One of the highlights for Duke fans during the Peach Jam was a chance to view Andre Dawkins, the first commitment in the class of 2010. DeMarcus Nelson still holds the distinction of being the youngest player Duke has signed, but Dawkins is not far behind.
[private]Dawkins is one of three 2010 kids that plays for Boo Williams U-17 team. IOW, he is playing with the older guys. Boo Williams is loaded as well with the likes of Deshawn Painter, Steve Pledger, Kendall Marshall, Marshawn Powell, Ricardo Ratliffe and Tristan Spurlock. This means, Dawkins comes off then bench and is depended on for his scoring ability.
In this past weeks games, Dawkins wasted little time showing why he is such a component off the pine. Immediately upon enetering the game, he dribbled to the right of the key and drained a three. Just seconds later he hit another. Yes, outside shooting is his strength and he's clearly the best at this on a talented team.
There are games which his minutes are cut, but next year, he'll be one of if not the go to guy on a team that will still have Marshall at the PG and Travis McKie and James MacAdoo among others. When he gets more minutes, he will be scoring around 18 ppg during the AAU season and will still have another year left.
Dawkins is still very much a youngster. He has a baby face and his body is still developing. Development will be the key for Dawkins and he knows it. "I think I need to work on getting to the basket more and not being known as a one trick pony. To be just a shooter ... eventually you can be stopped, so I have to add more than just one dimension. The Duke coaches have told me to be more aggressive," said Dawkins.
During the high school season, Dawkins takes to the court with teammate Oklahoma bound Steve Pledger from the class of 2009. Having played together on Boo Williams helps. Dawkins had this to say about Pledger, "He can see the floor very well. He's definitely a pass first guy. To be that good of a scorer and passer makes him easy to play with."
I then asked him what it was like to be a Duke Blue Devil and he stated, "It's cool. I can say I'm a Blue Devil and that I've accomplished a goal." He went on, "Once you commit, you get a little ribbing. Kendall Marshall and I go into our Duke-UNC mode, but we're still alright." He went on to say that he looked forward to carrying the new found rivalry to the college court in the future.
Dawkins attended a couple of games this past season and plans on getting down for more. I asked if he envisioned himself dropping a three as the Cameron Crazies erupting ... "Oh yeah! That's the stuff you dream about." Dream was the keyword throughout the conversation. There were four instances where he said being offered by Duke was a dream come true.
Finally, the world wants to know about his fiend Josh Hairston, so I asked about him and Dawkins responded, "I like playing with Josh. He's a good guy and we stay in touch. I would love to play with him. I thought he would have already committed, It's a big decision for him, so you don't want to rush it."
Blue Devil Nation will have a complete scouting report on his game later this week. I have now seen him play in seven times and have a pretty good feel for his game. We will also have an extended, in depth interview with Andre coming next week.[/private]