Tag Archives: Brad Beal

BDN’s Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

Austin RIvers, Kyrie Irving and Andre Dawkins share a moment during this past seasons AAU Nationionals in Orlando - BDN Photo
Austin RIvers, Kyrie Irving and Andre Dawkins share a moment during this past seasons AAU National in Orlando - BDN Photo

With all the questions surrounding where Duke will seriously look to fill another spot in the class of 2010, I decided to break it down as it stands today.  First off Roscoe Smith is a [private] long shot, but Duke is still involved but to a much lesser degree than some think.  While Smith is talented, there seems to be too many issues to overcome, mainly academics.

Duke has turned their focus to three players and you heard about all of them in our past updates.  Duke is involved with Trey Zeigler and they like him a lot, but then again they like others as well.  As has been mentioned Zeigler will take a while to make his decision.  Some of the incoming prospects have been networking with Zeigler and while Duke is in this one a little late, they are still in it.

Nate James recently checked out Carrick Felix a 6-6, 180 SF who currently plays as a freshman for Southern Idaho Community College.  Felix is a very athletic wing who would benefit the Devils with his versatility.  Felix has the grades to get in from sources close to the situation and he has a bevy of schools after him.  Felix got his start in Arizona where he burst onto the scene and would be a rare reach into junior college.  Like Zeigler, the Blue Devils like what they see in this kid.  He cuts through defenses and plays good on ball defense, filling passing lanes as well.  Good shooter but a bit streaky.

Then there is Terrence Ross who as you know backed out of his verbal to Maryland.  We told you early on Kentucky was involved and there will be plenty of company joining the race.  Ross is a very athletic wing, similar to the aforementioned prospects. There are some questions as to whether Ross can qualify and he has already been talking with Kentucky.

As for Tashawn Mabry, you can pretty much consider him off the radar from what I have heard.  The Rocky Mount product has been suspended and from what I am hearing, it is from a serious incident which is under investigation.  Maryland has turned their attention towards Marbry after losing Ross.

So Duke is heavily involved with all three of these guys and are looking for anyone else who may pop up.  In short, Duke wants to sign a player in this size range to help balance their team according toa source as close to the program as one can get

Duke is still looking to get Austin Rivers in for a visit and that will likely happen as the ACC season gets into full swing.  Look for a lot of guys visit during the UNC game and there will be other games as well.  As of now, no visits are set in stone.  If Brad Beal de-commits from Florida it is unlikely Duke will look his way for Rivers is their guy.  Still, we’ll take a wait and see approach on Beal.

Duke is also still very active with Quincy Miller and they’ll ride this one out.  Duke continues to look at Marshall Plumlee as well.

JP Tokoto is still on the radar as well but Duke is aware that this one seems to be getting more and more like rides they’ve been on so they will keep their options wide open.  Tokoto holds an offer and showed a lot of interest at the Elite Camp but his camp changed their tune a bit after many felt a verbal could happen early on.  Still, I am in no way saying Duke is not very much in this race for they are and his step father likes Coach K a lot.

Unrelated, strong rumors out of Chapel Hill have been say for three weeks now that not all of the Heels are happy.  Many of the recent additions have been recruited over and you can just about bank it that someone will leave.  My guess would be either Stirckland or McDonald and fwiw, the word is stronger on McDonald.  But let them worry about their own and we’ll worry about ours.

I will be adding a few more tidbits to the thread on the message board later this evening, so no need for questions in that I will tell you what I know.[/private]

BDN Premium Team and Recruiting Update

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

Mason Plumlee was officially cleared to play late yesterday afternoon.  Plumlee has been practicing and went full throttle yesterday.  His wrist is still a concern but the consensus is that he is ready to go.  How much time he logs against Wisconsin remains to be seen, but looking at match-ups and front court depth, there is good reason to think we’ll see the freshman on the court.

Duke has prepared for [private] a tough game against Wisconsin, knowing it will be a physical man’s game.  Lance Thomas stated that Duke would not back down from anyone in a confident manner during a media gathering yesterday.  Thomas hopes to build on his performance against UConn and said that he always played like that in practice and that it was now translating to the court.

As you know by now, Brad Beal gave Florida his verbal and many feel Duke backed off.  Well, they may have in the end after it became apparent that Beal would choose the long time favorite Gators.  One must remember that Beal was ready to commit to Florida before Duke started recruiting him.  The Devils made efforts to get him on campus but that never materialized.  The Beal family was unable to make a visit due to financial reasons and despite the fact he grew up a JJ Redick fan, the top notch prospect never seemed to let others in past last July.  With Duke involved with Rivers, they could afford to back off of Beal, who is a perfect example of watch what a player does, not what he says.  For whatever reason, it is clear now that Beal was always Florida’s to lose.

Speaking of Austin Rivers nothing has changed here either.  As we told you long ago, he will make it to a Duke game this season and during his high school season he is unlikely to make any big moves.  In short, he may not officially back off UF until after his season is finished but that, of course, can change.  The Devils feel that Rivers fits their program in every way and Krzyzewski wants to coach him.  It was Rivers and company who originally contacted Duke and Doc wants to make sure his son goes to the right school to develop his skills.  Duke has had loads of success with kids who have NBA lineage.

Nothing has changed with Duke and Roscoe Smith since my last update.  Oak Hill plays an active schedule and the Blue Devils are looking for a time to get him on campus where he can attend a game.  Smith will not be making a sudden decision and he has until spring to decide.  Nate James started working on Smith last June and their relationship is part of the reason why Duke has a legitimate shot at landing a player they could really use.

Duke also remains very active with Quincy Miller and they stay in touch on a regular basis.  Despite recent reports, Miller will not be pulling the trigger anytime soon.

So whether you guys like it or not, there simply isn’t a lot going on with recruiting because both the prospects and Duke are in season.  You can expect some visits in the near future and we will let you know as they are solidified, so there is no sense in asking over and over again about some kids.  In short, if there is anything different than what I have been throwing your way, I will let you know.  I will not run with anything until I have thrown it past enough sources to know it is legit information.

With football season over, BDN can now concentrate on hoops alone and that means we’ll be bringing you some good December coverage.  We will attend at least three holiday tournaments and that means firsthand views of kids and interviews.  So our premium side is about to take off again after a lull period where, in all honesty, little is going on so it’s hard to report something where there is nothing.

I will be chiming in again soon so, until then, let’s pull the Devils through. [/private]

BDN Premium Recruiting Updates – Rivers set to vist Duke this coming weekend, visits made

Austin Rivers will visit Duke this coming weekend - BDN Photo
Austin Rivers will visit Duke this coming weekend - BDN Photo

Austin Rivers will visit campus this coming weekend with [private] his Mom.  The Rivers family contacted Duke last week to set up the visit.  There are positive vibes surrounding his visit, meaning that the staff feels they can make a great impression.

The men’s staff was out in force a week ago seeing Brad Beal, Kyrie Irving, J.P. Tokoto and Quincy Miller in open gym sessions.  Duke will concentrate on Beal after the Rivers and Kyrie Irving official visits.

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.

There are good feeling surrounding Quincy Miller, but with Brian Clifton involved there could be a long delay before he is ready or allowed to verbal anywhere.  When Duke offered Miller, he wasn’t even near the top ten in the rankings.  He soared in the next go round of ratings showing that the Devils do have a good eye for talent.

Irving drives the lane at this past seasons NBAPA Top 100 Camp
Irving drives the lane at this past seasons NBAPA Top 100 Camp

Harrison Barnes was in a similar situation as well.  Duke offered Barnes shortly after the NBAPA Top 100 Camp in 2008.  He climbed the rankings steadily since that time.  Barnes is still slated to take all of his visits, but there was some reason for optimism on the recent visit to see Barnes.

Duke will be visiting Marshall Plumlee at Christ School this week as well.

So, breaking it down, I feel good about our chances with Irving, Barnes and Rivers.  Yes, Rivers.  Duke is a great fit for this young man and he’ll certainly get a good look with his Mom.  If all goes well, Duke will set up an official visit and in homes.  Duke will go after Beal once the dust clears on a busy September.  They are in the process of setting up visits.

Duke will continue to set up plans on a week to week basis going forward.  Ideally, they get verbals from Miller and Tokoto early so they can concentrate on other areas.

The men’s basketball staff is looking forward to the season and working with players as a whole instead of small groups.  There are no serious or nagging injuries being reported, meaning the team is in good health.  [/private]

Beal confirms that Duke has now entered the race to stay

Brad Beal, copyright BDN Photo
Brad Beal, copyright BDN Photo

Due to his duties with Team USA in Las Vegas, Coach Mike Krzyzewski was unable to see Brad Beal play in Orlando.  Beal, a 2011 target played in the Orlando Showcase event which preceded the AAU Nationals which prevented the Devils head man being there.  Despite his absence, Coach Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski [Wojo] caught his every move.

In short, Brad Beal knows that Duke is very interested in him as evidenced by Coach K watching him play during the Peach Jam, calling him the following week.  Beal and the Devils are in a getting to know one another process that will carry over.  The St. Louis guard prospect grew up following JJ Redick and Duke, but many felt he was a huge Florida lean of late.

That may have been the case, but Beal has now conceded that he will no longer make a quick decision as you will hear in the following article.  BDN was the first Duke  site to interview and cover Beal long before others caught wind of his solid game and we will continue to stay on top of his recruitment.

During the festivities in Orlando, Jason Williams talked to several AAU teams.  The former Duke [private] point guard Jason Williams glanced over at Beal who sat with the St. Louis Hawks as he spoke of the tragic accident which set him back.  Williams was open in the fact that you had better invest your money wisely, even stating that every single city taxes NBA players.  We’ll have more on Williams later, but make no mistake that young Brad Beal was attentive.

Beal has the potential to be a first round draft pick with continued development.  His long arms, basketball smarts and court savvy has him at the top of the rankings int he class of 2011.  BDN told you of Beal early this spring where he caught my eye at the Boo Williams Invitational where I watched him compete in four games.

Not long thereafter, the Duke staff caught wind of his game and they set in motion there design to allow Coach K to see him play.  Krzyzewski was pleased with what he saw n Beal and offered the guard just a few days after seeing him play in person.  if I haven’t beat you over the head with this yet, let me make you aware that Duke never offers kids that Coach K hasn’t seen play.

Beal was Team USA’s leading scorer earlier this season and that alone opened the door for the Olympic coach to get involved with the young man Donovan was claiming would commit within a week to those close to him.

“I was watching Coach K to see how he would react,” said Beal’s mom during the Peach Jam.  She was thrilled that Coach K had turned out to watch her son.  Of course he was telling the media that he would make an early pick and many felt that would happen, but his moms next statement said it all to me.

“Brad grew up liking Duke.  I hope he allows them to come in and holds off on his decision,” she said, then continued, “I think he will.”  Despite that statement, it wasn’t until Coach K’s call that it became evident that Beal would in fact open his recruitment back up.

At this time, Duke is working on a visit date for Beal and the staff will stay in touch as they are allowed with him from this point on.

During the Showcase in Orlando, I caught up to Beal after his team lost their only game in the title match.  Beal had a horrible shooting experience, but he didn’t let that bother him.

“It’s just one game, you have to put it behind you and keep going,” stated Beal.

In the prior game, Beal erupted for 31 points, but he was covered by two players in an effort to slow him down during his final game.

When asked of Duke he stated, “It’s an honor to be recruited by them and see them following me.”

One burning is what did he talk about with Coach K – “He called me right after the Peach Jam and he told me that he was really interested in me and my family better and things like that.

“Yeah, they most definitely are.  It’s a great school and one of the top schools in the nation so I am definitely interested in them.”

When asked what he thought of Coach K, Beal responded, “I was just real surprised that it was him …”  [At that point we had to move the interview in that some coaches [not Duke's] had gotten too close for the NCAA’s taste]

I will bring you the rest of the interview later today, but in short Beal had very good things to say about Duke and it is clear that they are very much in the thick of the race with Florida and Kansas. [/private]

Day One – AAU Nationals – The Duke staff follows Beal, Dawkins and Irving

Coaches take in the action today in Orlando
Coaches take in the action today in Orlando

The championship game from the Showcase will be tonight, but the AAU Nationals are underway as well.  A bevy of college coaching greats  have descended upon Disney’s Wide World of Sports to get one last look at some of the nations top basketball prospects.  Coach K and his staff are out in force and they are intermingled with the likes of Roy Williams, Billy Donovan and others.

One of Duke’s main targets is Kyrie Irving, but Irving was unable to participate in his New Jersey Roadrunners final game because he suited up for the New Jersey Celtics for their upset run.  Despite that, Krzyzewski sat with assistants Collins and Wojciechowski out of respect and to show that the guard is at the top of their list.

It gets better for Duke fans who [private] want to dream for Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers and Andre Dawkins all mingled before the tip off of the Boo Williams game.  Now, let’s not make too much of that, but it was still a nice thing to see.  The Duke Captain and his cohorts of course watched Andre Dawkins perform, as he drained 19 points in an easy opening win for Boo Williams.

They then took in Brad Beal’s final game where his team fell short and Beal struggled.  During the contest Johnny Dawkins, Jay Williams, Mike Brey and Roshown McCleod all sat on the front row, with Kansas coach being the odd man out.  I jokingly thought about asking him if he got the memo that the row was for Blue Devils only.

Oddly, Billy Donovan came in late in the second half and, for those of you who don’t know, Duke, Florida and Kansas are considered the front runners for Beal’s services.

Despite his off game, Beal told BDN that he would just pick it up and go at it again.  He was excited to see the coaches in the stands for his game and noticed Krzyzewski as did many in the crowd.  I will have more on that later.

After the game, Jay Williams shared his experience with both teams in a twenty-minute conversation that included Beal.  He told the entire story of the motorcycle wreck, warning the kids of what could happen and that they needed to invest their money wisely and make good decisions.

Andy Katz asked Coach K to take part in the ESPN telecast but K declined for now, stating he was there to watch the games.  The Duke staff headed to a local high school to watch Irving, who can now play in that the showcase is over, and they will return to see Andre Dawkins and Austin Rivers play in two separate gyms.

I will go into more detail when time allows. [/private]

Super Showcase Report Day One – Rivers, Gilchrist and others perform well

Gilchrist draws a crowd, scores 23 points
Gilchrist draws a crowd, scores 23 points

ORLANDO – The super showcase is underway and the nations top college coaches fill the gyms as a multitude of teams take to the hardwood.  The vast majority of the games are on the property of Disney Wide World of Sports.  One facility features six games going on at the same time, the other, four.  The best thing is that you can troll around the top and see all the action and clear netted partitions allows you to see scores on all the courts.

The top performance I saw today was Austin Rivers nailing seven three-pointers on his way to 30 points, leading his team to an easy win.  Each One Teach One, being a local Florida team, drew a good crowd, but all of the games were well attended.  Where else can you sit and see All Ohio Red, Team Final and Albany City Rocks in action at one time?

Speaking of Team Final, a bevy of coaches from schools like  Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Texas and many others turned out to see a loaded team.  Michael Gilchrist, of course, was a main attraction and he didn’t disappoint, scoring in many different ways on his way to 23 points.

But who was the Duke staff watching?  Well, [private] Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins watched Albany City Rocks in the morning game.  Collins watched CP-3 and PJ Hairston before heading out to a local high school to see Brad Beal.  In fact, he watched Beal after the Albany City game and, make no mistake, the word is that Duke is very much in the race and he will not announce early as has been reported.  In fact, Beal will likely attend the Duke Elite Camp in August.

Collins also took in Kyrie Irving twice today, but the Roadrunners struggled to a total of 39 points in their first game.  Irving scored 19 points under my watch, but I counted 6 turnovers.  It’s clear to me that Kyrie Irving is a top Duke target if not the top one with concerns to point guards.

Roshown McLeod looked a little weird in Indiana Red as he stayed close to Tom Crean.  We chatted with Ro, more on that later.  Also, rumbling of Josh Selby leaning towards Kentucky seem legit, but expect to wait for things to cool down a bit.  FWIW, only Duke and Kentucky watched Irving in the game I saw, and they will be at all of his games in the coming week.

Coach Krzyzewski will roll into town on Monday after his duties with Team USA on Sunday.  Wojo should be present as well.  UNC was reperesented by Joe Halliday and everywhere you turned you rubbed elbows with coaches.  Lots of rumors floating around about Will Barton, and Austin Rivers was seen chatting with PJ Hairston.

Anyhow, just settling in and will be on the scene for the next five days.  I will chime in when time allows on the message board, but the first day is getting to know the lay of the land so to speak. [/private]