Category Archives: Duke Basketball

BDN Premium – Andre Dawkins talks Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest and future teammates

Andre Dawkins All Southern Invitational Team - BDN Photo
Andre Dawkins All Southern Invitational Team - BDN Photo

Blue Devil Nation Premium talked with Andre Dawkins before the championship game of the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest.

Andre, you just erupted for 23 second half point to beat DC Assault and two future teammates Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton.   What are your thoughts on that?

You know, it was just a lot of fun.  That's what the AAU circuit brings, you get to play against a lot of the guys you will in college and even those you may play with in college.  So you know, it was just a lot of fun to go out there and play with those guys.  Of course, after the game we were all back to normal but during the game inside those lines, we are enemies at that point.

Was there a little bit of friendly smack talk along the way?  I saw Tyler and yourself doing a little bit of short grabbing along the way.

(smiling) [private] Yeah, yeah, you know all that stuff goes on, but it's just for fun.  You know we all knew each other coming up a long time ago.

Tyler played pretty good defense on you early on where you had three points in the first half.  You then erupted in the second for 23 points and got Thornton into foul trouble.  Heck, you made 12 free throws in the second half alone.

I wasn't really hitting threes like I wanted to and when that's not working you have to attack the basket.  He was in a little bit of foul trouble so I tried to post him up and get easy buckets or get fouled and knock down the free throws.

You have CP-3 for the championship game.  They're pretty good - what are your thoughts  going into that game?

They're athletic and so are we so it should be a good match up, so we just have to come out there and play our game.

You are known as the eternal, how should I put this, funny man and recruiter.  Hairston said you like to goof  on him a little bit out there.

Yeah, (smiling) just trying to have fun.  You know we are young and just playing the game and it''s suppose to be fun.

How does it feel to be somewhat of a leader on a future team already, talking to prospects and such?

It's not something I really think about a lot, it's just something I do to have the best team I can possibly have in the 2010-11 season.

Are you still working on players like Harrison Barnes?

Oh definitely!  Gotta work on Harrison.

What do you hope to work on the rest of the season?

I have been working on getting to the basket which I think has been evident in this tournament.  I have to work on consistency in my shot becasue I don't want to be labeled as streaky.  So, just consistency on my shot and driving the basket and getting fouls and things like that.

Good luck in the championship game.

Okay, thank you, I appreciate it. [/private]

Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton talk with the Blue Devil Nation

Josh Hairston - D.C. Assault
Josh Hairston - D.C. Assault

We're playing catch up with our weekend coverage from the Hoop Group Southern Invitational.  We'll start it off with a dual interview with Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton who are teammates for the D.C. Assault AAU team.  Of course, both of these kids from the class of 2010 have already signed with the Blue Devils.  The following interview took place after DCA's first two victories.  They eventually lost to Boo Williams in the semi-final round.  We well also have two separate interviews with the duo this week.  Stay tuned in to BDN Premium for a packed week of the latest from the AAU trail.

The first two games are down as easy wins.  Where do you guys go from here?

Tyler - That last game was one we needed.  We've been having a rough spring trying to come back and get it together after our high school season.  We've come in here with a purpose and are trying to win this thing and show people why we are the best team in the country.

Josh, do you feel like it was important for you guys to have been able to save your legs in the two wins?

Josh -Yes sir it was.  Of course you want everybody to play and to get a whole lot of minutes.  We knew we had put them out in the first half and just wanted to keep it going.  We were able to then  finish it out with a lot of our guys contributing.

Tyler, have you taken a look at the tournament field?  Do you guys take a look and say like, well this Chris Paul team is going to be tough?

Tyler - We try to see who we possibly will match up with, but we take every game one at a time.  You can't look past the competition or play to the level of the competition, we've got to always focus in for the next game and hopefully we'll be able to play some of those great teams from the area.

Josh, have you guys ever played Boo Williams?

[private] I played with them when I was fifteen and under, but I haven't played against them since.

Tyler, what do you think of a possible match up with them?

I think it would be a great game and hopefully we'll get a chance to match up with them.

Would you guys bump (jokingly) your future teammate around (Andre Dawkins)?

Tyler - Hmmm, of course (smiling)

You would put him in the middle of you?

Tyler - Yeah ....

Are you guys keeping up with Duke recruiting?

Tyler -Yes sir,  we know they've got some targets.

Where will you guys go from here?

Tyler - We'll go down to Bob Gibbons and after that I will work out with Nolan Smith a little bit.

Where does Curtis Malone come in to play here?

Tyler - Curtis is the big man, he's up at the top of D.C. Assault.  He's the boss.  He makes sure we get to the tournaments like this, that our gear is right and takes care of everything.

I saw Curtis at the recent awards banquet and he seemed to be having a good time hanging out, talking with Nate Dogg and such.  Y'all do know who Nate Dogg is, right?

Yeah, yeah.  (smiling)

They call him Dogg ...

Yeah, I know (smiling).

Have you ever seen his dog?

Tyler (Still laughing) Naw, not yet. (Josh laughing int he background)

Wait until you see it.  It's a Mastiff ... I don't think I want to see it.  He obviously doesn't want any friends.  Maybe it's that nice looking new wife he has. (joking)

Tyler - Yeah, I think that might be it.

When is the last time you guys talked with anybody from Duke?

Tyler - Actually, it was last week.  He called me from California where he was doing promotions for his book.

Josh - I talked to Coach Wojo last week and had a good conversation.  I hadn't talked to any of them for a while so we just caught up on some things.

What do you guys have to say to the Blue Devil Nation?

Tyler - Me personally, I'm looking forward to going down there and trying to get a national championship. That's out main purpose and our main goal is to work hard and with the team and get a national championship.

Josh - Same for me.  I can't wait to get down there and we are going to try to do everything we can to win the national championship. [/private]

Hoop Group Southern Invitational Interviews are on the way

Tyler Thornton - copyright BDNP
Tyler Thornton - copyright BDNP

As you all know by now, I have been off line for 72 plus hours due to a hard drive crash.  Is this where I say avoid Dell for they are not what they used to be?  Anyhow, I will spare you the rest of the gory details 🙂

I will have a lot of information coming from the Southern Invitational starting tomorrow.   No  more news on the John Wall front, but I do think [private] Brian Clifton likes what Duke offers, but I did not get the impression he was a major lean.  He did seem to want John to make sure of his decision and as I said he will go where he does by the blessing of his Mother.

You can read into that many ways, so let it play out a bit longer.  The talk of Kentucky leading could very well be true, but there is only one ball to go around with Meeks and Patterson eying the league by electing to come back.  The team which has gained ground is Florida.  Okay, enough on that for now, let's move on.

Quincy Miller mentioned Duke this weekend where he hasn't much before.  He also said that Coach K would be checking out one of his practices shortly.  Chris Spatola made contact recently, so Miller is on the radar.  I will have an interview with him shortly.

I will have an interview with Ryan Kelly some time this week as well.  I was to have called him back, but the hard drive issue halted everything.

CP-3 crushed Boo Williams in the championship game this weekend.  Reggie Bullock is the real deal and the Enloe duo which I will cover later this week was large in this game.  Boo was taken out of their game from the word go.

Boo Williams defeated DC Assault to get to that game, where Andre Dawkins scored 21 second half points after tallying 2 in the first half.   Tyler Thornton guarded him tightly before getting into foul trouble.  Josh Hairston was held to 3 points.

I will recap how each of these kids played in the coming days and break their game down for you.  Interviews with each one are coming as well.  Another player who had a 24 ppg average was Quinn Cook and we will hear from him and others. 

So, let me get settled in with a borrowed computer and I will start to churn out some information.  I'm truly sorry I couldn't update from the event this weekend.  We'll catch back up and show you why this site provides the best coverage around. [/private]

Southern Invitational tournament updates

a-dawkins-iiThe Southern Invitational AAU Basketball tournament was held this past weekend at the Boo Williams Complex in Hampton, Virginia, with Mark Watson on site covering the event for Blue Devil Nation.

Semi-finals action saw all three 2010 Duke commits in action against each other as Boo Williams, featuring Andre Dawkins, defeated DC Assault, featuring Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, 63-54.

Dawkins led Boo Williams by scoring 26 points with 23 coming during the second half.  In the first half, Tyler Thornton played shutdown defense on Dawkins limiting him to three points.  Foul trouble caught up with Thornton so he was unable to keep up the defensive pressure.  Highly touted 2011 prospect James McAdoo scored 16 points for Boo Williams.

Josh Hairston was limited to three points in the contest.  Hear  all the details from Mark in this audio update over at

In the Championship Game, CP3 made a statement via a dominating 93-70 victory over Boo Williams.  This is a game everyone expected to be close but it was anything but close.  CP3 was led by UNC bound Reggie Bullock, Wake Forest bound Melvin Tabb, 2011 player PJ Hairston, and a relatively unknown point guard named Chapman.  Hear all the details here.

News from the earlier action is here and here.  Be sure and check back as Blue Devil Nation will be providing much additional coverage of the Southern Invitational over the next several days.

BDN Premium chats with Brian Clifton about John Wall and his recruitment

misc-challenge-065BDN deals in facts, not rumors.  Everybody wants to know the latest on John Wall and what is going on in his camp.  I talked with Brian Clifton last evening and he broke down the process of the hottest recruiting battle in the nation.  If you are not a member of BDN Premium, then you're simply missing the best Duke subscription service available.

Will John Wall trim his list? [private] Maybe not according to Clifton.  At this point all the teams may be in there until the end.

Baylor - That's where Clifton preferred John Wall to go.  The reasoning was that he could be with his brother,  but Clifton admitted that it would raise some eyebrows and that Wall is not seriously considering them.

"I will go where John Wall goes," said Clifton.  No matter where John Wall goes, Clifton will be there with him.  This has already been discussed with Wall's Mom, who gave her blessing.

How will Wall's choice affect his D-One program? Clifton said he had a good staff and could run it from afar, but he also mentioned that it would be nice to stay in the area and that he preferred that.  Still, he would go wherever he needs to go for the benefit of Wall.

"The process is flawed," said Clifton.  He mentioned that coaches could only meet with John one time officially and that all they could do now was send e-mails and such.  He feels a prospect needs more time to evaluate what a coach is really like, meaning he might realize more from extended contacts bettering relationships.

"He's what's important and it is important that he feels that," said Clifton.  This means he wants to support Wall's decision.

Making a wise choice - Clifton wants to make sure that Wall examines all angles of the possibilities at hand.

How important is proximity to home for Wall? It's not at the top of the list.  Wall knows he will have Clifton no matter where he goes.

Kentucky -  Wall loves Calipari and has talked to him the most, but there is a question as to whether it's the best situation for John.

Florida - Glowing reviews for Florida where Clifton knows Donovan personally and his brother played for Larry Shyatt.

Miami - "They have some good players down there," said Clifton.  He admitted there were worse places to spend a year than South Beach.

Duke - "They've got some good players," said Clifton, who then rattled off the names on the roster.  Also mentioned was Ryan Kelly who is a D-One product.  Wall and Kelly were a one-two punch last season.

Will Wall visit Duke again? "Maybe, we'll see," said Clifton, who then went on to say that John feels like he has enough information to make a decision.  They have gathered a lot of information and continue to go over it.

Tough question - Would Wall have already committed had you not been involved as a mentor?  "John is an emotional guy.  He would have probably committed twice already."

Tough question two - Would Wall have already committed to Kentucky if it were not for taking a long look at the process?  "Probably."

Another fact about Wall - He likes to please the people around him.

When will a decision be made - "Who knows," said Clifton.

SAT Scores - "We feel real good about the test he took this past Saturday," said a confident Clifton.

There is more which I will discuss on the message board after this weekend's tournament coverage.  To read too much into these statements would be unwise, but this is the very latest information out there on Wall from a person very, very close to him. [/private]

BDN Premium – Southern Invitational Coverage Begins Tonight

dre-jsI will be on the AAU scene covering the Southern Invitational in Hampton, Virginia.  Future Dukies Andre Dawkins, Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton will show off their skills and we'll update you throughout the event on Blue Devil Nation Premium.  Check back in to hear the latest on the recruiting trail.  Get on the inside by joining BDN Premium today!  You will then be activated and will have full access to the site including our members only message board.  We look forward to seeing you.