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Duke Basketball Recruiting Update – the weekend visitors

BDN Premium breaks down the weekend and recruiting

Durham, N.C. – This weekend marked the first time Kyrie Irving had been to a game at Duke this season and what he saw made him want to stay.  Irving will be here soon enough, July to be exact as will his future teammate Josh Hairston who also attended the Blue Devils blowout win over North Carolina.

But there were others in attendance and we will discuss those kids in our latest lengthy BDN Premium Duke Basketball Recruiting Update.  As you know, Austin Rivers [private] was unable to make the trip in that his team advanced to the championship game in Florida.  I still feel great about Rivers and Duke.

Another Duke target Qincy Miller went to Kentucky instead of making the trip to Durham.  While Duke still holds interest in the talented forward, they will continue to recruit others for many reasons.  One is that Quincy is quite the internet personality and two, a lot of people are involved with Millers recruitment, two names which you should figure out.  Now, I’m not talking other teams here, for we know who they are.  I’m talking individuals with lot’s of pull.  As I stated in an earlier update, Miller changed a whole lot from the first time I talked with him to now.  He is enjoying the limelight and at times seems aloof, but that’s probably just a kid enjoying himself.  Anyway, Duke is definitely still interested but Quincy has to show that back.  Make no mistake, Duke is still on his list but if there is a team to beat it is Kentucky.  This one will go on for a good while, so prepare to ride the waves.

Kyrie Irving looked as if he were ready to suit up this weekend

I will reiterate that Carrick Felix is all but in save the formalities of admissions which should be no problem.  Felix is a character kid that excels in the class room.  In short, he’s not your everyday garden variety JUCO.  Felix is athletic enough to make an impact in a role position the day he steps on campus.  While this is the first JUCO that will be taken under Krzyzewski, you will eventually see Felix has great character and ability.  I would imagine something will happen here shortly.  FWIW, Duke’s only other JUCO was Cameron Hall a center out of Canada.

Duke still has interest in Justin Anderson [Class of  2012 6-5 combo guard, Montrosse Christian] but this is at the evaluation stage.  As talented as he is, there are some holes in Anderson’s game and Duke will watch to see how he progresses in several areas.  He will get some looks come spring.

The Blue Devils are still high on J.P. Tokoto [Class of 2012 6-5 WF Menomonee, WI] as well and despite waht you hear about him being a Carolina lock, this one may take some turns along the way.  In a way, I would rather people say North Carolina is his if offered.  He will get an offer from them, but there is a jam at his position if you do the homework.

Duke will also continue to be state friendly.  What I mean by that is the Blue Devils will continue to check out local talent and just ask Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe about how fruitful this can be.  Enter kids like T.J. Warren will be invited to attend games as will others along the way in an effort to maintain relations..   Keep in mind that Miller, Bello and Marshall Plumlee are N.C. kids as well.  BDN will be attending the Telep’s camp and we will focus on the local talent at the end of this month.

A new name to keep an eye on is Tyler Adams , a hulking 6-9, 255 pound prospect from Brandon, Mississippi.  He was unable to make the game but was invited.  he is a physical presence that already has a college level body.  Adams is in the class of 2011.

There is no doubt that Josh Hairston is getting bigger as he ages.  Not huge, just maturing and filling out his body.  Hairston, of course was front and center for the game and cheering hard and often.  No word as to why Tyler Thornton didn’t make it.

As for Kyrie Irving, well, he had a blast.  He was the first one to jump off the bench when Duke took a 9-3 lead over North Carolina in the opening minutes and he was obviously liking what he saw.  From all reports close to the situation, he can’t wait to get to Durham and may be here earlier than July.  Irving had a close friend with him on the visit and he has already tweeted about his experiences.

One big kid there this weekend was Michael Haynes, who made his second game.  As it turns out, former Duke player Sean Dockery is his neighbor in his home town of Chicago.  Not only that, Dockery is acting as a mentor of sorts.  Haynes now plays in Martinsville, Virginia and his game is that of a physical presence.  He is tough on the blocks and in the paint and is the type of player Duke would like to close out the class of 2010 with. For that to happen, he will have to meet Duke’s academic requirements.

Gbinije and Muhammad share a moment in Cameron

Then there was the second visit from Michael Gbinije [Class of 2011 6-6 WF Benedictine, Va} from the class of 2011.  From all reports, he is accessing the opportunity at Duke and the word is his parents like the situation a lot.  It would not suprise me to see Duke close on him soon, but we'll see.  I have seen Gbinijie play several times and here is how I see his game.  He will not jump off the page at you athletically bt is a good athlete.  He is always steady and plays withing his capabilities.  He loves garbage buckets and plays taller than his height.  He has a good mid range shot and a decent handle and passes does everything pretty well.  He is a very quiet kid on and off the court.

I am pretty certain Marshall Plumlee did not attend, but I did not confirm that.  It is interesting that Indiana let Roshown McLeod go yesterday.  We'll see what effect this has on Plumlee who is high on Indiana and Duke.

We'll close in saying that Shabazz Muhamed [Class of 2012 6-4 WF Bishop Gorman, LV, Nev}was at the game as well.  The talented Las Vegas prospect took in Duke and North Carolina over the weekend.  It's very early in the process on this one for both the aforementioned schools, so we'll see how this one develops.

That's it for now, but we will likely add some other updates on the message board.  One last note, the team let go of the weekends big game this afternoon and their sole focus is on getting better between now and Friday where they face the winner of the Boston College-Virginia game. [/private]

BDN Premium Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

Michael Gbinije took in the Duke-Maryland game this past Saturday - copyright BDN Photo

As our members know, as the college basketball season goes into its final weeks recruiting talk heats up, for AAU ball is less than two months away.  It’s been a bit busy around here where we have been covering basketball and spring football, which caught everyone off guard with an early start.

I had originally planned a list of Duke’s prospects, breaking each one down, but, instead, we’ll concentrate this update on Micael Gbinije and Carrick Felix.  If you think Gbinije caught us by surprise, think again, for we have sat on his name for a week now while Duke’s interest grew.  Then duty called and delays were imminent for our latest update.

Anyhow, here is the deal on Gbinije and since we’ve seen him play a dozen times, BDN can definitely break his game down [private] for you.

Who is Michael Gbinije?

He’s a 6-6 WF from Benedictine High School in Richmond Virginia.

When did Duke get involved?

Duke has watched the development of Gbinije for a good two years now.  Duke Assistant Coach Nate James watched him play in Richmond and Coach Krzyzewksi took in one of his games during last year’s AAU Nationals.  Duke has also seen plenty of film on him.

Who else is he considering?

Georgetown, Oklahoma, Villanova, Wake Forest , andVirginia Tech are some of the legitimate contenders.

What about UNC?

It is true that Gbinije liked UNC growing up and still does, but he also likes Duke.  Folks, UNC cannot get them all and they have few offers to throw about right now.  That is, of course, unless they have a transfer and as I have said before, they will have at least one defection in the off season according to reliable sources.  I am not sure UNC will offer.

What if they do?

Well, Duke has wings in the wings.  If they do, it only opens up other possibilities for Duke, and UNC would then have very little wiggle room in their recruiting.

How did the visit go?

It went very well, as good as one could hope for according to those close to the situation.  Nate James has been the lead for Gbinije all along.

What’s his game like?

The word steady comes to mind.  He doesn’t jump out at you on the court like some wings do, but you always know he is out there for he is making plays in a consistent manner.  He is a bit of a tweener, but can certainly mix it up some and watching him develop with another years maturity should prove interesting.  Prep Stats rates him the 20th best prospect in the class of 2011.  Gbinije brings a balanced skill set to the table.  He can shoot the mid range jumper, drive and hit the glass hard when he needs to.  He has good hands and makes the safe play rather than go for the flash.  He is a glue player in that he seems willing to fill roles, but he has the potential to turn into a serious contributor.  He moves well without the ball and seems to understand how to play help defense and space properly.  His footwork is above average, but needs some refinement on the defensive end.

Duke has a long list of wings they will follow once the season ends and we’ll sort them out as some names become serious.  We sat on Gbinije’s visit for nobody had this out there.  Andrew can attest to this via e-mail exchanges about the Primetime Shootout.  Speaking of the shootout, Andrew caught up with the elusive Kyrie Irving for a detailed interview.  You may have noticed that Kyrie has shut out the Duke media of late.  A few more things coming from Slater’s way as the week progresses as well.

A little tip for you – Duke will run next season.  The offense will look drasticly different with Irving in the fold and Duke wants some wing athletes to go with him.

Enter Carrick Felix.  We should have film coming on him and yes I think he will be the next Dukie.  He will visit after the season and formalities are pretty much all that remains.  He is strong in the class room and adds something in which the Blue Devils don;t have on their roster at this time.

Austin Rivers is still scheduled to visit during the UNC game and you know how I feel about this one and nothing has changed.

Thanks for being patient during a busy time for our staff.  I will address other prospects at a later time, so please do not ask of them until then if possible.  We are thinking about changes and this has taken us away from our usual coverage, but we’re about to get back to normal and long time members know that’s a good thing.   There are times when we get too busy to even tell you what we have learned and sometimes another site will claim the scoop, but that’s okay for we are in this for the long haul and the cream always rises to the top.  Quite simply, sometimes our hands are tied with what we can share and we must let others get their breaks.

Thanks for your support! [/private]