Tag Archives: Duke Hoops Recruiting

Marcus Lee talks recruiting with BDN

Marcus Lee, a rising senior out of Deer Valley (CA), has blasted onto the scene over the last six months, establishing himself as one of the top big men in the class of 2013. Boasting a 7’1.5” wingspan, the wiry 6'9" Lee uses that length well to protect the paint.  Driving much of the attention has been Lee's excellent summer on the hardwood.

Marcus never imagined he would receive the attention he has, even as his game has blossomed. He is extremely gracious for all the help his brother Brian has given him in the recruiting process. For Marcus, Brian has been the rock that he has needed to help him navigate the challenging recruiting process.

Lee recently arranged his final official visits, and is expected to make an official visit to Duke on October 27.

The bouncy big man was gracious enough to give BDN some time to discuss his recent trip to UCLA, his impressions of Coach K, and his relationship with his brother, among other topics.

BlueDevilNation: Being a west coast guy, it must be an honor to represent the west side out here in the Elite 24.

Marcus Lee: Oh yeah.  It was a great honor once I got the invite. It was just a real add-on to summer.  The summer was great.

BDN: Do you feel you had a good summer and played as well as possible?

ML: Yeah, I think I had a real great summer this year, and yeah, I tried as hard as possible and just tried to [private] get it done this year.

BDN: Your recruitment really blew up this summer.  Did you ever imagine all of this?

ML: (laughing) Uh, no, I never imagined all of this. It all came as a big surprise once it all started.

BDN: You had a chance to visit UCLA recently.  Can you go over that trip?

ML: It was a pretty great visit. The gym that’s about to open will be crazy.

BDN: Pauley Pavilion?

ML: Yeah, yeah.

BDN: There’s a perception about kids leaving the west coast.  Do you feel you fall under that at all?

ML: No, not at all. I feel like I’m able, I feel like I’m a chameleon and can adapt to wherever I go.

BDN: As with most recruits, their families hope to be able to watch them when they play.  Will it be important for yours to be able to attend the games?

ML: Yeah, it’ll be very important. It’s great to have your family and friends there to support you.

BDN: Do you feel like it’s a deciding factor?

ML: Uh, I don’t know yet. (laughs)  We’ll see when we get there.

BDN: You’ve set a bunch of your in-home visits recently.  Have you had a chance to set up the Duke one yet?

ML: Umm, I don’t think so.

Brian Lee: No, we haven’t set it yet.

BDN: You were at the Lebron camp this summer and got to see the USA National team practice.  Can you describe that experience?

ML: Yeah, it was great.  We watched them scrimmage and it wasn’t like high school. They were going after each other like they were playing a real game.

BDN: Going back to Duke, do they have a pitch they’re selling you?

ML: No, they don’t really have a pitch.  It’s just us talking together, trying to learn more about each other.

BDN: Were you able to keep in contact with Coach K while he was in London?

ML: Yeah, a little bit. We talked in an out. Probably mostly through text messages because it was harder to call.

BDN: You said recently that he’s really energetic.  Could you describe that?

ML: Just in his voice you can hear it.  You can hear that he’s excited about basketball, he’s excited about the team. He just has that passion.  He’s always excited.

BDN: How would you describe how he approaches you? Is it more like a friend or a teacher, or a coach?

ML: He approaches me as a teacher. I see him as a real great teacher that I can learn from.

BDN: Tell me about your relationship with your brother. Obviously he’s a major influence in your life.

ML: He’s the brain of everything. He gets me here on time, he figures everything out. He’s also my consultant. He’ll talk to me throughout the year and . . .

BDN: Keeps you level-headed?

ML: YES! He does everything.

BDN: What are you hoping to see when you go on your visits?

ML: Something to catch my eye. I don’t really know what it is, but I just know once I see it something will tell me to go here.

BDN: Is family atmosphere important for you?

ML: Yes, family atmosphere is extremely important.

BDN: Will you be staying at Deer Valley this year?

ML: Yeah, I’m staying at Deer Valley.

BDN: OK, just because there had been rumors in the past.

ML: (laughs) No, I’m repping Deer Valley until I die.

BDN: Do you feel like you have to be more vocal or is that something that comes naturally to you?

ML: I don’t believe I can get any more vocal than I already am. I don’t think anybody can get more vocal than me. It’s just the way I am. It just happens naturally. I don’t know where it comes from.

BDN: Do you feel there`s a difference between your role in AAU and high school?

ML: There really isn’t a difference.  It’s just that in high school I have to make sure everybody is on the same page, whereas on AAU, I already know for sure they’re on the same page.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Marcus.

ML: All right.  Thank you. [/private]

Amile Jefferson Interview

Pictured here is Amile Jefferson while on his visit to a game in Cameron Indoor Stadium last season. Copyright BDN Photo

Jefferson was the leading scorer of the NBAPA Top 100 event this past weekend and BDN caught up to him for his thoughts on his play and the recruiting process. Talk about this BDN Video interview with other Duke fans on BDN' s private message board by becoming a member today. We have lots of new information and interviews to share with those who want to go behind the scenes.[private]

More to come ... [/private]

BDN catches up with Rasheed Sulaimon in L.A.

Pictured here is Rasheed Sulaimon and you can hear the latest on the future Blue Devil by joining BDN Premium, our extended subscription service. A ton of interviews and information awaits you inside! BDN Photo

LOS ANGELES - Duke started off hot with their 2012 recruiting class in February, picking up two five star commitments in Rasheed Sulaimon and Alex Murphy all in a week’s span. Since then, Alex has graduated early and is now coming to Duke with the 2011 class leaving Rasheed as the sole 2012 commit. Rasheed showed off great defense this past weekend at the Nike EYBL in Los Angeles despite hurting his ankle after a made 3 point shot. He displayed a quality shooting touch as well as a solid handle that allowed him to get to the basket on more than one occasion. BDN was able to catch up briefly with the 2012 commit and pick his brain on a few things.

BDN: Can you describe the play that you hurt your ankle?

RS: Oh, well, L.J (L.J Rose, 2012 guard) drove and kicked the ball out to me because the guy helped, and two people rushed at me but I still could get the shot off, so I just elevated and I stroked it, and when I came down my foot landed on Archie Goodwin’s foot and my ankle kind of twisted and I heard a pop.

Ouch, that hurts my ankle just hearing about it. You went back in for a little bit and got some good run in.

Yea you know I don’t think it’s severe, it was just in the moment, it hurts a lot now but I think it’ll be good.

Well it was good you were able to get back in and test it out.

Yea, yea. So right now it’s [private] swelled up a little bit on me and it’s kind of paining me right now but I’ll be fine, I’m just going to ice it down and take some Advil and I’ll be ready for the next game.

Now you mentioned Archie earlier (Archie Goodwin, 2012 wing), what’s it like to play against him?

Me and him are actually really good friends so we’ve been talking about this matchup for awhile. He’s just a very explosive player ya know. Out on the open court he can finish above the rim, he’s very strong going both ways, so you know it was a real challenge. But I just kind of read his moves and relied on my help to help me out if he got past me.

I noticed you were on him a lot and were really locking him down, but once you left with the injury he got kind of wide eyed and figured he could start attacking the hoop now.

(laughs) Yea yea!

Something a little different here: When you’re bringing the ball down the court tell me what you’re looking for, what’s going through your mind?

Well when I’m coming down the court honestly I’m looking for weak spots in the defense ya know. I’m looking at where I can attack or where I can make the pass to get someone or myself an open look. If they’re playing zone you try and swing the ball very quickly to try and get an open look and maybe attack the middle. And when they are on man you try and look for the gaps so you can get the ball there and shoot from the gaps. I’m just always looking for the weaknesses in the defenses.

You’ve got a big matchup later today against Rodney Purvis and CP3. I know you’re close with Rodney, have you spoken with him about the matchup?

Oh yea man, same thing with Archie. We both knew we were going to play each other when we got down here so we texted a lot back and forth and talked about this game. He hurt his ankle before L.A so I was just telling him to get ready for L.A. and I got a text back from him telling me to be ready for L.A too. Ya know it’ll be real fun, going against Rodney he’s a great player, great finisher and real strong so I’m really looking forward to it.

He’s got a young teammate named Theo Pinson, have you ever played against him?

Na I haven’t, but I’ve definitely heard of him. One of my teammates Justin Jackson was talking about him cause he’s rated really high. He’ll probably get to match up against him.

Will you be attending any camps after this event?

Yea I’ll be going to the NBA Top 100 Camp, the Deron Williams Skills Academy, and the Lebron James Skills Academy.

I always see you talking to some of the 2012 recruits, have you had a chance to talk to Tony Parker this weekend?

Oh yea, I’ve texted him and seen him here quite a bit. I still talk to him about it. From the looks of it Duke still has a good chance and they are on his list. I’m just going to keep pushing it and messaging him about Duke so he’ll keep thinking about it and hopefully he’ll make that move.

Last question here: What’s your role like on Houston Hoops? I know you’ve got a lot of talented guards so are they asking you to be a scorer more or a facilitator? Both?

Well yea since we have such great guards in myself, L.J Rose, and J-Mychal Reese, the scoring is kind of spread out. Ya know anyone of us can score and we have some other players that can score as well so my role is just to bring energy, lock up the best perimeter guy on the opposite team and to score when it’s there. I try to do that every game to try and help us win.

Thanks for your time. Good luck the rest of the summer.

Thanks a lot. [/private]

BDN checks in with Duke Prospect Rodney Purvis

If you ask anyone in the recruiting world who Rodney Purvis is, they will all know the name.  Purvis, a 2013 stud prospect, has been turning heads for quite awhile now.  Armed with the ability to get into the lane at will, Rodney has secured himself thus far as a top 5 prospect among the different recruiting services.  The talented guard is receiving interest from anyone and everyone and it’s no wonder when you see the skills he brings to the court.  Purvis, a North Carolina native, got a chance to stop by Duke and take a visit and in turn, received himself a scholarship offer from the reigning national champions.  BDN got a chance to speak with the talented youngster, here is what he had to say.

BDN: You have a great knack for getting into the lane, is working on your handle something you do a lot?

RP: Yes I work on my handles a lot actually and I’m trying to make the change to being a point guard. [private]

BDN: What are some other things you work on?

RP: I work a lot on my shooting and passing.  I have a trainer so I do a lot of strength and conditioning as well.

BDN: What are colleges recruiting you as?

RP: Most colleges are recruiting me as a point guard but also telling me I can play the two also.

BDN: Now you are trying to make the transformation, but do you have a preference on position?

RP: Na I really don’t.  I really don’t mind playing either one.

BDN: Where do you like to catch the ball?

RP: Usually from the wing or the top of the key is where I like it.

BDN: Do you have a go-to move?

RP: (laughs) Na I got a variety of moves.

BDN: How long have you been playing basketball for?

RP: I’ve been playing for about 4-5 years now.

BDN: What would you say is a strength of your game right now?

RP: Definitely slashing and getting into the lane and creating for me or one of my teammates.

BDN: How about something you need to work on?

RP: I’d probably say my shooting right now.  I work on it a lot though.

BDN: At this stage of your career is your defense where you’d like it to be?

RP: I’ve been playing against better competition my whole life and I’ve guarded some of the best players around. On the defensive end I can get better but right now I am where I think I should be.

BDN: How do you think you played this summer?

RP: I think I played pretty well, I think I could have finished a little better, but I think I did pretty well overall.

BDN: What schools are coming at you the hardest right now?

RP: Wake Forest, Duke, Texas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, North Carolina and Xavier.

BDN: You’ll be visiting Xavier soon, correct?

RP: Yea I’ll be heading down there this weekend.

BDN: Now you also recently dropped into Duke.  Who did you get to talk with and what did you get to do?

RP: Yea I got to speak with Coach K with my family in his office.  The whole coaching staff was there also.  We got to talk for about forty-five minutes to an hour.

BDN: Did you get to tour any facilities?

RP: Na we didn’t.  We went into the gym and got to see the players play for a little bit, but I had to leave after.

BDN: You also received an offer from Duke as well, can you talk about that?

RP: Yea after talking with Coach K, my AAU coach talked to Coach Wojo afterwards, and he just told me I had received a scholarship from Duke University.

BDN: Have you formed any relationships with the coaches?

RP: Yea yea I’ve talked to Coach Nate James a lot, kind of on a weekly basis sort of. I call him a lot and talk to him.  He’s really a great guy.

BDN: You’ll be making the trip to Durham again soon for Countdown to Craziness.

RP: Yes I will be. I’m really anxious to see how that goes. They probably have one of the best crowds in the country so I’m waiting to see how that goes.

BDN: Appreciate your time, Rodney.

RP: Thanks, take care. [/private]

Savon Goodman – “Duke will start recruiting me hard”

Savon Goodman update from BDN Premium - BDN Photo

The 2012 class is full of wing prospects and one of them is Pennsylvania native, Savon Goodman. Savon is one of the most athletically gifted players in the class, with leaping ability that makes you say, "Wow." Not only does he have the vertical, but his strength is quite an asset to his game at this stage. With a host of local schools showing tremendous interest in the prospect, he also boasts a lot of interest from out of state schools. BDN got a chance to get a quick update with the prospect and here is what he had to say.

So school just started for you, how is that going for you?

School flow is going good! Getting things back in order academically, and besides that everything else is well.

When do [private] your official practices start for school?

Official practice doesn’t start until about November, but we’ve been working out with just the team. They’re optional workouts. So everyone just comes to those. Just trying to get the chemistry and stuff together as a team.

I understand you guys were supposed to have an open gym a couple of days ago, how did that go?

Yes, and someone was up from Duke.

Who was there from Duke?

Nate James.

Did you get a chance to talk to him at all?

Yes, we just said cordial hello's in passing.

Can you talk about that at all?

Well, in the past he said that he’s going to let Coach K know about me, and they’re going to start recruiting me hard. Just things like that, they like the way I play.

Was this your first time you’ve seen Coach Nate James or any of the Duke coaches?

No I’ve seen them a couple of times around the summer but I didn’t notice who he was, so he came up to our school. I just knew he was a representative of Duke.

Could you rhyme off a list of schools that have interest in you?

Offers are Villanova, Virginia Tech, Texas, Penn State, Temple, LaSalle, Miami, Xavier, Wake Forest, Oregon State, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.

You’ve got a great list there. You work out with Lamont Peterson is that correct?

Yes, I do.

Could you talk a little bit about that and the relationship with him?

It’s a long relationship that we’ve had. He’s like a mentor in my life. We workout from time to time and he tells me what I need to work on, and I work on it and get better and we move onto the next thing.

Will he be a factor in your decision?

Yea, he will, I listen to his word.

Now, being a 2012 kid, is it too early to make a decision?

I figure when me, my mother, my trainer and my high school coach sit down we’ll probably have a list at the beginning of my senior season.

Alright, Savon, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a great year in school. Good luck.

Thank you. [/private]