The Duke basketball staff will entertain DJ Steward this weekend for his official visit. The Blue Devils have been heavily involved with the dual guard since this summer.
Steward is a Chicago native and that, of course, is where head coach Mike Krzyzewski is from. The Blue Devils staff flew up to visit the star guard earlier this week.
Steward hoops for Whitney Young High School which produced Duke alum Jahlil Okafor.
It is no secret that Steward has been a focus of the Blue Devils staff and they are now moving quickly to state their case. This will be the Stewart's family first visit to campus.
Steward most recently visited Texas and many have said Louisville has been all-in on him of late. Both Duke and Louisville visited Chicago this week, but the Blue Devils have moved fast to get him on campus and show him how they envision his use should he become a part of the brotherhood.
Duke continues it's busy September and most recently hosted Henry Coleman and Walker Kessler as they try to round out their class. The Blue Devils will also host Mark Williams soon as they zero in on their prospects of choice.
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If you haven't noticed already, Septemeber is a big recruiting month for Duke Basketball. Last weekend, the Blue Devils entertained Virginia power forward Henry Coleman.
This weekend, Duke will host top-rated big man and long-time target Walker Kessler. The 6-10 prospect plays for Woodburn Academy in Fairburn, Georgia.
The Blue Devils have had the Kessler family on campus before but this time they hope to close the deal on a much-needed body.
Duke is expected to lose almost all of their frontcourt players after this coming season and there is a need for multiple prospects who can anchor the baseline.
The Blue Devils have already secured the services of Jalen Johnson and Jeremy Roach, but the desire is to land commitments from several more players.
Duke will entertain Virginia big man Mark Williams in November. He's the brother of former Duke standout Elizabeth Williams. The fast-rising big man will be playing alongside Jalen Johnson after transferring to IMG Academy.
The Blue Devils are in the process of setting up a visit with Chicago scorer DJ Steward. Duke is all in on Steward who has been getting several offers since early summer.
Duke has also entered the Ziaire Williams race to stay which we mentioned a few weeks back to Blue Devil Nation members. That said, join Blue Devil Nation Premium during our 60 bucks for one year special and get straight talk on where we think Duke stands with the aforementioned recruits.
While the players listed head the list, there are some other possibilities which could come into play. But make no mistake, Duke wants every prospect on this shortlist of players they want to become a part of the brotherhood.
The Duke Blue Devils solidify their 2019-20 recruiting class with highly ranked shooting guard Cassius Stanley giving the program the nations top-rated class.
Stanley chose Duke over Kansas, Oregon and UCLA.
His announcement came at his Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California.
The newest Blue Devil averaged 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 2018-19 for a star-studded team.
Stanley joins fellow Californian, Boogie Ellis, Matthew Hurt, Vernon Carey Jr., and Wendell Moore Jr.
An elite athlete, Stanley hopes to be an immediate factor early at Duke, where three starters are NBA bound.
Standing at 6-5 with solid length and he is aggressive on the offensive end driving the ball downcourt while also being a willing defender.
Stanley is a little older than some freshman so that has allowed him to develop physically as well. He will look to gain a more consistent outside shot at Duke while getting stronger.
His high school is 22 miles from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so there is little chance Stanley will be star-struck at Duke.
Several former NBA players send their kids to Sierra Canyon including Scottie Pippen, Duane "Pearl" Washington, Kenyon Martin to name a few.
His high school alum list includes kids from Berry Gordy. Sean Combs, Kevin Hart, the Jenner's and Jamie Fox to name a few. Elite level kids attend the school system near Los Angeles from kindergarten through high school.
Another recent Duke product from Sierra Valley was none other than Marvin Bagley III.
So, Stanley is more than a little accustomed to stars being around, so that should help him fit in with a program full of them and the stands always having somebody famous nearby.
His Dad, Jerome, was a successful sports agent who broke down some barriers along the way, He represented the likes of Baron Davis and Keyshaun Johnson.
Stanley once worked out with Oklahoma City standout Paul George.
It will be fin for Duke fans to watch the athletic Stanley add polish to his game while in Durham. There is no reason he should not push for immediate playing time if he puts in the work.
Stanley added Duke to his list in early August and visited the school the weekend after that news came out. It was obviously a good visit.
Duke assistant coaches Nate James and Chris Carrawell took lead roles in the recruiting process recognizing the talent Stanley possessed.
“It was a lot of pressure,” said Stanley after his decision. “Initially I had three schools, UCLA, Kansas and Oregon. Coach Alford got fired and around the same time Duke slid in. I was skeptical at first because I wanted to stay loyal to the programs that were recruiting me earlier, but I felt Duke had the best to offer.”
The Blue Devils wanted to add a shooting guard to this class and more backcourt help, so the addition of Stanley afford them backcourt depth.
Well, the Duke Basketball season is upon us and what a way to open things up. The Blue Devils will face off with the Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow evening in Indianapolis, IN in a matchup of college hoops heavyweights. So, what are my thoughts going into the game?
Win or lose, it will be a learning experience
Mike Krzyzewski has one of the youngest teams he's ever coached. While this group is immensely talented, they still start four new freshmen, This game will be a measuring stick for the program for Krzyzewski has in no way implemented his full hand yet with concern to how this team will look in March. This is by no means a must-win game for either team. It is instead, a game for college basketball fans around the world to celebrate the tip-off to another season. And, yes, the winner will stay atop the polls for sure, but the loser will not fall too far in the rankings.
What are the potential weaknesses for Duke this season?
If you watched the ESPN special eight-part series on Duke Basketball, you will see Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski addressing his team. One of the things thee things he mentioned was that players needed to be better three-point shooters via their approach. Duke does not have a lot of known three-point artists on this years team, so many of the players are getting accustomed to adding the shot to their resume, This, in turn, will reflect on two other areas of play in rebounding the ball and knocking down free throws. Duke is not as big up front and could go small, so that means all players will need to hit the boards and they could struggle against teams like Kentucky which have big, fully grown men in their frontcourt. As for free throw shooting, Duke should get to the line often, so struggling in any of the three aforementioned areas could haunt them at some point of the season,
What are the potential strengths
The defense will be improved where Krzyzewski has shown he will go man to man much more often. Duke is long and athletic and can get in passing lanes while pressuring the ball. This team will run. When the breaks are there, Duke will be off and running. Duke will also benefit from knowing their roles and or chemistry this season. asked veteran players in the locker room about this and they said this team is together on and off the court. I suppose we have to mention how ridiculously good the freshman class is as well. R.J. Barrett is an alpha dogs, alpha dog. Zion Williamson is a pleasure to watch skywalk, Cam Reddish knocking down threes is nice too. And all three can pass the ball as can true PG Tre Jones. Duke will benefit greatly from having a more traditional point this season in their positionless scheme.
How can Duke beat Kentucky
It will not be easy for Duke to beat Kentucky in that the Wildcats are a solid nine players deep and they have some grown men in their lineup. You just cannot concentrate on any one player for there is a danger at each position on the court. One thing which Duke needs to do is stay out of foul trouble early and the whole game for that matter. Duke loses a lot of talent when they go to their bench, but there are players capable of quality minutes there and they need to step up against the Cats. If those two things happen, Duke will be tight their in what should be a tense and close game before the final buzzer sounds.
Early season test will prepare Duke for the ACC and March
Duke has a very challenging early season schedule which includes tomorrow evenings opener against Kentucky. The Blue Devils will face stiff competition in Hawaii for the Maui Invitational where they can run into highly ranked Auburn and Gonzaga, not to mention Arizona. Even the opener against San Diego State is tough. Duke will take on one of the most underrated teams in the nation when they face Indiana in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge and mark my words, the Hoosiers will have move up the polls by then. These games along with a brutal ACC schedule and a late-season contest with St. Johns, where Mike Cragg now resides as the AD will have them a seasoned bunch before March Madness.
Who do I think will be good in the ACC this season?
The league is loaded. I voted for Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, and Syracuse in no particular order in the top four and have Virginia Tech, Florida State close behind. N.C. State will be better than some think, never sleep on Miami. Clemson will be solid and Notre Dame has an interesting roster. I went a little outside the box and voted Tyus Battle preseason ACC POY and R.J. Barrett as the top freshman. I also place both Barrett and Zion Williamson on the first team. It is a safe bet that Duke will have no less than three newcomers on the ACC All-Freshman team at seasons end.
What is Al Featherstons take?
Al thinks this years team can reach the Final Four but that a lot has to go right. He felt Marques Bolden contributing solid minutes is a major key to success as is bench development of the seventh man in crunch time. I watched all of the games in Canada with Al before he passed on this morning and he was excited to see what the team would look like with Cam Reddish and Tre Jones in the lineup. He scanned over the last exhibitions games box score fervently before saying, they're going to be pretty damn good. I will miss talking Duke history with Al and was honored he valued my opinion. I had hoped he'd make it through what may be a special season.
BDN Premium Special Still Available
We are still offering a special rate for new or former Blue Devil Nation premium subscribers of 60 bucks for one year. I will be talking recruiting happenings later this week while offering up behind the scenes tidbits.
One of the nations top prospects, Wendell Moore Jr. has decided he will play basketball for Duke University. His announcement came in front of his hometown Cox Mill fans. Moore picked the Blue Devils over in state and ACC rivals North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest.
Moore is a tough and physical wing player who some consider a power guard. He is a top-notch defender who can guard multiple positions and he possesses a 6-11 wingspan while standing close to 6-6, 210 pounds.
Moore helped lead his Cox Mill team to back to back state titles and has just returned from a stint with USA Basketball. He is expected to become the Cabarrus County’s all-time leading scorer during his senior season with the Chargers where he's 19 points shy of the record.
The newest Duke commitment was born in Richmond, Virginia but currently hails from Charlotte, N.C. He played his AAU ball for CP3 in the Nike EYBL. A season ago he averaged 25.4 points per game in high school and added 7.3 rebounds per contest.
Moore was named as the 2017-18 North Carolina basketball coaches player of the year. He was first-team all state in various publications including USA Today.
The Charlotte native has also won two gold medals while playing for USA Basketball in 2017 and 2018. He started all seven games where his USA team went undefeated this past summer in Santa Fe, Argentina.
Moore grew up a LeBron James fan and is the son of Marie and Wendell Moore Sr. He is the first commitment in the 2019 class for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.
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