time I seem him he tries to get me to come to Duke. A lot of my teammates are being recruited by the same schools. I do think about that because these are guys who I know how they play.

Is it important for your parents that you play somewhere they can pretty much get to in a short time?

Oh! Yes sir. Definitely, my parents are my biggest fans. I don’t want to go somewhere like UCLA all the way on the west coast where they could never see me play. I definitely want my parents to be able to come to the games. I so use to looking on the sidelines and seeing them?

Does Mom ever give you a nudge and say so you have to go to Virginia Tech?

She does real good. My mom is very open. The coaches… she tells them what they’ve got to do to get me. But in the end, it’s my decision. She will sometimes push if a school is too far. She is very open.

I've heard your Dad grow up a UNC fan? What would he do if you went to Duke or Virginia?

Oh man, we’ve had that talk before (laughing). I told him he was just going to have to change. We grew up watching UNC basketball, but I don’t think he’ll be too involved in that rivalry if I go to Duke.

What are the most important factors that will go into your collegiate decision? Is there like one, two, four things?

Yes sir, definitely academics. I don’t play around with my grades. I take them very seriously. I look for family because I’m a big family kid. I love my parents, I love my little sister. And I just want to see who the colleges are trying to bring in. You know, I’m not trying to be that top notch guy that has to do everything. I want to out on the floor with four other good players. If I have their back, I want them to have my back. I would take a national championship over a player of the year award any day.

Suppose somebody had never seen you play. Describe your game in your own words ...
I like to get out an run on the fast break. Those who evaluate me say I’m a very good kid who runs the floor well. I like to rebound. I can shoot the twelve to eighteen footer …I can do most anything.

Well, I certainly got what I needed and enjoyed talking with you. Good luck with school and your coming basketball season.

Thank you very much.[/private]