Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Prospect Focus – Marshall Plumlee speaks of his plan for improvement and his two brothers at Duke

Class of 2011 Marshall Plumlee - BDN Photo
Class of 2011 Marshall Plumlee - BDN Photo

During last season's Carolina Classic, Marshall Plumlee had a couple of breakout games where he showed his potential.  Plumlee, of course, is the younger brother of Miles and Mason, both of whom are Duke Blue Devils.  This coming season Marshall has a chance to start for Christ School.  He plans on continuing to refine his game and build his strength during his  last two years of high school.  The talented Greenies lost all but four lettermen, but Coach David Gaines is already reloading and plans to make a run at their fourth consecutive North Carolina Private School State Championship.

While at this past weekend's Carolina Challenge, Marshall showed off some new moves against the state's best players.  Plumlee showed a spin move in the lane which was quick and hard to stop for opposing players.  When he goes to that move he takes up a lot of the lane with his length and 6'-10" frame.

The key for Marshall will be to forge  his own identity in the coming season.  This will be the first time Plumlee will be playing without his brothers at Christ School.  Marshall sat down with BDN Premium for an exclusive one-on-one interview.  He talked about making his own destiny, his brother's game in tonight's McDonald's All American game, and much more in a lengthy interview.  We hope you enjoy his insights about having two brothers at Duke and what he expects to accomplish in the coming years.

Where did that spin move come from?

Oh from the top of the key? (smiling) I've been working on my ball handling and still have a long ways to go, but I'm going to keep working on it.  I'm trying to add to my game whatever I can.

What goes into that work?  What is your routine?

Basically, little bits and pieces of what I get at these kinds of camps.  I listen to what coaches tell me.  I go swimming in the morning so I can really run the floor well and have good conditioning.  I always try every practice, even though I have a post mindset, to do all my ball handling with two basketballs.  I need to do more, but it's a work in progress.

Have you been working out with your brother Mason?

[private] We've always worked out together a little bit, but this past year Mason and I have really spent some time together.  Whether it is playing one-on-one, or the days when I don't feel like going to the gym, he gets me up and motivated.

I bet you have to get him up at times too ...

(paused to think) Uh, no not really.  He's a workhorse so I'm trying to learn from him.

He has the McDonald's game.  Is he already down there?

Yes, he left this morning (Saturday).  I wish I could be there, but I'll be watching him on TV.  It should be a lot of fun.

Yeah, it should be a lot of fun.  Being in Miami this year, well, it's a long ways.  Have you ever been on the beaches in Miami?

(shaking his head and smiling as if to know he was being set up) No sir.

Well, that might be a good thing. What has Coach Gaines told you to work on in the off season?  You obviously have a situation this year where you will be building on your game.  You have two years left and Christ School suffered some key losses.

Well this year, and I have agreed with him, my role has been the little stuff like running the floor, playing defense, stopping people.  These next two years he really wants me to work on being stronger and an offensive threat.  So I'm trying to work on a lot of my shots - my jump shot especially.  Just try to add all the weapons I can to my offensive game.

What is the team prospectus for next season?

Well, there's a little bit of doubt whether we will be as good as we were this past season, but next year I hope we will be able to naysay the naysayers. I know of two new kids coming in that are very talented.  A PG from Knoxville, Tennessee named Brandon Lopez.  I'm excited to have a PG to work with.  He seems like a good leader.

So, all of a sudden you are thrust into a leadership role ...

Yeah, all of a sudden! (smiling)  Buts it's going to be easy because we have had a lot of good leaders to learn from in the past.  Of course, Mason is a big brother, but we also had people like Lakeem Jackson.  He helped me out.

You are looking forward to your chance to shine, right?

Yeah, I am looking forward to it, but regardless I am just worried about winning or a team contest.

Do you think Coach will go with twin towers next season?

(Laughed at the question) Twin Towers?  One thing that's been nice in the past is with Miles and Mason at the school is that they've been able to go in together and we were even bigger off the bench.  We won't have as many "tall towers" as you said, and Troutman and I will probably be playing together, which I like.  We don't have as much, well, I don't want to say post depth, but height off the bench, so we will have to be in good condition.

Who will you room with next year?

I don't know yet.  I like to switch it up each year.  One year I roomed with P.H. Broyhill of Broyhill furniture fame.

Okay.  So he could hook you up with the Lazy Boy couch and such ... a long one ...

(laughing) Last year I roomed with the the headmaster's son, a great kid, Jeff Kruger.  Next year, I will room with a kid from Greensboro.  So, not necessarily basketball players, but they're just a little ways down the hall.  So, I will spend plenty of time with them.

How are your Mom and Dad doing these days?  Are they going to the McDonald's game?

Yes.  They're excited for Mason and I'm excited for Mason.  Miles?  I'm excited for him.  I hope things go well for him next year at Duke after this year's rough ending.

It sounds as if you wished he'd  played a little more this season ...

Mile Plumlee watched his younger brother play this past weekend
Miles Plumlee watched his younger brother play this past weekend

Yeah, there is always some frustration, but he continues to work on his game.  I think if he keeps working .. it's a frustrating process, because we as a family know what he is capable of.  He's a superstar.  We think the world of him and I hope he gets the chance to show the world what we already know he can do next season.

Well, I think he might next season for I have head that the coaches are expecting a big improvement and for him to take on a bigger role.  With Duke being a taller team next season, with just three players in the back court at this point, they will draw up schemes for their personnel.

They will definitely put him to work, so I'm excited for him.  There has been a little frustration, but he's been positive and kept his head up.  From a team aspect, he works hard in practice helping other guys to get better and he takes advantage when he is able to get in the game.

Well, he got a cheerleader girlfriend out of the deal ... (smiling as they had come to see him play in his last game).

(laughing)  Yeah ... I don't know, I don't know if you necessarily need that in your first year ...

Miles took a big load upon himself when he first came to Duke with his major ...

Yeah, he's always dreamed of being an engineer.  It's tough when you are up until 2:00 in the morning doing homework and the next day you have a game. He's definitely keeping his academics up despite switch out.  Academics are big for him.

Tell me about your self as a person ... I guess you don't have a lot of time with school and all.

School work is pretty tough at Christ School.  I learned that the hard way during the basketball season and my parents gave me a little bit of a slap on the wrist. (smiling)  In my free time?  It's beautiful here in North Carolina and I've been taking advantage.  I've been kayaking even though I have a hard time fitting in the kayak. (continuing to smile).  I go caving.  I went with Mason and that's been a lot of fun doing things outside and taking advantage of that.

Not so much like Indiana?

Indiana is just flat.

Now your Mom!  I hear she is a little bit tougher than what she shows on the exterior ...

(smiling) I never watched her play college basketball but I hear she was the nicest person off the court, but quite the opposite when it is game time.

I hear she could give the hard foul when necessary ...

I wouldn't know about that.  She was a low post player and it got rough some times.

It's safe to say she was happy when the Purdue women (she played center for Purdue)  whooped up on Carolina in the NCAA's ...

(smiling) I bet she was.

Okay, I am going to let you out of the hot seat before I get you in trouble.  Thanks for your time and good luck with your development.

Thank  you, sir. [/private]

Wall caught off guard by the Calapari news – “It helps Duke a lot”

john-wallJohn Wall was just hours removed from a meeting with Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski and, if you are a member, you know it went very well.  One would think the nation's top point guard prospect could soak that in for 24 hours before an interruption, but that was not the case on Monday evening when reports indicated Memphis Coach John Calipari was about to leave Memphis.

It could be just hours before Calipari signs a 35.5 million dollar contract that will make him the nation's highest paid college basketball coach.  A ripple effect is now in play with some of the nation's top recruits with Calipari being Kentucky bound.  Already, Memphis prospects are taking the necessary measures to get out of their verbal commitments.

But the player Duke fans are concerned about is John Wall, who had Memphis listed as his favorite.  Blue Devil Nation Premium caught up with Wall just before he watched former D-One teammate Ryan Kelly win the three-point shooting contest, and another Dukie, Mason Plumlee, threw down some sweet dunks in the McDonald's game.

There was a time when Wall dreamed of playing in the McDonald's All Star game, but a new rule change had a dire effect on schools with fifth year players.  It was America which lost out on its chance to see the point guard who goes east to west or north to south quicker than anybody in the country.  But while somewhat upset about it, John has focused in on the big picture.

"I'm kind of upset I'm not playing, but there's nothing I can do about it.  I'm just happy to have what I've got.  I'm happy for the guys that made it, but I'm not mad at anyone because I didn't make it.  It's tough that I have seen so many fifth year seniors play in the game, but they just made that new rule this year."

The news on John Calipari caught Wall off guard today, but he is now processing what is likely to soon happen, "I haven't  [private] talked to him (Calipari) yet, I guess it's just part of business.  He has to do what is best for him."  As this goes to press, the announcement is not official, but sources say Calipari is meeting with boosters to push a former Memphis assistant.  Others think Memphis is making one last push, but I will trust my source on this one.

There has already been a lot of scuttlebutt in the Big Blue Nation concerning Wall.  Many feel that Kentucky may now be a player for his services, "I was considering them a long time ago.  I will look into it if he (Calipari) gets the job."

But what effect has all this had on the Blue Devils' hopes of signing the point guard they covet?  When asked if this pending announcement would help Duke, Wall calmly stated, "It helps Duke a lot."

While that sounds pretty good in the ears of Duke fans, it would still be wise to just let this situation play out.  Today's events prompted him to mention that he had another meeting scheduled with Krzyzewski this week.

"I learned some good things on my visit to Durham.  He told me some things I didn't already know.  He felt like I could come in and help the team right away and that he could make me a better player," said Wall.

Krzyzewski showed Wall highlights of Jason Williams and Chris Duhon and told Wall that he could help the team be better. " He told me that he could make me a player so I could be one and done and that he wasn't going to try to hold me back."

When asked how Memphis told him he would be used, Wall said, "Let me play my game, basically just let me  be John Wall.  Duke said the same thing, that they just wanted me to be me."

"Memphis was the favorite, but we'll just have to see all that goes down and stuff," said Wall.  When asked if Calipari stays would he still feel good about them, he said  "Yeah, I'd feel pretty good about them."

I think it's somewhat safe to say that Duke has made up a lot of ground with Wall, especially if Calipari goes to Kentucky.  But one of the more telling quotes came when I  asked him to talk about Baylor and N.C. State.  Wall said,  "Um, naw ...  I just talk to them sometimes and still consider them a little bit."

That comment could assure one that Duke is in a very good position, one which many couldn't fathom just a month ago.  Duke missed on Kenny Boynton, who they remained faithful to after offering.  After that offer Boynton expected them to keep a spot open, but that sidetracked the Devils' effort in the end.

Once that happened, Duke started to track Wall, a player they had kept an eye on throughout the process.  Wall now has a chance to take the keys to the machine that is Duke Basketball.  It's seems to be a pretty good match, but only time will tell.  Unlike the Boynton ordeal, Duke will know the answer within a few weeks.

My call - There have been many who have questioned John Wall from unfounded rumors, but I can tell you that this young man handles himself in a polite manner every time I've seen him.  One has to remember that this is a player who has been crowned the best and it took a bit of growth along the way, but it all came to fruition.

My  analysis is that Duke is in better shape than they have ever been with John Wall and reports I'm getting say that Brian Clifton was impressed by the visit.  Clifton already has one player in a Duke uniform, that being Ryan Kelly.  "Kelly and Wall made each other!  They both made each other better while playing for D-One," said Clifton during the Carolina Challenge.

It certainly doesn't hurt Duke if a door opens up with D-One, for there are other talented players coming down the pike.  That group includes Bishop Daniels and Deuce Bello who BDN interviewed over the weekend.  We have a backlog of information which we will get out as time allows.   One thing to watch out for is Kentucky making a heavy play for Wall, though they will be decimated by departures and have few offers available.  But, knowing the Cats, they will somehow make some additional room.

Wall will leave for the Nike Hoop Summit on April the 8th and the game will take place on the 11tth.  Once that is done, he will participate in the Jordan Brand All Star Game and will likely make his decision at that time.

It's a busy time around here and BDN Premium is red hot!  New members now know what others have for a good while -- we truly stay ahead of the curve.  This site will never be outworked in bringing you accurate and timely information.  So, tell your pals about us a for this site is growing daily and is second to none in a very short time.  The best is yet to come.  [/private]

Prospect Tony Kimbro continues to work on his right hand (Now free to public)

kimbro-300x255Blue Devil Nation Premium covered the Carolina Challenge this past weekend, and this is the first in a series of reports on the top players in the state of North Carolina.

So, what's changed since the last time I saw you at the Glaxo Invitational in Raleigh?

My jump shot and my right hand.

Do you mean you're working on that more often?

Yes.  I've been working on going to my right more often and my jump shot.

Has anything changed in regards to  your list of schools?

Not really.

Can you list them for me?

Oklahoma State has offered and Louisville has been in touch of late.  I'm getting a lot of letters and contacts.  I have pretty much the same list that I did in Raleigh.  (See our first interview with Kimbro which is located in our premium section)

What has Coach Gaines had to say to you?

He just said I need to step up and not just be a role player.

With Christ School's heavy losses, you will likely start ...

Yes sir.

Mason Plumlee was your roommate this past season and you obviously know him well.  What has he said to you or left you with since he will soon graduate?

He just said that when you come here (Carolina Challange) make sure that you work hard and play hard because you don't know who is looking at you or who is watching you.

Who will you play your AAU ball with over the summer?

I'm playing with Loyalty out of Louisville, Kentucky.

Of course, you are from there and your Dad played for the Cards.  Are you enjoying their run of late?

Yes, sir.  I'm loving it.

Do you think that's your dream school?

I've started to like Louisville a lot more.  I like the work they put into the game and that they never settle, always wanting more.

How do you feel about your play in the first game?

I feel like I played real well.

Are you still open to other schools besides Louisville and Oklahoma State?

Definitely.  It's still early in the process.

Good luck to you the rest of the day.

Thank you.

BDNP overview - Kimbro has some interest in Duke [private] , but the Blue Devils have made just casual contact.  Coach K sent word to Christ School coach David Gaines about what Tony needed to work on when he visited a practice earlier this past season.  Coach Gaines told me that he hoped to talk Kimbro into staying local this summer and playing for an area AAU team.  He stated that his Mom likely thought that would be a good idea too.  Kimbro still needs work on going to his right for that will be exposed at some point.  He is always around the glass and picks up a lot of garbage buckets, but needs to develop a consistent pull up jump shot.  His on ball defense is pretty good for his age.  He does take plays off on occasion, but when motivated shows off his talents. [/private]

BDN talks to John Wall about his visit with Coach K, “It was great!”

Wall posed for BDN at last years TOC event
Wall posed for BDN at last years TOC event

John Wall was able to sit down with Coach Mike Krzyzewski on Sunday evening.  Wall is the nation's top point guard prospect, and he will be making one of the biggest decisions in his young life by April 30th.  Blue Devil Nation Premium spoke to Wall about his visit and the first thing said was, "It was great," when questioned about the visit. [private]

Wall visited with his Mom and AAU Coach Brian Clifton of D-One Sports.   The three of them arrived around 6:00 and he talked to Coach K  just over an hour.  "A lot of people have told me a lot of things about him (Coach K) and he wasn't exactly what I expected, but I got to see for myself," said Wall of Krzyzewski.  Wall continued, "He told me how he would use me in his system and I like what I heard."

When asked if he could see himself in a Duke uniform running the show, Wall exclaimed, "Yes, I can see that."  The visit was a long time coming and many were starting to wonder if it would ever take place.  Wall said that he was able to tour the basketball facilities and that they were really nice.  "I felt comfortable and really liked what I saw," said Wall.

I asked if Wall had discussed the visit with his Mom and Clifton and he replied, "I really haven't had a chance to sit down and discuss it yet."  Wall did say that Clifton thought it was a great place.  He mentioned that he would be concentrating on the Nike Hoop Summit and that he may have taken all of his visits, which pretty much means Miami is out.  "Right now, my list is still the same," said Wall.

Wall was very upbeat during the conversation, but stopped short of saying he was offered.  "Well, not really, but I think it's there.  I know it's there if I wanted to come.  I'm pretty sure it's there."  It was clear that John was still processing the visit, but for all those who think he is not taking the Blue Devil's seriously, think again.  "The visit definitely helped, I feel better about them after talking with Coach K."

When asked what was the best part of the visit, Wall stated, "Just being able to sit down and talk to Coach K."

The Blue Devil Nation was the first to report of the pending visit and you can bet we'll keep you informed.  With the Curry addition and good vibes coming from Wall's visit, this has been a good day for Duke. I will have more on this article on the message board.  NEW MEMBERS -  Be sure to register for the members only message board.  If you are not up and running within 8 hours, drop us a line.  If you use a different e-mail address than on your paypal account, it may not stand out.  We have to manualy check off members as they join for we cannot keep non-members from registering at this time.   I will have more on the visit by noon tomorrow.  We will also bring you some news and quotes on from 2011 kids on the radar. [/private]

Seth Curry picks the Blue Devils

mens-basketball-action-sethcurry2-7-09largeSeth Curry decided to finish his college basketball career at Duke University.  Curry will be an incoming transfer from Liberty University and will become eligible in 2010.  Curry, a 6'-3", 180-pound shooting guard, will be able to practice with next seaso's team.  He was the nation's leading freshman scorer, tallying 20.2 ppg with the Flames this season.  He's the brother of ex-Davidson star, Stephan Curry, and his Father is Wardell "Dell" Curry, a former Charlotte Hornet and Virginia Tech player.  We will have more in Blue Devil Nation Premium.

John Wall Report Part II

John Wall - BDNP
John Wall - BDNP

Blue Devil Nation Premium is heating up and the news continues to roll in.  We are hitting our stride with recruiting earlier than ever this season, so now is the time to join!  I talked with Brian Clifton this afternoon and he acknowledged that  [private] Memphis would be an emotional choice and that Wall's Mom would prefer he stay near home.  When a trusted friend of mine who backs NCSU asked if he needed to be worried, Clifton replied no.  That adds even more mystery for many I had talked to said the Pack was out of it.  Rumors continue that certain alumni want Lowe replaced, but this likely will nor would it likely one and done Wall.

Memphis is still supposedly the leader and Wall will tell you that.  But just how much of a leader?  As I said earlier when asked about the departure of Tyreke Evans, Wall alluded to the fact that Henderson leaving Duke would make them more attractive due to the situation.

I still get the impression that Clifton is just going along for the ride for he just doesn't seem too enthused about the situation.  However,  a source close to an incoming freshman, said he would be alright with it, should John end up at Duke.

Despite my perceived vibes from Clifton, he did state that Wall playing with Ryan Kelly for D-One Sports was a positive and that Kelly wanted someone to get him the ball.

Wall also mentioned that he talked on occasion with Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams.  He  seemed upbeat when talking of Duke and excited about the pending visit.  The mere fact that Duke is stillon the list and he will have a face to face with Krzyzewski is encouraging, but reading too much into this on going drama may set one up for a let down.

The Pack desperately need Wall as a hometown hero, but with C.J. Leslie bailing, well, that can't be too good.  But again, don't read but so much into that for Lesle said NCSU was still a possibility when questioned today.  FWIW, Leslie was rumored by trusted Pack sources that he would test the water last July during the NBAPA Camp.  It took a whole, but that speculation proved to be true.

Memphis is trying to sell Wall on the fact that they are the perfect one and done school, but with a loaded freshman class and some returnees, just how many shots could Wall get there.

While Miami and Kansas were  previously listed, I hear that they are both out.  I am almost certain Miami is toast for they may not even retain their coach.  D-One Sports has played in tournaments in the Kansas region this past year.

Baylor is the enigma here.  How much pull does Clifton have?  For that matter, where does his high school coach Levi Beckwith come into play?  Beckwith attended the Carolina Challenge and it is said that he prefers the Pack, but likes Duke as well.  It makes sense that he would want Wall to stay local in that he will remain the coach of Word of God.  Still, he seems to be more on the outside looking in of late.

So, the soapy recruitment will continue, but time is running out on Wall and he has to make a move by April 30th .  He has said that the Jordan Brand All Star Classic would be a possibility, but he's also said a week after.  We plan on following up withWall after his meeting with Krzyzewski and will keep you posted on any breaking news.

We interviews with some of the state of North Carolina's best prospects coming, and yes, some of them mentioned Duke.  I will also have the actual quotes from Wall up by tomorrow.

And Curry will be on campus tomorrow.  Duke has wasted no time in attacking their needs with recruiting. [/private]