Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Blue Devil Nation Premium – In depth interview with Duke prospect Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving, Perlman, Star Ledger
Kyrie Irving, Perlman, Star Ledger

During the past year, Kyrie Irving has become one of the most coveted recruits in the country through his play at Saint Patrick’s of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Irving cut down his list of  suitors from over thirty-five programs to a more workable ten, including the Duke Blue Devils. Over the weekend, the 6’2” guard played in his first major AAU tournament since winning the state title and did nothing but enhance his stock through his deft shooting, improved athleticism, and the opportunity to take the reins as a point guard in leading his New Jersey Roadrunners to a 3-1 mark, while averaging nearly 26 points per game. During the tournament, Blue Devil Nation caught up with Kyrie again to cover a variety of topics.

Blue Devil Nation: You made first team all-state and the Celtics won the state title. Was it about as smooth a transition as you could have hoped for?

Kyrie Irving: The transition to St. Patrick’s?

BDN: Yes

KI: It was a learning experience, you know, as a player and as a person. Looking up to Dexter (Strickland) and Paris (Bennett) everyday. Going out there in practice and just working very hard.

BDN: Well, you went 19-1 with you out there. It couldn’t have gone much better on the court.

KI: I definitely went through some ups and downs during this season, but it was a learning experience. I love it.

Blue Devil Nation: You cut your suitors down to ten programs. How did you come to the decision and what’s your current timeline? To read the rest of this in depth interview, join Blue Devil Nation Premium -[private]

Kyrie Irving: I just sat there and thought about the coaching staffs and how I felt about them and whether or not I could see myself playing there…and if I felt I wanted to visit there and stuff like that.

BDN: You felt you needed to cut it down to something more manageable.

KI: I definitely needed to cut it down.

BDN: So you thought thirty-five was a little too much..

KI: (laughing) Yeah, I just needed to think about the coaching staffs and handle it from there.

Blue Devil Nation: What aspects of your game can you work on during the AAU season that you cannot work on at St. Patrick’s? How does it differ? You seemed a lot more aggressive tonight than you have during the high school season, but they needed you to be tonight.

Kyrie Irving: Well, I mean the rumor is that I’m more of a combo guard, which people list me as, but my primary position is as  a one. I’m a point guard first.

BDN: I was trying to track it amongst other things, but you brought up the ball roughly seventy percent of the time you were on the court (this would increase significantly as the tournament went along).

KI: Yeah, exactly, I mean Sandy just lets me get ball and start the offense. He lets me work on my game…different aspects that  I want to keep working on…like refining my mid-range game.

Blue Devil Nation: Well, since you brought up shooting, how do you assess your shooting right now in all aspects? Long-range, pull-ups, floaters, driving the lane, and the one you just touched on, your mid-range game… You were hitting your threes consistently tonight.

Kyrie Irving: Well, I shot very well tonight. I’m also trying to work on finishing inside against the best near the basket. I think my range is pretty decent right now, but I mean just my in-between game right now.

BDN: You’re trying to work on it now amidst game situations.

KI: Yeah, the fact is I work on it all the time, but, in the game, it’s just different.

Blue Devil Nation: How did you decide on the Roadrunners and what’s your relationship like with Sandy Pyonin?

Kyrie Irving: Well, like before I started getting recruited and before people started to know me…I was with Sandy since my freshman summer...playing with guys like Corey and Keon Lawrence

BDN: I saw you with Justin Crosgile.

KI: Yeah, that’s like my right-hand man right there so I was just playing with him since the sixteen and under and then it just exploded basically.

BDN: Do you think it was just a matter of exposure combined with some improved play? Or do you feel you were always this good? You don’t have to be humble this time if you feel you were always around this level (laughs).

KI: (laughs) Yeah, I was around this level basically.

Blue Devil Nation: Which camps do you plan on attending this year?

Kyrie Irving: I’m going to the NBA camp.  Then, I’m going to the Deron Williams Camp and the LeBron James camp…and there are a couple of other ones, but I’m not sure just yet.

BDN: What about tournaments?
KI: We’re going to Bob Gibbons and to Vegas that I know of.

BDN: Has Coach Boyle talked to you about how he plans on utilizing you next season? Will you be playing more off the ball next year or on?
KI: I’m going to be doing both.  I’ll be a scoring point guard.

Blue Devil Nation: Despite the exposure that playing at a national power like St. Patrick’s, before you arrived, did you ever have any concerns over being overshadowed or overlooked by playing with other quality players, as opposed to staying at MKA, where you would continue to be the main guy and put up massive numbers?  Not necessarily intimidation, but apprehension perhaps?

Kyrie Irving: (pause) At first, I did. I did feel it at first. I looked up to Dexter Strickland before I got there. I was always like wow, but the transition went cool so I mean just playing against the best and

BDN: By the way, I didn’t mean to offend you in any way by the question.

KI: Nah, nah, it’s all right. I can honestly say I was like a fan of Dexter’s and I admired everything about him. Everybody was always taking about ‘Dexter this and Dexter that’ and all of the camps that he was going to that never considered me. After I got to know everybody, everything was fine.

BDN: What was the highlight of the season for you? The title game? Your coming out party against St. Benedict’s?
KI: Winning the state title definitely… That was the best, particularly as a junior

Blue Devil Nation: Winning the state title. Can you talk about that game?

Kyrie Irving: That game…that game I put on a show also. I had twenty-six points and fun out there. The seniors…it was their last game. To top it all off, it was my birthday.
You turned seventeen that day.
Yes.

BDN: In your view, what are some of the benefits of playing AAU basketball?

KI: Playing against the best and the travel. I love to travel.

Blue Devil Nation: Let me ask a few questions that the posters were wondering about. Are you leaning towards any school at this point, specifically Indiana?

Kyrie Irving: No, not at all.

BDN: Another poster was wondering what position you would play in college? Would a “scoring point” be a more apt description than a “combo guard” at this point?

KI: I would say that, yeah, definitely.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about your relationship with Rod Strickland? People have written that he’s a “cousin,” a family friend, and even an “uncle.”

Kyrie Irving: He’s a close friend of my family.

BDN: Can you assess your play so far in the tournament.?

KI: It’s been good. Our team is playing well and we’re just getting our chemistry together.

Blue Devil Nation: I wrote down your ten schools. Can you just briefly go through each of your ten finalists? If you could just briefly go over why you chose the specific program, that’d be helpful.

Kyrie Irving: Oh, okay. Yeah, sure

BDN: Indiana?

KI: Coach Crean and Coach McLeod. I have a great relationship with both of them. Notre Dame is because I have a great relationship with Coach Brey and Coach Solomon, er, Thomas.

BDN: Solomon

KI: Solomon and Coach Brey wants me to visit out there.

BDN: Texas A&M?

KI: They were the first to offer me. It was in the summer of my ninth grade year.

Blue Devil Nation: Florida?

Kyrie Irving: I went down there for Nationals and it was just great and they came to every game. Seton Hall is because their a local school. You know close to home. And Duke. (pause) You know, I…I mean Duke to me is really big. I mean especially where I’m coming from, which was nowhere. They’re great.

BDN: How about Georgia Tech?

KI: Coach Hewitt… he’s been great. He relates…he relates to my dad a lot. They have a good relationship.

Blue Devil Nation: What about Pitt, the home school for this tournament?

Kyrie Irving: I’m really just getting to know them, but I mean Ashton (Gibbs) is one of my boys.

BDN: Do you view this as an unofficial visit to Pitt?

KI: No, no I can’t.

BDN: Maryland?
KI: Maryland was because Coach Williams and Coach Eisen (Ehsen) came to see me during my sophomore summer, but it was brief.

BDN: And Marquette?

KI: I’ve watched them since Tom Crean was there and Coach Williams then. Coach Williams, right?

BDN: Yeah

KI: He became the coach and than I just related from there.

Blue Devil Nation: You talked in the past about making trips to Memphis and Indiana, do you have any unofficial trips planned for the spring or some that you’re hoping to make but haven‘t yet scheduled?

Kyrie Irving: Oh, yeah. On the 28th and 29th, I’m going to Texas A&M on an unofficial and in the future I’m going to Indiana and Notre Dame.

BDN: Okay, and that’s it for the schedule at this time.

KI: That’s it.

BDN: Thank you.

KI: No problem. [/private]

Duke Basketball Recruiting Update – Barnes, Wall, Irving, McCallum, Bledsoe and more

misc-challenge-0652Before we get to the latest recruiting information, let me tell you what's coming to Blue Devil Nation Premium this week.  We'll have an informative interview with Harrison Barnes and comments from one of his AAU coaches.  BDN's Andrew Slater was on the scene at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest.  Slater will have the latest, including interviews with Kyrie Irving, Ray McCallum and more.  Both of us will offer scouting reports on prospects we see firsthand this week as well.  Then there is some hot information on visits, but you have to be a member to see that.

Here is the latest on the recruiting trail from BDN, a source you can trust.  [private] Duke is very high on Kyrie Irving and that's why Andrew was scoping him out this weekend.  Irving is moving up the ratings as I type and he has already listed the Blue Devils on his list of ten schools.  Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins will visit Irving this week and there may be an unofficial visit in the future - we'll keep you posted on that.

Another guard prospect Slater interviewed this weekend is Ray McCallum.  This youngster has a lot of schools on him and if you have read our past update you have a good idea of his capabilities.  It's no secret that Duke is now going after athletic guards and the staff is determined to get one or two in the fold in the class of 2010.  Coach Collins will also take time to visit McCallum this week, so make no mistake in that Duke is very active on the recruiting trail.

BDN's best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Steve Wojciechowski who recently tore his ACL.  The injury will cause Wojo to be on the mend and off the recruiting road show for a good while.  This means that head of basketball operations, Chris Spatola will take his place.  Spatola will be looking at some of the states younger players and will check out some action in Virginia as well.

Don't freak out that Chris Carrawell wasn't the choice, for he is a notch behind Spatola in the chain of command.  Both will one day be assistant coaches.  CWell will once again participate in the James-Carawell, where donations from Duke fans helped me send three underprivileged kids that I work with to the camp last season.

Everybody keeps asking on the message board whether Duke still has interest in Eric Bledsoe.  Well, the answer is yes, despite the fact that another site says he has a final four which does not include Duke.  In fact, Duke Assistant Coach, Nate James will be heading south to visit Bledsoe this week as well as some young prospects.  Either James or Spatola will visit Luke Cothron, likely James.

Duke is trying to get a feel for some of the youngsters in the 2011 class so they will know who to track come July when they are allowed to go to camps.  Yes, the camp availability is a bit more stringent this year, see the link from the NCAA on the message board if you are curious.

Then there is the continuing recruitment of the talented John Wall.  I am going to give you my speculation on what I feel is happening at "the moment."  I feel N.C. State is out despite being listed and that Miami is on the outside looking in as well.  I would in no way be shocked if Wall cancels his Miami visit.  His visit to Miami is set for this Friday and may last until Sunday.  Baylor seems the long shot as well, but of course I am pretty much repeating myself with all of the above.  Of late, Wall has added Oregon back.

Kansas has made a push but with their PG returning and the distance, I feel Wall will not be a Jayhawk.  Then there is "Dart gun," Billy Donovan who crept into the Wall home only to fly to Portland to meet with Wall in a motel room. That meeting was set up by Clifton who continues to listen to overtures.   Well, Billy has already used that dart gun trick with Kenny Boynton, so he'll have to reach deeper into the bag of tricks this time. Wait a minute!  Kenny Boynton and John Wall in the same back court?  One basketball is simply not enough for these two players and neither of them is going to take a backseat.  Could this mean that Wall stays in state like Boynton?

I also find it a bit interesting that rivals are doing their best to sway Wall away.  Florida comes rolling in when Kentucky becomes a player and North Carolina and Roy Williams would do anything to push Wall anywhere but Durham.  Both Florida and North Carolina have got into this race late - too late in my opinion.  If you put a gun to my head asking which one of these teams could weasel their way closer, I would go with UNC for the location.  Still , no secret that Roy and UNC dissed Wall for the longest time and his camp is not too happy about that.

That brings us to the two real players, this of course being my opinion.  Duke is trying to set up a visit with Wall before the contact period is over.  The Blue Devils made some major in roads and there are plenty of positives for both Wall and Duke should he end up in Durham.  The Duke staff hopes staying close to home and honesty wins out.  Of all the Wall suitors, Duke has pretty much backed up what they said and stayed straight up.

Duke could also start quite a pipeline for D-One Sports and Brian Clifton, but then again so could Kentucky.  Make no mistake there are some deep pockets in the deep south and they tend to let it be known in one way or another that there are "opportunities," to be had.  That's as nice as I could put it.  Like Duke, Kentucky needs a point guard and Calipari will try to sell Wall that he is a one and done specialist.

If Jodie Meeks comes back, Wall better hope he gets some shots, but UK can sell him better should he remain in the draft.  Personally, I don't see Meeks as a first rounder.  I told you a good bit back Patrick Patterson would cast his name and I feel he stays in.  I could go into all the prospects who are trying to sell John at various schools but that really isn't going to make that big of a difference.

Duke has put points in the pro's in Hurley, Williams and Duhon all first round picks.  And Coach K has been straight with Wall in saying he hasn't really had a point in four or more years.  Anyhow, enough rambling opinion, for this recruitment will take a few more twists and turns before Wall decides and you can count on a live announcement on ESPNU or some other network.

Still, at this time Duke is in as good a shape as possible but they will have to fight off Kentucky.  Keep in mind, I could be wrong and admittedly, my opinion changes a bit as the wind blows on this one.   Lastly, anyone who reads too much into comments in the coming days on Wall is wasting their time.  Wall is changing some of his answers from one interview to the next and is obviously enjoying his day in the limelight.  Please read our policies on sharing information on the message board.  Sharing of information from our premium site is strictly prohibited. [/private]

Recruitng Focus – Marquis Teague ready to get down to business in June

courtesy - Indiana Star
courtesy - Indiana Star

Marquis Teague (Class of 2011, 6-1, 170, PG, Pike H.S., Indianapolis, IN) is a slick point guard prospect who makes those around him better with his ability to get them into the game.  Teague has a high level skill set and is playing AAU ball for Indy Speice.  He is the brother of Jeff Teague at Wake Forest.

Can you tell me your list of schools?

Louisville, Ohio State, Purdue, Cincinnati and Wake Forest

These schools have offered?

Yeah

Have any other schools become interested or come in of late?

Michigan State and Syracuse have been calling me.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

Not really, oh, I used to want to go to UConn.

When you finally make a decision who will play the biggest role in helping you?

Just me and my parents.  We'll just talk about it and where I could see myself playing and how I could fit in.   My parents will help, so ...

If you were to describe your game for someone who had never seen you play, how would you do that?

I would just say that I'm a leader who likes to lead the way.  I'm a strong dribbler who is fast and can get to the hoop.  Iv'e been hitting my outside shot now, so ...

What do you do off the court?

I like to play video games, eat, chill with my friends and have fun.

When will you make a decison?

My Dad and I will sit down and discuss it and we'll make it in June.

Are you still open to other schools comig in at this point?

Yeah.  I will keep my recruiting open until at least June.

Greg Paulus answers questions about his future – Q & A

Paulus on Senior Day - BDN Photo
Paulus on Senior Day - BDN Photo

Greg Paulus held a media conference today earlier this morning to discuss his future this morning.  Here is a large portion of that session -

Where do you stand at this point and time?

My stance at this time is that I am looking at some different opportunities.  There a some opportunities out there involving football and basketball.  Right now I am trying to get as much information on those situations as possible.  Take it step by step in the process and try to figure out what the best thing for me to do for my future.

When did you start to think about football?  Was it during the basketball season?

No, it wasn't.  During the season it was always about basketball and Duke and how we could make a run at the tournament.  A few weeks after the season I received some interest from a few people which got me thinking and out there throwing the ball a little bit.  And that's what kind of sparked it.

You went to Michigan -

I did go to Michigan the other day.  I do not have anything set up f or another visit right now.  There could be down the road. I am trying to gather information on different schools or options.  I do not have any visits set in stone.

On his relationship with Coach Greg Robinson and if that played a factor -

You know, I do have a good relationship with Coach Robinson.  When I was back home in Syracuse I had some friend on the teams anjd went back to practices.  I didn't have any communication from him until I got up to Michigan.   I had a chance to speak with him and catch up a little bit.  But that was the first communication with Coach Robinson.

Has it been expressed by Michigan that you are welcome to join?

[brief pause]  You know what, I had a great visit with them yesterday and both Michigan and myself are just trying to learn about each other and feel out the situation.  It's one thing to talk on the phone but another thing to spend a day on the campus and build a relationship with the coaching staff.  But there has been an opportunity given there.

On the possibility of playing at Syracuse -

In reference to Syracuse, I obviously love Syracuse and have lived there a long time, it's home  and there has been some interest and something I am looking into.  There is nothing set in stone about a visit but I am interested.

On the Green Bay Packers -

A couple of days after the season ended for basketball, there was some interest from the Green Bay Packers and we got in touch and set up some workouts.  Communication came through and that was when I started to throw again.  It was a lot of fun to throw the football around and it was a great opportunity the Green Bay Packers offered  And everyday I went out there and threw it got better and better each day.

On NCAA rules and where and when he can play -

Yeah, there is a number of rules we are trying to follow.  I will graduate in May, which is Mothers Day weekend.  I am really glad to graduate with some of the opportunities that have presented itself, whether that it with another university, there is different things you have to look into.  There is another year of eligibility for me.  The research I am doing is pretty extensive and I find the process exciting.  It would have to be a Division 1-A  program but it cannot be 1-AA.

On other universities -

Yeah, yeah.  There has been some other interest from the universities and other teams and it's something where I am in the process of building a relationship with those involved.  There are options out there and I am listening to them and trying to learn about those opportunities when they present themselves.

So you will have to play this season and cannot sit out?

That is correct yes.

How may coaches have been in touch?

There have been several other schools that have been in contact.  I do not feel comfortable naming them at this point.

How important is it to find a situation where you will play right away?

I think one of the things when looking at a situation involving a school is that you want to help the program.  You want an opportunity if you help them to go to grad school.  I think that having an opportunity to compete and play right away is very attractive to me.  If this is the route chosen, I think that will be a major factor.

Has there bee contact from other NFL teams?

There has been several other contacts from the NFL.  Once again, I don't feel comfortable naming those, but there has been several other teams who have been in contact or called.

Any workouts planned?

We are in the process of trying to gather the information to work something out.  If there is an NFL team that calls and wants to see me throw.   I'll be glad to get out there and show them what I can do.

On  the Blue Devils offer to play wideout -

You know what, I'm a huge, huge fan of Coach Cutcliffe.  I am a big fan of him and what he is doing and have a lot of friends on the team.  If I play the game of football, I can only see myself as a quarterback and that's one of things I want to do if that is the best option and in my heart that's what I want to do - be a quarterback.

On the media interest -

I'm a little surprised.  There have been some really great opportunities that have come up in the last couple of weeks and I am very appreciative of all those things which have come my way.  I know that the Duke coaching staff here and some other people.  It's an honor to have an opportunity to continue to play and kind of keep that going.  It's been a dream not only to play Duke Basketball but continue towards a professional level.  If you could being the professional ranks would be another dream come true. To have all these opportunities is very exciting and I feel fortunate because of them.   So it is surprising but it's also exciting.

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Recruiting Focus – Brad Beal is the real deal!

Brad Beal - BDN Photo
Brad Beal - BDN Photo

Every now and then there is a prospect who suddenly commands attention and that certainly applies to Brad Beal.  Some of you might be saying, "Who is Brad Beal?"  While a few folks in recruiting circles know of the 2011 youngster, there seem to be a great many who have yet to see Beal in action.  I mean, the Boo Williams Invitational rosters even have his named spelled 'Beel' and when mentioning his name to some over the weekend, they'd ask me, "Who?"

Part of the reason for Beal's former anonymity is due to the fact that as a freshman he averaged just 8.5 ppg.   But this past season Beal broke into the limelight by averaging 23.5 PPG, not to mention a 30 point effort in the state championship game.  In fact, Beal scored 26 points in the fourth quarter of another game in the regular season and ended the contest with 52.

The rising junior stands 6'-3" and weighs a solid 175 and is still growing.  [private] Many of the services have Beal listed as a shooting guard but, make no mistake, he possesses that rare ability to find the open man.  As I watched Beal, he impressed me with his ability to share the ball with his teammates despite his scoring prowess.

Beal would lead his teammates perfectly on the break, throwing them the ball where they could make the play by leading them to the basket.  He could thread a needle with his passing and is very quick with the ball.  Beal has a pull-up jumper to go with his knack for taking the ball to the rack for a dunk.  A dangerous player in the open court, Beal always seemed to make the right decision this weekend.

It's amazing how far ahead of the curve this young man's game is compared with those in his class.  He can drain the three, play good on-ball defense and fill the passing lanes.  He's a tweener in the best sense of the word, for he can run the point with ease.

While Beal may not be a household name to the recruiting public, he has already garnered the attention of Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri.  Each of those schools have offered and many more pitches are on the way.  The sky is the limit for this youngster and whether Duke gets involved remains to be seen, but it's highly likely that if the staff catches his games, they'll like him.

After all, St. Louis has been good to the Devils, giving them former player and head team manager Chris Carrawell.  Stay tuned for more recruiting news from BDN Premium and enjoy the interview below where one comment is sure to stand out.  Trust me, you will hear the name Brad Beal in the future.

That was a tough loss out there, but you did everything you could to get your team to the championship game.  You had 29 points out there and are quite the scorer.  Where did that come from?

It's just the way I play.  The past couple of games I've been shooting the ball well, but knew I would have to shoot even better in the championship game.

Where did you learn you basketball skills?

My Mom.  Mainly my mom, because she always pushed me.  I''ve been working out since I was in, like, the third grade.

You're obviously close to your Mom.  Will she play a big role in your decision when the time comes?

Somewhat.  She supports me 100% so wherever I want to go she's fine with it.  She just tries to develop the relationships with coaches just like I do.

If somebody had never seen you play, how would you describe your game?

Real smooth and calm on the court.  I don't let a lot of things effect me and play as hard as I can every game.

You seem aggressive as well.  I saw where you are not afraid to get on the floor to fight for loose balls.  It seems like you are really able to find open guys too, leading them just right.  Is that something you work on a lot, your passing ability?

Yeah, I do, because I like to get my teammates involved - I'm not a selfish ball player.  I, like, to try to get everybody involved, that way everybody gets into the game and then we get up and down faster and score points.

Rumor has it that you are a heavy Florida lean, is that true?

Maybe, but I'm not sure right now.

Can you give me a list of schools which are showing interest?

Kansas, Florida, Villanova, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri are some of them.

Are you open to other schools coming in?

Yeah.

Do you have a time line on trimming the list?

I'm not sure yet.  I'm hoping to make it soon but not too soon.

Do you have aspirations to play in the NBA?

Yeah.  I know I have a long ways to go so I've got to work hard to achieve my goal.

Do you pattern your game or is there any particular player you watch?

Kobe for his ego and ability to score when it's on the line.  LeBron is great.  Ray Allen can shoot ...

Did you have a dream school growing up?

I liked ... not really.  Whoever has the most dominant team every year I usually choose them.

Who were you going to say you used to like?

Probably Duke because of JJ Redick.  I used to always watch him shoot.

What if Duke came into the picture, would you be open to them?

I would be open to Duke and any other school,

How are your grades?

I have a 3.8 GPA

Where will your team go from here?

We go to Arkansas next weekend and I know we are going to the Peach Jam.

Thanks for your time and good luck in your basketball future.

Thank you. [/private]

Andre Dawkins stock is rising – BDNP’s second interview with the future Dukie

Andre Dawkins surveys the court during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo
Andre Dawkins surveys the court during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo

I've now seen Andre Dawkins play in twelve games and the Duke commitment has made huge strides from being the six man on last seasons Boo Williams team.  It was clear to me on a trip to Richmond earlier this season that Dawkins had improved greatly since the summer.  Maybe it was there all along, but the thing that caught my eye was his athleticism.  In the first five games I had scouted Dawkins, he was primarily a long rang threat, capable of scoring points in bunches.  Now, Dawkins is showing off his athleticism by coming all the way across court to block shots or throwing down emphatic dunks.  Dawkins struggled in Boo Williams opening game, but erupted the rest of the way scoring over 2o points in five straight games.  I was all set to write the headline, "The Andre Dawkins Show," in the semi final game but a miraculous finish by Michael Gilchrist and Team Final spoiled the day and knocked Boo Williams out of the championship game.  Despite that, heads were turning with Dawkins play this weekend and the majority of the sites will raise his ranking or add another star to his name.  It was easy to see this coming for me after his play during the high school season, but Dawkins has put the rest of the nation on notice that he wants to be known as an upper tier star in the class of 2010.  Dawkins was named to the all tournament squad.  This is the second of three chats I had with Dawkins over the weekend.  The first interview can be found on the Blue Devil Nation Premium message board.  Please keep in mind that we do not have a public forum, so registering will only get you in if you are a subscriber.

Have you heard from the Duke coaches of late?

They just want me to concentrate on my AAU season and be myself and go out thee and play hard every night.

You struggled with your shot a bit in the first game, do you just keep shooting until your shot starts to fall again?

Yeah, just trying to get out of the slump from my first game.  I knew that wasn't going to last too long.   You can't rely on the last game.  You have to get your mind set.

Are you going to work on Harrison Barnes this weekend?

Oh [private] yeah, that's my job, I've got to go find him.

Kendall Marshall will be on him as well ...

Yeah we are both going to be on him all weekend so ...

Barnes doesn't tip his hand much does he?

Naw, he is cool.

Is your Dad here this weekend and if so what has he been saying to you of late?

Last night he just told me to forget about that game and move on to the next one.  That's what you have to do.  You can't go around worrying about the last shot in the last game.

[UNC verbal Kendall Marshall walks by smiling at Dawkins]

He's wearing that national championship shirt today.

[Travis McKie nods to me as he walks up and then off]

What about McKie?  Are you trying to get him to Duke? [asked somewhat tongue in cheek since McKie is not being recruited by the Blue Devils]

I'm trying but Travis isn't trying to go there.  He's not feeling them.

What about your teammate McAdoo?  Some are saying he is a UNC lock and that Flordia trails him as well ...

Naw, I don't think he's a UNC lock but he's definitely a great player.

You are obviously used a bit differently with Boo Williams than your high school team.  Can you address that?

You have a lot more duties with your high school team.  That's the way it is with all of these guys.  I mean it's the best guys from every high school.

Does Boo try to assign you to certain areas on the court?

I don't think he wants to label me or anything like that.  He wants me to do more.

What is it like being a leader on this seasons Boo Williams team?

It's a little bit different.  I was kind of backseat last year, but I'm kind of used to it being a leader on my high school team, but it's a little bit different having this much talent on a high school team.

Okay, I have to ask this.  When I was on Richmond, you made a thunder dunk and then went up to Duke Assistant Coch Nate James and let him know about it.  What was going through your mind then?

I don't know, I guess I was excited, just bring it and all.  It was a good play - it was a nice pass from Steve [Pledger], so I was just having fun. [/private]