Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Jamil Wilson talks of when he’ll make a decision

Some sites have reported Jamil Wilson has stated he will not announce his college decision until 2009.  If that were true,  he might could  play his way into a scholarship offer over the next year.  If Duke had to make a choice today, I am of the opinion that Jamil would be on the outside looking in with concerns to a Blue Devil offer, but I am not privy enough to state that as a solid fact.

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Wilson has been anything but consistent all summer (AAU season) long.  During the NBAPA Camp, he drained some threes or blocked key shots.  During the Peach Jam, Wilson grabbed one board, took the ball the length of the court and finished the play off with a driving lay in.  Any observer who saw certain plays would quickly recognize a budding star.

If one were to keep watching Wilson, they would see inconsistency.  Much like Daniel Orton, he plays very well in sequences only to get lost on the court making one wonder if they are watching the same player.

One of the things that bothered me during the Peach Jam was his not so emotional attitude.  It could have been sheer frustration, I mean, I'm not a psychologist.  Whatever it was, it just didn't seem positive or assertive.

Despite that, he would come out of nowhere to get a block or crash the board for a key rebound.  His offense simply wasn't there.  He scored just two points in one game and averaged around 8.5 for the tournament, his team going hime with a 2-3 record.

I had noticed one time when it looked as if he tweaked his ankle and subsequently talked to him about this and the recruiting process.  He mentioned that he had twisted his ankle a few weeks back and that it bothered him during the LeBron James Skills Academy, so I asked if he was still feeling the effects.  Wilson replied, "I came down wrong and kind of tweaked the ankle, but I'm fine.  I really try not to think about it, but I feel it's a lot better now."

I then wondered if he might be a bit tired from the wear and tear of the AAU season and asked him if the circuit was taking it's toll.  "Ummm, sort of, but I love the game, so it's okay."

In the previous game, he had put up a goose egg in the first half, but came back with 9 points in the second half.  "I really wasn't being assertive.  I wasn't looking for my shot in the first half.  I was trying to get out and get ahead and was working on rebounding.  I need to be more consistent," said Wilson.

When I told him he was tied for the lead at the camp in blocks after three games, he did light up.  "You got to play defense too, that's the way I see it," said Wilson.  I then took the opportunity to ask him if he had noticed coaches in the stand that were recruiting him.  "I didn't really pay a lot of attention, but sometimes on dead balls, I'd look up and see them.  It's not like I was trying to pick them out though saying here is a coach who is recruiting me.

Many at the event said Michigan State was the team to beat for Wilson and Tom Izzo and an assistant were present at three of his games.  I asked him if this were true and Wilson responded, "I think every team is the leader.  I'm wide open.  I haven't put Michigan State on the top of my list."

Several coaches were seen during his play, Marquette had two assistants around at all times, Wisconsin was low key, but they were there and several smaller schools from the Wisconsin are watched, as well as Northwestern and Coach Wojociechowski from Duke.

Wilson seemed more open than ever which surprised me.  Perhaps he was playing it safe with his comments.  He still lists Duke, Wisconsin, Marquette and Michigan State, but added Texas.  "The end of summer," said Wilson when asked when he wanted to make his collegiate choice. 

That certainly differs with what other sites are reporting and he told me this in a clear manner.  My reaction was that's not long, so I asked how he could make a decision that soon. "Because I've been thinking and chipping away at it and my Dad has been doing the same.  So, by the end of Summer, we should be able to release something."

Of the schools listed, Wilson has yet to see Texas or Michigan State.  Take that for what it's worth.  I couldn't help but ask again about the original take that he would not go out of state to college.  "That was mainly my sister, but Dad and sister want me to go off and experience life as a young man.  People can say things, but if I don't say it, it's a rumor."

Nobody can say that Wilson is a selfish player and if he harnesses his skill set, he will be a solid player at the next level.  To his credit, he volunteered to work on the extra drills at the NBAPA Camp while most of the players elected to kick back and rest.[/private]

Peach Jam Update, Xavier Henry and John Wall impress

Top Scorers - Xavier Henry 24.8, D. Richardson 22.0, Gary Franklin 21.8, Tommy Mason-Griffin 20.8, Terrence Boyd, 18.5, Carl Tankson 18.3, John Wall 18.3, Andrie Coleman 18.3

Top's in rebounds - Keith Gallon 44, Alex Oriakhi 42, Colley 36, Wall 32, Hamilton 31, Noack 31, Stinson 30

Top's in assists - John Wall 25, Phil Pressey 24, C. Payne 22, Marshall 20, Mason-Griffin 18, Selby 14

Blocked Shots - Oriakhi 10, Spencer 8, Riley 8, Noack 7, Ratliffe 7, Wilson 7, Johnson 6

There are no stats on the 16-U teams, but some of the best ball of the tournament is going on in this bracket.  Albany City Rocks went to 4-0 defeating Boo Williams, in a game with two loaded teams.  BDNP will have interviews with three of the players from these teams in the coming days.

Some of the U-16's who've played well as I watched are, Travis McKie, James McAdoo, a 2012 kid named Justin Anderson, all from Boo Williams.  Jason Morris who pulled double duty for the New York Gauchos and Team Playaz played well.  Morris took a nasty fall after a dunk and fractured both cheekbones and got six stitches.  He then played in the next game.  More details on BDN Premium.    Then there was Michael Gilchrist of Team Final, Taurin Buie, Will Regan and Tibias Harris of Albany City Rocks.

The top players I viewed in in the 17-U division were Xavier Henry (pictured), a physical speciman who never quits.  We will have a brief talk with this national prospect this week along with his teammate Daniel Orton who is close to a decision.  Henry will take four official visits to Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and Texas before deciding.

John Wall really revved it up in his last two games, but his team was eliminated going 2-3.  He is a serious talent worth the hype.  Keith Gallon of Houston Hoops is an absolute load and plays hard on the blocks.  Alex Oriachi looked very good down low as well.  Gary Franklin continued his torrid play, where he pretty much does it all.  And there were several Boo Williams and other kids which impressed as well.  Recardo Ratliffe and Steven Pledger rose to the top for Boo in their win today.  Pledger, who is not listed in the top 100 in Prep Stars has been consistent all summer.  He is, IMO, top 75 for sure.  Kammeon Holsey, who committed to Georgia Tech played two really solid games, scoring in the high 20's to lead his team the Georgia Stars to a 4-0 record.

The play offs begin today and the finals are tomorrow.  Complete coverage of the Duke prospects is available on Blue Devil Nation Premium.

FIBA Americas U18 Championship (Updated)

The FIBA U18 Americas Championship kicks off today in Formosa, Argentina. The USA is in Group B and plays Venezuela in their first game followed by the Bahamas on Tuesday and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Duke recruit Mason Plumlee is on the roster and will gain valuable experience over the next week. The tournament's official website is here.
This USA Basketball article is an interesting and slightly funny account of the team's travel to South America for the tournament. The Asheville Citizen-Times has two articles posted on Mason Plumlee here and here. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has an article posted on UNC commit Leslie McDonald.
This Mike DeCourcy article is over a week old but it is a nice read about point guard Kemba Walker who will be the floor general for Coach McKillop. If the USA is going to challenge for the Gold, Walker is going to have to put in a strong performance.
Blue Devil Nation will keep you updated with links to all the action from Formosa so check back and follow the progress of Team USA.

USA 82 - Venezuela 73: Box Score and game summary.

USA 115 - Bahamas 51: Box Score and game summary.

USA 106 - Puerto Rico 64: Box Score and game summary.

USA 82 - Canada 66: Box Score and game summary.

Argentina 77 - USA 64: Box Score and game summary.

Nike Peach Jam Day One (afternoon)

The Nike Peach Jam kicked off this morning with several of the nations top prospects trying to impress college coaches.  Daniel Orton and Xavier Henry led their team to a win over California Supreme, who was without star center Jeremy Tyler, a no show.

UNC prospect Leslie McDonald was also missing with his duties with the national U-18 team.  Still, there are many stars from John Wall to Josh Selby and more.  The majority of the prospects are unsigned and some have even opened their recruitment back up after committing.  One of those players is Marshawn Powell who had originally said Arkansas was his choice.

Powell plays for AAU power Boo Williams, but even with the help of eight Division I futures, the tournament favorite went down to defeat in their first game.  In fact, it took a three point shot at the buzzer to knock them out 67-64 after blowing a sizable lead.

The winner, Team Texas was led by Gary Franklin.  Of course, Boo Williams features Duke's first 2010 commitment Andre Dawkins.  Dawkins didn't disappoint.  He came into the game with 8:33 left in the second half and immediately drained two jumpers.  He has 12 of his 14 points in the first half in the aforementioned allotted time.  He was 5 of 9 from the field and 4 of 8 from the three point stripe.

Duke Assistant Steve Wojciechowski watched from the sidelines.  Also watching the game were Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, Seth Greenberg and a multitude of assistant coaches.  All watched as a cast of Tristan Spurlock, Steven Pledger, Kendall Marshall, Deshawn Painter and the aforementioned Powell and Dawkins couldn't will their team to victory.  An aside, Marshall and Dawkins are the only 2010 players on this veteran team.

Peach Jam Alum include - Amare Stoudamire, Carmelo Anthony, Shelden Williams, Kevin Durant, Brendan Wright, JJ Redick, Dwayne Wade, Greg Oden, Baron Davis, Elton Brand and Dirk Nowitkzi.

Blue Devil Nation Premium will take in Jamil Wilson's 6:00 game and and Boo Williams following that.  John Wall and others are on tomorrow's schedule and we'll try to make a later afternoon game where Nate Lubick and Jason Morris are in action in Aiken, S.C.

Blue Devil Nation Premium members will continue to receive updates as the weekend goes on.  Members will also get to hear interviews with the prospects and in depth scouting reports.  You can subscribe by going to the paypal links in the left menu in this link.

Peach State Summer Showcase Day 1, Lubick, Morris

Well, I arrived in Aiken, S.C. just before tipoff of the Playaz versus Baltimore Stars.  As it turns out the Peach State Summer Showcase has 30 teams that could not get into the Peach Jam.

[private]In another twist, Jason Morris is playing for Playaz and not at the Peach Jam.  His teammate is Nate Lubick.  There team won going away as Baltimore had just seven players, but three more came in late.

Lubick was money from the field, going 6 of 7 from the field for 14 points.  He added a block and 2 boards.  He had 2 turnovers.

Morris scored 10 points, going 2 of 3 from the three point stripe.  He showed the ability to hit from the line which will move back in college this coming season.

Head Coaches watching were, Jim Beilein of Michigan, Billy Gillespie of Kentucky, Mike Anderson of Missouri and Sean Miller of  Xavier.  Assistants from UCLA, Boston College, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Providence, Vandy, Oklahoma, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Lubick hustles and is smart.  He needs to add strength, but he is young.  He ran the court well and gets to his position on defense.  He can pass (1 assist) and position well.  Hit 2 of 2 free throws.

Morris is athletic, spaces well, dribbles through traffic well.  Has a good handle, but not great.  Capable of getting to his man defensively.  Needs to block out better.  Nice range on his shot tonight with good rotation.

Isiah Armwood is not with the Baltimore Stars due to injury.  He was said to be out for none months.  Terrell Vinson was not there and I don't know if he will be.[/private]

Getting to know prospect Nate Lubick Class of 2010

This seasons NBAPA Camp provided me my second opportunity to see class of 2010 prospect Nate Lubick.  He showed a solid knowledge for the game and got up and down the court with ease.  He likes to float out, but is capable of banging when necessary.  His head is always in the game.

"I like to workout.  That's pretty much my life right now," said Lubick when asked what he liked to do.  He went on to say that he took advantage of the summer months and AAU ball.  Lubick plays for the New England Playaz, which of course has Florida commitment Erik Murphy.  They are also teammates at Southbrough High.

He will be going to Cincinnati for the Take Five Adidas event, and Augusta, South Carolina for the Peach State Classic.  Lubick will also attend the Joe Brown Memorial in New Jersey and then head to Vegas and Los Angeles to wrap it all up.

I asked him about playing with Murphy and he said it was a good experience and that the two were friends.  "My Dad is our high school coach.  It's a little different growing up with the program and seeing guys go to D-1 school," said Lubick.

He still has a lot of schools he is considering and stated, "I want to get a really good feel for the schools recruiting me.  I haven't cut my list down as of yet and everybody has been really good to me."

One of the important things for Lubick is his comfort level with people and getting to know the coach.  "It's just got to be a good overall fit.  Education is probably the biggest thing," said the 2010 prospect.  He continued saying Wake Forest was the only small school looking at him and that they had just gotten involved recently.

Virginia, UCLA, Michigan and Georgetown were named as being in contact the most by Lubick.  These teams appeared to be among the leaders, he then told me that he would take his five allotted official visits.

I asked him to describe his game to those who haven't seen him play and he said, "I'm versatile.  I play the wing more in AAU, but they have me playing down low here which is fine."  I can do a little bit of everything and try to play harder than anybody.  I try to use a high basketball IQ and try to make the play when I can."

I then turned his attention to the fact that his Dad was the coach and asked him if it was at times difficult.  "It was a little bit the first season, but this past year was much better.  It's a little weird to have him screaming in my face at practice and then go home and eat dinner with him," said Lubick.

He will try out for the USA team (2009) which travels to Europe.  He said Favors, who will go out for the 2008 Team USA was the toughest player he had played against and that named  Xavier Henry as far as the NBAPA Camp was concerned.

I then asked him of his Triangle visits and whether the Dukes and UNC's of the world had been in contact.  "Duke is definitely in it.  They are really high up there for me," said Nate.  While Duke has not been in constant touch of late, it didn't bother Lubick.  "Coach K is really busy with the Olympics, but I do talk to Coach Collins a lot."  He continued, "I talked to Wojo at first and then Coach Collins took over.  He's a real good guy, one of the best I have dealt with.  He told me that they didn't really look at guys until they were juniors."

He then said, "They have said that I will be a priority in their future recruiting and that they had seen a lot of me.  Coach K came to my high school to see us play.  I did talk to him and he said I needed to solidify what position I like to play.  He sees me as a wing, but likes the stuff I do inside."

Finally, I asked him a BDN staple question, which was to give me three words to best describe him as a person.  He said, "Smart, loyal and humble,"  I said, speaking of smart, how are your grades.  "They're very good.  St, Mark's is one of the hardest schools there is.  I have an A and four B's."

Lubick showed a baby hook during the tournament and a lot of hustle.  It was clear that he has a basketball IQ and he will only get better.  There is no doubt that the big kid with a bushel of offers might be seeking on from Duke.  Time will tell on this one and he is certainly a prospect worth keeping an eye on.

Note - BDN Premium will be covering. the Peach Jam and Peach State Classic this weekend.  There will be live reports.  You can count on interviews and solid, firsthand scouting reports on Josh Smith, Andre Dawkins, Jason Morris, Jamil Wilson and of course Lubick.

BDN Premium Members have full access to our archives, a premium only messge board to talk over the latest happenings with other Duke fans and more.  We have several interviews up with prospects right now.  To become a member, go to the paypal links at the old site, located in this link.  The paypal links are in the left in the menu.  We will then send you access codes or a member ID and password.  Those who join today, will be ready for the weekends action and the best reporting you will see.

Also, we just put up our informative General Recruiting Update which gives you the most accurate look available on the true Duke prospects.

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