Category Archives: Duke Basketball

November 14 2010: Duke guard Kyrie Irving (1) during a game between the Princeton Tigers and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 97-60.Watson//

Kyrie Irving – Heroics Come Natural

November 14 2010: Duke guard Kyrie Irving (1) during a game between the Princeton Tigers and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 97-60.Watson//
November 14 2010: Duke guard Kyrie Irving (1) during a game between the Princeton Tigers.

Everybody witnessed how cool under pressure Kyrie Irving can be as he sank a three-point shot over Steph Curry in last evenings NBA Finals.  In a game where the teams combined to go 1-17 down the stretch, Irving found the mark for what would be the game winning points.  While everyone will adore LeBron James and they should, the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA Champions just as much on the play of Irving.

Heroics is Nothing New for Kyrie Irving

I have been covering Duke Basketball recruiting for a long, long time. That means I have seen NBA legends when they were young including LeBron James.  In all honesty, there have been several Duke players to be that were special during their shoe camp or AAU Basketball days.  I could tell tales of many of them, but nobody excited more than watching Kyrie Irving.  I was in Orlando for the AAU Nationals during a talent packed event in 2009.  That's when I really got see how ridiculously good Irving was on the court.

Back then he played for a little known New Jersey Roadrunners team that was not at many major events.  In fact, his faithfulness to their program probably hurt his exposure before he broke out.  Duke was recruiting Irving hard, where current Northwestern head coach Chris Collins was the lead assistant.  But Mike Krzyzewski was also heavily involved and loved the skill set Irving displayed.  The three were at every single Irving performance on the Disneyland courts.

Irving was so special that he would end up playing some games for the New Jersey Celtics  and the Roadrunners.   He quickly became the show that was not to be missed,  Irving would show off his ridiculous moves as Krzyzewski munched on the unusually tasty and infamous Disney popcorn.  Irving would lead his team to a win over the uber talented Michael Gilchrist led Team Final  in a game where he was a one man wrecking crew.  That performance is now legendary as were many of his games in Orlando that year.  Irving flat out put on a show of dazzling moves average players simply cannot manage.

Earlier that AAU season, Irving struggled a little bit against competition in the NBA Top 100 Camp. By years end he was the top point guard in his class.  He simply adjusted to the better AAU competition quickly after going against lesser talent when playing for the Roadrunners. In a span of two hours, Irving helped his team knock off the two best teams that season in All Ohio Red and Team Final who both were loaded with college players to be.

ky8-230x194What Kyrie Irving told me post game in Orlando after his performance -

''Aw, it was great I enjoyed it!  I put on a show and it was just great to have him here.  He's coached so many great guys like LeBron and Kobe and seeing him here ... he's like a celebrity there watching me so it was great.  Just to know that he took time out and came in from Vegas to see me ... it's an honor.  I mean, he didn't have to come in here with everything he had going on, but he did.''

Irving went 20 for 20 from the free throw stripe in the game I witnessed at the AAU Nationals in Orlando ended the game with 37 points.  A legend was born on that day and he showed the world last night a little more of that magic as he drained a three.

_SAC3319Irving at Duke

I doubt Mike Krzyzewski had looked forward to another player any more than he did Kyrie Irving playing for Duke.  As I said, he was special and made those who saw him drool with anticipation.  As it turns out Irving played in just eleven games for Duke after a foot injury against Butler where he scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half to lead his team to a win.  Irving was to be out the rest of the season until  the NCAA Tournament.

During that time, Kyrie's foot took on a life of its own as fans could not get past they could not see the player destined to be the top freshman in the land play. For those who may not know or remember, Irving had been named ACC Rookie of the Week three times in ten games.  He was also ESPN's National Player of the Week after a 31 point outburst against Michigan State in a Duke won during the ACC/Big10 Challenge.

How good was Irving at Duke?  He was in the top ten in six statistical categories in the Atlantic Coast Conference when he went down. Irving also led the entire nation among freshman in scoring.  Duke was also undefeated and ranked number one in the land before said injury.  He had the most assists in NCAA history for a freshman debuting in a game with nine against Colgate.  He never scored in anything other than double digits in a Duke uniform.

More Knowledge Bombs on Irving

Kyrie committed to Duke October 22nd, 2009 where his decision was aired on ESPNU.  He joined Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston who had made their intent known earlier.  As in many situations of late, Irving chose Duke over Kentucky.

He transferred from Montclair Kimberly Academy to St. Patrick's where he played for Kevin Boyle.

He was the high school teammate of Dexter Strickland who went to UNC where he stayed all four years.  There was a time when people debated who was the best of the backcourt duo but there is no longer any question.

Kyrie's Dad played for Boston University and was 6-4.  His Uncle also had some influence on Irving when he was making his college decision.  They once told Duke that Irving was not signing for a year but sixty years.  This is interesting in all the critics who say Irving barely played for Duke do not realize the two made life long commitments.  The cold hard facts are that he loves Duke to this day. He was always on the sideline cheering on teammates when rehabbing his injury and is quick to mention is a school alum.

Duke cooled on Brandon Knight who ended up at Kentucky once it was clear they were the leader for Irving who they prefered . Here is an excerpt from an update I did at that time -

''The visit went very well with Kyrie Irving this past week.  How good?  Well, Duke canceled their in home visit with Brandon Knight which was scheduled for tomorrow.  Duke is hoping that Irving pulls the trigger in the next month or earlier.  Duke will stay on Irving big time, so much so that they will visit an open gym on Tuesday of this week.''

Irving and Nolan Smith could have  been the best backcourt in Duke history had they played the whole year together.

I bet you did you know that Irving was coached by current Duke assistant Jeff Capel.  That happened when Capel and Irving won Gold for the Team USA U-18 team in July of 2010.

The shot Irving made over Seth Curry will live in history.  He helped lead Cleveland back from the dead and a 3-1 deficit for the first time in NBA history.  According to ad metrics his stock rose to the tune of a few more million bucks last evening.

Mike Krzyzewski will now have to recruit Irving again, this time to play for Team USA in the Rio Olympics.

In Closing -

It will be fun to watch as Kyrie continues to progress.  Here is one last trip down memory lane from when he played in the N.C. Pro Am. No matter the event, Kyrie Irving always came to play.


High stepping Kyrie Irving - BDN/Rick Crank Photo

Kyrie Irving- It's as if we got a sneak peek at Kyrie during the Pro Am where he created quite the buzz with his effortless moves which dazzled the audience.  It was no surprise to me for I have seen him do some amazing things on the AAU trail where I witnessed at least 20 games he played in.  Go down the checklist ... ball handling, shooting, penetrating, playing the passing lanes, finishing and KI draws a straight A report card.

What he can get better at is defense and once K works on that a bit more there will be no stopping him from achieving his goals.  No if's ands or but's about the fact that a backcourt of Smith and Irving will be the nations best and Irving brings mad skills to the table.  He will make everybody on a talented team better with his ability to break people down off the dribble and he should dish for a lot of dunks to his teammates.  Irving didn't play down the stretch in the Pro Am and that is probably all by design but his 30 plus point efforts had Duke fans grinning and opposing fans looking forward to hearing his name be called one day by the NBA commish in New York./2010

 Kryie Irving.  Once a Dukie always a Dukie and an NBA All Star and legend to boot.


USA Men’s Select Team has Duke Flavor

357COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Five former Duke standouts, including two members of the Blue Devils’ 2015 national championship team, were selected for the 25-man USA Men’s Select Team that will train with the USA Men’s National Team in July in Las Vegas, USA Basketball announced Tuesday.

Duke’s five players – Rodney Hood, Brandon Ingram, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker and Justise Winslow – are the most of any school represented on the team. Previous Duke players to be named to USA Men’s Select Teams include J.J. Redick (2007), Nolan Smith (2010), Kyle Singler (2010) and Kyrie Irving (2012), who is currently a finalist for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team.

The USA Men’s Select Team will be coached by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who was named head coach of the USA Men’s National Team for the 2017-20 quadrennium in October.

“The 2016 USA Basketball Select Team continues our tradition of featuring some of the game’s brightest and most promising young players,” USA Basketball National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “Participation in this camp provides them with valuable experience at the USA Basketball National Team level, while helping prepare the 2016 USA National Team for its upcoming international competition. Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and it is an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball’s National Team program in the future.”

Hood had one of the breakout sophomore seasons in the NBA in 2015-16, averaging 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He was selected for the 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend, a year after the Utah Jazz made him their first-round draft pick. Hood was named a captain at Duke before playing in a game for the Blue Devils, having transferred from Mississippi State. In 2013-14, his lone season of action at Duke, he averaged 16.1 points and 3.9 rebounds.

A second-team All-ACC selection and the 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year, Ingram averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 34.6 minutes per game this season. In addition to earning honorable mention All-America accolades from the AP, Ingram was also named the third USBWA Freshman All-American in Duke history, alongside Parker (2014) and Okafor (2015).

One of the nation’s most versatile players, Ingram was the first freshman and only the second player – along with Shane Battier – in Duke history to make at least 80 three-pointers (80) and block at least 40 shots (49) in the same season.

Ingram, who previously represented the U.S. at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, was the lone player named to the USA Select Team who was a freshman in the 2015-16 college basketball season.

The third overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds to earn first-team NBA All-Rookie honors this season. He ranked second among rookies in scoring, while also ranking third among first-year players in rebounds and fourth in both double-doubles (11) and blocks (1.2).

In 2015, Okafor was a unanimous first-team All-American, the USBWA National Freshman of the Year and the first freshman ever to win ACC Player of the Year after averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds to help Duke in its fifth national championship.

Okafor owns three international gold medals representing USA Basketball and was a member of the USA Junior National Team from 2010-13.

Parker was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, and established himself as one of the league’s brightest young stars with averages of 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 2015-16. He was a consensus first-team All-American and the USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 2014 after averaging 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds in his lone season at Duke.


Parker won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2017 FIBA U17 World Championship. He was a member of the USA Junior National Team from 2010-12.

Winslow helped lead the Miami Heat to the Eastern Conference semis as a rookie, averaging 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 78 regular season games en route to earning second-team NBA All-Rookie honors. The 10th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, he averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 13 playoff games.

He averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds, while shooting .418 from three-point range, in one season at Duke, helping lead the Blue Devils to the 2015 NCAA title.

Winslow has helped USA Basketball win three gold medals at youth tournaments and was a member of the USA Junior National Team from 2010-12.

Members of the USA Select Team will train daily with the USA National Team from July 18-21. All practices are closed to the public.

2016 USA Men’s Select Team

Malcom Brogdon (Virginia)

Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns/Kentucky)

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit Pistons/Georgia)

Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky)

Kris Dunn (Providence)

Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic/Arizona)

Jerami Grant (Philadelphia 76ers/Syracuse)

Garry Harris (Denver Nuggets/Michigan State)

Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz/Duke)

Brandon Ingram (Duke)

Brice Johnson (North Carolina)

Stanley Johnson (Detroit Pistons/Arizona)

Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves/UCLA)

CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers/Lehigh)

Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls/Creighton)

Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets)

Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers/Duke)

Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks/Duke)

Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers/Kentucky)

D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers/Ohio State)

Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics/Oklahoma State)

Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers/Texas)

Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)

Justise Winslow (Miami Heat/Duke)

Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets/Indiana)


Coach K is in a Happy Place

Cj45hoYWkAETrugSomewhere, be it in his office on the top floor of the Schwartz-Butters Building or at home, Mike Krzyzewski is thinking basketball. Having just concluded another Coach K Academy where the proceeds go to the Emily K. Center which is named after his mom, the schedule is about to get busy for the man more often than not, is known only as Coach K.

Let's pause to think about his upcoming duties for a moment.  Firstly, he has to set a practice regimen for his players for next season.  where a talented cast of newcomers who will try to mesh with solid returning talent.  Fortunately, he has a veteran cast of assistants that have earned his trust to watch over the fort while he is away.

The reason, of course, for that departure is not a vacation but instead he will soon be off to gather NBA standouts to make another run for the Gold Medal for USA Basketball in Brazil.

CJlITTKUsAE_AxwTo further put his platter of duties into perspective, let's not forget about the recruiting trail where Duke is battling for more of the nations elite prospects.  And then there is his rehabilitation from two off-season procedures just to add a little icing on the cake.

''I'm doing great ... taller, standing straighter, more energy,'' said Krzyzewski recently.  He would go on to mention the Duke medical staff as being key and that's good for his successful recovery, for he will need to be his best to continue his success in the coming year.

Kryzyzewski looked healthy and happy, and why not?  In the background the sounds of basketballs could be heard as a group of . former basketball players had returned to Durham for their coach. In fact, it was the largest turnout of alumni players to date from Jabari Parker to Gene Banks and many more from varying eras.

c3b3fce7-304d-4fb8-ab97-ad869f0d911bHere he was standing in the middle of his castle if you will of one of the grander practice facilities in all of college basketball.  There was his support staff keeping tabs, family members all around in a building that saluted program accomplishments.  And one has to think Krzyzewski peered over in between talking to Danny Ferry and Billy King, two NBA front office successes to see Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum smiling with one another glad and ready to be a part of a new chapter.

I mean think about it, Grayson Allen was there and wanted to come back for more and he is just one of many players Krzyzewski has built a relationship with while watching them grow into men.  It's like going to Richie Rich's mansion from the old comic books for just about everything one could want, be it past achievements to building blocks for a stellar future is all in-house.

Krzyzewski would go on to mention just about every player back by name with concern to next seasons team, one which is going to be the pre season top rated team in America.  And after that statement to a throng of media types, he simply said ''We're all good.''

Yeah, I'd say so, Coach.

''How is Amiles health?';; asked a reporter.  ''Amile's great ... Amile's good,'' said Krzyzewski.

354f02d1-42af-41c4-837a-7e211349ed21He was then asked what it was like to have the freshman in early and replied, ''They get accustomed to one another so when the school year comes they're friends, they're better, they're acclimated and they can hit the ground running.''

Another reporter stated, ''This team will be looked at as a juggernaut ...''  Krzyzewski responded, ''I think we'll be really good.''

Oh yeah.  veterans back, top freshman class perhaps in Duke history ... they will be good -- again.

While Krzyzewski admitted his team would be good, I mean Captain Obvious knows that to be true, he was more than keenly aware of who the nations elite would be rattling off the likes of Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Villanova, Virginia,  Remember I said somewhere Krzyzewski was thinking about basketball?  Well, he always is and there are rumors of plenty of late nights.

Of course, Krzyzewski would get the question about retirement, the ones which come no matter what.  ''I guess I would say I don't have plans for the future.  I actually feel younger getting these things done,'' which was in reference to his surgeries.

It's a bit puzzling how people will look to find a chink in the armour these days or a weakness via perception.  The truth is that Krzyzewski will simply coach as long as he wants to at Duke but make no mistake he cares about a continued legacy and he is likely thinking about that as well.  But why talk of that now?  I mean with the nations most talented cast and readying to try to gain another Gold Medal, his eventual retirement insignificant at best.

yFans  get caught up in the future so much whether it be recruiting worries or the eventual successor to the throne that they lose track of the here and now.  Relax.  There will be suitors and maybe his sidekick Jeff Capel is at the to of the list these days, but that will happen when it happens.

Krzyzewski is likely looking over at assistant coach Jon Scheyer and newly added special assistant Nolan Smith thinking of that night on the podium in Indianapolis in 2010 knowing all will be an and or is fine.

Or maybe he looks at Grayson Allen and thinks about those hustle plays which helped Duke win his fifth title. Maybe there is a glance at another assistant in Nate James where he remembers another title or the night he came over to his house with Shane Battier and Chris Carrawell to assure him Duke Basketball will never stop after a massdefection of talent to the NBA.  And it hasn't stopped and shows no time of doing so any time soon.

Yeah, there is more than one reason, Mike Krzyzewski is happy and energized.  In fact, there are thousands of reasons, so many it is hard to fathom how incredible his career has been.  Since coming to Durham. Krzyzewski has managed to create the perfect storm if you will.  Not that there were not some struggles along the way, but even those instances were a part of what Duke Basketball has become.

The man is in a good place and so are fans of the program.  He is so good at what he does, that USA Basketball wants a piece of him as well and he wants nothing more than to finish off that chapter in the same way he seemingly does everything else.

It has to be disgusting for those who are not fans of the program to see just how solid the foundation has become. Krzyzewski with the help of great assistants has adjusted to the landscape as it is today better than any one.  He has learned to build short-term or long-term relationships with players.

hgThe program is flourishing off the court as well, in front offices, the benches at other institutions as well as the next level known as the NBA.  There has been and continues to be great players come though Durham at an amazing rate.  The program has become a reflection of character and growing kids into men.

It's simply all good in Durham, has been and will be as long as Mike Krzyzewski plays a role.

So, please ignore the sly smile you may see on Mike Krzyzewski's face these days for he knows he is in a good place, but remember he has earned it.

And with that said, we will now await the games in Rio and the coming season.  Both should be legendary.



Gary Trent is a Solid Prospect

trentThe last time out on he AAU Circuit, Duke prospect Gary Trent cemented himself at the top of his class with stellar scoring performances.  The Howard Pulley wing guard is one of the main reasons his team remains undefeated against Nike's very best in this seasons EYBL.  A prolific and confident scorer, Trent shows that he is never afraid to score the ball as his defense continues to improve to help make him a rounded player.  Down point guard Tre Jones, Trent fought through a deep thighbruise to team with an upstart player to keep the hopes alive for the rarest of things, an undefeated EYBL season.

''I got hit in the quad and the face,'' said Trent the game after going for 47 points.  As he was doing so, it was clear that he had friends at the Hampton session at the packed out Boo Williams facilities.  During that time many of the top players stopped to give him props on his scoring performance news that seemingly travels quickly through the eight basketball courts.

Among those to talk with him were Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter just to name a few.  Drama is seemingly nothing new for Trent and his Pulley teammates in that they had to come from way behind in one game to win in overtime while riding two of his scoring outbursts for victories.

All of this added up to me seeing a much improved player on the court since a season ago, where Trent remains cool under pressure while allowing his teammates to take some of the load.

Trent was quick to prop his teammates as well, including Brad Davison who had just concluded a stellar break out performance. ''We've known he's had potential for greatness, so for me I am really not surprised by his performance.''  Davison was the talk of the tournament after a game where he filled in for Tre Jones and logged in 37 points.

Trent also plays with the aforementioned Jones who suffered a hand injury late in the tournament.  Jones is his Apple Valley teammate and the brother of Tyus Jones who helped lead Duke to their last National Championship.

Here are some more comments from Trent when I caught up to him for a quick one on one interview -

On his 47 point outburst and what was going on in his mind during the performance -

''We were really just trying to stay undefeated.  Coming off a game like that everybody is going to look at you to shoot the ball first.  So, today, in the next game, I saw the double team, traps and stuff, so I tried to find my teammates and get everybody involved. It's great.  We had another tough game like this early this morning and our team had our back against the wall and we won.  We keep winning in these situations, so we want to keep it going. We know if we play together, great things can happen and if everybody plays hard, we should be successful no matter what.

Where are you in he recruiting process, who has been staying the most active of late?

It would be Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas ..

Blue bloods ...

Yes, it's still an open process right now. He then stated that he would be going for sure to a high major school in college.

Who are some of the last coaches you've heard from?

UCLA called, Coach Jeff Capel from Duke texted me.  That was the most recent.

What did they have to say ... what did Capel have to say?

Just to keep it going, keep it turned up and play hard.

I mostly cover Duke.  I saw you down in Durham on a visit sitting with the Cameron Crazies.

Ahem, yeah.

What was that visit like?

It was fun, it was crazy.  Every time you see them on TV with people putting their hands up or out on the out-of-bounds happens.  You kind of get a feeling of what it is like to be in a game there in person and they are crazy and loud.  I like the little Harry Potter feel the campus has to it with the old buildings.  It was nice.  I got to see their facilities too and they're top-notch. Everything is great their and the standards they have, it's just good.

Who are some of the guys you would not mind playing with at the college level?

There has been some talk of me and Wendell Carter being a part of a package deal and we've been talking about that for a year now, so that could happen.  We are trying to get one more player to come with us but I don't know how that is going to work out just yet.

You can't say those names of the possibilities just yet, huh?

No, not yet.

Back to Wendell and yourself, the two schools on your list are Kentucky and Duke, right?

Yeah, right now we both have Kentucky and Duke on our lists and Kansas offered us, UCLA and I think Michigan State as well.  We have a handful of offers together.

Who do you guys have in the morning game?

Man, I am not even sure, I just show up and play.

I notice you warming up in a pretty serious manner before game son the sideline.  Are you a but of a workout warrior?

Oh yeah, every day.  I work out every day of the week and only take Monday off.  I got that work ethic from my father who instilled that into me at a young age.

What's wrong with your man Tre Jones there?

I don't know yet.  He then yelled, Hey, Tre come here.  He;s got some ice cubes on his hand.

In closing - It is obvious that Howard Pulley is a close knot bunch and that they have each others backs.  I then discussed a few more things with Jones and Trent as other players continued to show their respect off them remaining undefeated.  Jones who is a year behind Trent was to see a doctor on Monday and he injury did not seem serious but did keep him out of the two games.  Meanwhile,  Trent was clearly one of the best wings available for the power teams he lists.  We will also have a chat with the younger Jones coming up shortly, so stay tuned.


It’s Duke Blue for Marques Bolden

Ce0G6tFWEAAnwBEGood things come to those who wait.  Patience is a virtue.  Both of these sayings apply today with concern to Duke fans who had to wait a long time for Marques Boldens' decision.

After cancelling his announcements on a few occasions, Marques Bolden  to the microphone today and announced he would wear the four letters spelling out Duke on his jersey next season.  The announcement took place at DeSoto High School in Texas before his classmates, media and on lookers.

His announcement clearly gives Duke he top recruiting class in the nation.  Bolden joins a cast of Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Frank Jackson, Javin DeLaurier and Jack White next season at Duke.

“We’re thrilled to add Marques to an outstanding incoming class,” Krzyzewski said. “In addition to his elite length and athleticism, he is a highly-skilled big man who can really score the ball. He runs the floor well, rebounds on both ends and blocks shots. Marques has tremendous potential and a bright future, and we’re excited to coach him at Duke.”

The Blue Devils also return Amile Jefferson from an early season injury, Matt Jones, Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard as key components added to the stellar class.

Bolden is a true post player with plenty of talent.  He can play with his back to the basket or stretch the floor by going outside.  He finishes well around he rim and is getting better and better as he grows into his body.

A team can never have too many talented post players and Bolden will be a part of a solid rotation down low for Duke, likely to be the pre season number one team in all the land next year.

Standing at 6-11 with solid weight, Bolden put up impressive numbers of 24.3 points per game and averaged 10.2 rebounds to go with 2.6 clip of blocks per contest for DeSoto.  It is worth noting as well that he will join another alumnus from his school in Matt Jones for one season at Duke.

Bolden was named a McDonald's All American and played in the Jordan Brand All Star game as well as the Nike Hoop Summit.  His best accomplishment to date came this past season where he led DeSoto to a coveted state title.

The Texas native visited Duke on September the 18th of this past year.  He had been offered by Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski since June the 4th of last year.

In the end, Bolden chose to play in Cameron where Duke Blue will be the color of his college career.  He is a big time, solid prospect that will contribute right away.


Kevin Knox Talks Recruiting

knoxKevin Knox continued to impress this past weekend during the Nike EYBL event in Hampton, Virginia.  Knox is a can't miss prospect from Florida who is being recruited by the nations heavyweights,  I actually ran into a few scouts who said they were not that impressed with him, some even calling him skinny.  But I am telling you now that the youngster has the perfect body type to put on muscle to his frame and that it will happen.  People often want to see a finished product at the high school level, but that usually means a kid has topped out. Knox knocked down nine consecutive three pointers before missing on in warm ups.  He has been working on his outside shot making him a player with size who can stretch the court.  What makes Knox even more dangerous is that he can mix it up inside as well. I caught up to the budding star for the following interview at the third session of the EYBL in Hampton, Virginia this past weekend.

You are arguably one of the most popular players in the EYBL with microphones always around you, how are you adjusting to that?

I am just learning how to do it all with media, my Dad helps to teach me different things to say and I am prepared to answer the questions I'm asked.

Your Dad was a football player -- how does that help you?

He knows what it takes to get to the next level.  He got there, so he is teaching me all the things to do, how to work out and a work ethic. He had a great work ethic, so that helps.

I am sure a prospect like you is hearing from coaches all the time. Who are some of the coaches you have been hearing from of late?

Coach K thanked me yesterday after my game and before I got up here and Coach Cal texted me and I talked with Coach Wright from Villanova.

What does it mean to you when those guys contact you.  Is it important that they stay in touch?

Yeah.   Yeah, that's one thing I am  looking at in how they stay in touch with me throughout my sessions and throughout my games and if they are keeping up with me and seeing how I am doing.

Duke and Kentucky, could you break those two schools down?

Kentucky came in late but I am really interested in them and I liked what Coach Cal said when he came in home.  I was really impressed with what he had to say.  Coach K, they've been up to see me two times which is great and they have good coaches and everything.  I am looking forward to getting to know the schools better later on.

Is it the plan for you to be a one and done in college?

I mean I am going to a school to be a one and done, so if I go in and play well, I am hoping to leave but nothing is guaranteed when you are in college so I am focussing on going to the next level to better my career and be a one and done.

Will a school have to show you their history with one and dones to get you?

No, that has nothing to do with it. Some of the things which go into committing to a school will be family, how I fit into their team and if they are coming out to watch me play and keeping up with me.

What kind of role are you looking for on a team?

I am trying to win games .  I am trying to win national championships. so I will do whatever the team or coach wants me to do.  Most coaches want me to come in and play on the wing, so that is the stuff I am working on with my game right now.

So will you be dropping some schools or new ones from coming in. Have you established your list?

Oh no.  I am open to any one.  So if they text me right now, I will text them back.  I just picked up an offer from California, so I mean so it might seem like it is pretty late but I am still open.

What about USA Basketball?  Obviously, you are real involved with that. Are their any players on the USA squad or on the circuit you talk with about playing together?

We talk about it some in the motel rooms and when we are hanging out and stuff like that, so I mean I have heard a lot of people say my name where people say they want to play with me, but it really doesn't matter who I play with at the next level.  I am just trying to win games,

What is your number one goal this summer?

I am trying to win Peach Jam.  So, I am trying to make it to Peach Jam first and win it all.

You will obviously be at the USA camp instead of the NBA Top 100 Camp, right?

Oh, yes sir.  I think we'll be going up there soon and I am looking forward to going and trying to make the team, so I mean, that is m goal.

Has Duke told you how you would fit into their system?

Yes, they've told me and I have watched Brandon Ingram a lot and how he gets rebounds and is able to run the point and being able to push the ball.  So  just having that freedom is what Coach K and Coach Capel have talked about to me a lot.

What about Kentucky?

Just how to play 1 though 5, rebound the ball and run the floor.  If I got a little dude on me to take him.. Coach Cal  has shown me those things.