Tag Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

Duke Basketball Team & Recruiting Update – A Crystal Clear Picture

The Dynamic duo of Matthew Jones and Julius Randle srike a pose for BDN - BDN Photo Do you want an accurate take on Duke Basketball Recruiting? Well, join BDN Premium and we'll give you a crystal clear picture.

BDN's Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates have set the standard among the sites and sure enough, this concept is now being copied.  We'll take that as a compliment but when push comes to shove, it is all about the content and we'll stack ours against anybody.  Here at BDN, our staff is in the trenches at AAU events.  That means our members are getting live streams of information as it happens, making our site well ahead of the curve.

We can lay claim to the fact that we cover more major recruiting events in person than any other site and that has been a running thing for several years now.  We don't send "stringers," with limited knowledge of the subject matter to do our work, nor do we sit back and depend on national network guys to do our job for us.  Seriously, do you not want first hand observations from an accomplished staff that has seen the prospects play multiple times?  No knocks here on the National guys in that many are our friends, but their sole focus is certainly not on Duke prospects nor is it a priority to cover them.  There are no smoke and mirrors tactics at BDN folks, nope, we are straightforward and honest when it comes to our coverage and we take pride in that.

If you have yet to try BDN Premium, you don't know what you're  missing of late and with some exciting changes on the horizon, it's the perfect time to check us out.  Our staff is hard working, dedicated and hands on in everything we do.  In our current update we lay out a clear picture of the staff's efforts.  And before we get on with our update where lots is happening, take a look at how much content we've pumped out recently which includes: Two interviews with both Tony Parker and Matt Jones to go with individual interviews with Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Jahill Okafor, Rasheed Sulaimon and much, much more.  Just today, recruiting analyst Andrew Slater goes in depth with Mitch McGary and we have content laying in wait this week. And our interviews have meat to them in that we don't lure you in with a premium article featuring a couple of quotes via texting.  Anyhow, let's move on to another informative and detailed (2521 word) update on the Duke Basketball recruiting scene where we paint a crystal clear picture for our members.  Trust me in that you will absolutely love our update, so if you want to find out where the coaches will be going, who is really on the radar and such, we have the answers for you.  And if you are not satisfied, we'll refund you within the first 24 hours of joining.

The picture is now crystal clear with concern to 2012 and beyond.  Duke will stick with Tony Parker until his decision is made.  Coach Krzyzewski sat front and center for many of Parker's games and the big man [private] knew it, cutting his eyes towards the man while playing.  Parker has been a bit up and down with his comments of late but my belief is that Duke is in better shape than anyone else for Tony.  His parents love Duke and if they had their way, this one would be over from what I've heard from legitimate sources.  The Parkers sat directly behind the bench this weekend and they certainly saw the Blue Devils' keen interest.  Duke has been faithful to Tony and his verbal could set other things in motion.  Coach K loves his hands and footwork and wants him to anchor the paint in Durham.  The Blue Devils have made Tony priority 1 on their 2012 wish list.

And if Parker is priority 1-A, then Mitch McGary is 1-B, or you can reverse the order if you'd like.  Duke will go hard after McGary and they feel they have a great chance at the tenacious big.  Sources are now saying McGary may pull the trigger before his high school season and if that is indeed the case, look for a whirlwind of activity in the coming months.  It is safe to say McGary will be visiting Duke and the Blue Devils will be in home with him when the time comes, but that will not happen until the team returns from their venture to China and Dubai.

The Blue Devils were most impressed with Matt Jones and he gained an offer after his play this past weekend.  Of course, as members, you all saw this one coming.  Jones glowed beyond belief when talking of Duke and you will see those videos this week.  We spoke to Jones the other night but kept it short.  He told BDN that he was on cloud nine after Coach K called and that he could certainly see himself there.  He was very excited that Duke moved in and it is fair to say that they went to the top of his list.  Jones has shown steady improvement in his game and he can slash through the lanes and has an outstanding outside shot.  He is a good on-ball defender as well and he sent a game to overtime with a defensive stop in front of Krzyzewski as time ran out.  The only knock I witnessed is that he at times has trouble shaking free for his shot.  He is a great character kid as well and BDN got his AAU coach's thoughts on that, which is another feature you can look forward to.

His teammate, the hulking Julius Randle, also has an offer and Duke feels they are in good shape there as well.  Jeff Capel has certainly been a help in this one and the thought of a package deal with Jones is most appealing.  But make no mistake about it, Duke loves Matthew Jones as a stand alone player.  Randle was called the best player in the nation on the night he dominated the Memphis front court by someone close to the situation that watched him play.  That was a bit cryptic but easy enough for you to figure out on your own.  Randle was like a bull in a China shop and it is clear that he will not back down from anyone.  I caught several of his games and was most impressed by his enormous upside.  He is a true power player that may or may not fit should Duke get Tony Parker.

The Bull - BDN Photo

And then there is another 2013 product named Jabari Parker.  What a humble superstar he is and you'll see this on coming videos as well.  Parker likes Duke a lot ... a whole lot and the Duke coaches like him a lot, a whole helluva lot.  They are in great early shape with Parker and this one might end in the spring of next year at the latest.  Parker will make an unofficial visit to Durham in due time and we'll have more on that as it develops.  While UNC and others are on him, Duke has been from the start and that will IMO pay dividends down the road.  Parker is smooth and versatile and at times cannot be stopped.  He is part of the spectacular trio joining Randle and Noel as the best of the best in 2013.

One thing many seemingly fail to see is that Duke has a great jump on 2013 for a reason.  The Duke staff will be tied up with Team USA duties next summer limiting their time on the recruiting trail.  That especially holds true for Krzyzewski and that is why he was so hands-on this past week with the class.  The three aforementioned 2013 players are clearly at the top of the wish list but more names are in the works, specifically Nerlens Noel.  This defensive demon we coined the "Sultan of Swat," is a most interesting talent and game changer.  Then there is the "Nerlens Noel effect," which causes players to alter shots for Noel is an absolute terror when it comes to blocking shots.  By the  end of the EYBL he was in every prospect's head and it doesn't matter who he is guarding.  In short, he inflicts pain on guys the same age, younger and/or older.  When I joked with Noel about the fact he didn't send out invitations to his "Block Party," he loved it.  Form that point on, Noel really opened up to me.  Make no mistake, everybody is on Noel, so Duke will have their hands full as will every other team that vies for his services.  I love me some Nerlens and so does Grant Hill, for he is making his fade rise on the cover of the 1991 Sports Illustrated stylish again;) A side note is that Grant Hill will go along on the China trip and he will be helping to teach the "Duke culture" to newcomers.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones, LJ Rose and Rodeny Purvis strike a pose for BDN

Some have attempted to hang me out to dry with a comment on Rodney Purvis which was misquoted, but that is something I am used to from another Duke site.  This time they made sure my name was in the head of a post.  I never intended certain things to go public but when users break the agreement upon signing up all I can do is boot them.  Purvis flat out wants to come in and play right away but Duke has a bevy of wings on the roster and in the works.  Purvis wanted to hang with Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and LJ Rose this weekend and he is seemingly upset at, well, everything that is said these days.  The mere fact that Duke did not watch him is telling and I can tell you without revealing sources close to the situation that Purvis is no longer an option.  Of course, we were the first to say that in a private forum and now all but one site is on the bandwagon.  I think the offer to Jones may have made him see the light and/or the writing on the wall.  Purvis is a good kid, but his emotion concerns me as does his behavior when he is not on the court.  Would Duke take him if he called and wanted to come?   Make no mistake, Purvis has talent and he is a good kid, so I am in no way beating him down, but he is no Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving.

We have to watch how we mention prospects around here and even where we'll be going on the recruiting trail in that it tips off others.  Just this week nobody was on Nerlens Noel until we were seen talking to him.  Yes, people pay close attention to everything we do at events.  It frustrates us at times but what can you do?  All I can say is pay close attention to when information is printed and as a member sit back and know that you were aware of it beforehand.  Noel is sure to pick up an offer soon.

Rasheed Sulaimon played very well at the EYBL finals as well although he saved his worst game for last and a lackluster offensive performance cost him the scoring title.  Still, he finished second and he has improved immensely since a season ago;  he's like a water bug running all over the place and locks down well on his defensive assignment.  His handle is improving as well and his offense is top shelf.  The Duke staff knew exactly what they were doing in getting this kid aboard early, a testament to Krzyzewski's eye.  That too should excite one more with concern to Jones.

Wojo was in Wisconsin this week and Krzyzewski was as well before returning to Augusta.  Chris Collins was at home this go round but he returns in the coming week.  The addition of Jeff Capel has been a winner and this staff is, well, pretty darn good.

One kid that caught our eye during the EYBL opening session was  Tyus Jones, a 2014 PG from Minnesota who plays for the older Howard Pulley team.  Once we interviewed him, it was obvious to others he had caught the Blue Devils' eyes.  Again, our every move is watched by others at events.  We actually interviewed Jones while at Boo, so he didn't slip up on me at all.  In fact, he stood out and I was amazed to learn he was 2014 for his play was smooth as silk and so far ahead of those in his class.  We have a nice interview coming your way with Jones as well.  I can tell you that he has great character, confidence and his recruitment will go on for a very long time.  Still, both Andrew and myself take pride in giving you background on players Duke likes before it really gets out there.  In short, we anticipate while at the many events, as Andrew did with Jahill Okafor.  What you may not realize is how rare a good interview with Oakfor is, so pay attention to our offerings.

Duke is still keeping an eye on Alex Poythress and Perry Ellis as well.  Neither of them have an offer and both play pretty much the same position.  Duke would likely turn here if they got one of Mitch McGary and Tony Parker but the real need is bangers and not wings.  Still, keep a close eye on these guys as the recruiting evaluation period opens back up.

Just in are the players Duke will watch in Orlando for the AAU National Showcase which runs from the 23rd to the 27th.  Mitch McGary will start there and once it is over go to Kansas City.  Teammates Julius Randle and Matt Jones will be there as well along with Nerlens Noel and Theo PinsonRasheed Sulaimon will play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando which takes place after the loaded Showcase.  And Tony Parker and Alex Poythress will play in both events.  I am trying to swing this event but right now it isn't looking good.

I am trying to rework my schedule to go to Orlando but a cash crunch may prevent that from happening.  However, Andrew is set to go to Las Vegas and you know his coverage will be top shelf.  In closing our latest update I would like to thank all of you for supporting us through membership.  We would like to give back, so here is an opportunity for you.  If you refer new members to BDN Premium, we'll give you 15% of their membership provided you e-mail or PM us before they join.  If you have a friend join for a year, that means you get 15$ cash sent to your paypal account.  If it is for six months, you get 9$.  There is no referral granted for a one or three month membership.  This is a limited time offer.  Help us grow our community!

Thanks again for choosing Blue Devil Nation Premium and the future is looking bright around here, so stay tuned for more on that. [/private]

Mitch McGary opens up to BDN

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - On the windy banks of Lake Michigan, Mitch McGary grew up in Chesterton, Indiana, a town known for its sandy dunes and being the birthplace of comedian Jim Gaffigan. He had a solid high school career at the local public school and enjoyed spending his summers on the beach and playing for SYF, a Gary, Indiana-based AAU program. Through his play on the court, he generated interest from programs in the Big Ten and Big East.

Last year, as his eighteenth year was approaching and college eligibility was looming, he and his family made the decision for Mitch, the youngest of five, to spend the next two years at Brewster Academy, a scenic New England prep school that kisses the shores of Lake Winnepesaukee with a burgeoning reputation as a basketball powerhouse. The decision to transfer schools was educational in nature, but with the added athletic benefit of competing with seven other Division I caliber players in the currently toughest high school basketball conference in the country, the NEPSAC. In his first semester, McGary, who has dealt with ADD,  earned a place atop the honor roll. On the court, by mid-December, he was known throughout the conference as a bruising energy guy for the nation's top-ranked prep school team and easily the league's best "sixth man."

Despite playing in a league where teams routinely feature multiple Division-I signees or recruits, Brewster Academy achieved a thirty-one game winning streak over the past two seasons, which was only snapped after a tough road loss to St. Thomas More, a team featuring six scholarship players, including the consensus top ranked junior, Andre Drummond. This was a game that Duke Assistant [private] Coach Nate James nearly attended. The veteran squad rebounded and won six more in a row, including a resounding 94-38 victory over Winchendon in the NEPSAC Class AAA Championships quarterfinals. In that game, the 6'10 250 lb. McGary scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Brewster to a 30-1 record on the season. Unfortunately for the Bobcats of Brewster Academy, they would lose two of their last three and ultimately close out the season by suffering a narrow four-point defeat in the semi-finals of the National Prep Championship to Notre Dame Prep.

Over the course of the season, McGary added 30 pounds of mostly muscle and significantly dropped his body fat percentage, while developing into one of the top high-energy low-post wide-body prospects in the country. At the recent Pittsburgh Jam Fest, Mitch opened a lot of eyes and raised expectations of some analysts, that had not seen him play in person since early November, through his inspired and skilled play over the weekend. He led his program, SYF, to the Championship of the silver medal round, a round for teams that finished second in their pool play. Throughout the event, Mitch was kind enough to speak with us about a variety of topics to get a better sense of who he is.

Which schools are recruiting you?

Duke, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Florida St., Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Marquette, West Virginia, UConn, Xavier, and Cincinnati.

Talk about some of the passes you threw today and adding another wrinkle to your game.

I don't know. In the old days, on my old team, I used to kind of just take the rebound and try to bring it up the court, but nowadays (laughs) people are quicker to the ball or I can't handle the ball quite like I used to, but I got a little bit taller and so I've tried to get a lot better at my outlet passes. I've tried to add that to my repertoire.

Can you talk about the transition of going to Brewster and how much it has improved your game?

The transition to going to Brewster was a big step for me. Leaving home and going out on my own. I went there because of my grades, but, personally, my grades are now fine. I've tried to get stronger and I've gained like thirty pounds. I feel healthier than ever. I just need to work on my shooting a little bit more. My post moves are pretty solid, but I just didn't get the ball in the post a lot today. We were kind of, like, running and gunning a lot today. So, we might slow the game up a bit and I can show you my post work in a game.

Speaking about your improved body, although you didn't get the ball in the low post, it seemed like because of your motor, you got a lot of second-chance points tonight.

Well, yeah, I mean today wasn't the best game (15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocked shots). I mean I'm tired from traveling and all I had to do today. I mean a couple of flights and whatever, but I was fortunate to score off of hustle. I should be able to do better tomorrow, but I'm glad we got the win. My motor should be going one hundred percent tomorrow morning. I should be able to have a better game than I did today.

Speaking of travel, do you have any visits planned in the near future?

Not really, I mean I've talked about going down to Cincinnati. Getting out to Maryland. Getting out to Florida, Arizona, and Texas. I've been to  Illinois, Marquette, Purdue, and Indiana so far.

Do you have any sort of timetable for those visits?

Not really. Just some time this spring, summer, or fall. I'll probably be making my decision next fall anyway.

Playing at Brewster, with that schedule and on a team with a ton of talent (7 high-major Division-I players), how much has that elevated your game?

Just the intensity in practice was amazing. It was frankly just another level of play from my prior school. I mean, compared to my old high school team, I can't even explain how great the difference was and is. I can't even tell you just how much better I've gotten as a result of being up there with those guys and practicing and just playing until we can't. It's also the games, where they're played frankly at so much faster a pace and with such intensity. There's just so much more intensity in the games and in individual possessions than at my old school.

Will location play a factor in your decision?

I mean location really doesn't matter to me. My parents would kind of like me to stay closer to home, but it's really whatever school fits best for me.

Mike Pegram: What about IU (Indiana University)?

I mean I talked to Coach Tom Crean yesterday and he said he still he wants me to go there. It's just a matter of me working out and seeing what school fits me the best.

Coach Davis of Cincinnati has been staying on you pretty tough?

Yeah, I talked to him yesterday. He seemed pretty cool. I need to talk to him more often to develop a better relationship with him, but I mean I like Cincinnati too.

What are you going to try to work on over the next year?

Well, last spring, I had an eighteen footer and a three-pointer in my repertoire, but I'm not as good at knocking them down as I used to be. I mean I'm going to continue to lift weights and get stronger. I'm going to be in the weight room a lot. I'm going to work on my shot and continue to work on my conditioning. Over the summer and into next spring, I'd like to work on my shot a lot more.


Yeah, a lot of work on my mid-range.

I've seen you at Brewster several times and you're much more of a bruiser than you were, say, at this time last year.

I mean I guess my coach, Jason Smith, put me in the post a lot more and playing up there is lot tougher.

Playing with guys like Markus Kennedy..
Yeah, I mean he's going to Villanova and he's a top recruit and a postgraduate who's great to practice against in the post.

And JaKarr Sampson.

Oh, yeah, well, he's my roommate. We've got a little thing going on, but..that's okay (laughs).

What's your current size?

6'11" 250.

You were talking before about your improved strength. Have you guys measured or gauged it, in terms of bench press, squats, etc.?

No, we haven't, but hopefully I can get that in this spring and we can see what I measure out at in, like, squatting, bench pressing, and stuff. We've been working out a lot in the weight room, but not really measuring or anything.

Who's the toughest player you've played against?
I'd have to say Markus Kennedy on my team, but, on other teams, I'd probably say Khem Birch.

Yeah, sure, at Notre Dame Prep.

Yeah, he's really good and tough on both ends.

Which style of play do you prefer, one that's up-and-down, pushes the pace and looks consistently for fast breaks or one that's predicated on the half-court game and a generally slower tempo?

Whatever fits me best, but I mean I like to get up and out and go, but I also feel that my strength is a strength and I'd like to have a little more focus and passing to our game.

A little more structure to your game?

Yeah, exactly, a little more structure.

Who will you be turning to for guidance in your college decision?

Coach Drumm (of SYF) and my parents.

Back to academics for a second, you mentioned in the past and earlier today that you went up to Brewster to work on your grades.

Yeah, in fact, they were really the whole reason that I first went up there. I've been able to earn As and Bs and so now that's all good, but I keep working and concentrating on them.

I heard that you now made the honor roll in the first semester.

Yeah, I did.


Thanks, man, I appreciate that.

What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses at this point?

Sure, my weaknesses are probably my three-point shot and, like, my eighteen footer. It's just not as good as it once was. I mean my strengths are probably really running the court pretty well, rebounding and controlling the ball, and lastly my post play, which I'm sorry you couldn't see today.

No, please, I've seen you quite a bit at Brewster. You were fine tonight and impressed the hell out of these guys that haven't seen you in six or seven months. What are some of the differences between what's asked of you at Brewster and your responsibilities with SYF?

Well, next year at Brewster, I'm going to be the captain. So, I actually, both here and there, am going to be the leader of the team.

With SYF particularly, I've noticed you're a lot more vocal this year than in the past.

Yeah, definitely, going to Brewster has helped a lot in terms of making me realize the need to be more vocal and demonstrate leadership. I feel like I'm the heart and soul of this team and I need to pump these guys up and keep them motivated for each game that we go out there. That's how it was at Brewster and so it translates. At some of the Brewster games, I was pretty crazy. I tried to pump up that team and get them hyped and that's how it was.

Yeah, I know. I saw you and Max (Hooper of Harvard) and Deonte (Burton, a highly thought of 2013 prospect) hyping those guys up and supporting them loudly when you weren't out there competing on the court.

Yep, yep, absolutely. We were all there for each other. Doing whatever would help to get the win.

You briefly touched on this before, but how do you feel that it's helped prepare you for college? What would you say to another young man who's considering heading up there?

It's pretty much college up there in terms of competition. I mean I feel like sometimes like I'm playing with and against college people. There's a sense of pressure and competition and intensity to win. The level of intensity and competition, like I said, is pretty much college.

Game in and game out, you're playing against multiple D-I players.

Yeah, absolutely, and I mean we played 34 games against that level of competition. We could've played as many as 40 games, if we won all of our games, but, unfortunately, yeah..

Can you tell the audience a little about Chesterton? The hometown of you and Jim Gaffigan.

Oh, yeah, I was born and raised there. I never met him, (laughs) but I went to pre-school with his niece, I think, or something like that. (laughs)
I was doing my research.

(laughs) Yeah, but I was born and raised in Chesterton…

The Dunes of Indiana.

Yeah, absolutely, I spent every summer on those Indiana dunes. That's where I go to the beach and stuff like that. The first year I moved out was kind of a big transition. I'm on my own at Brewster. I'm more responsible, you know, living on my own and making my own decisions.

Who do you try to model your game after?

Well, I really like Lamar Odom a lot. We're both left-handed. I mean I'd like to get my handle and my three-point shot a little better, but he's like my favorite player and I'd like to learn to play like him, you know, inside and out.

In January, you wrote that your three favorite or "dream schools" were Texas, Duke, and North Carolina. Is that still the case?

I guess now I would say Texas, Arizona, and Florida. I also like Maryland a lot too.

What are you hoping to show college coaches that you've improved upon from last summer to this summer?

How much my motor has gotten better and how much better I am at running the floor than last year.

So, a game like this would've been a good example of what you're trying to demonstrate.

Yeah, I tried to show how well I can rebound the ball, especially offensively, and how I'm very vocal. That's one of the focal points for colleges is to be vocal and call out commands or ways that you can help your teammates. I try to always be talkative and be helpful on  defense. That's one thing that I feel I do really well.

Is Duke recruiting you? Forgive me, but I couldn't quite fully hear your answer to the first question with the buzzers going off. Did you mention them?

Oh, yes, I spoke with Coach Nate James and I spoke with Coach Collins a couple of times. Right now, I think they probably have low interest, but I think that they're coming up Monday to Brewster.

To your open gym.

Yes, to my open gym.

And what do you know about them?

It's always been everybody's favorite. Duke's always been a powerhouse of a program and a school.

Do you know the Plumlees?

No, I do not know them personally, but I definitely know of them. They're from Warsaw, Indiana, but I'm definitely big fans of theirs. I just know of them and that they've done well at Duke.

What'a something that you learned about yourself or something new that you found out that you could do this year at Brewster?

Just living on my own. I've always had my mom do things and I was always a big mama's boy.
(Reggie Rankin, former coach and current scout for ESPN chimes in with, "Nothing wrong with that.")
 I always listen to my moms.

You get cell phone service up there? I know that's an issue at some other schools.

Yeah, I've got my own cell and it's still technically in the US. So, I guess I still get free minutes.

In terms of position, what would like to play, the four or the five?

I guess the four, but next year I'll be playing the five more often, I think, because I'll be the biggest one on the team. I guess I'll be inside banging up on people.

You've gone from being a big that can face up, at times, and liked to step out and shoot the three to a really aggressive , physical 4/5, who can do the rough, nasty stuff around the basket. You're not afraid to collide or throw an occasional elbow if it means securing a rebound. Is that a result of you working on your body or simply a matter of doing what's necessary for the team to succeed?

Yeah, I knew I had to get a lot stronger and I've just been in the weight room a lot more. My shooting has been affected by that. I've just got to keep working on that and hopefully it'll eventually get back.

In terms of rebounding, what do you think are the keys to being a good rebounder and advice that you'd give to younger players?

Mainly, I think you need to get good positioning. I think you need to be aware at all times and especially be conscious of a shot going up. Learn to read the ball coming off the rim. If you watch it, you'll learn patterns. Just get after it and either hopefully start the break or put it back up if you're on offense.

Do you feel you've improved in this area?

Yeah, probably. I've gotten stronger, which helps, and I think I've learned how to watch the game a little better.

Without insulting you in any way, have you cut down on your body-fat? I mean it looks like you have.

Oh, yeah, I've cut down a lot. I've pretty much been working on that everyday. Eating right, getting healthier, working on conditioning, cutting down on the fat, and just gaining muscle

What do you think of the weight room up there?

It's pretty nice. I mean it's top of the line stuff.

It's almost like a small college's facilities.

Yeah, pretty much. I mean it's nice and we've got a personal trainer, who helps us out. There's like an assistant coach who is also a personal trainer so he helps us out up there.

Lastly, what would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?

Just that I'm a real outgoing guy. I'm happy to talk to anyone. I'll talk about recruiting or whatever they'd like to talk about. I'm really open to anything. At the first day of school, I made, like, two hundred friends. I was really friends with everybody. Next year, a bunch of teachers want me to go for class president.

Are you gonna run?

(laughs) I'm thinking about it, but I'm not sure. They said I'd be good at it and so I think I might.

Thanks very much for your time and I'm sure I'll see you around.

Thank you. No problem.

Last day questions:
How do you feel you played in this tournament?

Not as good as I did in the last tournament (NY2LA Tournament). I think I'd say, right now, my reputation is ahead of my game. I've just got to forget about all of that stuff and just stick to playing, stick to helping my team, and just winning tournaments. We've got a chance to win a silver bracket still and so I'm going to try to help us achieve that.

That's something to strive for. You're a competitor.

Yeah, you're right. It's something to strive for. We've got to win the silver bracket, I guess, before we can win the gold. (laughs)

Right, right.

The first two tournaments have been, well they've been okay.

When's your next tournament, by the way?

I think we're going to the Jayhawk Invitational.

And then, over the summer, do you go to Orlando or Vegas, do you know?

I think we're going to Orlando. Yeah, I think we're going to the New York to LA (a Milwaukee area tournament) in July and then to Orlando, but I'm not totally sure. I'm not totally positive on that one yet, man.

Thanks again.

Alright, man. [/private]

BDN Premium – Duke Basketball Recruiting and Team Update, new names, Kyrie

With the season winding down one might think Duke is not recruiting hard, but they are quite active and still persuing several kids.  The Blue Devils added a solid one-two punch when Alex Murphy and Rasheed Sulaimon  chose to play their collegiate careers in Durham in the same week.  Murphy is a wing player who'll likely play the small forward role while Sulaimon is more suited to play out front.  Many have wondered if Murphy would re qualify and the answer is (A 1227 word update awaits BDN members) [private] no, not unless he goes to summer school.  Look for Murphy to transfer from St. Mark's in the coming year to a school where he'll play better competition.  I should be able to tell you where that will be soon.

The addition of these two prospects allows Duke to now turn their attention to other main targets, two of which are Tony Parker, a behemoth big man from Georgia and Shabazz Muhammad, a multi talented wing.  North Carolina has moved hard on Parker but in a chat with Dave Telep this past weekend, the ESPN talent evaluator said he still feels Duke leads.  As for Muhammad, the team to beat is Kentucky, a school he'll soon visit.  Duke is still very much in the mix for these two but they do have stiff competition and only time will tell how they'll fare.

We reported that Justin Anderson was getting some looks and that will continue.  Anderson's camp is claiming an offer per Andrew, but the offer is contingent at this time but that could change any time now.  Anderson is close friends with current Duke player Josh Hairston and he is a bit of a hybrid player in that he plays a bit bigger than he actually is.  Duke feels he is a type of player they currently don't have, but harbor your emotion for that is said of many prospects, especially the aforementioned Parker.

This past weekend Michael Gbinije, Quinn Cook and Marshall Plumlee played in Cameron and I took in the action.  As has been said, Gbinije has to be the shyest guy ever.  But that's not all bad in that it is a part of his make up as being a team player.  Gbinije still needs to be more aggressive, especially on the boards but he is capable and seems to be able to do what he is told.  He was named his teams MVP.

BDN is on the scene at Duke.

Quinn Cook led his Oak Hill team to two wins and he seems to be coming along but is still favoring his knee.  On occasion, he tries to do too much, but he is a distributor and he has above average offense for a point guard.  Marshall Plumlee is coming along nicely as well and he continues to play hard and aggressive when in the game.  Despite  being the only big, Christ School runs few plays through Plumlee this season which is curious when you consider his passing skills and his ability to draw a crowd in the post.  Both prospects will join Austin Rivers in the McDonald's All American game, but Gbinije is a fifth year senior and like John Wall last season, is ineligible.  There has been much discussion since the ESPN telecast of his game said he may redshirt.  While that has been discussed it will still be a wait and see thing and there is no reason to get caught up in worry one way or another until the start of next season for we'll no nothing until then.

You may have seen that Duke didn't make JP Tokoto's list which was trimmed recently.  That's because Duke backed off of him, showing little interest.  And to think, Tokoto could have given Duke a verbal during their camp!  Duke offered him at that time and he almost signed that day after a great trip, but they decided to wait and they are still waiting, almost dragging their feet with the process.  That is fortunate for Duke in that he took a major tumble in the rankings and has yet to show he can step up and be the man on any of his teams.  He'll still be a good one, just not at Duke.

After being on the AAU trail for several years, you learn to take in guys who are not always on the radar in that the recruiting landscape changes.  That's why BDN talked with Austin Rivers when he was a 15 year old prodigy, two months shy of picking Florida.  Well, we know what happened and the guys we've kept up with of late are the aforementioned Anderson, once thought to be off the radar and now Andre Drummond.

As Andrew has stated, Drummond is no longer a UConn lock as has been thought.  He also has some Duke ties which again, Andrew has mentioned on our message board.  I still feel he is a long shot but you never know.  And for some breaking news of sorts, Duke Assistant Nate James was check him out last evening but connecting flights issues kept him from doing so .  The catch is he was going to see a new name on the radar, big man Mitch McGary.  What a great opportunity for James to check out these guys go head to head.  We'll have more on this new kid on the block later and we will hopefully be talking to him before TOS's suddenly happen upon his name once this article goes to press.

As for James, he is up to more than just checking this game out.  Another new name on the recruiting radar is Anthony Bennett and the Dogg will take the lead on this one.  We have more.  He will also check out North Carolina in state product Montrezl Harrell [6-7 BF Tarboro, NC] in the coming weeks.

There are some names on the radar in the class of 2013, but those will not solidify until AAU ball this summer and you guys know how active we are that time of year.

A note on women's recruting is that highly rated Betnijay Laney will is down to Duke and Rutgers.  If the Blue Devils land her, they'll have the top class with three outstanding women.  BDN Flashback

Lastly, there is the Kyrie Irving situation.  It's day to day and his return is dependent on complete healing.  Irving cannot help his stock by returning to the court and that could be a factor.  However, so far, so good with concerns to the timetable we mentioned long ago.  He can play this season if he wants to but that decision with be a family one.  While Duke has certainly not shut the door on a possible return, they are cautiously optimistic at best in the way the convey things to insiders and the public.  They want the current players to play as if Irving will not return but they'd welcome Irving with open arms if he suits up.  I remain a glass half full kind of guy on this one and I will not back down now from saying I still think we'll see him play.  As I have been saying, the door had by no means been shut in any official manner to date but keep in mind that he is not going full throttle in practice yet and that means time will tell. Discuss the latest on the BDN message board and please adhere to user agreement with concerns to this article.  Go Duke! [/private]

Landen Lucas: Like Father, Like Son

At 6'7," Richard Lucas was an undersized center, who averaged fifteen points and nearly ten rebounds per game for Don Monson and the Oregon Ducks as a senior in the early 1990s, while battling routinely against bigger players at his position in the Pac-Ten. His reputation was that of a player willing to bang inside and out-hustle his competition on the glass, dive for balls, and sprint down the court, which made him a crowd favorite and had the Oregon faithful chanting "Luuuuke."

Now, nearly twenty years later, Landen Lucas is a 6'9" junior reserve post player for national power Findlay Prep. In late July, he decided to leave the comfort of home in the Portland area and nearby Sunset High School, in order to spend the next two years working on individual skill development, preparing his frame for college basketball, and getting used to studying away from home. The decision has paid early dividends, as Landen lost a significant amount of weight immediately and has seen his recruitment heat up, with defending National Champion Duke University has begun contacting him and evaluating whether there is a fit.

Blue Devil Nation watched him at the Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach in June, caught one of his games for the Northwest Panthers at the Super 64 in Las Vegas in late July, and recently watched him play twice at the Hoop Hall Classic. After his last game at Springfield College for the Hoop Hall Classic, BDN spoke with this son of an English professor about Duke's recent interest in him, his development and competition at Findlay, why he looks at the unique pairing of Tim Duncan and Dennis Rodman as basketball role models, and the attributes he shares with his father.

Let's start off by talking about the transition to Findlay.

You know it was a big transition and it would be anytime someone goes from normal high school basketball to prep school basketball, let alone to Findlay. It's just a big jump, even in practice. It really took a few weeks to get used to everything and settle in, but now it's fine.

Do you live in the much discussed players' house?

No, I actually live with Nigel. We're both from Portland so that helps.

Was it a big deal for your family, you know, you[private] moving away and trying to develop your game at Findlay?

Oh, yeah, it was definitely a big deal. It was hard for them to let me go, but they knew that it was the best decision, at least from a basketball standpoint.

Now, as I recall, you first visited there in late July. You showed up to the Vegas tournaments a few days early so that you could do a walk around of the campus and make sure you were comfortable. Is that correct?

Oh, yeah, exactly, I came early just to check it out and make sure I didn't step on there and get a really weird feeling (laughs).

(laughs) No, that'd be terrible.

Yeah, I mean I was already ninety-nine percent sure before I got there, but I wanted to be a hundred percent sure. Once I got there, though, I knew and it was a no-brainer with the coaches they had and the facilities they offered.

Touch on the facilities.

It's just awesome. They've got top notch everything. They provide you with everything you need to get better. It was the best decision I could make.

What do you feel is your biggest strength right now?

My strengths are being mobile and being a factor around the basket, both on defense and in our offense. Just being a presence.

What do you feel you need to work on most?

The things I think I need to work on are my explosiveness, you know, now that I've dropped the weight. This summer I want to get back in the room and work on adding strength.

You definitely look like you've lost body fat. The first time I saw you was at the Pangos this year in Long Beach.

Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely, but, you know, we're just working on my body a lot. I know that, once I get to college, they'll have me prepared and in good shape for everything.

Touch on how your body has changed from August until now.

Oh, it's been a massive change. I dropped seventeen pounds in practically the first month. My body has dropped dramatically. The thing we're trying to do now is add weight back, but as muscle.

Do you have any sort of timeline for how you'd like to handle your recruitment?

Yeah, I'd like to narrow it down this summer and, after that, I sift it further. Then, in the fall, I'll take my official visits and decide.

So, this is not going to be a thing where, in a week, I'm gonna read that you just pulled the trigger and committed to somebody. You're not gonna do that to me, right?

(laughing) No, no, no, don't worry about that. I wouldn't do that to you. No, no, no, that's definitely not gonna happen. (laughing)

(laughs) I mean that's cool. It's your life, if you find something you like in the next week, just jump on it.

No, no, don't worry. Nothing like that's going to happen. I want to be one hundred percent sure about whatever school I'm looking at. Just like I did here, I can't be completely comfortable with a school until I walk on the campus and meet with the people that'll be a part of my life,

That's completely understandable. It'd be like buying a car without doing a test drive. I know you've visited Oregon recently. What are some other visits you taken and what ones do you have planned?

I've been to Oregon, Oregon State, Washington. My Dad was just at Arizona St., but he was there for the BCS game. I really haven't gotten to see too many outside of the West Coast. I think, you know, the more I go on the better.

Do you have any planned right now?

Yeah, actually, I have one planned right now. My mom and I are going to visit Harvard in March.

Okay, great.

Yeah, we'll try to probably visit some more East Coast schools when we're out here.

Coach Amaker is having a great season. He beat Boston College and just won against George Washington.

Yeah, absolutely, I've talked to Coach Amaker quite a bit.

Is there a player or two that you try to model your game after?

Yeah, I try to take a mix of people. Offensively, I really try to watch Tim Duncan and his mechanics.Defensively and in terms of rebounding, I would love to be anywhere near Rodman's rebounding. I know he..

No, I think he's player that you never hear mentioned because I think they're afraid of getting tied in with his off-the-court stuff, but was an excellent rebounder and defender and should be looked at by young forwards.

Yeah, exactly, I mean I'm almost afraid to say it because then people think you don't mind his attitude problems or that you're crazy.

No, I think it's an interesting answer. I loved to watch him defend and angle for rebounds.

Yeah, he loved to rebound and that's what I'm about, not his other stuff.(laughs)

Sure, he was about 6'8." How tall are you right now?

I'm 6'9" right now. So, I'm a little bit taller than him, but I would love to have that talent or develop that talent when it comes to rebounding.

Now, I know your dad played at Oregon and I want to get to that in a second, but how tall is he and how tall are you projected to grow to?

My dad's about 6'7" and my mom's six feet. Hopefully, I'll be able to grow another inch or two. I'd like to be at least 6'10" flat footed and 6'11" with shoes on.

From a position standpoint, what are most schools recruiting as, a four or five? And which do you prefer too?

You know a lot of people come up and say, "Yeah, you could play the four" and everybody wants to play the four and be outside, but what I want to do is be a five that can play the four, instead of being a four that can play the five. I like to stay inside and I love banging against other guys. I enjoy that. It's what I'm about. I love going out there and banging. I don't need the status or the other stuff that some guys are looking for. If I can help my team win just doing that, then I'm happy. All I care about is getting the W. That's all I need.

Can you tell the audience a little bit about yourself away from the court?

Well, I've talked to a lot of coaches and the thing is, as far as school goes, is that my work in the classroom has helped open doors for me in basketball as well. I've been talking with the coaches at Harvard lately. All I really do is play basketball, study, and then go to school. My mom is an English teacher and so she always stresses education.

Well, you're clearly articulate.

Thanks, I think that by succeeding in school it's really helped open opportunities.

Now, did she teach at your old school? Was that an issue for you at all?

(laughs) She taught when I was younger, but I was too young to…She's actually now an English professor.

Well, congratulations.

Yeah, she's now teaching in Portland at Portland Community College.

Who's the best player you've faced so far?

Christmas. I'm not sure his first name, but, man, was he a beast to deal with.

Rakeem Christmas. Yeah, when he's motivated and focused, he's a great shot blocker with a very good body.

Exactly, we played Christmas' team and he was just so bouncy, you know, and he had strength and size. He was really good competition for me. That was at a tournament recently.

Back to your dad, Richard, for a second, he played at Oregon in the 80s. They've just built the new arena with the, um, unique floor. Is there any pressure for you to stay in-state and play for the Ducks, either from him or the local fan base?

Oh, no, no. I mean, of course, the Oregon fans would love for me to come and play there, but, for him, as a parent, he just wants the best situation for me.

So, he's cool with wherever you go.

Yeah, he's cool with anything. He even let me talk to Oregon State, you know, so..(laughs)

Oh, alright, he must be if he let you talk to those guys.

You came out of the Portland leagues. Touch on the level of competition that that you now face, both in practice and on Findlay's schedule, which is arguably the toughest in the country. It's an amazing leap.

Yeah, it's ridiculous. i mean it sounds bad, but, when we go to games..

It's easier.

(laughs) Yeah, exactly, when we go to games, it still goes much easier than practice. I mean practice is so intense. We run them like we're competing for a championship in practice and everyone is intense.

Who do you face off with or match up with in practice? (Winston) Shepard?

Yeah, I'm usually on Shepard and sometimes (Anthony) Bennett, but, yeah, usually I go at Shepard. We've got good competition to deal with every day. It helps me get stronger and then, with our schedule, you go against other good guys. It forces you to raise your game.

In terms of AAU and camps, what are you planning on doing this year? I'm sure that a lot of programs are going to make a run at you.

I'm sticking with Northwest Panthers. I like the coach a lot and he's helped me and he understands me. In terms of camps, the only one that I'm really set on is the NBA.

You did that one last year. How was that experience?

It was awesome. It was the first time I was facing really top, top competition, you know. Dealing with older guys. For me to be able to deal with them, it gave me a sense of accomplishment. It was an honor to get invited.

Do you prefer to face-up or play back-to-the-basket?

I mean I like playing back-to-the-basket, but we're trying to work on developing a face-up game.

Yeah, frankly, it seems as though you're playing a lot more away from the basket here than you did at any of the events over the summer.

Yeah, well, I think they're trying to help me develop my game away from the basket, but I do like to face-up and see the spaces and who is helping, when they throw a zone against us.

How are things going academically for you at Findlay? Excellent, I hope.

Yeah, I mean I've got a 4.0 here.

That's good. I'm glad to hear somebody's cracking a book around here.

(laughs) Yeah, yeah.

Yesterday, the local paper here ran a story about Duke contacting you.

Yeah, it frankly came out of the blue. I never really expected it.

Nate James contacted you.

Yeah, exactly, Nate James contacted me. Nate James and we've been in touch. He's now trying to get to know me, you know, and my family.

You're in, sort of, an evaluation stage.

Yeah, yeah, and, you know, he says that, from what he sees and what he's heard, I'm the type of player they need or are looking for in the 2012 class. The thing is that the more I look at it and I've never really thought of them like that, but I think I could help their team out. The more I look at it. The more I understand it.

From afar, what do you know about their program and what's your impression of Coach Krzyzewski as well?

You know, from afar, you always hear that Coach K is "the man." It doesn't get any better than that. In terms of the program, what I hear about the program is that they, you know, they need somebody to come in and who doesn't need a lot of shots to be productive. Someone who can just get it done. So, I like to hear that. Results.

You're comfortable in an uptempo running system. They're looking to run and you're capable.

Yeah, absolutely, if they're looking to run than I'm looking to run, whatever they need, as long as I can help them win. I can fit in.

What do you know about the University?

University-wise, I don't know too much about them. I've never been on their campus and I really don't know too much about it. I do know that if this starts to pick up, I'm going to head out there and visit. Take a look, get a feel for it, and make sure that I like it.

Do you follow college basketball or the NBA fairly closely?

Oh, yeah, I definitely watch all kinds of basketball. I watch it all the time to try to pick up on things. Duke is on TV everyday or, at least, every game. That's actually one thing that they talked to me about. They're on TV all the time and their kids are in the spotlight and being interviewed and they need kids that can deal with the spotlight. They need kids that can be in that spotlight and be okay with that.

Playing at a school like Findlay helps you get used to being in the spotlight and playing in front of coaches, large crowds, and reporters.

Yeah, absolutely, that's the thing. You'd die here if you can handle the spotlight.

Do you have any brothers, Landen?

Yeah, two of them, younger ones. There's three of us.

Thanks for your time, Landen

Sure, I appreciate it. Nice meeting you. [/private]

BDN takes a look at Duke Basketball’s Top Five Prospects

Shabazz Muhammad makes the list of Duke Basketball's Top 5 Prospects - BDN Photo

The Duke Men's Basketball season is in full swing but recruiting never stops for it is the life blood of any program.  Many have been asking who are the Blue Devils priorities and who are they focusing on at this time. BDN Premium clears up the picture for you by listing the top five prospects on the board.

The following prospects [private] currently top the Blue Devils recruiting board and we reluctantly rank them for you with our take on the pecking order.  These five guys are clearly at the top at this time but other names will be added as coaches take in more of their games over the Holiday's in tournaments like City of Palms and Glaxo Smith-Kline Invitational.

1-a - Shabazz Muhammad - The only reason I list Muhammad ahead of Murphy is his potential to play great defense and his overall athleticism.  Many have said that the talented wing is a long shot but the Blue Devils didn't get the message.  They will battle the heavyweights until the end for his services and they will meanwhile keep tabs on his brother.  Muhammad told BDN in our last interview that he was visiting for the Duke-Michigan State game but we've yet to confirm that now that the game is upon us. 

1-b - Alex Murphy - Over the summer Duke made  good in-roads with Murphy and they continue to stay in very close contact with the St. Mark's star.  Murphy, like Muhammad is hoping to visit Duke for a game in Cameron provided they can work it out with concerns to their busy high school basketball schedules.  Duke likes the edge Murphy brings to the court and they hope he takes them up on their offer sooner rather than later, but look for nothing to happen until after the season if current information holds up.  He is literally tied with Muhammad at the top of Duke's wish list.

3- Tony Parker - Another prospect Duke got closer to over the warm weather months was Tony Parker, the hulking inside presence from Georgia.  Duke needs to add some size and they love the space eater types like Parker.  In fact, it is vital that the Blue Devils add a solid front court player in this class, especially since they backed off of Tyler Adams.  Parker, like all recruits, hopes to visit for the UNC game if not sooner.

4- Rodney Purvis - Make no mistake that Duke has sparked Purvis interest and he has been a bit of a main stay at home games or at least attends more than the average recruit.  Of course, with him playing just down the road in Raleigh, it makes for convenience.  The Blue Devils would like Purvis to follow the likes of Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers and they'll be on top of his local tournament action over the holidays.

5 - Rasheed Sulaimon -There is a drop off from 4 to 5, but  Sulaimon has impressed Coach Krzyzewski and the staff off the court in a big way but Coach has yet to really see him in action other than film.  So, Sulaimon is in the evaluation stage and if he impresses the staff on the hardwood and he fits with future personnel he will likely become a Dukie.  The reason for this confidence is that he is a huge Duke fan.

While the aforementioned names are at the top of the interest list, there are several others on the radar and we'll discuss them at a  later date.  Again, the upcoming tournaments and high school season will determine who gets more looks.  In short, the dust will clear shorlty to reveal true prospects and then will readjust again in Spring.  As for the Michigan State game, Duke is expecting some local kids and if that changes, we'll let you know. [/private]

BDN’s informative General Update #44 – The skinny on the recruiting front and more

Kyrie Irving vs Brandon Knight
Kyrie Irving vs Brandon Knight

In a recent poll with our members, our General Update was by far our most popular offering.  Join Blue Devil Nation Premium today and see what the buzz is about.  Our members overwhelmingly stated that Blue Devil Nation Premium was better than other subscription services.  If you've been on the fence, it's time to jump in for our coverage on the AAU trail is about to explode.

Duke has put the full court press on Kyrie Irving of late and they [private] hope that their August camp will be the start to putting the nails in the coffin.  Let me take a second to remind you that all of the information this update  is sensitive and by contract cannot be shared with e-mail groups, other message boards or reprinted in any way.  Irving is not likely to pull the trigger early, but BDN Premium has learned that his Dad and uncle will make the trip as well.

The Blue Devils feel confident that they will close the deal with Harrison Barnes in due time.  Do not look for other teams to get involved any further for in my opinion, Duke is the favorite with Kansas the only other alternative.  Barnes will not participate in any more AAU events after the Peach Jam.

Duke will still look for a sixth player to add to the class and that will be a forward unlike the ones currently on the roster.  Duke is also still highly interested in Ray McCallum.

Duke is still seeking to get involved with Fab Mello, but at this time they are not on his current list.  Mello will receive an invite to the Elite camp.  BDN will attempt to get a Q & A with Mello in the near future.

The Blue Devils are also hoping to close the deal on Quincy Miller soon rather than later.  Miller soared in the rankings after Duke offered.  Of course, anyone who looks at early rankings in the class of 2011, may be disappointed as time goes on for not even the gurus have had that many views of the kids.  In fact, it's alarming to see how some of the rankings come about and some certainly do a better job of it than others.  Anyhow, Miller is a Duke type of kid and getting a verbal from him by the end of summer would allow Duke to concentrate their efforts on the team.

The Men's staff is about to hit the road big time.  They will have a high profile at all of the events with Krzyzewski attending LeBron James, Peach Jam and the Vegas tournaments.  I am pretty sure he'll end up in Orlando if there are enough kids of interest and an early look at the south Florida events shows that they have more talent than in past years.  We are talking of the Showcase and AAU Nationals. Duke Assistant Coach,  Nate James and his wife are expecting a baby in mid July, so he will not attend the Peach Jam nor the Vegas events.

Many of you have asked about Duke possibly filling a lost in 2009.  There is a possibility, but only if certain prospects seek them out.  Duke will likely close out the class as it stands now, but a final move is a possibility.

Our own Andrew Slater will be covering the LeBron James Skills Academy this week and I will be at the Peach Jam later this month.  You can count on coverage from Las Vegas as well.  In short, BDN Premium will continue to show you that this is "the" place for the best basketball recruiting coverage.  Kyle Singler will be attending the James Academy and Coach Krzyzewski, Wojo and Nate will attend this event.  They'll also take in the Adidas Take Five where Chris Collins will replace James.  Nate will then spend one day at the Reebok event.

Speaking of Nate "Dogg" James, I had a one-on-one interview with him which will go up this weekend.  There will be little rest for the coaches as Krzyzewski, Wojo and Collins will then head to a loaded Peach Jam event in Augusta.

On the football front, Coach Cutcliffe welcomed the incoming freshman class yesterday and they were put through the now infamous running drills.  According to Thaddeus Lewis all the freshman did well and took it, so to speak.  He said that Desmond Scott had been looking good and that he would get some playing time from day one.  When talking of his strength, Thad said that he had the best hands of any back coming out of the backfield.

BDN will continue to cover the football preseason as it has in the past.  IOW, we'll regularly attend any function made available to us and will update you on the practices leading into the opener with Richmond.  We have long been dedicated to football and hope to expand our coverage with some key additions.  In an effort to put a brighter light on the program, BDN will keep 90% of it's football information free.

You may have noticed thatt GoDuke has gone to a new cleaner look and that they are more user friendly. BDN has had some changes in the works as well.  We are redoing our front page and will be going to a new message board which is synchronized with the site, meaning you do not need to register for both.  The changes should help streamline your experience.

Also, I will be addressing the survey questions on our message board and we appreciate the responses, complaints and props.  I am happy to announce that members were overwhelmingly happy with the site with almost all who participated saying BDNP was better than other subscription sites which cover recruiting.  We will strive to keep this site ahead of the curve and when I say that, I am mainly talking about information and not so much technology.  Information was by far the one area in the survey which members pointed to time and time again.

Our site should be a good counterpart to GoDuke and free sites like DBR.  We are not in competition with Duke's official site.  In fact, we support them.  BDN tries to fill the gaps in between and we'll always come up with new ideas along the way.  That said, I want to thank members for their patience during the past year where I have battled some health issues and the site has found it's footing in the direction after a sudden move.

Changes will start to appear sooner rather than later.  Jim Sumner will have his first article up next week and we hope to continue to work with writers you have come to know.  BDN will expand the free content in that we plan on bringing you the news that you used to see in newspapers on a daily basis.  We are the new or modern day beat writers in an ever changing media world and will strive be professional in our coverage.

I have put aside another project in an effort to make Blue Devil Nation the best it can be and I look forward to hearing your responses as this takes place.  After all, it is the members and readers who make up the Blue Devil Nation for we are all in this together.

Addendum - Duke has offered Roscoe Smith.  I meant to include this but kind of forgot about it.  Nate James is the lead recruiter for Smith.  Duke has  invited him the their Elite Camp.[/private]