Tag Archives: Howard Pulley

2014 PG Tyus Jones leaves an impression on Duke staff

Class of 2014 PG Tyus Jones - BDN Photo

A young man caught my eye during the opening session of the Nike EYBL in Hampton, Virginia this season.  I watched on as he ran his Howard Pulley team with great precision from the point guard spot.  I later learned that Tyus Jones was in the class of 2014, yet here he was playing with the big boys and looking as if he were there classmates.  He impressed me with his ball handling skills and the kid has a seriously good offensive game to go with his multiple skills.

Jones also caught the eye of the Blue Devils staff and they will get involved early on with the Apple Valley, Minnesota product.  He dropped 30 in front of Coach Krzyzewski during this past weeks Nike EYBL Peach Jam and BDN Premium caught up with the budding talent in an effort to get to know him.  After our conversation it is fair to say that Jones is very mature for his age and he comes off as a really bright young man with great character.

Jones also played for Team USA and he turned heads there as well, so keep an eye out for this kid can play.

You've been playing very well the entire AAU season but you also played well for Team USA.  How was that experience?

It was definitely an honor to be selected to play for tour country and it's something I enjoyed participating in.  It was a great experience where we went 5-0 in Mexico City.

Do you have a list of schools? [private]

Iowa and Baylor offered.  Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Arizona, USC and others making contact.

You mentioned earlier that a couple of other schools are starting to show keen interest.

The newer schools are Tennessee and Florida.

Have you heard from any ACC schools?

No, not really.  North Carolina sent me a questionnaire but that's about it.  I haven't talked to the coaches yet.

Would you be open to ACC schools like Duke or UNC?

Yes, definitely, definitely. (emphatic)

What do you think of Duke?

Duke is a great program.  I mean they have Coach K and great tradition.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

Not really.  I watched all the big name schools but had no real favorite.  I guess I followed Michigan State the most growing up and they recruited my brother, so I kind of rooted for them but they are not necessarily a favorite in the recruiting process.

How would you describe your own game?

Probably just a complete point guard who likes to distribute the ball and set up my teammates to give them an opportunity to score.  But if I am given the opportunity to score or someone plays off of me, I'll take the shot.

Do  you have a timetable with concern to when you would like to commit in the future and who will help you make your decision?

Definitely no time table and I will probably not commit until late but you never know.  My mom and Dad are the people who will be most involved.  They were the people who raised me and made me the person that I am.  My older brother will play a big part in it as well.  Maybe my high school coach and Antwan Harris my AAU coach,

Will distance be a problem?

Right now we are looking at everything, so I am not really sure yet, but probably not.

How do you feel about education?

Ever since I was little it was important, so I was raised taking my education seriously

What are you looking for in a school?

Just a goof fit.  It will be a combination of a lot of things.

How do you feel you played here (Peach Jam)?

I think I played pretty well and as a team I think we had some success as well.

You're a young man with a lot of time before you have to get serious about schools, yet you seem mature beyond your years.  Do you feel that you are?

Yes, I guess so.  I have always been comfortable playing with older players, so I have grown into it.  It is nothing new to me.

Do you try an emulate anybody on the court or do you have a favorite player?

Probably LeBron James.  I watched a whole lot of basketball growing up.  I want to be successful like him.

Born and raised in Minnesota?

Yes. I was born and raised there.

With all these coaches watching, do you ever in awe of say Izzo, Coach K or Williams see you play?

Definitely the big name coaches.  You see them on TV but not so much in person and the three you named are all pretty ... it's a cool thing.

When did you first know you had it?

Ever since I was little I was playing up. (with older kids)  I talked to my parents when I was in the 7th grade about playing varsity and I was successful and I knew I would get recruited.

Have you taken any unofficial visits?

Only the U of M, Minnesota.  I might take a couple in August but I am not sure where yet.

What style best fits your game at the college level?

I definitely like to push the tempo so an up tempo team.  I will be looking into things a lot.  The location and coaching style and campus, players, just all have to fit.  You want to have a good team bond like my AAU team, it is important and I will have to see where I can fit in.

Do you want to play for a team which has a shot at the national title in college?

Definitely.  A national championship as a college athlete would be a great accomplishment.

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

Thank you.

Discuss this article on the BDN Premium Message Board.  A side note - members must sign up for the board separately in order to gain access.  Once you've done so, you will be approved in short time. [/private]


BDN Premium Interview – Duke Prospect Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo
Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo

Harrison Barnes is solidly in the top five players in his class and he continues to earn the reputation of one of the best if not the best player in 2010.  Barnes is playing for two AAU teams this spring and summer and is fending off the media frenzy at each event.  BDN talked to Barnes about that process and his play of late in the following interview.  We also got his AAU coaches' thoughts on what he brings to the table as a player in another BDN Premium offering.

What is your favorite part about the recruiting process?

I would say that I like the fact that I develop relationships with a lot of big time coaches and [private] new friends and develop relationships with them.

How do you put up with all of the media attention?

I mean, it just comes with the territory.  If I am going to make this a career for me someday, I have to deal with it.

You grew up watching NBA ball and not so much the college game, right?

That is correct.

So you are not really that familiar with college basketball traditions?

That is correct, I just see all of the colleges as equal in my mind.  I didn't really follow college basketball growing up, so a lot of the traditions I am unfamiliar with.

Is it presumptuous to think this might come down to Duke and North Carolina?

I mean it's a little premature that just to say that they are big time schools and that I am going to go there.  I will have to evaluate a lot of the programs to see what their system is like and go from there.  I think it's finding out just what's best for me instead of the biggest school or the number one ranked school.

So where does Harrison Barnes go from here with concerns to the recruiting process?

Now that the  NCAA Tournament is over and AAU ball is in full swing, I am going to take a few weeks and do some close evaluating of some schools and then I will start to eliminate some of them.

Timetable for a decision?

I will probably make my decision after my official visits, which will be sometime in the Fall.

Will you take the five allotted visits?

I will probably take as many as necessary.

Are you looking for a certain type of school?

No not really.  I think I can go anywhere as long as it's what's best for me.

Are you looking to make a quick jump to the NBA?

Well, there we'll have to ... I will have to judge that once I am in college.  It's a much different game and I've seen a lot of high school phenoms not get into the league, so we'll see.

And the most important factors with concern to a school choice will be?

Definitely academics.  I want to contend for a national championship and the coaching staff that will make you better.

So by wanting to play for the national championship - is that for exposure?

No,  I'm actually very competitive and I want to play for a team that can get to a national championship.

Your team has won three straight games after opening the tournament 0-2.  Can you comment on that?

It's an unbelievable feeling at such a high level tournament.  Even though we are in the bronze division it's still a huge accomplishment for us.

Going back to this win tonight.  You told me yesterday you loved to play defense and it was your defense which played a big role in this close win.  Your man had to call timeout on an out of bounds play and then you altered your man's shot.  Could you just comment about that?

Well, we knew we had to get this win if we wanted to play again, so we just really locked down and did what we had to do to win.

You scored 18 points in the second half.  Did you feel as if you had to rise to the occasion and take on a heavy offensive load?

We knew we had to get this win here to keep going and I did what it took to do that.


AAU coaches' comments on Harrison Barnes (Diedre Jacobs, Howard Pulley) -

Harrison has been a great asset on our team.  He's offensive minded, he plays hard and brings a different attitude to our team.  His mental preparation I have never seen before in a young man his age.  He shares the ball and is kid who  can score anytime he wants to.  When he penetrates he is looking to kick it over and make others look better.

He's one speed.  In the van coming over he is mentally preparing for the game which is unbelievable for a teenager.  He already prepares like he's at the next level.  And with the younger players on our team, where we dress four sophomores, they are feeding off that.  It's important to have a fearless leader like that who takes every game seriously.


Closing comments - Harrison Barnes will play the remainder of the season for All Iowa Attack on the AAU circuit, but  will attend some of the nation's best individual work camps.  He will play for Howard Pulley again during the Nike Peach Jam in July.  Barnes is playing it close to the vest, but Duke is in very good shape at this time.  Keep in mind that one national site was hovering during this interview and asked a few of the questions.  In short, Barnes is a lot different away from the throng of media and, while I don't think he affiliated Sports Nation Network with Blue Devil Nation, he seemed really relaxed around me, even asking for his stats so he could tell his Mom how he played when he called her later in the evening.

Barnes continues his torrid play and has caught the eye of many of the nation's best talent evaluators.  He is a consensus top five choice and will likely average out around #2 when a consensus of the new ratings come out.  BDN will follow Barnes' progress all summer and will cover him closely as we have since he officially hit the radar last July.  In fact, we were the first Duke site to interview this talented young man. [/private]