Tag Archives: Harrison Barnes

Duke Basketball Recruiting and Team Update – BDN members are in the know

BDN has followed Irving all AAU season
BDN has followed Irving all AAU season

Here is anther team and recruiting update from BDN Premium where we touch on some sensitive issues, what happened in Orlando and so much more.  Duke expects Kyrie Irving to visit [private] campus in early September, but there are no firm plans for him to visit with Harrison Barnes as some public message boards have claimed.  The two have talked but that is normal among the current batch of Duke prospects.  In fact, it was interesting to see Austin Rivers just after his game in uniform to talk with Andre Dawkins as he was preparing to play.  But there was a third wheel in the conversation, namely Kyrie Irving.  While it would be unwise to see this as just a positive spin, it would be just as unwise to play it off as if it meant nothing.  In short, we should probably land somewhere in the middle in our thoughts on the gathering.

Duke is down to Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight and Roscoe Smith in 2010.  Duke is concentrating completely on Kyrie as their point guard of the future at this time and they feel there is an excellent chance he will become a Blue Devil.  Roscoe Smith still has an offer should he want to come, but there are no major efforts with his recruitment at this time.  Duke would be more than happy closing 2010 with Barnes and Irving alone.  While Duke still has some backup plans, they are putting an all out effort to finish  with Barnes and Irving.  Once they get those two, they would turn their attention to Brandon Knight.

Duke has of course offered  Quincy Miller and they are looking at a bushel of players in the class of 2011.  The staff took a look at Marshall Plumlee in Las Vegas and I feel that he will get an offer in short time.  The staff took a look at some new kids as well and I hesitate to mention them for as soon as I do, the other sites will magically have them.  Let’s test the waters since no other site is aware of who they were watching.  On second thought, we’ll make that a separate article in the coming days and cut it short to get this update out.

Austin Rivers performed in Orlando as Coach K watched
Austin Rivers performed in Orlando as Coach K watched

There will be an official announcement concerning Andre Dawkins in the near future.  He has one course to be credited with and he has a passing grade, so he will soon be on campus getting acclimated to his environment.  We’ll  have more on this shortly.  The staff is very pleased with the recent play of Josh Hairston who was given a few things to work on during a recent campus visit.

Whats up with Austin Rivers?  Let me put it like this, Coach K made no bones about it in that he has interest in Rivers.  Billy Donovan and the UF staff were likely surprised when Coach K made it a point to be front and center for Rivers games.  In fact, when Douglas Dad [see below] approached K, he had gone up the side of another gym to watch Rivers leaving his assistants behind.  As it turned out Rivers played in the first half, but they rested him in the second, so he left.  I sat near the staff during one of Rivers games and it wasn’t hard to see that he glanced over towards Krzyzewski on several occasions.  While Rivers maintains he is firm with Florida, he will almost assuredly visit Duke.  In fact, I am trying to figure out how to present a brief interview I did with him.  Make no mistake, his father wants him to make sure of his choice so some visits will be in place.  It doesn’t hurt that Doc and K are close from the Olympics and other functions.  This is a very sensitive issue, so anything you read at BDN should stay here.  Rivers camp has contacted Duke, but this one is far from over.  While smart money would be on UF, there is more than a little something going on with Rivers and once he visits others schools, he just may find that the perfect fit is elsewhere.  K has had super success with players who have NBA lineage and with their facilities, a basketball first school and his connections, Duke may just make an impression.  Stay tuned.

During the AAU Nationals, fans could be seen taking pictures of Krzyzewski from the balcony.  There were several instances where Coach K was approached by a throng of admirers, but he had to turn them away due to NCAA rules of contact in that some of them were student athletes.  In short, everybody noticed K and wanted a piece of him.

Collins, Capel and Ro from Orlando
Collins, Capel and Ro from Orlando

I would like to share this with you for it is a testament to the respect and admiration Coach K has even among his opposition.   I happened to be nearby when a gentleman walked up to Coach and had a very appreciative look on his face.  He talked with Coach for a few minutes, shaking his hand and thanking him.  When he left, I realized it was the father of Florida State guard Toney Douglass.  As it turns out, Coach made a call to NBA reps mentioning his character and play.  His Dad obviously the unsolicited kind act and you can bet that word of this kind of thing will get around.

All of the men’s basketball staff is on vacation or taking a break one way or another.  So, it will be relatively quiet for the next couple of weeks.  Duke will not announce their Elite Camp roster publicly so please do not ask me questions pertaining to this in any forum.  I will tell you what I can as the camp nears and passes. [/private]<

Harrison Barnes sheds light on his summer plans in an interview with BDN

Harrison BArnes - copyright Blue Devil Nation
Harrison Barnes - copyright Blue Devil Nation

Can you explain the injury to your fingers?  What exactly happened?

I went up to block Marquis Teagues shot yesterday late in the game and I ripped off the side of my thumb and part of my nail and then I skinned the scab off when hitting the rim.

Well, it didn’t hurt you that bad for you just tossed in 36 points.

I was trying to get a “w” out there.

The schools interested in you are out in full bloom, Duke, Kansas … what are your thoughts on playing in front of them? [private]

Well, it shows that they have a lot of interest in me to watch me come out and play.

How much is the injury effecting your game?  Is it hard catching the ball?

No, it’s just a searing pain when there is contact, but when the adrenaline is pumping, I hardly feel it.

When did you know you would play today?

Well, last night I didn’t feel like I would be that effective today, but it got better.

Your team was 0-2 and now you have two straight wins.  Did you feel like you had to put the team on your back in the last game?

I knew we had to get a “w”.  We had to go 3-2 to advance in the tournament to advance.

(DI) Did you feel more assertive today?

Well, I felt like I was more aggressive.

(DI) You went to Duke and UNC recently …

I had never seen UNC, but I had heard a lot of great things, so it was good to go down there and see the players and the coaches.  Duke?  I have been to Duke many times so I am very familiar with their campus and it’s very nice.

(TDD) What did you like about it, tell me about the Duke trip?

I would just say it is a very homey atmosphere.  Duke, the basketball players have a strong sense of family and Coach K really instills that in them, so it is a very homey place.  I am starting to see more of the coach player relationship.

There were eight national championships sitting over there on the sidelines looking at you, what do you think about that?

I consider  myself a winner and I like to see all those coaches and championships, but I would like to be a part of them some day.

When you get down to the nitty gritty with all these schools, what is important for you?

Academics is a big thing, a good business school and then basketball, how I might develop once I get there and the history.

Describe your game in your own words…

I would just say I am able to score, I have a good shot.  I’m able to pull up and spot up for a jump shot, but I also have the ability to put it on the floor.  On defense, I can really get up on people.  I am long and lanky and a really good defender.

(DI) It seems like you are getting double teamed more and more, how do you deal with that?

I am getting used to this and if I want to make that a profession, I have to get use to that.

You will take a little time off now, right?  You will play in the Nike Global Challenge?

That is correct I will play in that in August.  But I will be taking some time off.  I always thought the Global challenge is fun because you get to play against international competition.  We know where we are in the US, but seeing others across the globe and where they are at is a lot of fun.

Do you enjoy doing things with USA Basketball and is it something you hope to continue with as your career goes along?

I definetly hope so, because when you step on to the camp or AAU floor it is about yourself, but when you step on the Global stage you represent the United States.

And you will play in the Rucker …

I am going to play in the 24, but that’s it.ns

So, no more events like the Kansas Elite Camp?

No, I decided not to do any of that.

Good luck, Harrison.

Thank You. [/private]

BDN Premium Duke Basketball Recruiting Update

Andre Dawkins, copyright BDN photo
Andre Dawkins, copyright BDN photo

Harrison Barnes will not compete in any other AAU events.  He will attend the Nike Global Challenge and the event at Rucker Park.   I spoke with Barnes and while [private] I feel he will likely make his visits, Duke is in very good shape and is undoubtedly the team to beat.

Coach K, Collins and Wojo were front and center for his every move and you could see the occasionally glance.  Barnes said some really good things about the program which I will cover later.  Roy Williams came in late for his first game and any Tar Heels thinking they have a shot at him are fooling themselves.  It is evident that Roy got in this one to try to derail Duke, but his ploys will not work this time.

It’s almost sickening to see the media outlets all try to be his mom’s best friend, but she seems to be enjoying the process.  Former Duke Assistant Johnny Dawkins sat beside me for one of his games and he covets the could be savior.  Dawkins has a good relationship with Barnes and his mom, but it’ll be an uphill battle to get him there.

Interestingly, publications like Prep Stars talk of offers with Stanford.  Dawkins read their publication and got a laugh for kids have to first apply at Stanford and be admitted before they can be offered the ride.  This makes for some tough recruiting for the former Duke great, but he is plugging away.

When the staff goes to these events, it’s all business, but they do take some time out for the K alumni.  Capel sat with Coach K and Wojo for a bit as did Harvard’s Kenney Blakeney, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey and the aforementioned Dawkins.  Coach K commented that Michael Gilchrist is the best player in all of high school basketball.

That makes for a good segue in that many have asked if Duke had interest in Gilchrist.  Well, the answer is yes, but who doesn’t.  Coach K made sure he was front and center for two of Team Final’s games and a Duke assistant attended every one until late in the third day of the Peach Jam event.

Coach K has talked with Gilchrist and was seen talking with World Wide Wes.  He has also been talking with Gilchrist’s mom about her son, so there is a relationship building.  In an attempted interview, Gilchrist’s mom shut out the media not allowing her son to talk of the recruiting process which pretty much ended it all right there.  Stay tuned for more details, but it is fair to say that landing Gilchrist will not be easy.

Regardless of many saying the Andre Dawkins rumors were making the rounds there, I ran into plenty of people who did not know and I sure as heck didn’t tell them.  I remained for Dawkins’ final game where he showed his capabilities going for a camp high 36 points.  There will likely be some sort of official announcement forthcoming.  There were plenty of loose ends that needed to be tied but will supposedly fall into place and AD has suddenly become a Duke darling for his recruiting prowess and the possibility of him joining a team in desperate need of a three point shooter, athlete and guard.  Still, no more comparisons to Redick and unrealistic expectations please.  Andre will help but he is still young and has a lot to learn.  Again, somebody wanted this out there and it has not yet been officially cleared by the NCAA.

Brad Beal caught Coach K’s attention – enough so, to where he watched him play twice.  Beal is telling many that he will end the process early without official visits, but his mom is singing a different tune.  In fact, she told BDN that she hoped he would allow Duke in and that it was exciting to see Coach K watching her son.

I am not ready to comment much about Austin Rivers, but he is letting it be known he is still a Gator to media types.  However, Rivers slipped and said that he would attend some camps and that his Dad wanted him to make sure UF was the right place for him.  “If Florida is the right place, then I will know after some visits,” said Rivers.  This is a sensitive issue that will have to play out.  In the same interview, Rivers said he hope Beal would come to UF and the two of them are good friends from the AAU circuit. (I will not take questions on this for now.)

Duke assistants Wojo and Collins left the Peach Jam to go to West Virginia where they took in the play of Kyrie Irving.  Duke feels really good about Irving and Barnes and for what it is worth, I do too.  Irving may not be playing in Orlando now, we’ll see.

Then there is Roscoe Smith.  You may remember me telling you that Smith claimed an offer.  Well, why would Duke deny it?  It doesn’t hurt them to let this one go, but in reality, Smith is a bit of a long shot.

Duke continues to look at the class of 2011 but no names will emerge until after this AAU season, save Quincy Miller who has an offer.  There are some names being tossed around but I will wait and give you a definitive list in September.

Duke will also continue to look at Ray McCallum and Brandon Knight.  After the Elite Camp in August, the dust will clear and a picture should start to develop and help answer a lot of questions.

Finally, a new name for 2010 is Dwight Powell.  His diary is here and he stands 6-9, 215 and plays for Grassroots Canada.  Duke is showing some interest.  It’s early on this one, but he caught a few folks eyes during the LeBron James Skills Academy. [/private]

Nike Peach Jam Day One Report – Barnes, Knight, Gilchrist

Michael Gilchrist has been called the best high school player in America as a rising junior
Michael Gilchrist has been called the best high school player in America as a rising junior

Everywhere you looked, college basketball coaches lined the walls as the Nike Peach Jam got underway on Sunday.  The first game of the day featured a Harrison Barnes led Howard Pulley team going up against Each One, Teach One, which boasts the best back court in AAU ball.  That’s because Duke prospect Brandon Knight teams with Austin Rivers and the one-two punch proved too much for the undermanned Howard Pulley team.

Harrison Barnes led the way for Pulley by going for 18 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.  Brandon Knight led all scorers with 20 points and added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a stellar performance.  His sidekick Austin Rivers scored 18 points [private] in one stretch to go with 3 boards and 2 steals.  The back court duo sat out the last two minutes in an 88-58 win.

Despite a sore foot, Andre Dawkins scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to help Boo Williams defeat the Arkansas Wings, 57-49.  It was easy to see that the injury did not allow him his usual explosive leaps.  Dawkins would score just 3 points in the nightcap.

In the upset of the tournament, the Georgia Stars handled mighty Team Final 74-68 as UCLA bound Jeremy Lamb scored 22 points.  The “Big Show,” Michael Gilchrist had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and a single assist and steal while teammate Dion Waiters added 17 himself.  Waiters can shoot a team into a game and take them out as witnessed by 6 turnovers.  It was later reported that Gilchrist suffered an injury.  In an attempt to gain an interview, his mom stepped in and took over, saying he would not talk about schools.

I then took in the first half of the 16-U St. Louis Hawks game to see 2011 stud Bradley Beal.  No disappointment here as Beal, despite not scoring in bunches, showed that he understands the game of basketball and that he is a smooth operator.  Coach Krzyzewski and Chris Collins were front and center at all of the aforementioned contests.

Team Final bounced back with Gilchrist tallying 17 points, 6 boards and 2 steals to wallop the Arkansas Wings 74-46.  This is the game in which Gilchrist suffered an injury.

Injuries!  That was the keyword for the day.  The bug then caught Harrison Barnes and Brandon Knight.  Barnes scored 28 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block, but Howard Pulley fell by 69-64 to Deshaun Thomas (27 pts, 9 reb) and Marquis Teague (14 pts, 3 reb, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals) led Spiece Indiana Heat.  Late in the game, Barnes went down hard and injured three fingers on his non-shooting hand.  He returned and had trouble catching the ball; the word is he is finished for the rest of the AAU season.

The staff then took in part of the Seattle Rotary game in the nightcap, before Collins watched the aforementioned Andre Dawkins game and Krzyzewski took another look at Knight, Rivers, and company.  Rotary dropped a two-point game to All Ohio Red and Jared Sullinger.  In the battle of bigs, Sullinger 17-8 over Smith.

The best game of the evening was between Elite One and the Jackson Tigers.  Jackson built a 16-point lead early, but Elite One came back behind Brandon Knight and Austin Rivers.  Actually, Knight went out with 9:33 left in the game as he writhed in pain on the floor after injuring his foot.  He was carried off the court and the foot was iced down.  Knight had 17 points before the injury and his team had built a six point lead.

Austin Rivers then took over, hitting a three and a driving deuce on back-to-back plays as his father, David, watched.  He would go on to score 23 points and Elite One held one for the win.  Coach Krzyzewski took in the entire game and towards the end Collins came in from the Boo Williams game.

Wojo also made a late appearance.  He was allowed on the road when Chris Spatola left the Peach State Classic where he watched Quincy Miller.  BTW, Miller had a 40/20 game in the event.

I have many more notes and will go over all of the aforementioned in more detail on the message board.  One more note, Roscoe Smith did not show up for the event.  It was a tough day with injuries for Blue Devil prospects. [/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]

BDN’s NBAPA Top 100 Camp Prospect Analysis

Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Kyrie Irving –  Irving started off really slow at this event, but warmed up nicely in the last three games.  He was outplayed by Brandon Knight and had two match ups with Josh Selby which were a draw.   Still, there were many reasons for his sluggish play.  First off, he is accustomed to playing with lesser talent and being the go to man.  Yeah, I know that all of the kids at the NBAPA were go to guys, but he had a hard time adjusting to not getting the ball where he wanted it.  He did not team well with Tyler Lamb. [private] In fact, Lamb, a shooting guard often tried to receive the in bounds pass when Irving was the true point in the game.  When Lamb did get the ball, well, that was that for he was going to shoot.  Irving showed he needs work on the consistency of his outside shot, but he is more than capable of remedying this.  It should also be noted that he played in many east coast AAU events last year.  What I’m getting at is he did not know some of the guys at the event, so it took him a bit to find his comfort zone.

Tyler Thornton - Tyler constantly talks to his teammates and plays a really smart floor game.  His defense is solid, but he does have trouble keeping up with speedsters like Joe Jackson.  He continues to work on his outside shot and is more than capable of running the point.  He became more aggressive as the camp went on and that served him well.  Needs to cut down on the occasional drives where he takes it into the teeth of the defense.  He will likely surprise a few with his play once he is at the point for a team that plays as a team.

Josh Hairston – Hairston is adjusting to the hype and as we reported here, he’ll transfer to Montrose and that will help in that the competition is better.  Hairston has been forced to play out of position and by floating outside working on his jumper, his inside game has suffered and slightly regressed.  Hairston is a victim of being labeled a Dukie and prospects come at him hard, but he must learn to match their intensity being more physical on the boards and around the glass.  He’ll be fine, but getting his inside game back in shape will help his confidence which has been slightly shaken of late.

Ray McCallum – Ray was no match for the speed of Joe Jackson in that he had trouble turning the corner on him.  Still, McCallum is a pure point guard that generally does not hurt his team.  It is clear that he is a notch below Knight and Irving, but he is steady and never shaken when beat.  IOW, he bounces back quickly.  He was not particularly aggressive on the offensive end at the NBAPA and had trouble getting his shot off when taking it down the lane if he didn’t have an outlet.  He is quick with the ball and an adept ball handler, but he did struggle with the likes of Knight and Jackson.  I think a little more upper body strength would help his game tremendously.

Joe Jackson - He had a great camp and proved himself the fastest of all the PG prospects.  He would on occasion look for his shot instead of teammates, but could not be stopped when going into the lane.  He plays good on ball defense and despite being wiry and slender he is unusually strong with his movements.  Needs work on his outside shot, but is a scoring point that will give teams major head aches when he is on his game.  You had to see Jackson play throughout the whole tournament to appreciate him.  I have seen where some watched these kids the first two days and formed an opinion from that instead of the entire body of their games.

Tarik Black – As advertised with a solid body and loves to work in the paint.  Did a great job against the much bigger Fab Mello and has two key baskets to help his team win the championship game.  Not a great spot up shooter nor can he put the ball on the floor like some c, but he is more than efficient with his overall game and his presence is strong when in the game.  Much more advanced than Tsafack at this stage, but he is learning the game of hoops as well in that he starting balling at a late age.

Brandon Knight - Knight is freakishly good, but his team did not win a single game.  I am not sure what that says, but he has all the tools which make coaches drool.  He is by far the best PG prospect in his class and there is a significant drop off to get to the next tier.  Some people say he is selfish, but there is nothing he supposedly does wrong that cannot be fixed.  Outside shot is spotty, but he is a blaze of motion with the ball and takes it to the rack with tremendous authority.  Knight is very confident and is college ready right now.

Dominique Ferguson – He started slowly, but he woke up in the final two games.  I feel he needs to be more aggressive on defense and down low.  Still, the package is there and he has long arms and a body that is perfect for development.  If he learns to play with an attitude of aggression, watch out.

Harrison Barnes - Started slowly by his standards and looked tired.  His teammates did not get him the ball a lot, yet he still came away a stat stuffer by tournaments end.  He struggled mightily on the front end of one and ones and was double teamed a lot.  He is not a super presence when taking it into traffic, but he gets the shot off.  Good inside/out play and gave maximum effort.  Very smooth in all aspects of his game and plays with a quiet confidence at all times.  He is not a rah-rah guy, keeping his emotion in check much like Trajan Langdon did in his days at Duke.

Andre Dawkins – Andre got saddled on one of the weaker teams and he didn’t like losing.  He continued to show improvement on both ends of the court.  This is a kid just now discovering his athleticism and what he can do with it.  Dawkins scored on most anybody and played hard even when his team was down and out.  He resurrected his team for a late playoff run.  Still needs more work on his handle and creating his shot off the dribble.

Fab Mello – Mello didn’t disappoint.  In fact, he played better against the best than he seems to in AAU tournaments against lesser competition.  His size and ability to run the floor is impressive, but he is clueless on how to use his body with positioning.  If he masters that, watch out for he will be a beast.  Needs polish on his offensive game, but has all the tools to be the real deal.  Struggles mightily with communication and seems to create more pressure than there really is. [/private]