Tag Archives: Brandon Knight

High School Hoops Edition No. 4

[private]This week’s theme is marquee match-ups: Ravenscroft versus Greensboro Day, Pine Crest versus American Heritage, and Gonzaga versus Bishop O’Connell. These games involved Duke commits Ryan Kelly and Tyler Thornton, and Duke recruiting target Brandon Knight; plus Florida commit Kenny Boynton and Carolina commit Kendall Marshall.

Ryan Kelly helped Ravenscroft improve to 8 – 0 with a 29 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, four blocked shots, and four steals performance against Greensboro Day. Ravenscroft won 56 – 42 and is headed toward a showdown with Christ School on December 20, 2008, in Columbia, SC. It will be exciting to see Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee go head-to-head.

Brandon Knight out dueled Kenny Boynton once again and Pine Crest defeated American Heritage 74 – 72 on Friday night. Knight outscored Boynton 35 – 32 in the individual match-up. Knight and Pine Crest have defeated Boynton and American Heritage in four of their last five meetings.

Tyler Thornton scored 23 points in the game but his Gonzaga team came up short, 65 – 60, against Kendall Marshall and Bishop O’Connell. Marshall scored 15 points for O’Connell. In his latest game, on Friday night, Thornton scored 16 points in a 66 – 55 Gonzaga victory over Mount St. Joseph.

Mason Plumlee was the leading scorer in three Christ School victories this week. He scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked four shots, and tallied four assists, on Monday as Christ School defeated Carolina Day 77 – 41. On Tuesday, Mason scored 18 points in a 90 – 35 rout of Shannon Forest. The Greenies are now 9 – 0 on the season.  On Saturday, he scored 21 points in a 81 – 30 blowout of Providence Day.

Andre Dawkins continues to be impressive for Atlantic Shores Christian School. Last Saturday, in the ASCS Tip-Off Championship Game, Dawkins and Steven Pledger executed a pick and roll that resulted in Dawkins draining an 18 foot buzzer beating jump shot giving Atlantic Shores a 56 – 54 victory over Miller School. Miller School was paced by Marshawn Powell and Mychal Parker who both scored 19 points. Steven Pledger, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play for Coach Jeff Capel at Oklahoma, scored 34 points and was named the tournament MVP. Dawkins finished the game with 15 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Josh Smith scored 21 points on Thursday as Kentwood went on the road and defeated Auburn Riverside 65 – 62 to improve to 2 – 1 on the year. Earlier in the week, Kentwood lost to Federal Way, the number one ranked team in Washington State, 61 – 53. Josh Smith scored 19 points in the loss. The 6’9” 280 Junior is averaging 24 points per game so far this season.  Smith is the third leading scorer in the South Puget Sound League 4A Conference.[/private]

High School Hoops Edition No. 3

[private]Harrison Barnes and the Ames High School Little Cyclones have their sights set on the State Tournament this year. They took the first step in their journey with a 66 – 34 defeat of Urbandale. Barnes scored 16 points in the game including nine in the first quarter as the Little Cyclones opened up the game with an 18 – 2 run. The Des Moines Register has very nice Harrison Barnes overview and picture gallery posted.

Barnes scored a game high 19 points on Friday night as Ames improved to 2 – 0 with a 61 – 31 victory over Roosevelt.

Brandon Knight is filling up the box score for Pine Crest on a routine basis. This past week he scored 29 and 43 points in two Panther victories. His 43 points in a 70 – 67 win over Choice Academy included seven three point shots, while he sank four three pointers and dished out seven assists in his 29 point performance in the 66 – 29 win over Coral Springs Charter.

Andre Dawkins scored 28 points as Atlantic Shores defeated Cox 93 – 68 in the opening round of the ASCS Tip-off on Thursday evening. He followed up with a 23 point performance on Friday as Atlantic Shores defeated Tallwood 69 – 66.

Ryan Kelly continues to put up extraordinary numbers. On Wednesday, he had a triple-double of 38 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots in a 76 – 64 defeat of Riverside. On Friday night, Kelly scored 19 points in a 59 – 42 win at Providence Day. Ravenscroft is now 5 – 0 for the season.

Mason Plumlee scored 21 points to pace Christ School to an easy 77-45 victory over Spartanburg Day School. Plumlee made two three point shots in the contest. Mason’s younger brother, Marshall, contributed 10 points and three blocked shots. On Friday night, Plumlee scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked eight shots in a 79 – 54 road win at Forsyth Country Day. The Greenies desire to go 38 – 0 and win a state championship this season. Christ School will match up against Ravenscroft on December 20, 2008, in Columbia, S.C.

The Washington Post has an enjoyable Tyler Thornton video posted. Gonzaga College High School has opened their season with a pair of wins. On Thursday night, Thornton scored 11 points in a 79 – 44 win over St. Albans. In their season opener, Thornton scored six points in a 69 – 40 decision over Sidwell Friends. Unfortunately, the box scores do not include assists as Thornton is a pass first point guard and his assists to turnover ratio is the key statistic for Duke Basketball fans.

Finally, Josh Smith and Kentwood High School played their first game of the season on Friday night.  Smith scored 32 points in the 68 – 47 victory over Kent-Meridian.  The Seattle Times ranks Kentwood as the number five team in the state.[/private]

General Basketball Recruiting Update is up

John Wall played in Cameron during the Gibbons TOC
John Wall played in Cameron during the Gibbons TOC

The undercurrent of information has been a little quiet of late, mainly due to the flurry of November and early December games.  But some tidbits are starting to trickle back in and December will allow us to cover the likes of John Wall and current commitments in person as their seasons are now in full swing.  Here is an update on Duke targets -

 

 

[private] Harrison Barnes is set to begin his high school basketball season.  You can follow his team by going to this LINK.  Duke is in weekly touch with Barnes and they feel as if there is a solid relationship foundation which they will build upon.

There are a lot of questions concerning John Wall, but one must first understand that his camp is in no hurry to amp up his recruitment.  Much like Boynton’s recruitment, this one will go on for awhile, so you may as well relax until Spring.  Duke is in constant touch with his camp and the two have been trying to work out an on campus visit.  With the Blue Devils playing in season, they must keep their concentration on the business at hand while continuing their get to know Wall efforts.  Coach K is the lead in this one, but he will be assisted by his entire staff.  Most recently, Coach K and Nate James visited a Church of God game to check out Wall.  They will cover his games when they can throughout his entire season.  Wall has a handler named Brian Clifton.  Handlers are always under scrutiny in recruiting circles for many of them have been known to sink their claws in for eventual favors.  There is no reason to believe that this is the case with concerns to John in that they stepped in when he needed some guidance.  In short, one never knows for sure.  Wall is likely a one and done player and he could go many ways with his eventual choice.  He would be in a really high profile situation at Duke, which works to both parties advantage.  He could go to other schools and coast through while being the man.  The Blue Devil Nation will keep close tabs on this situation which is in it’s infancy at this time.

Our most recent interview was with Josh Smith who has the Devils on his list.  Duke will not back out, but they are looking for and or paying attention to how his family handles the recruitment.   The Smith’s have not ruled out an early commitment and if that happens you can bet it’s going to be on the West Coast.  This one will not get real serious until March or April.  It remains to be seen if Smith pays his own way for a Triangle visit.  If this happens, he will likely visit Duke and UNC.  

Duke talks to Brandon Knight in one way or another weekly.  A lot of rumors have said he is Florida bound, but he hasn’t told the Devils this.  As you can see rumors are a dime a dozen in that he got out of a recent UF visit while not committing.  While Boynton is at UF, this duo has to breakup at some point and time and college may be that time.  Knight was a confessed UConn fan growing up and certainly has ties in his home state.  UF has been managing to keep their own in state of late and common sense tells you that it can sometimes be a better “family” choice than an individual one.  Knight knows Duke wants him, but Wall is at the forefront until he makes his selection.

Duke will not settle on other 2010 prospects until the picture clears with current prospects.  You can bet that they will be out and about as soon as the AAU season opens looking for kids that fit.

While it has been a slow period for recruiting news, it’s on the verge of picking up.  We’ll be covering John Wall and others at the upcoming Glaxo Invitational just after Christmas.  We are also preparing for the use of video come AAU season and some almost real time ways of reporting.

As many long time members know, there are slow periods and then it opens up like a severe storm without warning.  We are carrying most of our in season current player interviews to premium starting at the end of this week.  This is coverage that cannot be found at Scout or some other sites.

We’ve been stretched a little thin of late, but I expect to finally make some long awaited additions in the coming days.  We will hopefully have photo galleries back soon.  As usual, thanks for being a part of the Blue Devil Nation. [/private]

High School Hoops Edition No. 2

[private]
The Virginia-Pilot says anything short of a state title will be a disappointment for Shores this season. The Seahawks are led by junior guard Andre Dawkins. The 6’5″ Dawkins was second team All-Tidewater last year and has given a verbal commitment to play basketball at Duke. Senior Steven Pledger, who has signed a Letter of Intent to attend Oklahoma, is Dawkin’s back court mate. Atlantic Shores plays in the private schools league but the Virginia-Pilot ranks them as the third best team overall in South Hampton Roads.

Andre Dawkins scored 25 points as the Seahawks opened their season with a 66 – 32 victory over Wilson. Pledger chipped in 20 points. Atlantic Shores is back in action on Monday December 1st as they open up conference play at Stonebridge.

Ryan Kelly has scored 32, 31, and 28 points in three Ravenscroft victories to open the season. They defeated Northern Durham 76 – 57, Greenfield 75 – 68, and St. David’s 82 – 48. Kelly has also had double digit rebounds in each game including 14 in the St. David’s game.  A couple of key dates to look toward are January 7, and February 4, 2009, when Ravenscroft travels to Word of God, the school which features John Wall the nation’s number one rated high school prospect according to Rivals.

Ravenscroft, Word of God, and Christ School will all participate in the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational starting December 26 and running through December 30. This is an opportunity for fans to see Duke Commitments Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly plus recruiting target John Wall in action against each other. Tournament games will be played at Broughton High School’s Holliday Gymnasium.

Brandon Knight and Pine Crest High School played their first game of the season on Wednesday November 26 and Brandon Knight made five three pointers and scored 36 points as the Panthers defeated Northeast 76 – 62. Knight is a true point guard and a coveted member of the Class of 2010. Duke is one of many colleges recruiting the talented player.

This excellent article from the Miami Herald discusses Brandon Knight and Kenny Boynton and is a must read for anyone interested in high school basketball. Knight and Boynton are two of the best players in the nation and AAU teammates, but during the high school season they go against each other head-to-head multiple times. Brandon Knight led Pine Crest to victory in three of four meetings against Kenny Boynton and American Heritage last season.[/private]

Basketball Recruiting Update

Blue Devil Nation Premium has the latest hoops recruiting update up for members.  Give the gift of information this Christmas to a Blue Devil fan dear to you.  [private] Not too much to report on John Wall until after he meets with Coach K in person which will take place at the earliest convenience.  My sources are saying that Duke feels that they will become seriously

Copyright BDN
Copyright BDN

involved with Wall and an offer is a mere formality at this point.   The Wall camp has been receptive to Duke getting in late and will not hold that against them.

So far, scheduling has been the culprit.  Also, there is a dead period in recruiting at this time.  Many feel Wall wants to stay near home, but there are a few things which need to play out before I’d be willing to guarantee that possibility.  In short, Duke is very serious about getting John Wall to wear the royal blue.  I will talk to Josh Smith sometime this week.  He is still on the radar and Coach Nate James has been in touch with the prospect recently.

Harrison Barnes has become a serious priority and Duke will stay on the hot prospect as much as the NCAA allows.  There is a good feeling that Duke is right there with Kansas as the leaders early on.  Barnes has become a bit tight lipped of late and will not talk of his meeting with K other than the basics.

Duke has been and still is going after Brandon Knight, possibly the best player in his class.  I have heard from his parents that he will likely take a different path than Kenny Boynton.  You know what they say though, anything can happen in recruiting.  Anything can change too.  For instance, Duke has explained to Wall that once they offer a kid they are faithful to him.  When Boynton selected Florida, Wall got the attenation and he will soon know if he doesn’t already that Duke is committed to him and him alone for the final spot in the class of 2009.

Finally, Boynton was pushed to stay in state by almost everyone close to him.  I can’t go into specifics, but things got a little greasy if you will.  In the long run, teams can point to Nick Calathes he would be a Gator midnight before his “We shocked the world,” signing party.  Sometimes, kids will waste a colleges recruiting budget for their own game.

I went into the archives for this July interview with John Wall -

Locked  Wall is still wide open

Before I get into this interview, let me make this clear.  Kenny Boynton is the man for Duke.  If something goes south they might look at John Wall and he is still open to Duke coming in.  He is a very talented true speedy PG who slashes about the court and makes his teammates better with his abilty to get them the ball.  During this interview, I had two cameras on me for they were filming for a documentary on the process surrounding Wall.  You never know what might happen in recruiting.

The last time I talked to you was in Durham during the TOC, has anything changed since then?

Not really.  I am still wide open and trying to get schools to come in.  The schools that are coming at me the hardest are Memphis and Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State so far.  Those are the ones coming the hardest but I think other schools are going to come around.

The last time I talked with your coach he said you were not near a point where you would shut down the process.  Does that still hold true?

Yes, that’s still true, but after Vegas I’m going to narrow my list down going into my senior year.  You’ve got to get your five … get your business set up.

So, is there anyone that would make the top five for sure … right now … anyone guaranteed a visit?

No, not yet.  There’s a couple of schools getting close to it.

You just scored thirty points in your last game, but your team came up short.  Did you miss Ryan Kelly?

Yeah, Kelly’s a big part.  He gives us a presence in the paint and as you could see we lacked that.  We weren’t playing defense and getting back.  We just didn’t make our shots but we played hard.

Is the AAU season taking a toll on you?

Yeah, it gets kind of tough, but you go back home.  In between you just ice your knees and relax.  We’ll go to Vegas (Reebok) next and then I can rest for a little while before preparing for my senior year.

(I then turned my attention to his coach Dwon Clifton who is always by his side)  He said -

“I think he has an idea of what he wants.  I want him to be comfortable with what he does.  He has a lot of talent and I encourage him to get better and stronger.  I mean, now that people knows who he is some of the flaws he could once get away with he will now have to develop.  Now, everyone is going to start to push him and pull him and try to get him to go against his people and get him to feel like no one can tell him anything.  This world can eat him up.  I’ve seen it happen to too many players, myself included. (played at Clemson).  I don’t want that to be the case with him.”

So, will your coach be a big part of the process?

He’s like a bigger brother to me.  I don’t have one like that so he fills in.  With DC … we can go out and stuff and just have a good time.  He’s trying to develop me through this process because he went through it at Clemson.  So, when I make my decision, I am going to ask him or talk to him about it.

Who are some of the toughest guys you’ve gone against on the circuit?

Tommy Mason here.  He’s really tough.

What does John Wall need to work on for his game to get better?

I’ve got to get stronger, work on my jump shot, defense, lateral movement … there’s a lot of stuff I can work on.  You just can’t stop when you get on top.  I have some God given ability but I need to keep working because everybody else will.

What keeps you motivated?

Playing for my Dad.  He died when I was ten years old.  My Mom, my sister .. just want to get them to a better place.

How long have you known your Coach?

I knew him from the AAU circuit when I was about 14, but he really started coming in in the last two years talking to me.  Now he’s my AAU coach and gives me advice.

Of the ACC schools, you mentioned NC State.  With you playing highs school ball down the road, do they push hard?

They come and visit every game they can.  Duke came to a couple of my games this year.  Carolina came to a couple.

You’ve been to some of there games too, right?

Yes, I have been to a couple of Duke games and a Carolina game.

How did you like the atmosphere at those schools?

It’s a good atmosphere.. crazy, people are going crazy everywhere at Duke and UNC … all those fans.

Did Duke contact you at one time or are they in touch?

Coach Dawkins and Coach K came to a couple of my games.  They said they wanted to start recruiting me and stuff like that.  I took their advice and came to the TOC and was able to play a game in Cameron.

Have they been in touch since that time?

Uhhh .. I haven’t talked to them since Coach Dawkins got the job at Stanford.

UNC?

No, haven’t heard from them.

Thanks for your time and I wish you luck in choosing the right school. [/private]

Boynton, Knight, Smith updates up on Blue Devil Nation Premium (updated)

The Kenny Boynton watch was in effect this past weekend.  Boynton visited the Gators on his official visit and despite some [private] pressure by Donovan to get him to commit, Boynton came away saying he would take his other visits.  In short, this means he will be in Durham.  I suppose a little excitement may ensue when he comes to town on November 8th.  ***Breaking – Despite the rumors, I have not confirmed any of them with those who really count.  While it looks as if he is a bit of a UF lean, I will wait for confirmation from legitimate sources.

ADDENDUM – Kenny has made a decision to forgo his visit to Texas this weekend and will choose his school live on ESPNU at 6:30 EST.  As of last evening, he had told the Duke staff, he’d be making the visit to Durham.  As of noon today, he had not told the coaches it was Florida for sure.  However, the prevailing feeling among those who count is that Florida is the choice.  The Duke coaches felt very good about Kenny up until last night.  So, they are allowing him to have his day in the sun whether it’s good for them or not.

A lot of you are wondering about Brandon Knight.  Well, he’s a huge priority, but is somewhat on hold until the Blue Devils finish up with Boynton.  If KB chooses elsewhere, Duke puts on the full court press.

Harrison Barnes had a nice visit and left with a good idea of what Duke was about.  He will certainly consider the Blue Devils who are a lock to make his final five or less.  Duke will stay in close contact with Barnes until the time he decides.

I talked to Josh Smith Sr. the Father of Josh Smith Jr. while setting up an interview.   Coach James just so happened to have talked with him earlier that evening.  When asked which teams were the most active Duke, Georgetown and UNC came up with of course UCLA.  He said his son would make a decision by the end of this summers AAU season.  He also mentioned that he could decide early, but that he expected they would visit the Triangle before a decision.  He grew up watching Michael Jordan at UNC, but also mentioned he loves Coach K. [/private]

s2Member®