Tag Archives: Duke Basketball Prospects

One on One with prospect Desmond Hubert

Desmond Hubert visits Duke
Desmond Hubert - BDNP

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?

Yeah.

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?

About two-hundred.

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]

BDN Premium talks with prospect Jason Morris

Jason Morris is a 6-5 wing prospect, currently playing at the Tony Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.  Coming in on a nine-game winning streak, the Bearcats of Hotchkiss faced a talented Tilton School program, featuring UConn commitments Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel as

Jason Morris - copyright BDNP
Jason Morris - copyright BDNP

well as Gerard Coleman, one of the better shooting guards in the class of 2010.  

Whether it was a lingering virus or the blanketing defense of Coleman, Morris struggled with his shot (8 for 22) and effort throughout the contest, which Tilton won handily 98-79.  

After the contest, Jason spoke with Blue Devil Nation about his current status, but, with his coach standing behind me, was far more terse in his responses than he was over the Summer.

Blue Devil Nation: How are you doing terms of your health? The last time I saw you were recovering from injuries to both your lower abdominal muscles and more recently an ankle injury, which you said, at the time, was affecting your quickness. [private]

Jason Morris: I’ve got bad knees now.

BDN: Wow, I saw you had some contraptions under both knees.

JM: (laughs) Yeah, I’m hoping its just growing pains but right now its tendinitis.

BDN: What are you able to do about it?

JM: Right now, I’m just taking Advil.

BDN: Advil?

JM: Yeah, Advil and some other anti-inflammatory.

Blue Devil Nation: Well, how has your season gone thus far?  As a team, I know you headed into the weekend on an eight-game winning streak, but it hasn’t been the easiest thing to follow how you personally are performing.

Jason Morris: Well, I’ve been sick so Ive missed a lot of the year so far. This was only like my sixth game so far out of like fifteen.

BDN: What did you have?

JM: Just a nasty virus. I only started playing again like three days ago.

BDN: Do you know how much you’re averaging so far this year?

JM: Not really … probably between eighteen and twenty.

BDN: Is this about average playing time for you (played 29 of 32 minutes)?

JM: (looks over my shoulder at coach) Yeah, this is about average for me when I’m healthy.

Blue Devil Nation: Whats the current status of your recruitment?

Jason Morris:Since the last time, Wake offered and Duke has shown minor interest.  Otherwise, its been fairly status quo.

BDN: You were talking over the summer about taking trips during the school year? Have you made any so far?  Do you have any upcoming trips planned?

JM: Yeah, I’m planning on taking them during the spring.

BDN:I remember you mentioned that Hotchkiss was much more, well, lenient towards athletes than musicians.

JM: Yeah (laughs)

BDN: Have you set up any visits so far?

J.M.:Nothing official, but I’m planning on it.

BDN: What are some upcoming matchups that you’re looking forward to? I know in one week in February you’re going to play St. Anthony’s and Oak Hill.

JM: Those are definitely the big ones … those are the ones.

Blue Devil Nation:How does Tilton compare to the average team that you face during the regular season?

Jason Morris: Well, its difficult to do a back-to-back.

BDN: I know you guys had an eight game winning streak, but I wasn’t sure if you won yesterday.

JM:Yeah, we won.  With this team (Tilton), its hard to match-up with their height.

BDN:Yeah, you had no answer for Oriakhi and Coombs-McDaniel.

JM:  Right!  But that’s now excuse. (looking over to the head coach)  We have to figure out how to get more people involved.

BDN: Do you have a time frame for when you’d like to cut down on your list?  In the past, you mentioned the spring and then ultimately decide at the end of your senior year.  Is that still the case?

JM: Not really, I’m just trying to slowly deal with recruiting right now.  Nothing formal right now.  The visits should help me with the pros and cons of some programs.

BDN: One of the thing you talked about wanting to keep working on and improving upon was challenging yourself on defense.  Have you noticed an improvement in that area?  How does competing with Derrick Wilson in practice help you?

JM: Its difficult to gauge at this point with my health the way its been.

BDN: Whats your current size? In July, you were a little under 64, but expecting to grow quite a bit.

JM: I’m now about 6-5, 208.

BDN: Are most schools looking at you as a three?  Two?

JM: Both really. They’re trying to keep their options open.

BDN: Hows your school work going this year?

JM: Good, so far. I mean its difficult, but I’m trying to handle it.

Blue Devil Nation: Do you still do the Breakfast Club and dynamic training?

JM: Not nearly as much. We, well, I was able to do it in the Fall, but then I got sick and, with basketball season, I just don’t have the time, but I’m going to do the dynamic training in the Springwell that AAU.

BDN: Which AAU program are you going to be with (played with Atlanta Celtics and New England Playaz in the prior years)?

JM: The Gauchos actually.

BDN: If you don’t me asking, why?  Was it anything political?  More exposure?

JM: No, just, well, exposure and better caliber of players and a chance to win.

BDN: I know you’re computer savvy with the Slingbox, etc.  Do you follow your rankings from the various services? How fair or accurate do you feel they are?

JM: I don’t look at the rankings. I’m just not interested really.

BDN: You mentioned in the past that the Duke coaches had been in contact with your father. Have you or your father heard from them recently?  I know you mentioned they had shown minor interest.

JM: My father has spoken with them.  I really haven’t too much. Its just easier for them to contact through him. Ive gotten an e-mail.

BDN: Have you watched them or much college basketball on television this year? I know you have that Slingbox.

JM: Not really, Ive been working on my schoolwork and getting healthy and, of course, playing basketball.

BDN: Thanks, Jason. I hope you stay healthy the rest of the year and you’ll be fine no matter what school you choose.

JM: Thanks a lot. [/private]

BDN sits down with John Wall for a one on one interview

The Blue Devil Nation sat down with John Wall for an exclusive one on one interview and talked about many things, including the recruiting process.  We have condensed two separate interviews on successive nights into one and feel you will enjoy hearing the latest on the top prospect.  Wall won

Everybody wants to know whats up with John Wall.  Our interview will answer many of your questions.  Copyright BDNP
Everybody wants to know whats up with John Wall. Our interview will answer many of your questions. Copyright BDNP

the Glaxo Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award and his team takes on rival Ravenscroft this Wednesday night.  Wall almost led his Word of God team to a victory over Christ School, but came up just short.  Blue Devil Nation Premium is a subscription service which offers you accurate and detailed information on all things Duke.  WIth all of our latest offerings and scheduled events, it’s a great time to join. [private]

You had seven blocks in the second game of the tournament.  What do you attribute that defensive effort to?

We just concentrate on our defense and what the coaches teach you.  I like to leak out on defense a lot, but tonight I had to stay down there and help my other teammates.

We’ve talked several times at various events.  Everybody is coming at John Wall and wants to know whats up.  There are just three and a half months left before you will make a decision.  Are you starting to think about that?  I mean, do you say wow, I’ve got to get down to business?

Yeah, I am going to get down to it.  It’s kind of a tough decision because it’s the last decision you make as a kid.  It’s kind of tough and I’m trying to make the best decision for me and my family.

Do you still feel like a kid?  I mean you have been through a lot during the process.

Yeah, I still feel like a kid and get to hang out with my friends.  When I get between these four lines or I’m in my classroom at school I have to take it serious to become a man.

What has Word of God done for John Wall?

It’s helped me a lot.  It helps me off the court, with academics and made me a better person.  It’s made me see things in life I wouldn’t have learned staying in a private school.  The smaller environment has helped me.

You’ve had several people watching you – the Duke and N.C. State staffs … what does that mean to you?

I used to it now, but it feels good.  When one of the top college coaches in the country comes in you have to try to be calm and run your team and try not to do stuff that takes you out of your game.

Are you really serious about all of the schools on your list?

Yes sir.

Have you been on an unofficial to N.C. State yet?

Yeah, I took a visit there.

What about Duke?

I haven’t took one yet.  I’m supposed to be setting that up.  Maybe this weekend.

You’ve said that you have talked to Coach K several times, what is he saying?

He just tells me he wants me to come see the school and not to do anything until I get a chance to get over there and check out Duke.

I talked to your coach last night and Clifton as well recently.  It seem like the visit to Duke has been really hard to set up.  Is there any reason for that or is there some sort of thing that concerns someone?

My coaches just wanted me to focus on this tournament right now.  With my Mom being in the hospital I’ve just been telling the coaches I’d talk to them after she gets well.  Everything went well in her surgery so I feel some pressure off of me now.  So now I will start setting my visits after this tournament.

I’ve heard that you had a good time in Memphis on a visit??

I did.  I really liked the coaches and players and had a good time on the visit.  They told me I could be like Derrick Rose.  I liked the facility and felt comfortable.

Will the pending decision be John Walls to make?  I gather that there is three important components at work here, that being your high school coach Levi Beckwith, your AAU coach Clifton and your Mom.  Is that pretty much accurate?

Yeah.  This is my decision but my Mom said that said I had been home so long that it was my decision.

Wouldn’t that be a hard decision to make?  Going away?

Yeah, it’s going to be pretty tough.  That’s why I’m trying to see which school would be the best fit for me.  If one fits me best elsewhere I will have to move out of state and go to college,  if one fits me best here then I will stay close to home.

What are you looking for in a coach?

A coach that plays the style of ball I play.  A coach who going to push you and not just say you are going to have a starting spot when you get there.  You have to have a good relationship.  I want to see if like I get a turnover or something how long he’ll take a player out or if he’ll let him play through some mistakes.  I can only take in what people tell me but you can’t believe what everybody says because they don’t want you to go to a school.

Do you think coaches are straight up for the most part?

It’s hard to tell because they are getting payed a certain amount of money and they’re trying to get the best players so they can win.  If they are not winning they are not going to keep their job long.  It’s kind of tough, so you have to go out and find coaches you feel you can trust and feel most comfortable with.

What are your goals for the rest of the season besides winning as a team?

I’m just want to be the best player I can be.  Prepare myself for college and help my teammates.

What three words or phrases best describes John Wall at this point and time?

Fun, fast and a celebrity I guess.

Are there any games you’ve marked on the schedule as being special?

I think Ravenscroft will be special.

And you get to play them twice, right?

Yes sir.

I appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck and hope your Mom gets well soon.

Thank you. [/private]