Tag Archives: College Basketball Recruiting

Recruiting Focus – Demarco Cox is a load down low

Cox calls for the ball during the TOC
Cox calls for the ball during the TOC

Demarco Cox (Yazoo City, MS) is quite a load at 6-8 and 300 pounds.  He holds offers from Alabama in football but says his first love is basketball.  BDN chats with Cox about his recruitment in this audio interview.  We’ll have our take on his game on the premium message boards [private] shortly.

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BDN Recruiting Focus – Roscoe Smith Interview (free)

I received a tip that Roscoe Smith would be playing for the Baltimore Stars during the TOC, so I made it over to the

Roscoe Smith - copyright BDN Photo
Roscoe Smith - copyright BDN Photo

Wilson Rec Center at Duke University to check out his game.  Smith was not even listed on the roster when it came out, so he caught a lot of people off guard.  After all, this would be Smith’s first AAU game ever.  There was some mention that Smith had been offered by Duke, but this is not true at this point.

Do you have a list of schools?

Yes.  North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, UCLA, Villanova, Clemson, USC, Oregon, Oregon State.  There is a lot.

Do you have a time frame on narrowing it down?

No.

Will you play for the Baltimore Stars the rest of this AAU season?

Yes, I will.

You have participated in the LeBron James Nike Camp, but this is your first ever AAU  game, is that correct?

Yes, this is my first game.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

Naw, I never had a dream school.  I grew up mainly watching the NBA.

Is there a player in the league you pattern your game after?

Yes, Rudy Gay.

What kind of system do you see yourself playing in college?

I seem myself playing a wing forward, just wherever I fit in at.

Do you like a fast paced up and down type of game?

Yes.

If somebody had never seen you play, how would you describe your game?

Versatile.  I’d say a versatile player that can do anything.

When will you get serious about looking at a college choice and who’ll play a big role in the selection?

My family.  My mother and my father.  Probably after the Nike Camps when the summer ends and I have some free time with myself and my family.

Have you taken the PSAT or any other tests?

Yes.

So, there is no problem with qualifying?

No problem with qualifying.

Are you open to other schools?

Yes, I am always open.  That’s why I haven’t narrowed my list down.

Have you been on any unofficial visits?

I have only been on one visit and that was to Georgetown.

You listed a lot of schools, are there any which stand out?

You know, you know the North Carolina’s, the Kentucky’s and the Duke’s are the most talked about and popular programs, so they are going to always float around.

With Coach Calipari at Kentucky now, is that a good thing?  I mean were they looking at you all along?

They were looking at me all along.  In fact, I talked to Calipari last week and will start to build a relationship with him.  So I am just seeing how I react around the coaches.

What coaches came to see you during the April evaluation period?

A lot, it was a lot.

Any offers yet?

The majority of the schools have offered, about 30 or 25.

Anybody listed that hasn’t offered?

I have no idea because a lot of schools have offered me.

Have you had any contact with local schools besides North Carolina?

Yeah, I have had contact with N.C. State and Duke.

Where to from here?

We just go back to the motel and regroup.  What did you like about my game?

I liked a lot of it.  You are a pretty well rounded player from what I saw in the game.  Just keep working hard, never stop working.

Okay, thank you.

This interview may not be reprinted in part or whole without permission from Blue Devil Nation.net

Coming to BDN Premium - Two Kyrie Irving interviews, Ray McCallum audio interview, Dominique Ferguson interview, Mason and Marshall Plumlee interviews, Quin Cook interview, Michael Gilchrist interview and more.  We will also have pics and tidbits from the TOC.  All of this is coming from today until Sunday.  Subscribe now so you will not miss any of the action.  BDN tells it like it is with straight  and knowledgeable coverage.  Isn’t it time to join the hardest working and most informed Duke site around?

BDN Premium Interview – Duke Prospect Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo
Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo

Harrison Barnes is solidly in the top five players in his class and he continues to earn the reputation of one of the best if not the best player in 2010.  Barnes is playing for two AAU teams this spring and summer and is fending off the media frenzy at each event.  BDN talked to Barnes about that process and his play of late in the following interview.  We also got his AAU coaches’ thoughts on what he brings to the table as a player in another BDN Premium offering.

What is your favorite part about the recruiting process?

I would say that I like the fact that I develop relationships with a lot of big time coaches and [private] new friends and develop relationships with them.

How do you put up with all of the media attention?

I mean, it just comes with the territory.  If I am going to make this a career for me someday, I have to deal with it.

You grew up watching NBA ball and not so much the college game, right?

That is correct.

So you are not really that familiar with college basketball traditions?

That is correct, I just see all of the colleges as equal in my mind.  I didn’t really follow college basketball growing up, so a lot of the traditions I am unfamiliar with.

Is it presumptuous to think this might come down to Duke and North Carolina?

I mean it’s a little premature that just to say that they are big time schools and that I am going to go there.  I will have to evaluate a lot of the programs to see what their system is like and go from there.  I think it’s finding out just what’s best for me instead of the biggest school or the number one ranked school.

So where does Harrison Barnes go from here with concerns to the recruiting process?

Now that the  NCAA Tournament is over and AAU ball is in full swing, I am going to take a few weeks and do some close evaluating of some schools and then I will start to eliminate some of them.

Timetable for a decision?

I will probably make my decision after my official visits, which will be sometime in the Fall.

Will you take the five allotted visits?

I will probably take as many as necessary.

Are you looking for a certain type of school?

No not really.  I think I can go anywhere as long as it’s what’s best for me.

Are you looking to make a quick jump to the NBA?

Well, there we’ll have to … I will have to judge that once I am in college.  It’s a much different game and I’ve seen a lot of high school phenoms not get into the league, so we’ll see.

And the most important factors with concern to a school choice will be?

Definitely academics.  I want to contend for a national championship and the coaching staff that will make you better.

So by wanting to play for the national championship – is that for exposure?

No,  I’m actually very competitive and I want to play for a team that can get to a national championship.

Your team has won three straight games after opening the tournament 0-2.  Can you comment on that?

It’s an unbelievable feeling at such a high level tournament.  Even though we are in the bronze division it’s still a huge accomplishment for us.

Going back to this win tonight.  You told me yesterday you loved to play defense and it was your defense which played a big role in this close win.  Your man had to call timeout on an out of bounds play and then you altered your man’s shot.  Could you just comment about that?

Well, we knew we had to get this win if we wanted to play again, so we just really locked down and did what we had to do to win.

You scored 18 points in the second half.  Did you feel as if you had to rise to the occasion and take on a heavy offensive load?

We knew we had to get this win here to keep going and I did what it took to do that.

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AAU coaches’ comments on Harrison Barnes (Diedre Jacobs, Howard Pulley) -

Harrison has been a great asset on our team.  He’s offensive minded, he plays hard and brings a different attitude to our team.  His mental preparation I have never seen before in a young man his age.  He shares the ball and is kid who  can score anytime he wants to.  When he penetrates he is looking to kick it over and make others look better.

He’s one speed.  In the van coming over he is mentally preparing for the game which is unbelievable for a teenager.  He already prepares like he’s at the next level.  And with the younger players on our team, where we dress four sophomores, they are feeding off that.  It’s important to have a fearless leader like that who takes every game seriously.

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Closing comments – Harrison Barnes will play the remainder of the season for All Iowa Attack on the AAU circuit, but  will attend some of the nation’s best individual work camps.  He will play for Howard Pulley again during the Nike Peach Jam in July.  Barnes is playing it close to the vest, but Duke is in very good shape at this time.  Keep in mind that one national site was hovering during this interview and asked a few of the questions.  In short, Barnes is a lot different away from the throng of media and, while I don’t think he affiliated Sports Nation Network with Blue Devil Nation, he seemed really relaxed around me, even asking for his stats so he could tell his Mom how he played when he called her later in the evening.

Barnes continues his torrid play and has caught the eye of many of the nation’s best talent evaluators.  He is a consensus top five choice and will likely average out around #2 when a consensus of the new ratings come out.  BDN will follow Barnes’ progress all summer and will cover him closely as we have since he officially hit the radar last July.  In fact, we were the first Duke site to interview this talented young man. [/private]

2011 prospect Quinn Cook chats up the Blue Devil Nation

Quinn Cook is a pure point guard prospect in the class of 2011 who plays for Dematha H.S.  He has started to catch the eyes of some various schools with his

2011 prospect Quinn Cook - photo copyright BDNP
2011 prospect Quinn Cook - photo copyright BDNP

play of late.  Cook is recovering from a knee injury which cut short his AAU  season and is still regaining his mobility.  Cook pushed the ball up the floor and found his teammates in two games that the BDN covered this past month.

Here is yet another interview with a top notch prospect from Blue Devil Nation Premium.

If you have been sitting on the curb wondering whether you should subscribe, all you have to do is take a look at the premium content we provide on a consistent basis.

How are you?  I’m Mark Watson with Sports Nation Network.

Good!  Quinn Cook (Shaking hands) [private]

What happened to your knee?  (He was wearing a brace after getting dressed and coming out to talk)

I tore my meniscus in May in an AAU tournament, so I had surgery in June and I was forced to miss the whole summer.

You’re moving pretty good considering that …

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. (smiling)  We have a great training system at our school (DeMatha), so I go in the weight room and do leg extensions, squats … I get in the pool sometimes or on a bike.

They were rotating you a lot late in the game, was that something to do with the game plan?

Yes.  It’s all about offensive and defensive matchups.  We have a deep bench.

If somebody had never seen you play, how would you describe your game?

I’m a pass first point guard.  I try to get everybody involved and make sure they get their shots.

What is it like playing for a program like DeMatha?  Do you feel it prepares you for the college level?

Coach Jones, if you look at his history, he’s put good players in the next level.  That’s who I want to be, a player that goes to the next level.

Who is your favorite NBA player?

Kobe Bryant.  Yeah that’s my man.

Did you follow any college programs growing up?

I never (paused for thought)  I never was a die hard fan for any college team.  I was just … I always liked basketball.

Speaking of colleges, are they starting to show interest?

Mainly letters so far.  If I see a coach I will talk to them.

I noticed Oliver Purnell of Clemson and Duke assistant Nate James in the crowd tonight.  Would you have any interest in those kind of schools?

Yeah!  Duke … Duke, Clemson, that’s the best conference in the nation.

You’re a young man who obviously has a long way to go … how old are you?

Sixteen

Any idea when you will start to take the process seriously?

This spring and this summer. but I’m not going to commit early.

So, you want to make the right choice?

Right.  I have a couple of more years.

What kind of coach are you looking to play for?

One that likes to get up and down and has the resources to get me to the pros one day.  A coach I can get along with too — a people person.

How tall are you now?

6-0

Do you feel like you are still growing?

Yeah, I got some big feet. (holding up his sneakers)

Oh yeah, you still have some sprout left … so, do you want to play at a big school?

Big school, small school, it doesn’t matter.  I want to cut down the nets at a school.  That’s what I want to do.

What kind of grades do you have?

I have good grades, but I can always do better.

What three words best describes you as a person?

Kind, smart, caring.

What do you like off the court?

Computers and video games.

Have any schools been aggressive thus far?

Georgetown, Maryland, N.C. State, Florida State, Kansas, Syracuse …

Are you still open to other schools?

Yes.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

To win a state championship.  We fell short last year by a game, so, you know … that’s still in my mind.

What do you feel like you need to work on?

Everything.  Mostly on my footwork due to the injury.

And you’ll play AAU ball for …

D.C. Assault  We have a new coach, Mike McGee.  He was a coach at Bishop O’Connell.

I appreciate your time and good luck the rest of the season.

Thanks a lot. [/private]

Recruiting Focus – James McAdoo interview

I have found that it generally takes me at least five views of a prospect to get a good feel and accurately describe their game.  I mean there are so many intangibles, like have they been playing or traveling a lot of late or have they been mcadoo1under the weather.  The list also consists of,  have they had off the court or personal issues, a look at the match up situations, whether they have familiarity or lack of in the environment they are playing in.  I watch to see if they play consistently or if they turn it on when certain coaches are in attendance.  I could go on for another 1000 words describing intangibles alone.  That is but scratching the surface of the many things I look for when scouting a player.

Every so often a players comes along that you get an immediate feel for and James McAdoo is one of those guys.   McAdoo has the ability to slash through defenders and always gets his shot off, traffic or not.  At his young age, he already understands angles and spacing.  He moves well in all aspects of the game including defense where his long body allows him to recover quickly to play help defense.   In short, McAdoo is a big time talent.

BDN was able to speak with McAdoo this past weekend and here is that conversation. 

How old are you now?

I just turned sixteen on January the 3rd.

What is your actual height?

6-8

What schools are really looking at you at this point?

UCLA, Texas, North Carolina, Clemson, Georgetown and Syracuse.  Did I say Florida?  Florida is up there.  Virginia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest – that’s it as far as I can remember.

Any offers?

Florida, Wake Forest, Clemson, UCLA, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Virginia.

Sounds like everybody but …

UNC, Texas and Duke.

I noticed a Duke coach in the house (Slamfest) …

Yes sir.  They are [private] recruiting me.

Duke is in there?  Whens the last time they contacted you?

Um, about a month.

Have they been calling or do they send letters?

I was up there for an exhibition game when they played Virginia Union.

You’ve been over at UNC a lot lately, right?

Yes.  About three times … Florida once.  I am just trying to build a relationship with the coaches.

With a background, a lot of people consider UNC the team to beat.  Is that pretty much true?

Um, It’s not true.  I mean I’m not going to go there just because my Uncle or Dad grew up loving them.  It’ll basically come down to being my decision.

What is the key factor that’ll play in your decision?

I just want to go there and be able to have freedom. (No Braveheart jokes, please) And most importantly be able to start as a freshman and be an impact player.

Which assistant coaches talk to you the most from local schools, like Duke, Wake or UNC?

Local, I’d say Coach Robinson talks to me the most.  Coach Kelsey at Wake.

And Florida? 

They are one of the first schools that contacted me and I’ve built a real good relationship with Coach

What size shoes do you currently wear?

Basketball shoes?  I wear 15’s, but kick around shoes I wear 14.

Back to freedom.  What are you looking for?

As far as game style I want to get up and down the floor.  I want to have freedom to be able to dribble the ball, play the perimeter.  Inside, outside.

When will you get down to making a decision?

As far as eliminating some schools?

Yes …

I will start to do that after my sophomore year before AAU starts.  After AAU.

And you’ll play for Boo Williams this year?

Yes sir.

Which head coaches have you seen the most of?

Billy Donovan has come up.  Roy Williams has come up.  Seth Greeberg, Leitao, Oliver Purnell …

When you are looking at a school, what are your prerequisites?

As far as a school or a basketball program?

Both.

I just want to be able to get along with the players that are there.  I want to make sure I’m going to fit in with the style of play and the coaching staff.  And if I’m going to like the school if I get hurt and basketball is taken away from me.

Do you have a preference on the size of a school, public or pri …

I will probably pick a bigger school

You want to start is that what you are looking for when talking with coaches?

You kind of know if you go out there and play pick up with the guys, what position you are going to be and if you’ll play.

So you’ll take a look at depth and current players on rosters.

Yeah (nodding)

Congrats on winning the games MVP …

Thanks

(the vast majority (19 of 25)  of these question were asked by BDN, but Rivals and Scout reps came in) – [/private]

National Recruiting Focus – Hippoyle Tsafack

Hippolyle Tsafack?  That’s what was in my mind’s eye as I watched this young man dominate the paint in his Miller School team’s easy win.  Tsafack (6-8) went 9 of

Hippolyte Tsafack won the POG plaque - photo copyright BDNP
Hippolyte Tsafack won the POG plaque - photo copyright BDNP

11 from the field to score 18 points on dunks and put backs.  He also swept up a game high 11 rebounds, yet had no blocked shots.

Those are pretty impressive numbers, especially when you consider he plays alongside Mychal Parker and Marshawn Powell, two of the top prospects in the class of 2009.

Tsafack said he was 18 years old and English was obviously a fairly new language for him.  He has been in the country for less than two years and is originally from Cameroon.  You can be sure that you’ll be hearing more on this unsigned newcomer with the chiseled body as the year progresses.

One of the reasons he may not have made an earlier impact is that he hurt his knee over the summer.  “I have been working hard and just try to do my best,” said Tsafack.

When asked if he was being recruited, he responded- “Yes, Virginia Tech, Maryland, VCU, Kansas, Notre Dame and Clemson,  I don’t know anybody else.”

He said he liked to watch Kevin Garnett and the NBA and that he also loved college basketball.  I’ve watched Notre Dame, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest.

Tsafack is new to the game haven played just two years in Cameroon.  “My mom said to play basketball, because my family is poor.  Once I’ve started playing I’ve never stopped,” said Tsafack.

His coach in Camaroon sent him to Miller School and he hasn’t seen his family in two years.  He got his start at a basketball camp in Camaroon and has been playing ever since.

It’s obvious that Tsafack hopes basketball is the answer to his families problems and after this past weekend’s MVP performance, don’t be surprised if other schools make an effort to get involved with his recruitment.