Tag Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Marvin Bagley III

Going In Depth with Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III

While his Nike Phamily team struggled  as they opened up the Nike EY BL season, Marvin Bagley III put up his usual stellar numbers. There are times when he does difficult things effortlessly on the court and that has the prospect ranked in the top five by every service.

Bagley would average 25,5 ppg and grab just under 15 rebounds per contest.  There was little help from his teammates where there is not another double figure scorer on the team.  That meant a 0-4 record and the strong possibility that his team will not make it to the Peach Jam come July.

The talented young man also averaged 2 steals per contests to go with 3 blocks a game.  The aforementioned stats show that he is a monstrously talented young player who will in tine flourish at every level.

Bagley plays under the watchful eye of his father who critiques him and strives to keep him level-headed.  A season ago, he would be in on every question and answer session but this year Bagley III is handling the situations on his own.

I caught up to the sure fire star to be during this past weekends NYBL session in Hampton, Virginia.  Here is what he had to say -

How can you help your team turn things around after a slow start to the season?

We just have to play better, man.  We came out slow like it was going to be easy as if every game was going to go our way.  If we are going to make it far in this thing, we can't play like that.  We are working too hard right now to play like we are just cruising through and it is not going to be handed to us.  We have got to come out ready and instead be ready too hit somebody else in their mouth instead of them doing it to us,

What do you personally want to improve upon the most the rest of the NYBL season?

I want to be a leader.  That's on thing I am focussing on.  I am working on everything, but one thing is being a leader.  So with the losses, I put it on my back and have to find a way to communicate better.  We'll get it straight.  I'm really excited about the future and we have got a long way to go.  We have to get over this hump and play better.

Are you training with anybody...like beyond you Dad when you have some little down time front his?

I work out with my Dad and a man named Earl Ramsey.  So I work on my body with sit ups and stuff and the game itself.

Everybody is coming after you college wise.  Who are some of the teams which are most aggressive with their contact?

You know, I can't really tell you right now.  Right now I am just focussed on winning games but when it gets down to the end of the year I will know more.  After that, I will figure everything out.

Have you discussed with your Dad when you will get a little more serious on that or do you kind of leave some of the communication up to him?

Yeah, I mean we are worried about the same thing so we are on the same page there.  But he is talking to some coaches.  We'll sit down and talk about it more as things move along.

Do you think you'll take the route of using all five of your official visits?

I don't know, I really don't know.  I have visited some schools unofficially already but there are some schools I have not looked at so they might get an official visit.

Which schools have you visited already?

I visited UCLA, USC, Arizona, Duke and I have got to visit Kentucky and Kansas.

A lot of my readers are from the southeast.  What do you think of Duke and Kentucky.  What do you think about Duke first?

Duke is a great program.  I mean  when you mention Duke everybody knows the great history and about Coach K and he has had a lot of great players come through that program.  Duke is a great place, it pretty much speaks for itself.

Have they talked to you or your Dad...I mean what is their message to you?

They tell me to just play my game and they'll put me into a position to do what I do best.

What about Kentucky?

Same thing. It's a lot of success when you speak about Kentucky and Coach Cal, Davis and all the great players that have come through Kentucky and are in the league right now, so thee is a lot of success and that is a good place.

Those two schools have the most players in the NBA right now.  Is that an advantage for them to have had success in getting guys into the league, especially with the way they work with one and done players of late?

It is a plus.  You know, the competition they play at and getting to the tournament and the atmosphere...I went to Cameron Indoor and the atmosphere when I went there was great and I want to be a part of something like that.  So, whenever I sit down with my parents and figure out where I want to go, I want to be a part of something with atmosphere like that.

You guys are west coast folks, so what about location or would it be an advantage to stay west or close to home like at Arizona?

I will go wherever I can get better and to a place that can get me to where I want to be in the long run.  So wherever that may be, east coast or west coast.

What are some of the things that help you stay grounded in life.  I am sure everybody wants to come at you from hanger ons to girls and such.  I see a guy just came up to you with a folder full of pictures seeking autographs and your Dad had to intervene after you signed one.

I keep my circle small with people who have been there with me from day one.  My circle has gotten a bit smaller and so I am careful not to let too many people come in.  So, I am just a quiet guy who lets his game speak for itself.

Quiet and laid back...can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Off the court I just like to play a little and work out, I am just a regular kid who hangs out with his teammates on the road and classmates when at home.  I just like to have a little fun.

That is really all you have time for.  I mean you ball pretty much year round.  Will you be going to the same high school this year or do you know?

Umm, as of right now I am but you never know what might happen in the future.

Obviously, you are looking to get to the NBA.  That means you will  be a one and done like kid, everyone is labeling you for that.  And you're okay with that, right?

Yeah  I mean, whatever helps me to ge where I want to be.  I can't look too far ahead though and get caught up with what some say I am as a player.  Some days they say I am number one other days I am top 100 so...  Rankings don't make you who you are.  No matter what people say, I know how hard I work and what kind of person I am and give it everything I have.

You seem like you have matured a lot on and off the court since last season.  Would you say that it true?

Yeah, man. I have been hanging around older kids my whole life and always playing up in age groups. So I am learning a lot on how to be a leader and it's working out for me.  I just try to sit back and learn what I can along the way.

So, there is no animosity or the feeling you have lost some childhood along the way?

No, you know I understand it is sometimes a sacrifice.  You have to sacrifice a lot when you want to be good.

So, you are focussed on the big goal?

Yeah. you gotta put away some things that other kids do, but that's the way it is.

Additional notes

  • Bagley is consistently ranked in the top three players in the country which rotates.  He is clearly one of the four best players I have seen play and that list includes Cameron Reddish. Romeo Langford and Zion Williamson
  • He is a very well spoken young man where his answers float off his tongue with sincerity.  He is upbeat off the court and clearly grounded mentally for his age.
  • I will have more comments from his Dad at a later date.
  • Coach Krzyzewski watched his entire game on Saturday and it is clear that despite what some are reporting that he is on the radar.
  • It is clear that he is one and done and that his decision will come about in a slow manner, but he said good things about Duke with me not exactly pulling it out from him.
  • His teammates stand around too much waiting to see what Marvin does per his father who films his son a lot while actively coaching him from near the bench.  His mom is always very close by as well.

Checking in with Duke prospect Justise Winslow

 

Justise Winslow has a monster day.  Rick Crank for BDN
Justise Winslow has a monster day. Rick Crank for BDN

No player in the country has been playing better basketball than Justise Winslow of late and the hot prospect definitely benefitted from his recent play with Team USA.  During the Nike Peach Jam, Winslow showed off his skills set and now sports  as complete a game as any prospect on the Nike EYBL circuit.  In short, Winslow has very few weaknesses.

The Texan can take you off the dribble, post up smaller and larger players, crash the boards, step back for a smooth mid range jump shot or nail the three on offense alone. And did I mention he brings the ball up court like a point guard and can hit the open man with his passes.  And Winslow can defend as well, having the ability to guard up to four positions if needed.

It doesn't take long to appreciate Winslows on the court exploits, but he's just as impressive off the court where he fires back answers that are clear and concise to reporters, many of whom seem in awe at how articulate his retorts can be.  Winslow after all, goes to one of the top schools in Houston and as you will see in the following interview, he is a competitor in the class room just as he is on the hardwood.

I've seen Winslow play in well over twenty games on the AAU circuit and what you look for over the years is for a player improve and Winslow is flat-out playing his best basketball ever and in my eyes is a top ten player in his class.  Which ever team gains his services at the collegiate level will get a solid citizen and as good a wing as one could want.

Check out the latest on Justise Winslow with our interview where we discuss the schools on his list, his timeline, Team USA Basketball and more.

 

I know Arizona, Duke and other schools have been on you hard, but what it your current list of schools? [private]

Well, right now I'm still at ten schools and there are no leaders or anything like that. North Carolina, Duke Florida, Texas A & M, Baylor, Houston, Arizona and Stanford. And there are some new schools trying to talk to me like UCLA, Indiana and Michigan.

Yeah, I don't know when I will sign for sure but want to do so by November. I just want to make sure I am signed by then.

Coming back from playing with Team USA overseas has to be tough on the body.  You didn't have long to prep for the Peach Jam.

Yeah, it was tough and that's why I sat out the first game of the Peach Jam. I learned a lot by the experience and I'm just looking to take all the knowledge gained and just look forward to try to display it out here and be the best I can be. It was tough adjusting to the time zone again but that's no excuse. I've got to know my body and do what's best for it. So, yes, it was tough and I'm adjusting.

Can you talk of  your experience?

It's just a big difference playing with those guys because most of them have been to college other than the three of us, so the speed of the game and they're just stronger and bigger I got a lot out of the practices and the coaches helped me understand the game and how to defend ball screens off the ball. It was a great time.

At this point in the process are you starting to feel the pressure knowing a decision is looming? You have all these coaches looking at you and probably texting you before you get off the court. Are you feeling the pressure.

I was feeling the pressure at first but my family told ,e to just forget about it and play basketball. One day it will come to me where I want to go to school and ,y family told me not to force it but just go out and be a kid and have fun.

Who will play important roles in your final decision. Your parents? I know you're close to your brother as well ...

Yeah. Just my immediate family. My coaches will play a little part, but mainly my family.

I know you've been asked of a package deal with Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor ...

I don't know how big of a factor, but it is a factor and being able to go to school with those guys and make that program elite. I want to go to school with them but all three of us have to do what is best for our families. If it happens that all three of us go to school together, that would be the best. So, I'm really excited and if it does hold up, I will be very happy.

And which teams were all three of you considering from your list?

I think Baylor, Duke, Kansas. I think that's it.

What is it like playing in front of all the major college coaches?

Umm. You know it's kind of exciting at first but you just have to be yourself. You can't go out there and just try to please those coaches but be yourself.

What are your plans moving forward?

I may take time off and the last event will be Orlando for me.

Will you take some time off in the near future?

Yes, definitely a time. I wish I had more time to spend with my family and relax at home but my team needed me, so I thought taking off the first game in North August was the best thing I could do for my body. In August or September I will keep working on my game and will take some time then for my family.

I know your family is big on education.  Have you thought about what you might take in school?

I like math and physics so numbers are my thing. So, maybe something in business or engineering. My family is really big on academics and I go to one of the top schools in Houston. So, I pride myself on that ... being a competitor on the court and in the class room I think I do a lot of things good and some things great, but I think my versatility and all around game is what upgrades me from other guys.  [/private]

 

2016 Wing Vincent King is on the Duke radar

Vincent KingDuke is generally slow to get involved with some younger kids, but the talented Vincent King garnered their attention this pas weekend at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina.  King has not been back long from an overseas trip where he helped Team USA roll through the competition.   The LeBron James Shooting Stars U-16 team was one of the best this season and King was part of that.  His play in North Augusta was seen by many coaches who were also scouting some of his talented teammates and the calls are sure to roll in after the evaluation period for this talented young man.  Vincent King is a guy to keep an eye on moving forward.

It's the first time I have been able to see you play this weekend and I'm impressed. Where did you learn your basketball skills?

I learned from my Dad, he played overseas. He's Vincent King and I'm junior. (goes by V.K.)

How would you describe your game in your own words?

I'm very patient, I don't like to force a lot of stuff but to remain poised and get my teammates involved and play good defense.

You're a young guy but I am sure you are already hearing from a lot of schools.

My [private] Dad has been hearing from a lot of schools, he feels like I'm not really old enough to handle it just yet, so I just keep it that way for now. So, he handles all that stuff.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

A dream school? (pause) No, not really. I watched a lot of schools and it will be three years for now. A lot of things can happen between now and then.

Will you continue your AAU career with the LeBron James Shooting Stars?

For now, yes.  I'm playing with a lot of the lot big time players and there are a lot of schools here.

(the reason I asked the question above was that the team/roster was more or less thrown together this season and many of the kids have never played together)

Do you try to pattern your game after any particular player?

I try to pattern my game after Lebron, Kobe and players like that.

You were just overseas representing your country with Team USA. Tell me a little bit about that experience.

It was a great experience, especially with the way we played. In my first game we scored 99 points, so it was fun. The experience, doing whatever was fun.  I had time to grow and learn.

I'm kind of from the North Carolina region. What do you think of schools like Duke and North Carolina?

Those are great schools. I like those schools a lot and also the education is great there too. You have to work for everything you get there with those schools.

Being from Ohio are you hearing from the local schools like Ohio State?

Yeah, they offered me and I have a great relationship with the head coach and assistants.

Which schools have offered to date?

Ohio State, UNCC, Wisconsin, N.C. State, Iowa State and some others as well. It's humbling to see a lot of schools come in early.

What do you do in your down time?

Try to get out there and play golf a little bit. My Dad runs a gold company, so I try to get out there some.

I spoke briefly with Mr, King after the interview who is very hands on and sits on the bench with the team.  He's a personable guy and tall meaning his son could grow an inch or two yet.  He runs a non-profit golf organization which helps kids in Ohio and has roots and family in North Carolina somewhere in the Western part of the state.  He grew up rooting for North Carolina and was excited to see Coach Williams watching their game.  When asked if this was bad for Duke, he said no, but it was clear he had some heart-strings attached to UNC.  Duke will recruit Jackson in time and Coach K did take in his game while watching dual games and came away impressed.  Luke Kennard, his teammate had good things to say about the youngster as well. Talk about this interview on the message board for members. [/private]

Duke showing interest in 2015 SG Charles Matthews

peach 057One of the hottest players in the class of 2015 is 6-5 shooting guard Charles Mathews and his play during the recent Nike Peach Jam did nothing to cool him off.  In fact, it was clear that Duke and Mike Kryzyzewski had started to recruit Matthews as he stood side by side with John Calipari to take in his game.  Kentucky offered Matthews in June ans since that time he's on his way to becoming a household name.  Matthews can swing to the point guard spot as well with his skill set and his active presence on the court is hard not to notice.  Matthews claims there are no early leaders and that he would not make a decision until his senior season.  Blue Devil Nation caught up to Matthews to get his thoughts on Coach K and the recruiting process to date.

What are you trying to accomplish while participating in the Peach Jam?

I'm just trying my hardest to come out here and win and gain experience while advancing in the tournament.

How would you describe your game in your own words?

I'm just a really versatile player who plays defense and can get to the basket as well.

Which schools have been the most aggressive of late in your recruitment?

Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State, Michigan State and Providence. [private]

Who have you talked to from Duke in the past? {private]

Coach K and Coach Capel.

He's a Chicago guy like you. Cubs or White Sox?

I don't really get into baseball, maybe the White Sox.

Where are you from in Chicago?

Southside

Louisville is showing interest.  Did you see Rick Pitino? (other site)

No, I didn't really see him.  I don't pay much attention to the coaches.

Where did you learn or who taught you your basketball skills?

Just playing in the gym with my big brother, cousins and Father.

You played with some Louisville players recently ... (other site)

I think Louisville is bringing in some good guards, so they'll be good.

Will you take any unofficial visits after the evaluation period?

It depends on my mom and whether she wants t go to some schools.

What do you do in your down time?

I just work on my craft and build consistency in my game.

Kentucky was watching you and I know they're interested.  How do you feel about them? (other site)

It means a lot to me that they are coming.

You said that Coach k called you.  What did you talk about?

He just talked to me about being a Chicago guy and he said he was going to start recruiting me as well. It means a lot you know, Coach K is a legendary coach, one of the great names.

USA Basketball. Is that something you would like to get involved in?

Yes. it's a dream of mine to represent my country doing the sport I love to.

What do you have, a hip pointer? (icing his hip)

Yeah, it's kind of tightening up on me in the games.

Are there any early leaders?

I am open to all schools right now and just trying to build relationships with the coaches.

Who are your favorite NBA players?

I like Kevin Durrant and Derrick Rose.

Whats in your game console?

I like to play NBA 2K or College Hoops. Those are the only two games I play.

Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the way.

Thank you. [/private]

Jahlil Okafor talks recruiting, package deals and more

Semi others PEach 12 003One of the nations top post prospects is nearing his decision on where he will be playing his college basketball and Blue Devil Nation brings you some exclusive video interview footage from the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.  In the following two video chats Okafor updates you on the very latest in his recruitment and addresses the package deal he will be a part of with Tyus Jones and more. [private]

More to come on Blue Devil Nation Premium! [/private]