BDN is on the recruiting trail again this weekend where our well informed recruiting analyst Andrew Slater is reporting from the Pitt JamFest for Blue Devil Nation Premium subscribers. For complete updates specifically tailored to cover Duke prospects and targets, join now and get the news as it happens on our members only message board. Members can also look forward to several more prospect interviews from Boo Williams and this weekends event. If you want to stay on top of the latest on the basketball and football recruiting trails, join BDN Premium, our subscription service today.
The Duke Blue Devils have put together one of the nations top recruiting classes in 2011 and Marshall Plumlee is a part of it. The youngest Plumlee opened up to BDN furing a recent interview sharing his thoughts on a variety of subjects, some of which you've likely hear about for the first time. So check out the latest offering from BDN Premium for yourself.
BDN - You just had a 20 point 11 rebound game where your team bounced back from a loss to finish off Glaxo strong. You were really aggressive in the game and caused some problems on defense with your length, especially against their guards where you forced a couple of turnovers. Can you talk a bit about that?
Marshall Plumlee - A lot of times you've got to work hard to get to that next level as a defender and I know there are things I need to work on. I've got to have quicker feet and be capable of defending a player on the perimeter. I have to take some chances in the game and eventually I will hopefully just pick it all up automatically.
Your Dad told me to say hello in that he hardly ever sees you while school is in session
(Laughs) Well, it was great to see him in the stands and I'm looking forward to talking to im when we get out of here [Glaxo]. He watched the team play UNC-G the other night and I was very excited for them, both team and family. This Duke team is a great group of guys.
Miles had a [private] nice game against UNC-G. Did you see those dunks?
You know, I only heard about it, so I'm looking forward to seeing the game. I get real excited when my brothers do well and I can't wait to be a part of it all.
As media our seats shift around a bit, but during the UNC-G game I was sitting directly behind the bench and Krzyzewski which was cool. As you know they don't like people looking in on huddles so, I had to look the other way during timeouts. But I noticed that Mason jumped up in great joy as Miles threw down a thunder dunk. Is that the way it is with concerns to support in your family?
All the time. Yes sir, we completely support one another and as a family we know what each other is capable of. We really push and bring out the best in one another and that makes for a great family.
People often talk of Marshall Plumlee and the word development comes up a lot. Although you are always developing. One thing a lot of people may not realize is that you are the only Plumlee that wasn't held back a year. In context, that means your brothers had an extra year for development. Can you speak to that?
You know, I never gave it much thought. For me I just know that my body continues to develop and as I get stronger it'll be different than the way Miles got stronger or Mason. In the meantime, all I can do is keep working and focus on the things I know are best for me and my body would catch up in time.
How would you describe your game in your own words?
My own words? I want to do whatever it takes to win. I want to block shots, rebound and do whatever it takes whether it is scoring 20 point a game or setting a pick. I just want to win. It's all about winning to me and that's what I want to do. That's why I chose to play for Duke as well, because I wanted to be a part of a winning program. I really wish I were there right now, but I appreciate another year with my current teammates at Christ School. I know I'm not ready right now but I've got another year to get better. It's exciting to be around the team because they are such great guys and they'll be friends forever. I'm looking forward to see what we can accomplishment together.
Is there anyone on the current team you've hit is off with?
Oh man, I hate to give a shout out and leave somebody out but I'd have to say that Nolan.
Rollin' Nolan. He's something isn't he?
Oh, he's awesome, he's great, they all are.
Not a lot of people know how stringent Christ School can be. You have designated times to study and those there take academics seriously. Can you talk of what a normal week is like there?
Yes sir. What a lot of people don't realize is that we have a ton of acreage for a school and there are no custodians. So, we wake up early in the morning and we all have a job. One person may scrub toilets, another sweeps the hallways and it really brings us together. You are expected to make good grades and I pride myself in keeping a 4.0 GPA. Basketball is great and it's my passion but there are some many other things out there in life and why not be at all of it.
There have been a few times when I tried to get in touch with you but curfews were in place. You guys have to be in bed by a certain time and study, right?
Yes, study halls are enforced and curfews are in place, but with this being my senior year, I have the honor of being chosen as a Christ School prefect or leadership position. So my purpose job is enforcing those rules on the younger guys. So, there is a little bit more time this year where I can study.
Why is leadership important?
It helps me in so many ways. Leadership is something ... when it's there and obvious when it's not. It's important in the locker room and with your teammates. And when I get to Duke, I'll do what ever Coach K tells me to do.
I know that Chris Collins came to see you the other evening and Wojo [Steve Wojciechowski] tonight. Do the coaches converse with you afterwards?
Yeah, for the most part we keep in good touch. I personally like conversions with them because I can pick their brain and they tell me things I could do better and things I did well and their wealth of knowledge I pick up on a lot of things.
Do you ever get razzed now that you have elected to play for Duke?
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. There are always Carolina fans out there.
Quite a few in the western part of the state, huh?
Yeah, yeah, but I'm 110% Duke. It's fun to be a part of it all.
And what does the future hold for Marshall Plumlee?
The future for me will be a steady process of a lot of work. Some of the best advice I've got from the Duke coaches is that it's a marathon and not a sprint and I can never forget that and you mentioned earlier how players develop and my biggest fear is n for tme to peak for there should always be room for improvement.
Duke fans will soon get some good news that you guys will actually play in Cameron in February against Oak Hill Academy and Quin Cook.
I'm really looking forward to it. Oak Hill is a great basketball school and we've had some opportunities in the past and I'm looking forward to another shot against them. I'm looking forward to seeing Quinn Cook again, he's a great team and he'll be a good teammate.
Have you guys been able to get together or stay in touch?
Yeah. We keep in touch and I have seen him on visits at Duke and gotten to know him and the little time I've spent with him let's me know he's a great kid and I'm real excited to play with him.
Thanks for your time, Marshall!
Yes sir. Thank you. [/private]
Coming next - Breaking down the improvements in Marshall Plumlee's game.
Amir Williams is a 6’10,” 224lb junior from Detroit Country Day, the alma mater of Chris Webber and Shane Battier. Forming a formidable inside-outside duo with point guard Ray McCallum, Jr., Williams had a double-double in the title game to win a Michigan State Title, the eighth under Coach Kurt Keener. After a morning of taking the ACT, Williams competed for The Family AAU program at the Boo Williams Sportsplex. At the end of his long day, he spoke with Blue Devil Nation about the latest in his recruitment, winning a state title, playing at DCC, and a variety of other topics.
Can you talk about winning the state title?
It was a great experience. We came close to winning it the year before, but didn’t and we knew those guys would likely get there. It was great to be able to beat them and win a state championship.
How has it been playing alongside and learning from players like DaShonte Riley, Ray McCallum, Jr., Jordan Dumars, and Donnavan Kirk? What kind of advantage do you expect it to give you when you reach the next level?
It’s been a great learning experience, you know. Just going out there and banging against all of those big guys when I was a freshman and a sophomore.
I remember talking [private] to Donnavan and he said you were the “next big thing” at DCC.
Yeah, it was a great chance to be able to go up against guys like him that are playing D-I ball.
Out of all of the guys you’ve faced, who would you say was the best or the toughest to guard?
I couldn’t say any one guy. It’d be too tough.
Now, are most schools recruiting you as a four or a five?
Both really and I think I can play either.
Who are the schools recruiting you hardest now?
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, UConn, Purdue and Duke recently offered me. Oh, and did I say LSU?
Can you give the audience a scouting report on you? What do you think opposing coaches say about you?
That I can step out and hit the face-up jumper, but I’m also stronger and like to do the dirty work inside now. I can rebound on both sides. I can also outrun most bigs too.
In terms of style of play, do you have a preference?
I definitely prefer to run, you know, go up-and-down.
Do you have a time frame in your mind for when you’d like to decide by?
Late in my senior year probably
What was your reaction when you were invited to try out for the USA Team?
Oh, I was very excited. It was a major honor. I was very proud to be invited.
What do you consider to be you r greatest strength right now on the court?
My strength, my rebounding and my shot- blocking
What’s your biggest weakness?
Defensively, do you prefer to contain your man or take chances going for the shot block? Do you prefer to front your man or play behind him?
I’d rather just contain him. If the shot block is there, then I’ll take it. Oh, and I’d rather play behind my man, but, in this game, Coach sometimes wanted me to front him.
Where do you like to catch it?
Either in the low box or near the foul line
Do you prefer to face-up or play back-to-the- basket?
I can do either. It just depends on who I’m facing.
Back to recruiting, please tell the audience where you’ve visited so far?
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Miami, and Kentucky
You mentioned before that Duke offered you, which Duke Coaches have you communicated with?
Coach James. He was the one who came up and has been recruiting me.
Have you spoken with Coach K at all?
No, not yet.
But they offered you?
You obviously go to a very challenging high school both academically and on the court. What’s your impression of Duke as a school and as a program from afar?
It’s a great program. They just won the National Title and it’s a tremendous university too.
Where are you going to camp this year?
I’ve been invited to the NBA 100 and Amare Stoudamire. They said if I played well at the Amare and the LeBron, then I’ll have a chance to go to the Nike Global Challenge.
Lastly, what are you looking for ideally in a college?
I'm looking for a good basketball coach that will help to develop me and a winning program. [/private]
As a junior, Levi Randolph led Bob Jones to the Alabama State Title and was named the 6-A Player of the Year. After playing last year for the Nashville Celtics, he joined the nearby Alabama Challenge AAU program and had a great weekend for them at Session I of EYBL in Hampton, Virginia. After a game in which he dropped twenty-one points and dished four assists in a win over the Metro Hawks of New York, Randolph told Blue Devil Nation about himself.
Can you talk about the experience of winning a state title?
It was a long journey. We had a lot of injuries and fourteen losses, but we got on a streak at the end and won six games in a row. We return four starters though so we should be ready to challenge again next year.
You stepped up and put up a near triple-double in the championship game. Was that an unusually good game for you?
No, I was pretty consistent throughout the season. I won the 6-A Player of the Year. I tried to be pretty consistent.
Are most schools recruiting you as a two or a three?
As a one or a two, actually
Which schools are recruiting you? [private]
Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Marquette, Miami, UVA, Florida, Wake Forest, Oregon St. Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech
Have all of them offered you?
Everyone, but Virginia Tech and Florida
Can you provide the audience with a scouting report on yourself?
(Smiling) I am a scorer. I get to the rim, but I also like to shoot it from deep too. I’ll work very hard too.
Do you prefer to get out and run or play in a more structured, half-court offense?
Either way, I just like to play.
What’s your range?
Half court (laughs). No, I just feel comfortable shooting the ball from the mid-range to the three-point line.
Where do you like to catch it?
What are your strengths and weaknesses right now?
My strength is my ability to score. My defense is the thing I want to work on most.
What are you looking for in a college?
I’m looking for a place that will make me better academically and as a person. I’d like to go to a winning program too.
Do you do pretty well in school?
Well, I have a 3.8 GPA.
Does playing in the SEC appeal to you? Is location a factor?
I don’t care about either of those things, sir. I’m just looking for those things that I mentioned before.
Do you have a go to move? You used that, sort of, stutter step crossover against Mike (Taylor)?
Yeah, my favorite move is my killer crossover. Actually, don’t put that down. (Laughs) I don’t want anybody to know my secret moves. I sort of took it from watching Allen Iverson.
Is he who you try to model your game after?
Yeah, he was when I was younger, but now it’s Carmelo Anthony. I try to watch his highlights and Kevin Durant’s.
How big are you now?
I’m 6’5” and 180 pounds.
So you still have time to grow another couple of inches?
Yes, sir. I hope so.
Have you begun strength training?
I’ve done a little, but I want to do more.
What would you like to weigh by the time you reach college?
About 185 pounds of muscle (laughs)
Who’s the best player you’ve ever faced?
Have any of the Duke coaches contacted you yet?
No sir. Well, actually my AAU coach on my old team told me that they were interested in me in ninth grade, but I never heard from them again. I always wondered what happened.
Well, I believe they might have some interest in you now.
Yes. My partner wouldn’t have had me interview you tonight if they didn’t. You may be on their radar.
Wow. That’s amazing.
What do you know about Duke?
I don’t really follow it, but I know they just won the national title. I only really get to watch highlights on Sportscenter in the morning with breakfast.
Well, you’re busy studying. How about Coach K?
I think he was the coach of the USA team, right?
Would you be interested in Duke, if they start to recruit you?
Yes, definitely. My friend at school just loves Duke. He loves everything about them. I’d like to visit Duke, if they’re interested in me.
Well, maybe you two could visit together if all comes together.
Finally, what would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?
I’m a funny guy, but I’m also a good student and approachable. I try to nice to everybody in school. If you’re a stranger, you can always approach me and I’ll be happy to talk to you. (Hugs BDN)
Thank you, Levi.
Thank you, sir.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for you. [/private]
HAMPTON - Duke prospect Quincy Miller [6-9 Winston Salem, N.C., Quality Education, D-One Sports] was a scoring machine during the Nike EYBL Session I AAU event in Hampton, Virginia. Miller was finding various ways of scoring and he was clearly one of the most talented players at the camp. Miller showed steady improvement from a year ago and he is a consensus top ten pick in his class. Currently ranked 6th by Prep Stars, Miller took the time to talk with the Blue Devil Nation in the following interview. We also chatted with his AAU coach and got his thoughts on the budding star as well.
You look better than you did a year ago on the court and l...
I've just been working on my game, my jump shot and my handle and becoming a team player
Where do you stand on the recruiting front?
I'm [private] not close to making a decision and I don't think I will be until next year. Not sure of the time period, but next year.
Who will play a big role in your decision?
Really my mom. She will go on the visits with me and help me make my decision.
And your current list of schools?
Duke, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Memphis, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, uh, that's all I can think of.
A lot of people have said you are a Kentucky lean.
[smiling] Everybody thinks so because I took a couple of visits. You know, they seem to think I'm going thee or something.
Duke is on your list, did you watch them win the title?
Yeah, I was cheering for them
Do you have friends on their team?
Andre Dawkins and Nolan Smith.
What do you think of Coach K?
Greatest coach in the nation right now.
Do you have a relationship with him?
Yeah, were close, me and Coach K are real cool.
What do you feel like you can improve upon with your game?
I still can improve on everything. [said with emphasis] My game is not nearly where I want it to be.
What is it like to have so many people pulling at you being one of the top rated players inb your class?
I kind of have like a tight circle, so it's not a real problem.
You seem to love social networking?
Yeah, I just have a lot of fun. I'm a fun kid and just want it to be light. I'm just having fun and taking advantage of the hour.
Any official or unofficial visits set?
Not that I know of yet.
Will you be making any plans soon?
Yes sir. I'll probably set some up by the end of summer.
And your list of schools?
Duke, Wake Forest, Kentucky, South Carolina, N.C. State ... that's it.
Will you take all five official visits before deciding on a school?
Yeah, I will take all five. [nodding]
What are you looking for in a school?
A comfort level and if their style of play will fit my style and a coach. I want a coach that can take my game to a whole new level.
What kind of guys do you want to play with in college?
Team players. I'm a team player and I want to play with team players. I like to get up and go [run].
Thanks for your time.
His AAU Coach -
Your thoughts on Quincy Miller ...
With his length size and athleticism he can get a lot done around the basket. I do think his future is a perimeter face up guy, so I have been working with him. He has a little more freedom. I have been working off him coming off screens and getting use to the dribble, drive and he should be able to show his strengths a little bit more.
What is it like coaching one of the best prospects in the nation?
It's not a problem, I've been with Tyreke Evans before, so it's nothing new. Brian Clifton has some years now in D-One sports and he is involved with his recruitment. When Brian is busy with John Wall now, I'm kind of walking around Quincy to know he's straight. He will sit down with Brian and his family and they'll make a decision.
Where can Miller improve?
Playing every possession. Learning to play every possession without taking one off.
How do you see Miller being used in college?
I think he will be a face up power forward. He's a leader and his teammates love him. He can be a Kevin Durant type. [/private]
HAMPTON - BDN was on the scene at this weekends Boo Williams Invitational which is now known as the Nike EYBL Session I where we took in the nations top basketball prospects. We'll be churning out interviews and scouting reports as the week progresses and we'll start it off with Tyler Adams.
If you are a member you have already had an introduction to Adams, but we've yet to really concentrate on his play at AAU events. Adams is a back to the basket player, a true center if you will. That's the kind of player Duke has an opening for and Adams was offered about five weeks ago.
During the interview Adams [6-9 1/2 Brandon High School, Brandon Mississippi, AAU Jackson Tigers, Class of 2011] stated that Duke was his leader and that he would be visiting the campus soon. For his exact comments and a scouting report, check out our latest interview with the hulking star.
How do you feel you've played thus far in this event?
I feel like I played pretty good, physical and everything, better in the second half than the first half of this game.
Which schools are giving you looks?
Well Duke is recruiting me real hard, [private] Mississippi State, Alabama, Memphis and Clemson.
When did Duke start recruiting you?
About a month and a half ago and once they called me they came pretty hard.
Have you talked with Coach K [Krzyzewski] yet?
Yeah, yeah. I talked to him about two or three times. My Dad talks to him a lot.
Your Dad grew up a Duke fan, right?
He said he's been liking Duke ever since he was a little boy.
When do you plan on making a decision as to where you'll play in college?
Early this summer.
Are you planning any visits in the near future?
I'm probably going to visit Duke in June when I get out of school.
What can Tyler Adams work on to make his game better?
Right now I'm working on conditioning and I need to work on my jump shot to increase my range.
Three words which best describes you on the court would be?
[said without hesitation or pondering thoughts] Big, physical and strong
Three words which best fit you off the court?
[smiling] Nice, goofy and outgoing.
Did Duke say how they would use you if you chose to play there?
I'm a back to the basket guy and they don't have anyone big and physical like that.
Is Duke the favorite.
Right now? Yeah, yeah.
Are there any hold ups in the process with Duke?
Not really, no. I'm just trying to get my grades straight right now.
Who is the lead assistant at Duke for your services?
Coach James. [Nate James]
Did James or Krzyzewski say how they would use you if you picked them?
Being able to come in and be physical, play big and be a physical presence.
Thanks for your time and good luck in the rest of the weekend.
Yes sir. Thank you.
Synopsis - Adams needs some work on his grades but if they fall into place, Adams will pick the Blue Devils. The decision could come the moment the aforementioned matters are wrapped up.
My take on his game - Adams is a back to the basket player that has a quick first leap but needs work on the timing of his jump. He is a true center type or a player who could play two positions, that being the post or power forward. Needs work on his shooting mechanics, especially from the free throw stripe and has limited range at this stage of his development. He seems unselfish on the offensive end and can flush a dunk or take it to the paint. He can float out for the jumper but that is not his strength at this time. He alters shots and seems to want to be around the play, not taking too many plays off if any during my two views of his game. He is capable of controlling the glass, but needs some work on his footwork for positioning. He can clean up on misses with follow shots and had 3 blocks in one game albeit against a smaller team. We'll keep track of his progress and Andrew Slater and other will chime in on his game in the near future. [/private]