Tag Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

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]

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Grayson Allen talks Duke, workouts and his future with BDN

1Grayson Allen has helped lead his Southern Stampede AAU team to seven straight wins where they’ll advance to the EYBL Finals know as the Peach Jam this July in Augusta, South Carolina.  Most recently, Allen attended the NBAPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia where he competed against some of the nation’s top collegiate prospects.  Blue Devil Nation caught up to the future Dukie and he shared how the recruiting process went down in detail.  He also gave us his thoughts on his most recent camp experience and how it helps him moving forward, not to mention his rooming with another key Duke target Kavon Looney and what the staff has him working on.  What I learned about Allen was that he’s athletic.  Standing around 6-3, he competed in an impromptu dunk contest and took off from the free throw line to flush one down.  He has a good and improving handle is unselfish despite his ability to score.  Anyhow, check out our latest interview from the NBA Top 100 Camp and join BDN Premium to read all of our past articles and the many to come.

What do you feel like you have learned or will take with you moving forward from this camp? 

That it’s tough competition. Every time down the court you can’t just make a play and shoot it yourself. You definitely have to get your teammates involved and there are really good post men down low so you have to feed them. But mostly, you learn how to be professional on and off the court and you focus on how to carry yourself.

Wow!  You rolled that right out and seem quite humble as well.

Yes sir. My parents instill in me to stay focused and humble.

Your tweets seem to reflect that you have a religious up bringing.

I was born and raised in a Christian home, so pretty much everything I see is what God has blessed me with. So I just perform on the platform given to me by him to show others Christ.

So when did Duke actually offer you and what was your reaction at the time to that?

Last summer, about April and then they saw me play in July. Coach Nate James came to my high school two or three times and watched me play and I stayed in contact with him after that. They called and set up an in home visit and I felt like we hit it off then.

How soon did you know after the offer you wanted to go to Duke?

When they scheduled the home visit I had a feeling that [private] the offer was going to come. So when it did come I had already thought about it a lot. Coach K, Coach Wojo and Coach Capel being in the house and the fact I had already thought about it a lot and after sitting and talking with them it was an easy decision. I just had a feeling Duke was where I wanted to go and after thinking and praying on it, I made the call.

Have you heard from the staff of late?

Yeah. I text Coach Wojo and Coach Scheyer.

So Jon Scheyer is getting involved already?

Yeah, yeah.

Are you happy to see a former Duke shooter on the staff now?

Oh yeah. It’s gonna be cool. He’s still a young guy and he was obviously a great player at Duke, so I feel like I can learn a lot from him.

Once in the fold, the staff will tell their future players what to work on. Can you share any of that with us?

They want me to work and try to be a lock down defender and guard multiple positions including the one, two and possibly the three because I will really have to do that at the next level while keeping an aggressive mind-set.

Let’s talk about the impromptu dunk contest you guys had in between drills. You took off from the free throw line and flushed a dunk down. Can you talk a little bit about that?

It feels really good. (grinning) All I can say is that it was God-given because my parents weren’t big athletes or anything. My Dad played a little football and basketball.

Is it me or do you have some big feet?

[Laughs] Yes.

I didn’t know if it was just my vision or the yellow sneakers you were wearing.

Big feet and hands. I wear a size 16 shoe.

Wow! Does that mean you’re still growing?

Yeah, that’s what the doctors tell me. I have had some problems with my left knee. That’s the knee I jump off and the doctor said it’s (I tried to transcribe what it was called but never quite got the translation), so he thinks I could be 6-6 but I could be full-grown, I don’t know for sure.

Will you be attending any skills academies?  What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

I’m going to the Kevin Durrant one for sure.  I will be going to the Peach Jam and the Super Showcase and then I am not sure what my team will be doing. We have a free week, but it’s a live period for the college coaches so we’ll do something.

The following are some additional comments when another site entered the interview -

On what he’s currently working on …

Right now, I continue to work on my ball handling and consistency on my shot. I had a little bit of an off weekend, so I need to work on consistency there. As a ninth grader I had that kind of chicken wing shot.

On playing with some NBA types …

You might watch some of these players on T.V. and think I can take them, I can take them but being out here with them is a reality check. They are way, way, way ahead of us and we have a lot of work to do.

On his impending workouts …

When I get a little bit of free time this summer I already have trainer and a workout program to start on and lift some weight to prepare for the next level and college.

On rooming with Kavon Looney …

I’ve been in his ear a little bit concerning Duke, we talked about it some.

You said yesterday, you were trying to be low key.

Yeah, he’s a great player who can stretch out the defense.

Thanks for your time.

Yes sir.  Thank you.

Talk about this interview on the BDN Premium message board where I give my analogy on his game. [/private]