Tag Archives: Jeff Capel

Duke Basketball Team & Recruiting Update – A Crystal Clear Picture

The Dynamic duo of Matthew Jones and Julius Randle srike a pose for BDN - BDN Photo Do you want an accurate take on Duke Basketball Recruiting? Well, join BDN Premium and we'll give you a crystal clear picture.

BDN's Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates have set the standard among the sites and sure enough, this concept is now being copied.  We'll take that as a compliment but when push comes to shove, it is all about the content and we'll stack ours against anybody.  Here at BDN, our staff is in the trenches at AAU events.  That means our members are getting live streams of information as it happens, making our site well ahead of the curve.

We can lay claim to the fact that we cover more major recruiting events in person than any other site and that has been a running thing for several years now.  We don't send "stringers," with limited knowledge of the subject matter to do our work, nor do we sit back and depend on national network guys to do our job for us.  Seriously, do you not want first hand observations from an accomplished staff that has seen the prospects play multiple times?  No knocks here on the National guys in that many are our friends, but their sole focus is certainly not on Duke prospects nor is it a priority to cover them.  There are no smoke and mirrors tactics at BDN folks, nope, we are straightforward and honest when it comes to our coverage and we take pride in that.

If you have yet to try BDN Premium, you don't know what you're  missing of late and with some exciting changes on the horizon, it's the perfect time to check us out.  Our staff is hard working, dedicated and hands on in everything we do.  In our current update we lay out a clear picture of the staff's efforts.  And before we get on with our update where lots is happening, take a look at how much content we've pumped out recently which includes: Two interviews with both Tony Parker and Matt Jones to go with individual interviews with Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Jahill Okafor, Rasheed Sulaimon and much, much more.  Just today, recruiting analyst Andrew Slater goes in depth with Mitch McGary and we have content laying in wait this week. And our interviews have meat to them in that we don't lure you in with a premium article featuring a couple of quotes via texting.  Anyhow, let's move on to another informative and detailed (2521 word) update on the Duke Basketball recruiting scene where we paint a crystal clear picture for our members.  Trust me in that you will absolutely love our update, so if you want to find out where the coaches will be going, who is really on the radar and such, we have the answers for you.  And if you are not satisfied, we'll refund you within the first 24 hours of joining.

The picture is now crystal clear with concern to 2012 and beyond.  Duke will stick with Tony Parker until his decision is made.  Coach Krzyzewski sat front and center for many of Parker's games and the big man [private] knew it, cutting his eyes towards the man while playing.  Parker has been a bit up and down with his comments of late but my belief is that Duke is in better shape than anyone else for Tony.  His parents love Duke and if they had their way, this one would be over from what I've heard from legitimate sources.  The Parkers sat directly behind the bench this weekend and they certainly saw the Blue Devils' keen interest.  Duke has been faithful to Tony and his verbal could set other things in motion.  Coach K loves his hands and footwork and wants him to anchor the paint in Durham.  The Blue Devils have made Tony priority 1 on their 2012 wish list.

And if Parker is priority 1-A, then Mitch McGary is 1-B, or you can reverse the order if you'd like.  Duke will go hard after McGary and they feel they have a great chance at the tenacious big.  Sources are now saying McGary may pull the trigger before his high school season and if that is indeed the case, look for a whirlwind of activity in the coming months.  It is safe to say McGary will be visiting Duke and the Blue Devils will be in home with him when the time comes, but that will not happen until the team returns from their venture to China and Dubai.

The Blue Devils were most impressed with Matt Jones and he gained an offer after his play this past weekend.  Of course, as members, you all saw this one coming.  Jones glowed beyond belief when talking of Duke and you will see those videos this week.  We spoke to Jones the other night but kept it short.  He told BDN that he was on cloud nine after Coach K called and that he could certainly see himself there.  He was very excited that Duke moved in and it is fair to say that they went to the top of his list.  Jones has shown steady improvement in his game and he can slash through the lanes and has an outstanding outside shot.  He is a good on-ball defender as well and he sent a game to overtime with a defensive stop in front of Krzyzewski as time ran out.  The only knock I witnessed is that he at times has trouble shaking free for his shot.  He is a great character kid as well and BDN got his AAU coach's thoughts on that, which is another feature you can look forward to.

His teammate, the hulking Julius Randle, also has an offer and Duke feels they are in good shape there as well.  Jeff Capel has certainly been a help in this one and the thought of a package deal with Jones is most appealing.  But make no mistake about it, Duke loves Matthew Jones as a stand alone player.  Randle was called the best player in the nation on the night he dominated the Memphis front court by someone close to the situation that watched him play.  That was a bit cryptic but easy enough for you to figure out on your own.  Randle was like a bull in a China shop and it is clear that he will not back down from anyone.  I caught several of his games and was most impressed by his enormous upside.  He is a true power player that may or may not fit should Duke get Tony Parker.

The Bull - BDN Photo

And then there is another 2013 product named Jabari Parker.  What a humble superstar he is and you'll see this on coming videos as well.  Parker likes Duke a lot ... a whole lot and the Duke coaches like him a lot, a whole helluva lot.  They are in great early shape with Parker and this one might end in the spring of next year at the latest.  Parker will make an unofficial visit to Durham in due time and we'll have more on that as it develops.  While UNC and others are on him, Duke has been from the start and that will IMO pay dividends down the road.  Parker is smooth and versatile and at times cannot be stopped.  He is part of the spectacular trio joining Randle and Noel as the best of the best in 2013.

One thing many seemingly fail to see is that Duke has a great jump on 2013 for a reason.  The Duke staff will be tied up with Team USA duties next summer limiting their time on the recruiting trail.  That especially holds true for Krzyzewski and that is why he was so hands-on this past week with the class.  The three aforementioned 2013 players are clearly at the top of the wish list but more names are in the works, specifically Nerlens Noel.  This defensive demon we coined the "Sultan of Swat," is a most interesting talent and game changer.  Then there is the "Nerlens Noel effect," which causes players to alter shots for Noel is an absolute terror when it comes to blocking shots.  By the  end of the EYBL he was in every prospect's head and it doesn't matter who he is guarding.  In short, he inflicts pain on guys the same age, younger and/or older.  When I joked with Noel about the fact he didn't send out invitations to his "Block Party," he loved it.  Form that point on, Noel really opened up to me.  Make no mistake, everybody is on Noel, so Duke will have their hands full as will every other team that vies for his services.  I love me some Nerlens and so does Grant Hill, for he is making his fade rise on the cover of the 1991 Sports Illustrated stylish again;) A side note is that Grant Hill will go along on the China trip and he will be helping to teach the "Duke culture" to newcomers.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones, LJ Rose and Rodeny Purvis strike a pose for BDN

Some have attempted to hang me out to dry with a comment on Rodney Purvis which was misquoted, but that is something I am used to from another Duke site.  This time they made sure my name was in the head of a post.  I never intended certain things to go public but when users break the agreement upon signing up all I can do is boot them.  Purvis flat out wants to come in and play right away but Duke has a bevy of wings on the roster and in the works.  Purvis wanted to hang with Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and LJ Rose this weekend and he is seemingly upset at, well, everything that is said these days.  The mere fact that Duke did not watch him is telling and I can tell you without revealing sources close to the situation that Purvis is no longer an option.  Of course, we were the first to say that in a private forum and now all but one site is on the bandwagon.  I think the offer to Jones may have made him see the light and/or the writing on the wall.  Purvis is a good kid, but his emotion concerns me as does his behavior when he is not on the court.  Would Duke take him if he called and wanted to come?   Make no mistake, Purvis has talent and he is a good kid, so I am in no way beating him down, but he is no Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving.

We have to watch how we mention prospects around here and even where we'll be going on the recruiting trail in that it tips off others.  Just this week nobody was on Nerlens Noel until we were seen talking to him.  Yes, people pay close attention to everything we do at events.  It frustrates us at times but what can you do?  All I can say is pay close attention to when information is printed and as a member sit back and know that you were aware of it beforehand.  Noel is sure to pick up an offer soon.

Rasheed Sulaimon played very well at the EYBL finals as well although he saved his worst game for last and a lackluster offensive performance cost him the scoring title.  Still, he finished second and he has improved immensely since a season ago;  he's like a water bug running all over the place and locks down well on his defensive assignment.  His handle is improving as well and his offense is top shelf.  The Duke staff knew exactly what they were doing in getting this kid aboard early, a testament to Krzyzewski's eye.  That too should excite one more with concern to Jones.

Wojo was in Wisconsin this week and Krzyzewski was as well before returning to Augusta.  Chris Collins was at home this go round but he returns in the coming week.  The addition of Jeff Capel has been a winner and this staff is, well, pretty darn good.

One kid that caught our eye during the EYBL opening session was  Tyus Jones, a 2014 PG from Minnesota who plays for the older Howard Pulley team.  Once we interviewed him, it was obvious to others he had caught the Blue Devils' eyes.  Again, our every move is watched by others at events.  We actually interviewed Jones while at Boo, so he didn't slip up on me at all.  In fact, he stood out and I was amazed to learn he was 2014 for his play was smooth as silk and so far ahead of those in his class.  We have a nice interview coming your way with Jones as well.  I can tell you that he has great character, confidence and his recruitment will go on for a very long time.  Still, both Andrew and myself take pride in giving you background on players Duke likes before it really gets out there.  In short, we anticipate while at the many events, as Andrew did with Jahill Okafor.  What you may not realize is how rare a good interview with Oakfor is, so pay attention to our offerings.

Duke is still keeping an eye on Alex Poythress and Perry Ellis as well.  Neither of them have an offer and both play pretty much the same position.  Duke would likely turn here if they got one of Mitch McGary and Tony Parker but the real need is bangers and not wings.  Still, keep a close eye on these guys as the recruiting evaluation period opens back up.

Just in are the players Duke will watch in Orlando for the AAU National Showcase which runs from the 23rd to the 27th.  Mitch McGary will start there and once it is over go to Kansas City.  Teammates Julius Randle and Matt Jones will be there as well along with Nerlens Noel and Theo PinsonRasheed Sulaimon will play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando which takes place after the loaded Showcase.  And Tony Parker and Alex Poythress will play in both events.  I am trying to swing this event but right now it isn't looking good.

I am trying to rework my schedule to go to Orlando but a cash crunch may prevent that from happening.  However, Andrew is set to go to Las Vegas and you know his coverage will be top shelf.  In closing our latest update I would like to thank all of you for supporting us through membership.  We would like to give back, so here is an opportunity for you.  If you refer new members to BDN Premium, we'll give you 15% of their membership provided you e-mail or PM us before they join.  If you have a friend join for a year, that means you get 15$ cash sent to your paypal account.  If it is for six months, you get 9$.  There is no referral granted for a one or three month membership.  This is a limited time offer.  Help us grow our community!

Thanks again for choosing Blue Devil Nation Premium and the future is looking bright around here, so stay tuned for more on that. [/private]

BDN speaks with Duke prospect Tony Parker

Tony Parker remains at the top of the Blue Devils want list - BDN Photo

Make no mistake that Duke has made it clear that Georgia Stars big man Tony Parker is a top priority.  Coach Krzyzewski and Jeff Capel watched 90% of his games this week at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.  Parker came up big in that his teammate Alex Poythress sat out one game and he shouldered the load.  He led the Stars to the semi finals before they bowed out.  BDN caught up to Tony for this video [private] chat -

More to come - [/private]

New Duke AC Jeff Capel addresses the media

DURHAM - New Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel addressed the local media today on the campus of Duke University.  The former Oklahoma and Virginia Commonwealth coach brings a lot of experience to the basketball staff and after a whirlwind move into temporary housing he is already settling in to his duties, namely the recruiting trail.

"Life can only be understood backwards," were words Capels Grandmother shared with him and that advice now makes sense to the former Blue Devil player.

"Control what you can control, it's a tough profession but a rewarding one," said Capel, who continued,  "It was hard, difficult and I didn't like it but it was whats supposed to happen," in reference to his release at Oklahoma.

The Sooners loss is the Blue Devils gain.  Capel brings a new set of eyes to the program and the fact he has had such experience on the sidelines will certainly help him with his new gig.

"Duke helped prepare me for life, not just coach and the program but Duke," said the former Fayetteville native.  While at Duke Capel played for the national championship, something he points to as the highlight of his career along with a steller game against Purdue in the regional finals which helped the Devils advance.

When asked how he could help the program, Capel stated, "I don't know right now.  Maybe I can understand some things during a day better than some of the other guys," referring to his head coaching experience.

Capel joins former teammates and friends Chris Collins, Steve Wojociechowski and Nate James at Duke, giving him a comfort level from day one.  "Chris and Wojo are trained to be head coaches and they will be successful when they head out.  I have been a coach and I thou\ght I was really go four great years at VCU.  I wanted to get it back going.  When I took the OU job it was under turmoil which may have chosen to forget."

And while there are some familiarities coming back to Duke, Capel sees changes since his playing days which ended in 1997.  "It's different.  I would periodically visit campus but not for an extended length of time.  When I walked into Cameron I didn't know the seats were now blue.  But while the campus is different, the expectations for excellence are the same."

When asked about the progression of his hiring, Capel said he was fired on a Monday in Norman, flew back Tuesday and Wednesday he decided to go by the Duke campus just to say hello.  During that visit he talked with Coach K briefly where he was asked of his interest in a created special assistant slot.

Capel wanted to check his options and he took a look at some head coaching vacancies and even looked into a chance to become a TV analyst. 

Krzyzewski later contacted Capel again saying the best way to utilize his talents at Duke was to offer him a spot as an assistant coach.  It didn't take long for Capel to accept the position.  "It was a no brainer," said Capel.  "I have trusted the man since I was 16 years old and that trust has never changed."

Capel officially started his duties last Friday and he worked with a returnee individually this morning.  He has already started to get accustomed with the players Duke is recruiting as well and he will be out on the road in July.

"One thing about Coach is he is always willing to change and adapt to help a team become the best they can be.  His objective is what is best for Duke and that will be my mission here to help Duke be the best it can be."

Jeff Capel joins Duke Basketball Staff

Jeff Capel, pictured with Harvard HC Tommy Amaker, joins the Duke staff - BDN Photo, Mark Watson

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced two staff changes on Sunday as former Blue Devil Jeff Capel joins the staff as an assistant coach and Nate James is named special assistant. Capel returns to Duke after spending the previous nine years as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2002-06) and Oklahoma (2006-11), while James has been an assistant coach at Duke for the past three seasons.
 
“We are excited to have Jeff joining our staff,” said Krzyzewski. “He is an outstanding coach and will be a great fit in our program. Jeff has been a highly successful head coach at the Division I level and he will continue that here at Duke. Adding a coach of his caliber will make everyone in our program better.”   
 
Capel owns a 175-110 record as a head coach with three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008 with Oklahoma. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach under his father, Jeff Capel II, at Old Dominion University for the 2000–2001 season. In 2001, he joined the coaching staff at Virginia Commonwealth as an assistant and was promoted to head coach of the Rams for the 2002–2003 season—making him, at the time, the youngest head coach in Division I men's college basketball (27 years old). After compiling a 79-41 record and four straight winning seasons at VCU, Capel became the head coach at Oklahoma prior to the 2006-07 season. He led the Sooners to a 96-69 record overall with two NCAA Tournament trips (2008 & 2009) and was a major factor in the recruitment and development of 2009 National Player of the Year Blake Griffin. Griffin would go on to become the first player from Oklahoma to be selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft, the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk champion.
 
During his successful playing career as a Blue Devil, Capel racked up 1,601 points, 433 assists and 220 three-point field goals. He finished his career among Duke's all-time Top 10 in minutes played, three-point field goal percentage, three-point field goals and assists. He was a four-year starter for the Blue Devils helping the team to an 83-46 record and a trip to the 1994 NCAA Championship game. On February 2, 1995 in the regular season game played at home against North Carolina, with Duke trailing 95–92 at the end of the first overtime, Capel hit a running 40-foot shot at the buzzer which sent the game into double-overtime. Although Duke lost the game 102–100, Capel's shot was hailed as one of the most memorable plays in Duke basketball history and it was nominated for an ESPY Award for College Basketball Play of the Year.
 
Following his graduation from Duke, Capel played professional basketball for two years in France and the CBA. Capel was also drafted in 1997 by the Raleigh Cougars of the USBL.
 
Capel, a native of Fayetteville, N.C., led South View High School to the 1993 state championship defeating South Mecklenburg, 73–72, with a last second lay-up. He also set school career records in points (2,066), rebounds (668), and assists (663).
 
As an assistant coach for the past three years, James has helped the Blue Devils to a 95-17 record with three ACC Tournament titles and the 2010 NCAA Championship. Although his new role will not include on-court coaching, he will continue to assist the staff in developing game strategies, breaking down game film and planning practices and contributing in staff meetings.
 
“Nate has done a very good job with us as an assistant coach and he will continue to be a huge asset to our program in his new role,” said Krzyzewski. “He has a bright future ahead of him and this opportunity will help him continue to grow and develop.”
 
James, a two-time team captain, played on a pair of Final Four teams, including Duke’s 2001 national championship squad. As a senior, he earned All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive Team honors, while averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game for the Blue Devils. James finished his playing career with 1,116 points, 500 rebounds and 147 steals, while helping Duke to a 117-18 (.867) record.
 
The Duke basketball staff now features four former players that were team captains during their respective careers in Durham. The foursome of Steve Wojciechowski, Chris Collins, Jeff Capel and Nate James combined to score 4,495 points and win 375 games as players at Duke.
 
“It is a special thing to have four former players and team captains on my staff,” said Krzyzewski. “All four are great coaches and will work well together to give Duke the best coaching staff in the country.”

2009 Interview with Capel from BDN archives

Redick, Hill, Williams turn out in force to support Coach K and watch Dawkins in Orlando

Grant Hill chat with Coach K, Jeff Capel and Mike Brey - copyright BDN Photo
Grant Hill chat with Coach K, Jeff Capel and Mike Brey - copyright BDN Photo

ORLANDO - Duke was sending a message to prospects this weekend, that being, if you come to Duke you are a part of a family.  You can add to that, once you are in the family, it's for life.

As the AAU Nationals continued in sunny Orlando, Florida, there was quite a Duke flavor permeating the arenas.

Mike Kryzyzewski arrived on the scene with Steve Wojcichowski today, where they joined Chris Collins following prospective Duke targets.

Imagine being a future Dukie and looking up in the stands and seeing not only your assistant coaches, but Hall of Famer Grant Hill and JJ Redick.

That was the case for Andre Dawkins, the class of 2010 commitment who plays with Boo Williams.

"JJ was fun to watch when I was coming up.  He had such fire and swagger about him and opponents hated him.  And that's what you want, you don't want your opponents to like you.  It was great to see them out here supporting me," said Dawkins after his teams win.

I asked Andre what it was like to be a part of the Duke family and he paused before saying, "It's a lot of fun but I don't know if it's quite sunk in yet."

Chris Collins and JJ Redick watched Andre Dawkins game Monday evening - copyright BDN Photo
Chris Collins and JJ Redick watched Andre Dawkins game Monday evening - copyright BDN Photo

Just before Grant Hill went to watch Andre Dawkins with Wojo and Collins, he sat with Mike Krzyzewski who was also sitting with former Duke assistant and current Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

But Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel was also there, as was Roshown McCleod, Jason Williams and Johnny Dawkins.

All of the former players paid tribute to their former coach who just came in from not only watching prospects in Las Vegas, but tending to his Team USA duties.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was also seated beside Krzyzweski for much of the evening and he, of course, serves as an assistant.  It's worth noting that Krzyzewski has called him a co-head coach out of respect for his long time friend.

It didn't take long for the crowd to notice the gathering of Dukies, for many could be seen snapping pictures of Coach K, and some even trying to breach the lines between the coaches, media and fans to get a closer glimpse.

Fans also were aware of JJ Redick's presence and many of the young ballers were sneaking over to get a look.  Heck, even the coaches were stretching their necks, many likely marveling that when the Devils turn out they do it in style.

Jason Williams gave kids a talk they'd remember - copyright BDN Photo
Jason Williams gave kids a talk they'd remember - copyright BDN Photo

BDN was on the scene all day long and we'll bring you more coverage in our premium subscription section.  In fact, we will have reports and interviews from Las Vegas and Orlando well into the following week.

Join Blue Devil Nation today to get live reports all week long from Orlando.  We bring you up close and personal to the best basketball program in the land with unmatched recruiting coverage.  Interviews from this event and Las Vegas will be coming shortly.