Category Archives: Duke Basketball

BDNP Hoops Recruiting Update – Ryan Kelly offered

Ryan Kelly was officially offered a scholarship when he visited the Duke campus on an unofficial visit today. [private] The Duke staff is in the process of setting up an official visit. Kelly was accompanied by his family.

Duke Coaches will be allowed back on the road on September 9th and will visit the Boyntons on that very day. Duke is also ironing out a date for his official visit despite various internet rumors which said he would not visit Durham.

Mason Plumlee will come in on his official with his parents on September 12th to the 14th. That same weekend on the 13th, Duke will entertain Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton on a visit. They will be joined by Duke commitment, Andre Dawkins.

Duke could very well end up with a class of Plumlee, Kelly and Boynton in 09. I will keep you updated.[/private]

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[private]We've just put up the latest on commitment Andre Dawkins of Atlantic Shores who talked about Coach K and the Olympics and the desire to play with prospects Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton.

Speaking of Josh Hairston a player Duke covets, we have an in depth interview with the prep star where he discusses his upcoming visit to ... You'll get that and much more as a member where BDNP brings you the latest skinny. Also up is and extremely in depth interview with another prep sensation, Harrison Barnes.

We are in the process of moving the site, but if you want to join BDN Premium and read the latest offerings, simply e-mail me at[/private]

Andre Dawkins discusses Coach K, prospects he wants to play with and more

Andre Dawkins is already preparing for his junior season despite the fact that his AAU ball just ended. In fact, he pretty much thinks about basketball all the time. [private]Dawkins of course, is Duke’s only current commitment in the class of 2010, but if he has it his way, that will soon change.

Dawkins stated, “I stay in touch with Josh (Hairston) all the time. It would be great for me at Duke with a couple of guys that I know already. Tyler Thornton was the other player he was referring to. He grew up with Tyler and complimented him for continuing to develop his game.

While Dawkins has lost touch with Thornton who moved, he remains tight with Hairston and mentioned Hairston was close to Thornton and that he wanted to get his cell number. “It would be so easy to mesh as a team with these guys both on and off the court,” said Dawkins.< Dawkins said he felt Josh would make a decision soon and hoped he could get down to Durham before he makes his decision. “He may make one last visit to the schools he likes in order to make an informed decision. Josh knows I want to play with him at Duke and I think they have a good shot, but you never know for sure what might happen.” Dawkins first memory of Duke was in 2001 when they won the national title with a talented cast of players. “Growing up my Dad was a Duke fan and when I was a kid, I always wanted to be just like him,” said Dawkins. As Dawkins aged, Duke grew on him even more and he eventually chose Duke for his own reasons and not that of his Dads. My Dad and I have sat down and watched a lot of Duke games,” said Dawkins. He went on to say his Dad was the first person to put the ball in his hands, but that he didn’t pressure him like some little league Dad’s . “He never crossed the line making me do something I didn’t want to do,”

He went on to say that his Dad let him do his own thing and admitted that he thought he knew more about life when he was twelve or thirteen. “He stood back and let me do it my way until I saw I couldn’t do it all on my own,” said Dawkins. At that time, Andre Jr. started listening more to Andre Sr.

Dawkins said that playing for Boo Williams older team had both pros and cons. He felt at times like he should be playing more but still felt he benefited from playing with older guys. Dawkins is the go to guy in high school for Atlantic Shores Christian where he played alongside Steven Pledger who committed to Oklahoma.

The young budding star said he wasn’t as confident at times in that he usually came off the bench as the sixth or seventh man. The lack of repetitions seemed to bother him. Despite that feeling, Dawkins would light it up in many of the games I saw him play in, proving himself to be a terrific outside shooter. “I just wish I could have showcase myself more,” said Dawkins.

When looking ahead he wouldn’t commit to play for Boo Williams again next season at this time. He said that is something that he would discuss with his parents at a future date. He again stated that his sole focus is on the upcoming high school season.

Dawkins will be called upon to play multiple positions on his team in the Fall. “Most of the time I’m on the wing, but there are times when I need to play down low against certain teams, said Dawkins. This has added to his versatility, but he is projected as a wing guard or small wing forward at the collegiate level.

As for more visits to Duke in the coming season, he stated that he wanted to talk to Coach K in order to set some games up. He did mention that come rain or snow, nothing would keep him away from the UNC game and that he planned on watching future teammates' exact revenge over last seasons defeat in Cameron.

I then asked about his playing with teammates who have committed to UNC, namely Kendall Marshall. “He can be on the computer and if he has to type in Duke, he’ll tell me to type it in because he doesn’t want to do it,” said a laughing Dawkins. He said the two were already playing around with each other but when it came time, it would be all business.

Dawkins love watching Coach K in the Olympics and developed a worry. That worry being that Coach K was getting use to coaching the best pros around and that he may take off to the NBA. “It was nice to have the opportunity to see how great of a coach he is,” said Dawkins. He continued, “Hopefully he doesn’t get too wooed by the NBA.

He was also in awe of Coach K’s ability to get the players to play good defense, again stating teams would likely come at him with big money. In short, Andre really wants his chance to play for Krzyzewski.

Andre went on to say that Wojo and Coach K each called him while in Beijing, China. He also mentioned that he received some e-mails. K’s call was before the Gold Medal game and it was obvious that Dawkins appreciated that. "It still hasn't quite sunk in yet that I will be playing my basketball for Duke and Coach K," said Dawkins who then said it makes him want to get better so that he doesn't disappoint.[/private]

Josh Hairston talks recruiting and an upcoming unofficial visit to … find out by joining BDN Premium

Hi Josh! This is Mark Watson with Sports Nation Network and I was wondering if I could chat with you about the recruiting process and where you stand?

Yes sir! No problem.
Let’s start with your list! Is it the same or have other teams been added?

It’s Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Memphis and Clemson.

Clemson? They’ve kind of come in a little late … I guess Oliver Purnell made a pretty good impression?

Yes sir. He went to a couple of my games in Vegas. They’ve always had somebody at the games of late which is impressive.

I’m going to go down your list so you can give me some comments on each one …
We’ll start with the Virginia schools. Virginia. What are your thoughts on the Wahoos?

Virginia was one of those schools that recruited me early. I’m very close to Coach Leito and Coach Courtney. I’ve been down there for three or four game so far. I’m comfortable there.

Now, Virginia Tech. Correct me I’m wrong. Isn’t your Mom an alum?

Yes. They were one of those schools who came in after UVA. When they came in they made a huge impression. We went down there for a football game. You know the campus is beautiful. The fans are crazy and Coach Greenberg is a unique coach who I talk to all the time. He’s a great guy … his staff is great and I had a good time down there.

Okay! We’ll stay in the ACC. Tell me about Duke.

Aw Man, um. Duke, was um. Duke is just Duke. They came in when I went down there and I fell in love. They’ve got a beautiful campus and some top notch guys. I know some guys … I know Andre Dawkins who is going there. I talk to him all the time. Duke is … when I went down to Duke I definitely felt at home. I’ve got family who are close to Duke. My grandparents live a couple of hours away in Martinsville, Virginia.

Martinsville is pretty close to all of the ACC schools … or Virginia, Virginia Teach and Duke. You seem to like Duke. What do you think about Coach K and what he did in the Olympics recently?

I actually talked to him yesterday. I get out of school at 2:20 and he called at 2:21. Coach K is probably one of the best there has ever been. He’s very professional. He takes everything very seriously but not to where he is yelling and stuff all the time. He’s a great guy when he laughs and jokes with everybody. What he did with the Olympic team … that was phenomenal with Jason Kidd and LeBron. What he did making them play together was amazing.

What about Georgetown?

Georgetown was the first to recruit me. I’m very close to Coach Thompson and Coach Burke. You know they are 45 minutes away from my house, very close to home, but um, I’ve been there several, several times with my AAU team or just making visits up there. I like it.

How about Memphis?

Memphis was one of those schools who didn’t show up until recently. I’ve got an offer but I really don’t know too much about them. We were going to try to make a trip out there but I’m not sure if that is going to happen. There a new school.

Do you have any unofficial visits planned to these schools?

Um, right now I’m looking at the September 13th to head down to Duke. I talked to Coach K about it and my family, we are going to work things out. I don’t have anything else right now, but I’m going to get there. Did I mention Ohio State?

No, you didn’t.

They’re definitely one of my top schools. Sorry about that.

That’s okay. Tell me about the Buckeyes?

I went up there when they played Michigan State in football and it was crazy up there. They love Ohio State. I got a chance to sit down with Coach Matta and Coach Miller. I really do like Ohio State and I’m very close to Jared Sullinger. You know, we talk almost every other day. They’re definitely in my top.< What is the timeline for your decision?

I definitely want to have it done at the beginning of basketball season or no later than the end because I don’t want to go into my senior year thinking about where I want to go. I definitely want to get it out of the way this year and just be happy with my decision and just relax and play basketball.

You said you talked with Coach K. Have you talked to any other coaches of late?

Yes. I talked to Coach Greenberg and Coach Matta.

Will you stay with your same AAU team or will you cross that before summer starts?

Yes sir! I will stay with DC Assault. I’ve grown so close to them … I call them all my brothers and we all talk. During high school season we separate. Some as far as Maine … during AAU season we are definitely close because we win so many tournaments.

Have you thought about what you might take in school?

I really haven’t thought about it yet.

Let me make I got this … you have no other officials set up?

Not at this time but we’re still looking at September 13th down at Duke.

You mentioned friends … do they try to sway you to go to there school?

Yes sir! I’m friends with Nolan Smith who actually goes to Duke. We talk. Every time I seem him he tries to get me to come to Duke. A lot of my teammates are being recruited by the same schools. I do think about that because these are guys who I know how they play.

Is it important for your parents that you play somewhere they can pretty much get to in a short time?

Oh! Yes sir. Definitely, my parents are my biggest fans. I don’t want to go somewhere like UCLA all the way on the west coast where they could never see me play. I definitely want my parents to be able to come to the games. I so use to looking on the sidelines and seeing them?

Does Mom ever give you a nudge and say so you have to go to Virginia Tech?

She does real good. My mom is very open. The coaches… she tells them what they’ve got to do to get me. But in the end, it’s my decision. She will sometimes push if a school is too far. She is very open.

I've heard your Dad grow up a UNC fan? What would he do if you went to Duke or Virginia?

Oh man, we’ve had that talk before (laughing). I told him he was just going to have to change. We grew up watching UNC basketball, but I don’t think he’ll be too involved in that rivalry if I go to Duke.

What are the most important factors that will go into your collegiate decision? Is there like one, two, four things?

Yes sir, definitely academics. I don’t play around with my grades. I take them very seriously. I look for family because I’m a big family kid. I love my parents, I love my little sister. And I just want to see who the colleges are trying to bring in. You know, I’m not trying to be that top notch guy that has to do everything. I want to out on the floor with four other good players. If I have their back, I want them to have my back. I would take a national championship over a player of the year award any day.

Suppose somebody had never seen you play. Describe your game in your own words ...
I like to get out an run on the fast break. Those who evaluate me say I’m a very good kid who runs the floor well. I like to rebound. I can shoot the twelve to eighteen footer …I can do most anything.

Well, I certainly got what I needed and enjoyed talking with you. Good luck with school and your coming basketball season.

Thank you very much.[/private]

The latest on hot prospect Josh Hairston

I just got off the phone with Josh Hairston and had an enlightening interview.  [private]His school list is the same, Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Duke.  He mentioned Memphis, but I feel they are out of it by his answers.  He said he got out of school at 2:20 yesterday and Coach K called him at 2:21.  His family is arranging a visit and that date will likely be September 13th.  In fact, I am sure this is the date which they will come down.  He had nice things to say about Duke despite the fact that I approached him as a national site.  I got comments on all the teams involved in the process.  Duke is the only school that has a set unofficial visit at this time.  It seems the staff wasted little time and hit American soil running.  Josh mentioned that he talks to Andre Dawkins and Nolan Smith a lot and more.  He likes OSU a lot, but distance could be a factor in that he wants to be close to home.  You will get the whole interview by tommorow but I wanted to give a bit of information early on instead of a tease.  Trust me, it will pick up around here and you will get some of the best quality interviews around.  My general feeling?  Duke is the team to beat for his services.  Stay tuned for the entire interview![/private]

Some tough out-of-conference opponents

[private]The 2008-09 out of conference schedule contains strong foes to complement the always tough ACC games. Duke will face off against three pre-season Top 25 programs in Davidson, Georgetown, and Purdue, with the possibility of facing a fourth, UCLA, in the Coaches versus Cancer tournament. The Purdue game is a road game on December 2, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The early season road game at Purdue will be a litmus test for the Blue Devils. Purdue, ranked number six in the CBS Sportsline preseason poll, returns all but one player off of last season’s 27-9 squad. Small forward Robbie Hummel was First Team All Big Ten, guard E’Twaun Moore was Second Team All Big Ten, and guard Chris Kramer was voted Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The Boilermakers are talented and experienced as they return 65.1 of the 69.6 points per game scored last season. On defense, Purdue forced their opponents to turn the ball over an average of 17.4 times per game. This will be a tough road game and should be a good indicator of Duke’s toughness.

Davidson travels to Cameron on January 7, 2009, and of course that means sensational Stephen Curry will be in the house. Curry was named the Mid-Majors Player-of-the-Year by The Southern Conference Champions lost point guard Jason Richards, and 6-8 forwards Thomas Sanders and Boris Meno whom combined for 27.1 points per game and were the teams second, third, and fourth leading scorers behind Curry’s 25.9 points per game. 6-10 230 pound center Frank Ben-Eze is the Wildcats lone new freshman. The loss of point guard Jason Richards who averaged a national best 8.1 assists per game will be tough to overcome and Duke should hold off Davidson to secure a home court victory.

Duke faces the Georgetown Hoyas, on January 17, 2009, in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Hoyas, who lost leading scorer Roy Hibbert to graduation and the NBA, have suffered two off season transfers in Vernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers. Starting guard Jonathan Wallace, 10.7 points and 2.6 assists per game, and Patrick Ewing, Jr., 6.1 points per game, have also graduated so the Hoyas have lots of holes to fill. Four new freshmen will need to contribute early for Georgetown. Highly sought after power forward Greg Monroe is one of the new Hoyas who are ranked number 15 in the CBS Sportsline preseason poll. Georgetown should push the Blue Devils but they will be too inexperienced to win on the road in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

According to how the brackets play out, Duke could face UCLA in the Coaches versus Cancer Tournament in Madison Square Gardens in November. The Bruins lost Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Luc Mbah a Moute to the NBA, but Darren Collison and Josh Shipp return and the Bruins bring in the nation’s number one rated recruiting class, which includes McDonald’s All-Americans Jrue Holiday and Malcolm Lee. A game against UCLA in MSG would be an early test for the Blue Devils equivalent to last season’s match-up against Marquette. A Duke – UCLA match-up should be an even and very tough game.

The Blue Devils will be deep and experienced this season with 12 scholarship players including seven upper classmen on the roster. As always, the ACC schedule will be tough and the out of conference games highlighted here will assist in preparing Duke for the tough competition they must defeat in March in order to continue playing into April.[/private]