DURHAM, N.C. - Two Duke Blue Devils were a part of another championship as rising sophomores Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins helped D-One to the title at the N.C. Pro Am.
D-One scored 135 points to defeat Hendrick's who had buy 124 in an All Star Game atmosphere where defense was in short supply. But that doesn't mean guys were not making plays and Kelly and Dawkins showed a lot of drive to be a part of the last team standing on Sunday afternoon.
The two Blue Devils were joined by new New York Knick and UNC alum Raymond Felton and for Pack standout Josh Powell. Felton did a good job running the team and ended the contest with 28 points but it was Josh Powell's [33 points] play which helped D-One control the inside game.
Andre Dawkins had a stretch where he missed five straight shots, but like a shooter he kept putting the ball up and ended the game with 18 points and as usual the vast majority of his points came on the three ball.
Kelly added 16 points but played all facets of the game well and was named the winner of the Rodney Rodger's Spirit Award before the game started. During the presentation it was stated that Kelly was the player most guys wanted to play with, meaning he is a good teammate who actually plays team ball instead of always looking for his shot.
Another former UNC player Jawad Williams added 16 for the losing team.
This years event shed a lot of light on off season improvement of several Blue Devil players and we'll recap each one and hear from Ryan Kelly shortly, so stay tuned to BDN as we wind up our annual coverage on the N.C. Pro Am.
The North Carolina Pro Am is winding down and Mason Plumlee and Team Duhon take to the court today at 3:00 in the semi finals. While Plumlee is the last Dukie standing on a winning team, his teammates are likely to be added to rosters which is common practice in this event.
Team Duhon won last evenings nightcap 69-60 over to advance to today's semi final. Mason Plumlee led all scorers with 20 points to go with a bushel of rebounds. He was aided by South Carolina bound Lakeem Jackson who tallied 15. Jackson was his teammate at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina.
Rising high school senior and UNC bound Reggie Bullock had perhaps his best games (played twice) on Friday. Bullock looked smooth and added 14 points for the winner.
Brian Zoubek scored 16 points for the losers and his teammate Olek Czyz went for 3 points. Zoubek is averaging 15.5 in his two games played.
Miles Plumlee has gained some weight in the off season and he scored 12 points to go with 9 rebounds. His team lost and Miles had several points missed where he didn't finish or the ball rimmed out. He finished 6 of 15 from the field.
Team Navy took out Team Starkey 71-67 where a comeback effort sparked by Reggie Bullock [19 points] fell short. Duke freshman to be Ryan Kelly added 15 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field and 4 rebounds. Jerry Stackhouse added just 6 points in the loss.
On the other side, John Wall added 15 points and looked really good coming off a sensational effort the evening before. Wall looks to be an inch taller and has put on significant muscle or added size since I last saw him play.
We'll break down the players overall play in the tournament on out message board on Monday. Also, we'll have a very nice photo gallery in the coming week. All photos of Duke players may be purchased from Rick Crank.
As you know by now, John Wall selected Kentucky as his college destination. There is little else to do than move on for Duke and they will move on. Duke will now turn their sole attention to other prospects and will hit the road hard in July when coaches are allowed at AAU events. I have decided to discuss the details of Walls decision on our premium message board. There you will hear a little bit about what went on behind the scenes leading up to the decision and some candid comments about the process. Wall will sign his LOI on Wednesday.
BDN is covering the Tournament of Champions this weekend and many more tournaments, so stay tuned for plenty of action.
Also, check out our new links section in the menu above. I feel you will like the way Susan set them up.
As you all know by now, I have been off line for 72 plus hours due to a hard drive crash. Is this where I say avoid Dell for they are not what they used to be? Anyhow, I will spare you the rest of the gory details
I will have a lot of information coming from the Southern Invitational starting tomorrow. No more news on the John Wall front, but I do think [private] Brian Clifton likes what Duke offers, but I did not get the impression he was a major lean. He did seem to want John to make sure of his decision and as I said he will go where he does by the blessing of his Mother.
You can read into that many ways, so let it play out a bit longer. The talk of Kentucky leading could very well be true, but there is only one ball to go around with Meeks and Patterson eying the league by electing to come back. The team which has gained ground is Florida. Okay, enough on that for now, let's move on.
Quincy Miller mentioned Duke this weekend where he hasn't much before. He also said that Coach K would be checking out one of his practices shortly. Chris Spatola made contact recently, so Miller is on the radar. I will have an interview with him shortly.
I will have an interview with Ryan Kelly some time this week as well. I was to have called him back, but the hard drive issue halted everything.
CP-3 crushed Boo Williams in the championship game this weekend. Reggie Bullock is the real deal and the Enloe duo which I will cover later this week was large in this game. Boo was taken out of their game from the word go.
Boo Williams defeated DC Assault to get to that game, where Andre Dawkins scored 21 second half points after tallying 2 in the first half. Tyler Thornton guarded him tightly before getting into foul trouble. Josh Hairston was held to 3 points.
I will recap how each of these kids played in the coming days and break their game down for you. Interviews with each one are coming as well. Another player who had a 24 ppg average was Quinn Cook and we will hear from him and others.
So, let me get settled in with a borrowed computer and I will start to churn out some information. I'm truly sorry I couldn't update from the event this weekend. We'll catch back up and show you why this site provides the best coverage around. [/private]
BDN deals in facts, not rumors. Everybody wants to know the latest on John Wall and what is going on in his camp. I talked with Brian Clifton last evening and he broke down the process of the hottest recruiting battle in the nation. If you are not a member of BDN Premium, then you're simply missing the best Duke subscription service available.
Will John Wall trim his list? [private] Maybe not according to Clifton. At this point all the teams may be in there until the end.
Baylor - That's where Clifton preferred John Wall to go. The reasoning was that he could be with his brother, but Clifton admitted that it would raise some eyebrows and that Wall is not seriously considering them.
"I will go where John Wall goes," said Clifton. No matter where John Wall goes, Clifton will be there with him. This has already been discussed with Wall's Mom, who gave her blessing.
How will Wall's choice affect his D-One program? Clifton said he had a good staff and could run it from afar, but he also mentioned that it would be nice to stay in the area and that he preferred that. Still, he would go wherever he needs to go for the benefit of Wall.
"The process is flawed," said Clifton. He mentioned that coaches could only meet with John one time officially and that all they could do now was send e-mails and such. He feels a prospect needs more time to evaluate what a coach is really like, meaning he might realize more from extended contacts bettering relationships.
"He's what's important and it is important that he feels that," said Clifton. This means he wants to support Wall's decision.
Making a wise choice - Clifton wants to make sure that Wall examines all angles of the possibilities at hand.
How important is proximity to home for Wall? It's not at the top of the list. Wall knows he will have Clifton no matter where he goes.
Kentucky - Wall loves Calipari and has talked to him the most, but there is a question as to whether it's the best situation for John.
Florida - Glowing reviews for Florida where Clifton knows Donovan personally and his brother played for Larry Shyatt.
Miami - "They have some good players down there," said Clifton. He admitted there were worse places to spend a year than South Beach.
Duke - "They've got some good players," said Clifton, who then rattled off the names on the roster. Also mentioned was Ryan Kelly who is a D-One product. Wall and Kelly were a one-two punch last season.
Will Wall visit Duke again? "Maybe, we'll see," said Clifton, who then went on to say that John feels like he has enough information to make a decision. They have gathered a lot of information and continue to go over it.
Tough question - Would Wall have already committed had you not been involved as a mentor? "John is an emotional guy. He would have probably committed twice already."
Tough question two - Would Wall have already committed to Kentucky if it were not for taking a long look at the process? "Probably."
Another fact about Wall - He likes to please the people around him.
When will a decision be made - "Who knows," said Clifton.
SAT Scores - "We feel real good about the test he took this past Saturday," said a confident Clifton.
There is more which I will discuss on the message board after this weekend's tournament coverage. To read too much into these statements would be unwise, but this is the very latest information out there on Wall from a person very, very close to him. [/private]
Well, everything is a little quiet at the moment save the deluge of rain in the Triangle area. Let's talk a bit about the hot topics which will break the silence any day now -
Harrison Barnes had a nice tournament during this past weekend's Jayhawk Classic, where he led his team to the title. [private] One must keep in mind that this was a watered down event with concern to normal AAU talent. Still, Barnes once again put his All Iowa Attack team on his back. Not surprisingly, reports are mentioning how hard Barnes played, which I told you here after the Boo Williams Invitational. Barnes leaves it all on the court, giving 100% effort at all times, and that is a testament to his hard work. Being in Kansas country is nothing to be alarmed about, but it would be a huge mistake to count them out. I have said for some time now that Duke and Kansas are the big players, both schools getting in early. Keep in mind that Barnes will have taken his third visit to Durham before the end of summer, the last visit being a surprise for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's birthday. A lot of people want to think Barnes has given a silent verbal, but that is not true. While he likes Duke and has a great relationship with Coach K, this one will go on for a bit. Like many, I am hoping for a Kyle Singler-like situation. Singler was always considered a Duke lean, but he waited quite a while for his commitment. Provided Barnes does come to Duke, waiting it out will be a good thing in that the media attention will be at fever pitch. Look for other schools to try and become involved, but they'll have some ground to make up. One of those schools is, of course, North Carolina, who will get a visit in June but, as I have said before, don't be surprised if he takes in Duke that same weekend. Could the third time be the charm? We'll all have to wait and see.
Kyrie Irving's recruitment is taking off and every school in the country is trying to get in. I wouldn't be surprised to see Irving's list of ten change as time goes on. Kentucky is making a hard push and they have the Rod Strickland connection going for them, but Duke is still making Irving a priority recruit and Coach K will see him by July. Of course, K has to see a kid in person to offer a scholarship, but Irving knows one is there for him and has had good things to say about the Blue Devils. I will defer to Andrew for his thoughts on this one over on the message board. As strange as it may sound, I have yet to see Irving play in person, but that should be a thing of the past as summer moves in. Every now and then a player comes along who plays for an AAU team you just don't come across unless you live in the New Jersey-New York area.
Brandon Knight is playing it close to the vest, but he will get questioned until he decides to get serious about his recruitment. Knight is a really smart kid who values education, yet his future is in the NBA. Duke is still very much recruiting Knight and you cannot believe all of what you hear on the world wide web. In fact, take it from me and never read too much into any kid's comments.
Ray McCallum is another player the Duke staff covets, but I need to talk with Ray to get a good feel for where he is in the recruiting process. McCallum has a lot of suitors and he is moving up in the rankings by the day. Either Andrew of myself are sure to run up on him at an event soon.
Duke is still open to finding a bruising rebounding type kid in the class of 2010, but no legitimate names have turned up as of yet. At this time, the staff is going on what they hear of a lot of kids. It will be July before they can head to events and you can bet they will be out in force. At that time, names should start to emerge. As for the class of 2011, names are being taken, but it will be later this summer before serious ones emerge. In short, Duke is concentrating on finishing out the Wall recruitment and finishing up 2010.
Look for the recent John Wall situation to come to light by week's end. Wall didn't do anything that bad and it will be taken care of. Duke, like all others involved, are taking a wait and see approach. As for the recently announced date of May 20th for a decision date - don't hold your breath, for I haven't confirmed that as of yet. I told you that the trip to NCCU wouldn't happen when everyone else was saying it would. It then came to light in Adam Zangoria's blog that the visit didn't happen. As for Wall knowing where he is going, well, think again on that one too, for this one has a lot of dominoes which have to fall before there is a clear picture. I also told you that he may likely not trim his list, but I learned today that he actually could make a list shortly. This information was not from Wall but someone close to him. I can also tell you that his decision will be on a national network, likely ESPNU. One would have to cut the list to fit the hats in front, right?
With concerns to Eric Bledsoe, Duke couldn't touch him due to his grades. He will of course announce tomorrow between Kentucky and Memphis and anyone who tells you he is a lock one way or the other, is lying. Kentucky was the prohibitive favorite, but Memphis made quite an impression and Bledsoe was very comfortable on that visit. The Wildcats are going after every guard you can name these days and that may just scare Bledsoe off. However, the consensus says Kentucky, but I say, let's wait and see.
I would love to see Gerald Henderson return, but the reason he has not signed an agent is not what it might seem to some. I fully expect him to go to the league, but I will happily eat crow on this one.
I will be attending one of two AAU events this weekend, so you can look forward to coverage. [/private]