Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Nike Peach Jam Day One Report – Barnes, Knight, Gilchrist

Michael Gilchrist has been called the best high school player in America as a rising junior
Michael Gilchrist has been called the best high school player in America as a rising junior

Everywhere you looked, college basketball coaches lined the walls as the Nike Peach Jam got underway on Sunday.  The first game of the day featured a Harrison Barnes led Howard Pulley team going up against Each One, Teach One, which boasts the best back court in AAU ball.  That's because Duke prospect Brandon Knight teams with Austin Rivers and the one-two punch proved too much for the undermanned Howard Pulley team.

Harrison Barnes led the way for Pulley by going for 18 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.  Brandon Knight led all scorers with 20 points and added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a stellar performance.  His sidekick Austin Rivers scored 18 points [private] in one stretch to go with 3 boards and 2 steals.  The back court duo sat out the last two minutes in an 88-58 win.

Despite a sore foot, Andre Dawkins scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to help Boo Williams defeat the Arkansas Wings, 57-49.  It was easy to see that the injury did not allow him his usual explosive leaps.  Dawkins would score just 3 points in the nightcap.

In the upset of the tournament, the Georgia Stars handled mighty Team Final 74-68 as UCLA bound Jeremy Lamb scored 22 points.  The "Big Show," Michael Gilchrist had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and a single assist and steal while teammate Dion Waiters added 17 himself.  Waiters can shoot a team into a game and take them out as witnessed by 6 turnovers.  It was later reported that Gilchrist suffered an injury.  In an attempt to gain an interview, his mom stepped in and took over, saying he would not talk about schools.

I then took in the first half of the 16-U St. Louis Hawks game to see 2011 stud Bradley Beal.  No disappointment here as Beal, despite not scoring in bunches, showed that he understands the game of basketball and that he is a smooth operator.  Coach Krzyzewski and Chris Collins were front and center at all of the aforementioned contests.

Team Final bounced back with Gilchrist tallying 17 points, 6 boards and 2 steals to wallop the Arkansas Wings 74-46.  This is the game in which Gilchrist suffered an injury.

Injuries!  That was the keyword for the day.  The bug then caught Harrison Barnes and Brandon Knight.  Barnes scored 28 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block, but Howard Pulley fell by 69-64 to Deshaun Thomas (27 pts, 9 reb) and Marquis Teague (14 pts, 3 reb, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals) led Spiece Indiana Heat.  Late in the game, Barnes went down hard and injured three fingers on his non-shooting hand.  He returned and had trouble catching the ball; the word is he is finished for the rest of the AAU season.

The staff then took in part of the Seattle Rotary game in the nightcap, before Collins watched the aforementioned Andre Dawkins game and Krzyzewski took another look at Knight, Rivers, and company.  Rotary dropped a two-point game to All Ohio Red and Jared Sullinger.  In the battle of bigs, Sullinger 17-8 over Smith.

The best game of the evening was between Elite One and the Jackson Tigers.  Jackson built a 16-point lead early, but Elite One came back behind Brandon Knight and Austin Rivers.  Actually, Knight went out with 9:33 left in the game as he writhed in pain on the floor after injuring his foot.  He was carried off the court and the foot was iced down.  Knight had 17 points before the injury and his team had built a six point lead.

Austin Rivers then took over, hitting a three and a driving deuce on back-to-back plays as his father, David, watched.  He would go on to score 23 points and Elite One held one for the win.  Coach Krzyzewski took in the entire game and towards the end Collins came in from the Boo Williams game.

Wojo also made a late appearance.  He was allowed on the road when Chris Spatola left the Peach State Classic where he watched Quincy Miller.  BTW, Miller had a 40/20 game in the event.

I have many more notes and will go over all of the aforementioned in more detail on the message board.  One more note, Roscoe Smith did not show up for the event.  It was a tough day with injuries for Blue Devil prospects. [/private]

USA U19 Brings Home the Gold Medal

mens-basketball-action-sethcurry2-7-09large-300x206The United States captured the Gold Medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship, held July 2 - 12, in Auckland, New Zealand. Team USA rolled through the competition going undefeated in nine games, behind a balanced scoring attack, and defeated Greece 88-80 to win the Championship.

In the Gold Medal game, the United States utilized a 27-11 second quarter run to take a 46-30 halftime lead over Greece. Greece responded by outscoring the Americans 21-14 in the third quarter to cut the lead to nine points and setup an exciting fourth quarter. Team USA was paced by Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas Jayhawks) who scored 18 points and recorded five steals. Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh Panthers) chipped in 13 points, while Klay Thompson (Washington State Cougars) and Arnett Moultrie (UTEP Miners) scored 10 points each. Both Seth Curry (Duke Blue Devils) and Terrico White (Mississippi Rebels) contributed nine points.

Team USA advanced to the Gold Medal game with victories over Canada and Croatia in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. The quarterfinals victory was a decisive 93-73 victory, while the semifinals was a tough fought 81-77 victory.

In the semi-finals, Team USA made 10 of 12 free throw attempts down the stretch to secure the victory. Gordon Hayward (Butler Bulldogs) was the team's leading scorer with 15 points. Croatia outscored the USA 26-11 in the 3rd Quarter to take a two point advantage, but the USA persevered in the fourth quarter and secured a berth in the Championship Game.

Against Canada, Gordon Hayward paced the team with 20 points, while Seth Curry made four of five 3-point attempts scoring 12 points. Team USA went 14-26 from behind the 3-point arc overall setting a single game record for 3-point shooting percentage. Arnett Moultrie grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the USA to a 39-35 advantage on the boards.

The USA waltzed through preliminary play with a 41 point average margin of victory in games against Iran, France, and Egypt. Against Iran, seven USA players scored in double digits with Tyshawn Taylor leading the way with 13 points. John Shurna (Northwestern Wildcats) posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The game against France saw Seth Curry lead the way with 12 points as he made four of seven 3-point attempts. In the victory over Egypt, seven players scored in double digits led by Ashton Gibbs with 18.

In the first game of the second round, Greece put up a valiant fight in the first half, but the USA opened it up in the second half on the way to a 85-69 win. Howard Thompkins (Georgia Bulldogs) paced the USA with 22 points and three assists. Seth Curry was the team's leading rebounder with six.

Team USA opened the second quarter with a 15-0 run to blow open game two of the second round against Puerto Rico. The USA went on to outscore Puerto Rico 23-6, in the second quarter, to take a 43-19 advantage at halftime. Puerto Rico tightened it up slightly in the second half, but the United States cruised to a 82-61 victory. Howard Thompkins just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Gordon Hayward contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.

The final game of the second round saw Team USA beat Lithuania 76-69 behind a strong defensive effort. Tyshawn Taylor was the leading scorer with 13 points. Gordon Hayward grabbed eight rebounds.

The USA U19 team was coached by Jaime Dixon of Pittsburgh. He was assisted by Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois and Matt Painter of Purdue.

2011 Prospect Brad Beal grew up a Duke Basketball Fan

Brad Beal, BDN Photo
Brad Beal, BDN Photo

Brad Beal is a 6’3” shooting guard from Chaminade high school in St. Louis, Missouri. As a sophomore, he led the Red Devils to the Missouri state title and was named all-state. After the season, Beal tried out for the United States under-sixteen developmental team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He made the team and traveled to Argentina for the 2009 FIBA U-16 Championship. Once again, Beal was the leading scorer for the team and led the USA with twenty-six points to a gold medal in the championship game over host team, Argentina. Not surprisingly, the Missouri native has become one of the most coveted prospects in the 2011 class and a consensus top ten prospect

At the King City Classic in Cleveland, Beal sat down with Blue Devil Nation to discuss a variety of topics, including his recent winning international experience, the advantages of being a cerebral basketball player, and provided a scouting report on Duke recruit Quincy Miller.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about your experiences with the USA team?

Brad Beal: It was a really good experience. It was a talented team. We all played hard and together. It was one of the best experiences for me.

Blue Devil Nation: You were the leading scorer and the team had to win over the host, Argentina, in the Gold Medal game. The fans were reportedly going crazy during the game and throwing things after the game. It must’ve been an wild experience.

Brad Beal: It was crazy. Every call, like, every bad call, they would boo us and [private] they would start throwing stuff at us as we were pulling away. They were real supportive fans of their country, though. They never gave up. It was a really interesting experience.

Blue Devil Nation: What were the tryouts like in Colorado? Talk about that time spent out there.

Brad Beal: It was really intense, man. There were a limited amount of players and the players were going after it and the coaches were pushing us.

BDN: Did you guys bond over time spent together in two countries?

BBeal: Oh, yeah, we got along really well and hung out in the dorms together.

BDN: All you had was each other in Argentina.

BBeal: Right, right, we would joke around and we would take little trips around together.

Blue Devil Nation: Who’s the toughest competitor that you’ve gone against?

Brad Beal: Probably Austin Rivers. He’s a real good point guard and he’s tough to match up against.

Blue Devil Nation: What is your greatest strength right now?

Brad Beal: My offensive ability overall. My ability to create my own shot, get other players involved, and rebound on both ends of the court.

Blue Devil Nation: In terms of Chaminade, you just won the state title. You were the leading scorer and made all-state as a sophomore. Can you talk about your season, which culminated in you dominating in the championship game?

Brad Beal: Well, with my school team, coach just told me to play hard and, last summer, he told me I was going to have to make a big impact because we lost a lot of guys actually. He told me what to do and so I just did it.

BDN: You went from being a nine point scorer as a freshman to a twenty-four point scorer.

BBeal: Yeah, well, my freshman year team was pretty stacked. I wasn’t really worried about scoring, but, by the next year, we didn’t have too many scorers. So, I had to go out there and get us some points.

Blue Devil Nation: Is there any pressure to play for Florida on you, with David Lee’s dad working as an assistant coach on your Chaminade team?

Brad Beal: No, not really. He just kind of tells me the pros and cons of Florida and tells me things about Coach Donovan.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about how you chose Chaminade over your local public school? What are the facilities like and how have you embraced the challenges academically?

Brad Beal: Well, I chose it over another private school that my brothers went to. I wanted to be different than them.

BDN: These are the brothers that played college football.

BBeal: Yes, they went to a different school in the same conference.

BDN: Which one was that?

BBeal: Vianney

BDN: Oh, sure. Were they upset with you for going down a different path?

BBeal: No, they weren’t too upset, but they’re coach was pretty mad. (laughs)

BDN: What are the facilities like there? I heard they were pretty good.

BBeal: Oh, yeah. We’ve got a nice gym and a comfortable place to work out. We have a really aggressive strength coach. He gets after us.

BDN: He must. I see you have a large tat on your left gun over there.

Blue Devil Nation: What aspects of your game can you work on during the AAU season that you cannot work on at Chaminade? How does it differentiate?

Brad Beal: My quickness…like my lateral quickness. I’m able to work on my defense and pressure up on the ball much more.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about the experience of having to take on a leadership role at a such a relatively young age and how it worked in terms of locker room dynamics?

Brad Beal: Right, right, players really started to look up to me this season. I was prepared to take on the role so it really wasn’t a big deal to me.

BDN: Who are some players you try to emulate?

BBeal: Ray Allen. I like to watch the way he shoots off of screens.

BDN: Where have you visited so far?

BBeal: Illinois, Purdue, Kansas, Florida, Missouri, and St. Louis

BDN: What position are they recruiting you as? Shooting guard exclusively or as a combo guard?

BBeal: Yeah, combo for some, but mostly shooting guard. I can play the point or the two or the three…whichever position you want to put me at.

Blue Devil Nation: Some articles have talked about your grades, what do you feel are some of the advantages of being a “smart basketball player?”

Brad Beal: Usually, I think, like, my IQ is real high. I can see the floor. I know different aspects of the game and what to do in certain situations.

BDN: You think you can pick up concepts a little faster and, perhaps, see a play ahead in certain situations.

BBeal: Right, right

Blue Devil Nation: In previous articles, you come across as a pretty cerebral kid. How do you feel about early commitments? Do you feel there is a certain age before which a kid shouldn’t be offered a scholarship? If you were a coach, when would you begin recruiting a player?

Brad Beal: It’s on the coaches. If they see a kid that they really like as a freshman or a sophomore, than they should be allowed to offer the kid. On the other side, the kids have to really smart not to jump on the offer right away just because it might be shock to them if the coach leaves or if something happens.

Blue Devil Nation: Do you still view it as early in your overall recruitment?

Brad Beal: Yeah, now, at first, Kansas was the first school to offer me and I was, like, wow. Then, I thought well maybe more and more schools are going to come. I thought I should wait it out and see all the offers I get first before I make any decisions.

BDN: After your playing career is over, either in college or in a professional league, have you thought about what you’d like to do with the rest of your life?

BBeal: I would probably like to be a trainer and maybe get into sports medicine.

BDN: Are there any new teams involved?

BBeal: No, not really?

Blue Devil Nation: Did you have a favorite, as a kid?

Brad Beal: I really liked Duke coming up and J.J. Redick.

BDN: Are they recruiting you?

BBeal: I believe…they probably will, but I haven’t heard anything just yet

Blue Devil Nation: Whenever you do decide on a college, what are the most important factors that will go into your decision?

Brad Beal: The coaching staff and the players and how well they play as a team…and how much of a family atmosphere they have there, how much the players like the fans, and how the fans are. You know if they really support the players and stuff.

BDN: Have your brothers encouraged you to go to any school?

BBeal: No, not really. They help me also, along with my mom and dad.

BDN: Who will be the people that you turn to when you ultimately decide on a college?

BBeal: My parents. My family more than anything really

BDN: Did they play also?

BBeal: Yeah, they both played basketball.

Blue Devil Nation: For those in the audience that haven’t seen you play, can you give the audience a scouting report on you?

Brad Beal: They say don’t let me shoot. They play box-and-ones.

BDN: Watch the three-point shot?

BBeal: Yeah, exactly, get the ball out of my hands because I can square up from anywhere.

BDN: How’s your mid-range game right now?

BBeal: Yeah, I do. I feel comfortable taking a player off of the dribble and pulling up for a jump shot.

Blue Devil Nation: What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?

Brad Beal: I’m a good guy. I can be funny at times and I get along with players really well.

BDN: So you’re a good teammate?

BBeal: Yes. I always try to be.

BDN: Have you met LeBron James yet?

BBeal: No, I didn’t have a chance to yet.

BDN: Well, hopefully they can give you a chance later. What style of play do you feel your game is best suited towards?

BBeal: I like to play up-and-down.

BDN: Have any of the Duke coaches communicated with you?

BBeal: Well, I haven’t anything yet

Blue Devil Nation: What are your impressions of Coach Krzyzewski from afar?

Brad Beal: He’s a really good coach. He’s been coaching for a really long time and he really knows the game of basketball

Blue Devil Nation What are your impressions of Duke, both as a university and as a basketball program?

Brad Beal: It’s a really good school. They recruit really well and they’ve developed some really good ballplayers. I’m going to start considering them also.

BDN: Forgive me, but what is that verse Philippians 4:13 on your left arm?

BBeal: It’s a scripture that I try to read before each game.

BDN: And what does the passage say?

BBeal: It says “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

Blue Devil Nation: How do you feel you’ve performed this spring?

Brad Beal: I feel I played pretty well today. In the first game, I feel I should’ve been more assertive and then I came alive in the second game. I think I started to show what I’m capable of. I’ve done really well and my team, the St. Louis Eagles, in the AAU events this spring. I’ve helped my team go to the championships or the final four in a few different tournaments.

BDN: Do you prefer to catch-and-shoot or would you rather shoot off of the dribble?

BBeal: I can do both, but I love to spot up. Then again, if someone’s on me, I can go around him.

Jody Demling: How have you dealt with the attention that has come upon you?

BBeal: I just don’t let it get to my head. I just thank God for the blessings he’s given me.

Jody Demling: But it’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

BBeal: Yeah, it is.

Jody Demling -Do you ever look at the rankings?

BBeal: Not really. I’ve looked at them, but I try not to pay attention to them and let them affect me.

BDN: What schools are coming after you the hardest?

BBeal: I’d say Kansas, Florida, and Illinois.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you give a scouting report on Quincy Miller?

Brad Beal: Sure, he’s a big man slash guard. He’s a freak athletically. He can take his man outside and take him one-on-one off the dribble or he can post up and take his man in the post. So, he’s a really tough guy to defend.

BDN: Had you ever played with him before today?

BBeal: No, I hadn’t.

Blue Devil Nation: In an event like this, do you find it difficult at all to mesh quickly as a team as well as establish and distinguish yourself?

Brad Beal: Somewhat, like, to some people it is, but I just try to go out and show them that I can be just as competitive as they are.

BDN: Thank you, Brad.

BBeal: Thanks. [/private]

NC Pro Am Report – Mason Plumlee tallies 17, Scheyer 16 to earn a victory

Miles ready to dunk - copyright Rick Crank
Miles ready to dunk - copyright Rick Crank

Five Duke Blue Devils were in action this past Thursday evening during the North Carolina Pro Am event on the campus of North Carolina Central.  Mason Plumlee and Jon Scheyer took the court first and the two Dukies teamed very well together.  In fact, that teamwork is a big part of Team Duhon's 3-0 record.

Mason would finish the game with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists.  Mason is impressive in that he has a good handle for a big man and can make the good pass.  While the majority of his points came in the paint or dunks, Mason drained his only three point attempt.

The crowd came to their feet when Mason tried a windmill dunk where he extended his long arm, but a foul stopped the show.  Still, Mason a good free throw shooter, drained both shots.

Meanwhile, Scheyer knocked down two threes early and wound up with 16 points on the evening helping his team win 68-58.  Scheyer had three assists and several blown ones on my watch, but I could have missed a few.

Lance Thomas made his first appearance where he joined teammate Ryan Kelly and rival Ed Davis (UNC) to form a pretty good front line.  Davis scored 21 points after hitting just 6 earlier in the week.  He was aided by some Kelly passes.  Speaking of Ryan, he would go on to score 12 points himself.  Thomas added 12 points as their team won easily.

Jon Scheyer - c/r Rick Crank Photography - special to BDN
Jon Scheyer - c/r Rick Crank Photography - special to BDN

In the nightcap, Miles Plumlee had the unenviable task of holding down UNC's John Henson, Leslie McDonald and Justin Watts.  His team was without Kyle Singler who attended the LeBron James Skills Academy.

Henson threw down three effortless dunks and has really quick hops.  He rejected Miles one time, but there was payback.  Henson is the real deal and ended up with 14 points making some showboat plays, but Plumlee got his licks in, once getting beat but recovering to make a nice block.  To round out the play, he recovered the blocked ball, dribbled the length of the court and dished out an assist.  One block was called goal tending as well and there was one of the worst charge calls I had ever seen on Miles.

Justin Watts lit up the nets for 21 points and McDonald added 12, but their team blew a 12 point lead and wound up losing 54-53.  Plumlee hit two big free throws to put his team up a single digit with 1:33 left and they held on for an impressive win.

The action continues next Tuesday and admission to the event is free.

Duke prospect Ray McCallum talks of the recruiting process

ray-driveRay McCallum, Jr. is a listed 6’1” point guard from Detroit Country Day in Beverly Hills, Michigan. His father is the head coach at Detroit Mercy and was formerly an assistant under Kelvin Sampson at Indiana and Oklahoma. After his father took the head coaching job in Detroit, McCallum moved from Bloomington, Indiana to suburban Detroit. The diminutive and cerebral point led his new team to a 24-2 record and has developed into one of the more coveted point guards in the country. During the recent LeBron James Skills Academy, McCallum sat down with Blue Devil Nation to talk about a variety of topics.
(Blue Devil Nation Premiums summer AAU coverage is unmatched.  Andrew Slater reported live from LeBron James Skills Academy this past week and the interviews are now rolling in.  Mark Watson is headed to the Peach Jam, so the in person coverage continues.  In fact, BDN will cover the rest of the major AAU events this season with our dedicated staff.  Join now to see what you are missing.  In a recednt survey our members overwhelmingly agreed that BDNP is the best subscription site around.  You'll be glad you did.)
Blue Devil Nation

How is your recruiting going right now?

Ray McCallum:

It’s been good so far. I’m having fun with it, you know. Just trying to enjoy it because you only go through it once in your life. I’m just trying to enjoy it.

Blue Devil Nation:

Do you have a time frame for when you’d like to decide by?

Ray McCallum:

No, I’m just trying to enjoy the rest of the summer and again the last time I’m playing AAU ball. Have fun…see where I end up at the end of the summer and which schools are still interested in me.

BDN:

I'd really, what are some things that you’ll find in the school that you ultimately decide upon?

RM:

I want to go somewhere where there’s a good coach, a good team, a good history, a place where I can play, play my game, win, you know, academics. Everything really, you know.

Blue Devil Nation:

How important is immediate playing time for you?

Ray McCallum:

That’s my main goal. I mean I’ve been playing since I was little and I’ve always wanted to do that. I’ve been starting since I was a freshman. I’m going to leave it up to that and try to go somewhere where  [private] I can come in and start.

Blue Devil Nation:

What are your strengths and what are some things you’d like to improve upon?

Ray McCallum:

I think my strengths are running a team, finding an open guy, you know, and I think can really score. I think all of those things and my shot. My shot has gotten a lot better. I’ve been working on that. I’ve gotten a lot better, but I really don’t think you can ever shoot it perfectly.

BDN:

How do you feel you’ve performed in the recent point guard camp, the NBAPA camp, and during the spring in general?

RM:

I feel I played real well. I mean the NBA camp was good. It was a good experience playing with the top one hundred players in the country and then coming here.

BDN:

Was this your first major sneaker camp?

RM:

Yeah, this was my first one.  Then the Deron Williams was exciting, you know, getting to go against the top 20 pgs in the country.

Blue Devil Nation

:Well, let’s talk about that.  Who were some of the toughest guys you faced there?

Ray McCallum:

Let’s see. Brandon Knight, Joe Jackson, Kyrie Irving, and Kendall Marshall…I mean everyone who was there was very talented.  So, it was good and I felt like I learned a lot.

BDN:

Who’s been the most aggressive program recruiting you?

RM:

Well, pretty much everyone is showing me the same amount of love…right now.

BDN:

You get the one phone call per…

RM:

Yeah, the one phone call per week, er, month. I get a lot more e-mails and stuff like that.

Blue Devil Nation

How do you think that having a father who’s been a lifer in this business has differentiated from many other kids?

Ray McCallum:

I think I’ve got an advantage in the recruiting process. Going through what my dad’s been through, you know, being at a big time program. Seeing all the big-time players come through and how all of their recruiting goes.

Blue Devil Nation;

As his son, you’ve also seen firsthand and dealt with the recruiting losses that he had. The sometimes devastating nature of a coach having put in a lot of work on trying to secure a player… for the player to only decide at the last minute for another program.

Ray McCallum:

Yeah, it can be, but you’ve got to always think that if you miss out on one great player, that there is another out there to go get.

Blue Devil Nation

What schools have you visited so far?

Ray McCallum:

I went to Midnight Madness at Kansas. I went to a game at Notre Dame. I went to an unofficial at Arizona. Michigan for an unofficial. I went to a game last year at UCLA.

BDN:

What’s your current height and weight?

RM:

6’1” and 179.

BDN:

Who will you seek guidance from, whenever you do decide upon a college?

RM:

My parents really.  They’ve taught me everything and I really rely on their advice.

Blue Devil Nation

Can you talk about the transition from Bloomington to Detroit Country Day?

Ray McCallum:

It’s been great. It’s an excellent school and a great mix with athletics. I’ve really improved as a ballplayer since I’ve moved there. I’m very fortunate to have wound up there.

BDN:

What’s it like at Detroit Country Day? I know they’re a great academic school and they’ve produced many great players like Webber and Shane Battier.

RM:

First of all, they compete for state championships in all sports and, you know, the Sporting News ranked it like fifth in the country in best high school sports programs…and, academically, it’s great and you have to wear a blazer.

Blue Devil Nation

You played with DaShonte Riley, Jordan Dumars, and Donnavan Kirk at Detroit Country Day. Have any of them encouraged you to go to college with them?

Ray McCallum:

They’ve all brought up their schools, but they’re mostly joking about me joining them.

Blue Devil Nation

The year before you arrived I remember Donnavan was somewhat frustrated that your predecessor wasn’t getting the big men the ball enough. As the point guard on that team, how did you try to placate all of those guys?

Ray McCallum:

Yeah, I averaged six assists. I tried to get everyone touches. I try to feed the bigs, you know. They told me the year before they didn’t really have a point guard. So, they didn’t get the ball. My main goal is to dominate this year.

BDN:

How’d you guys do?

RM:

Oh, man, we went 24-2 and we lost terribly in the Elite 8.

BDN:

Wow.

RM:

Yeah, the two teams we lost to were Bloomington

BDN:

I heard about that game and it must’ve been an emotional one for you.

RM:

Yeah, it was and Flint Power in the Elite 8.

BDN:

Who’d they have?

RM:

Nobody. They had nobody we should’ve had a problem.

BDN:

You know the year before, Kirk was saying he couldn’t believe they lost to a team with no starter taller than 6’3” and DCD had five D-I athletes and four guys 6’8” or bigger.

Blue Devil Nation

:Speaking of Dumars, did it take any time for you to get used to seeing Joe Dumars consistently at your home games?

Ray McCallum:

No, I’m real close with Joe and their family. Me and Jordan are best friends and I’m always over at their house. He’s at our practices.

BDN:

But it’s still an odd thing, compared to the average kid in America, to have the Pistons’ GM observing your high school games.

RM:

Oh, no, it’s definitely unique, but he’s real cool and you wouldn’t even know he was there. He’s got a real laid back and cool office too.

BDN:

How much will your role differ in the upcoming season?

RM:

Oh, it’s going to be real different. We only have one big kid left. He’s about 6’9”

BDN:

Amir Williams?

RM:

Yeah, he’s good and so we have me and a whole bunch of guards.

BDN:

Which players do you try to model your game after?

RM:

Let’s Chris Paul and D.J. Augustin actually.

BDN:

From a size perspective, Augustine is a good player for you to emulate. I know you had an injury last year. Has that completely healed?

RM:

Oh, yeah, I’m all good.

BDN:

Fairly or not, there was a perception that you were a Kansas lean for a little while. Is that accurate?

RM:

No, no, right now, everyone’s equal.

Blue Devil Nation

Do you view yourself as a scoring point guard?

Ray McCallum:

You know, when I play with great players, I pass first, you know, score, when I need to score. When you’re at camps like this…with such talented players, you’ve got to get everyone involved. However, when I’m with my high school team, I feel like I’m more of a scorer. I mean I think I’m a combination of both.

BDN:

What style of play do you feel best suits you?

RM:

I honestly think I can play either up-tempo or the half-court game.

BDN:

Now, you’ve moved around, but will distance be a factor at all?

RM:

No, not at all. I’ve been everywhere.

Blue Devil Nation

:Do you workout often?

Ray McCallum:

Oh, I workout everyday. I’m in the gym. I work on strength and conditioning.

BDN:

At Detroit Country Day or at your dad’s university?

RM:

Both, but Country Day has very good facilities for a high school.

BDN:

How closely do you follow college basketball?

RM:

All the time. Whenever there’s a game on, I’m watching it.

Blue Devil Nation

I’m sure you’ve vicariously felt the successes and the pains that your father has experienced on the recruiting front. How does it feel to be the one coveted? To be the prize.

Ray McCallum:

It’s crazy. It came so fast, you know. This was my last one. I can’t believe I’m in this situation and I’m very grateful for it.

Blue Devil Nation

Were you always highly recruited or did it change when your dad left Indiana?

Ray McCallum:

Well, yeah, but you’re right it really picked up when my dad left Indiana because before the other programs thought I’d go there because of him.

Blue Devil Nation

Do you know Mason Plumlee fairly well?

Ray McCallum:

Oh, yeah, Mason… That’s my boy. He’s like one of my best friends.

BDN:

Which Duke coaches have you communicated with?

RM:

Coach Collins. He-mails me quite often. Nate James will call me and tell me things.

Blue Devil Nation

What’s your feeling about Duke, both as a program and as a university as well?

Ray McCallum:

They have so much great history. It’s a great school and a great team. I mean they’re always guaranteed to get into the NCAA Tournament. And Coach K…he’s everything. In terms of the university, I mean it’s Duke. It’s amazing.

BDN:

What’s your opinion, from afar, of Coach Krzyzewski?

RM:

I mean he’s a Hall of Fame coach, he’s won three national titles, and just won a gold medal for the country. He’s very likely going to have the most wins of all-time.

Blue Devil Nation

Does your father have a relationship with him?

Ray McCallum:

I don’t think they’re too close, but they definitely know each other.

BDN:

What would you like the audience to know about you as a person?

RM:

I’d like them to think of me as a good person with a good character…likes to have fun, but is a good student. Just an overall good kid.

Blue Devil Nation

I think that’ll come across in this interview.  Thanks for answering all of my questions.

Ray McCallum:

Oh, no problem. Thank you for asking me them. [/private]

Kelly, Scheyer and Plumlee help their teams to a win at the N.C. Pro Am

Special to Blue Devil Nation from Rick Crank Photography
Special to Blue Devil Nation from Rick Crank Photography

Day two is in the books for the 2009 N.C. Pro AM and once again it was another entertaining night of basketball at N.C. Central University.  Three Blue Devils played this evening, the incoming freshman Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly and Jon Scheyer.

Kelly wound up with 15 points and 7 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.  His team was down double digits throughout the contest but staged a late comeback to win the game.  During that stretch, Kelly hit two free throws with 1:38 left to give his team a one point lead.

On of Kelly's teammates was UNC's Ed Davis.  The two teamed well on the front line and Kelly looked for Davis when he had the ball, but the normally solid Davis struggled with just 6 points on the evening, looking frustrated at times.

Kelly also went up against David Best (10 points), a strong and aggressive player during the majority of the game.  Best blocked Kelly's first shot of the game and dunked on the other end the next time down, but Kelly settled in nicely to lead his team in scoring after that.  In fact, Ryan had 7 of his teams first 8 points as they struggled offensively to open the game.

Like Kelly, Scheyer and Plumlee helped lead their team to a comeback victory after being down 13 points in the first half.  Scheyer started the game 0-3 where the ball just seemed to rim out for him.  One of those plays still brought oohs and ahs as Plumlee missed a dunk and Jon jumped up and almost flushed it home on the tip, but it caromed out as the basket gave way.

c/r Rick Crank
c/r Rick Crank

Scheyer played a good floor game, showing he can run the point as he did last season, despite playing in a three guard offense.  After missing his first free throw, he connected on the second and went 4 of 5 from the stripe in the game.  One the next possession he connected on a three pointer and missed just one shot the rest of the way in route to 12 points.  Scheyer also dished 4 assists and at least 4 blown assists.

Scheyers best offensive move was on the baseline where he weaved through and faked out three defenders to hit a shot at the first half buzzer capping off a comeback and giving Team Duhon momentum the rest of the way.

Mason Plumlee was saddled with early foul trouble but had two dunks early in the game and was 4 of 4 from the free throw stripe.  He altered a few shots and grabbed around 6 boards.  His Team Duhon won the game going away in the end 76-69.  Plumlee was credited with 8 points, but their was one tip which seemed as if it were credited to another player.

On a couple of side notes, BDN ran into Robert Brickey who has accepted an assistant coaching position at North Carolina Central.  Kyle Singler was not in the house for he's attending the LeBron James Skills Academy, a huge Nike event that BDN's Andrew Slater is covering for our subscribers.  Slater has an interview coming with Singler where our

Copyright Rick Crank Photography
Copyright Rick Crank Photography

members sent in the questions which will run in our free section.  He has secured interviews and scouted some of Duke's main prospects as well.  Among the players mentioned are Roscoe Smith, Harrison Barnes, Andre Dawkins.  Coach K, Wojo and Nate James are watching the Nike event as I type.  For more the latest breaking information, join Blue Devil Nation Premium.

Thursday NC Prom Am Schedule at NCCU, admission is free -

6 pm Navy vs KG
7 pm Lucky 7 vs Team Duhon (M. Plumlee, Jon Scheyer, C. Du)
8 pm WR Starkey (L. Thomas, Kelly, Curry)  vs Team PJ Tucker
9 pm Dreamworks vs E-Net (Singler, Miles Plumlee)

Not all players participate each evening