Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

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[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]

The latest on hot prospect Josh Hairston

I just got off the phone with Josh Hairston and had an enlightening interview.  [private]His school list is the same, Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Duke.  He mentioned Memphis, but I feel they are out of it by his answers.  He said he got out of school at 2:20 yesterday and Coach K called him at 2:21.  His family is arranging a visit and that date will likely be September 13th.  In fact, I am sure this is the date which they will come down.  He had nice things to say about Duke despite the fact that I approached him as a national site.  I got comments on all the teams involved in the process.  Duke is the only school that has a set unofficial visit at this time.  It seems the staff wasted little time and hit American soil running.  Josh mentioned that he talks to Andre Dawkins and Nolan Smith a lot and more.  He likes OSU a lot, but distance could be a factor in that he wants to be close to home.  You will get the whole interview by tommorow but I wanted to give a bit of information early on instead of a tease.  Trust me, it will pick up around here and you will get some of the best quality interviews around.  My general feeling?  Duke is the team to beat for his services.  Stay tuned for the entire interview![/private]

Members Update

[private]We are entering your names into the new site's system and hope to make the permanent move soon.  Your patience has been appreciated.  I can assure you that once the dust clears and refinements have been made, the information will be what you have come to expect from BDN.

It's been a really crazy month with the Olympics and start of the Cutcliffe era.  As you know, I covered the return at RDU and will have some comments from that by the weekend.  Also, Coach is addressing the local and national media tomorrow and I will be there to bring you the happenings.

I have a few interviews lined up and some already in the bag.  For instance, I talked to Duke commitment Andre Dawkins tonight to finish up an article for a  publication.  Of course, you will hear it all later.

I know you want to know if he has talked to Josh Hairston.  The answer is they talk often.  Andre said Josh would take another unofficial to Duke and likely other schools in the coming month, making a decision as early as late September.

"Coach K called me before the Gold Medal game which was pretty cool," said Dawkins.  He went onto say he would likely call Coach tonight.

Dawkins played with Tyler Thornton as a youngster, but doesn't talk to him as much as Josh.  He plans on getting Tyler's number though.  Dawkins wants to play for K so bad that he worried about a jump to the NBA after coaching the likes of LeBron and Kobe.

We are turning over some stones to find out what is up, making sure information is accurate before it is released.  You can count on an update in the coming days.

We will cover football recruiting as we have basketball.  Look for talks with prospects starting next week.  As I have mentioned, we will keep football information free for two months in an effort to draw fans in.  While I realize the core of my members are hoops fanatics, covering football will bring other fans who love basketball as well.

So, don't fret too much faithful members!  We will steady the ship soon enough, making it through the seas of change.[/private]

SJC Pro Am gearing up for the stretch run (corrected)

[private]Elliot Williams helped his E-Net team to it's third victory scoring 19 points in the process.  Williams had a fabulous first half where he at times seemed to be posturing for a highlight reel.  There was one sequence where he showed of his athletic ability.  He slashed to the basket finishing with an authoritative dunk which brought ooh's and ahh's from the crowd.  He then created a break after a turnover as he slithered through the defense only to be found with the pass where he finished by using the basket to his advantage for a reverse lay in.  IOW, he played a huge role for his team tonight and shows he is not afraid to play against anybody at this level.

He didn't do it all by himself though.  He was aided by Brandon Costner whose presence has helped E-Net win consecutive games.  Costner was strong in the paint, an area that had plagued his team in early losses.  E-Net was down by 10 points early, but stormed back to go up by 11 and hung on for a victory over.  Former Pack player Anthony Grundy led all scorers and has showed significant improvement since his days in Raleigh.

Three Dukies took to the court for the RDU Barnstormers in a game that would prove a defensive struggle.  The more talented Barnstomrers eventually won 48-47.  This team is guard heavy and guard dominated.  In fact, there is way too much dribbling and forced shots where they try to make the big play instead of finding the open man.  Sometimes the efficient plays bode better for the team than forcing the issue.

For the first time, SIngler was able to get a breather, alternating with Czyz.  I am not too sure how effective this was for the four guard lineup hurt in my humble opinion.  Singler struggled a bit on offense, possibly because last seasons ACC Rookie of the Year got five whole shots, making a deuce and a three.  He got to the line often, going 6 of 10 for a total of 12 points.  What many missed is that he is willing to do the dirty work and little things which equate to 5 blocked shots and 8 rebounds.

Low and behold, Olek Czyz didn't get a dunk tonight.  That's because he was used as a hacking dummy in an effort to keep the crowd favorite grounded.  Olek was 10 for 16 from the free throw stripe and that was all of his points.  He added 3 boards to go with 2 steals.

Nolan Smith is saddled on a team with many guards and it keeps the ball out of the hands of the talented player.  Nolan tossed in 15 points going 4 of 6 from the field and 3 of 3 from the line.  You would think with that kind of efficiency his teammates might get the rock in his hands more often.  He was smooth in his movement and his first half performance kept his team in the game.  Smith had 3 steals and a couple of assists as his team went to 6-3 which is still good enough for second place.

Lance Thomas was the man tonight and had to be for there was no Jerry Stackhouse, Green nor Davis for the Regulators.  After two consecutive dunks, LT helped his team to an early 29-12 lead.  During one sequence, LT dunked, rushed back to play the passing lanes, made the steal, dished to a teammate to start the break and finished it off with a reverse dunk.  Lance is a hustle guy who goes 100%  while he  in the game.  The wheels came off for the Regulators in the second half as they went down to a one point defeat, 57-56 blowing a 20 point lead.  Thomas had 17 points and a bevy of boards in the Regulators only loss thus far.  My report from the scorers table says LT was hacked hard as time ran out, but no whistle was heard.  Hopefully, a bit more consistency will ensue with the playoffs looming.

I didn't catch the nightcap, but got a call from the statistician who told me Gerald Henderson has 12 points with his team winning a 54-51 game over   There was no doubt that the overall play was hurt by physical foul-fests and forced shots on this evening.  Still, that's to be expected in basketball where o n a given night many things can happen.

The tournament will continue on Tuesday night with the final regular games and they will be hard fought in that they are jockeying for play off position.  They will then start the playoffs where the team are one and done.  So, get out there and support your favorite players!  The crowds have been consistent and again, there is an accommodating atmosphere at McDougald Gymnasium.

Standings going into the last regular game - Regulators (Lance Thomas) 8-1, RDU Barnstormers (Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Olek Czyz)  6-3, Team Williams 5-4, Team KG (Gerald Henderson) 5-4, Team Noel 4-5, Black Magic 3-6, E-Net (Elliot Williams, Steve Johnson) 3-6,  Team Felton 2-7 (Duke players in parentheses)

Official Pro Am Site Link

Pictures - (1) Elliot taking a three, (2) Elliot and Steve Johnson with Ridge and Corey (two of the kids our members sent to Carrawell James Basketball Camp), (3) LT readies to dunk[/private]