BDN Premuim - Desmond Hubert is a 6’9” young man from New Egypt, New Jersey. In early November, he visited the Duke campus and took in an exhibition game as part of a series of unofficial visits. In front of coaches from UConn, Pittsburgh, and Villanova, the thin, junior big man played in the closing game of the Primetime Shootout. The humble and affable Hubert, who is a cousin of NBA veteran Brian Grant, scored twenty-four points and set a tournament record for blocked shots with ten swats. Hubert lost his mother to cancer three years ago, but he has had community support to help him become one of the heavier recruited big men in the 2011 class. After the game, he gave Blue Devil Nation the latest information about his recruitment and his impressions of Duke University.
Who are some of the teams looking at you right now?
Quite a few, actually. Virginia Tech, Wake, Villanova, UConn, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Pitt, Penn St., UNC, Texas, and Kentucky
And which of those schools have offered you so far?
Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Pitt
You made trips to quite a few colleges in the fall. What were some things that you were able to figure you out what you liked and didn’t like?
Yeah, I visited Pitt, Wake Forest, Duke, UNC, and Maryland. I saw a lot of football games.
Did any of the visits stand out? [private]
The trip where I went to Wake, UNC, and Duke. Those are like the top schools in the country and it was amazing to be there and see what they had to offer.
How was the Duke visit, for example? What was your impression?
Oh, it was good. I got to talk with Coach K and met a few of the players. Then I got to tour around the campus and see the facilities. It was really nice out there. I liked it a lot. I visited in the Fall. It was really nice.
What’s your timeframe like? When would you like to decide by?
Um, I’d like to decide after this Summer.
Are you going to be playing for the Playaz again?
Yeah, I am.
Do you know what camps you’ll be going to this year?
I know I’m going to the NBA Top 100 Camp, but I’m not sure what other camps I’ll be going to after that.
What are going to be some of the most important factors whenever you do decide?
Definitely going to a school where I feel comfortable at…a place where I like the coaches, the other players, and the area. Then, I’ll be looking at the academics and what they’re offering for me.
Are you a good student?
What’s your GPA?
Like a 3.0
Do you have a conference preference?
Not really, they’re all good conferences. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.
Are there any schools that you’re scheduled to visit in the near future?
Well, the only one that I may check out is Kentucky, but that’s pretty much it right now.
Do you have any high amount of interest in any Big East schools and have they offered?
Seton Hall. I’m interested in checking them out. They’ve offered, they’re local, and they’re pretty aggressive.
What are your strengths and weaknesses right now?
Defense is definitely my strength. That’s definitely my strength and it gets the crowd going.
Clearly, you better say shot blocking.
(laughs) Yeah, shot blocking. Um, my weaknesses are my strength and I’m trying to put on weight right now.
I think your athleticism for your size is one of your strengths.
Oh, yeah, I agree my athleticism helps me a lot on defense.
Is this a good performance for you right now?
I think so. I was happy with the win and my performance tonight.
How well have you been shooting it lately? What’s your range?
About fifteen feet right now.
Was there anything that stuck out at you during any of the visits?
Visiting North Carolina and being able to meet Roy Williams and Coach K. That’s definitely been the highlight for me. It was just great to be able to walk around out there and the weather was nice and the places were really pretty. It was just a really nice experience. I loved it.
You mean North Carolina State or the state of North Carolina?
I mean the state. I just loved visiting Duke and North Carolina. It was really cool.
Are there any players that you try to model your game after? Is there anyone in particular?
Not really, I just try to be myself. I just try to be as good as I can be.
Now, what about position? Are they recruiting you mostly as a center?
I’ve heard everything from center to the three.
How tall are you now and how tall are you projected to be?
I’m 6’9” right now, but I’m not sure how tall I’m projected to be.
And how much do you weigh?
Who’s the toughest player you’ve ever defended against?
The toughest player is definitely Marshall Plumlee.
Interesting. Where’d you play him? Was that the time you played him in the Sixteens in Vegas?
You got it, in Vegas
Your averages this year?
I think about sixteen points and twelve rebounds a game and quite a few blocks, but I’m not completely sure.
Are there any schools that are showing you interest that are close to offering you right now?
Not that I know of.
Will distance be a factor?
No, not really
Did you have a dream school?
No, not really
What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?
I’m just a normal kid. I’m nothing special.
No, of course, you are. I know some of your relatives have played as well.
Yeah, my cousin, Brian Grant, played for Xavier and then later in the NBA.
He was an excellent player and was very generous. Oh, it looks like they’re going to shut down everything. Thank you very much, Desmond.
Sure, thank you. Have a good night. [/private]