Before we get to the latest recruiting information, let me tell you what’s coming to Blue Devil Nation Premium this week. We’ll have an informative interview with Harrison Barnes and comments from one of his AAU coaches. BDN’s Andrew Slater was on the scene at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. Slater will have the latest, including interviews with Kyrie Irving, Ray McCallum and more. Both of us will offer scouting reports on prospects we see firsthand this week as well. Then there is some hot information on visits, but you have to be a member to see that.
Here is the latest on the recruiting trail from BDN, a source you can trust. [private] Duke is very high on Kyrie Irving and that’s why Andrew was scoping him out this weekend. Irving is moving up the ratings as I type and he has already listed the Blue Devils on his list of ten schools. Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins will visit Irving this week and there may be an unofficial visit in the future – we’ll keep you posted on that.
Another guard prospect Slater interviewed this weekend is Ray McCallum. This youngster has a lot of schools on him and if you have read our past update you have a good idea of his capabilities. It’s no secret that Duke is now going after athletic guards and the staff is determined to get one or two in the fold in the class of 2010. Coach Collins will also take time to visit McCallum this week, so make no mistake in that Duke is very active on the recruiting trail.
BDN’s best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Steve Wojciechowski who recently tore his ACL. The injury will cause Wojo to be on the mend and off the recruiting road show for a good while. This means that head of basketball operations, Chris Spatola will take his place. Spatola will be looking at some of the states younger players and will check out some action in Virginia as well.
Don’t freak out that Chris Carrawell wasn’t the choice, for he is a notch behind Spatola in the chain of command. Both will one day be assistant coaches. CWell will once again participate in the James-Carawell, where donations from Duke fans helped me send three underprivileged kids that I work with to the camp last season.
Everybody keeps asking on the message board whether Duke still has interest in Eric Bledsoe. Well, the answer is yes, despite the fact that another site says he has a final four which does not include Duke. In fact, Duke Assistant Coach, Nate James will be heading south to visit Bledsoe this week as well as some young prospects. Either James or Spatola will visit Luke Cothron, likely James.
Duke is trying to get a feel for some of the youngsters in the 2011 class so they will know who to track come July when they are allowed to go to camps. Yes, the camp availability is a bit more stringent this year, see the link from the NCAA on the message board if you are curious.
Then there is the continuing recruitment of the talented John Wall. I am going to give you my speculation on what I feel is happening at “the moment.” I feel N.C. State is out despite being listed and that Miami is on the outside looking in as well. I would in no way be shocked if Wall cancels his Miami visit. His visit to Miami is set for this Friday and may last until Sunday. Baylor seems the long shot as well, but of course I am pretty much repeating myself with all of the above. Of late, Wall has added Oregon back.
Kansas has made a push but with their PG returning and the distance, I feel Wall will not be a Jayhawk. Then there is “Dart gun,” Billy Donovan who crept into the Wall home only to fly to Portland to meet with Wall in a motel room. That meeting was set up by Clifton who continues to listen to overtures. Well, Billy has already used that dart gun trick with Kenny Boynton, so he’ll have to reach deeper into the bag of tricks this time. Wait a minute! Kenny Boynton and John Wall in the same back court? One basketball is simply not enough for these two players and neither of them is going to take a backseat. Could this mean that Wall stays in state like Boynton?
I also find it a bit interesting that rivals are doing their best to sway Wall away. Florida comes rolling in when Kentucky becomes a player and North Carolina and Roy Williams would do anything to push Wall anywhere but Durham. Both Florida and North Carolina have got into this race late – too late in my opinion. If you put a gun to my head asking which one of these teams could weasel their way closer, I would go with UNC for the location. Still , no secret that Roy and UNC dissed Wall for the longest time and his camp is not too happy about that.
That brings us to the two real players, this of course being my opinion. Duke is trying to set up a visit with Wall before the contact period is over. The Blue Devils made some major in roads and there are plenty of positives for both Wall and Duke should he end up in Durham. The Duke staff hopes staying close to home and honesty wins out. Of all the Wall suitors, Duke has pretty much backed up what they said and stayed straight up.
Duke could also start quite a pipeline for D-One Sports and Brian Clifton, but then again so could Kentucky. Make no mistake there are some deep pockets in the deep south and they tend to let it be known in one way or another that there are “opportunities,” to be had. That’s as nice as I could put it. Like Duke, Kentucky needs a point guard and Calipari will try to sell Wall that he is a one and done specialist.
If Jodie Meeks comes back, Wall better hope he gets some shots, but UK can sell him better should he remain in the draft. Personally, I don’t see Meeks as a first rounder. I told you a good bit back Patrick Patterson would cast his name and I feel he stays in. I could go into all the prospects who are trying to sell John at various schools but that really isn’t going to make that big of a difference.
Duke has put points in the pro’s in Hurley, Williams and Duhon all first round picks. And Coach K has been straight with Wall in saying he hasn’t really had a point in four or more years. Anyhow, enough rambling opinion, for this recruitment will take a few more twists and turns before Wall decides and you can count on a live announcement on ESPNU or some other network.
Still, at this time Duke is in as good a shape as possible but they will have to fight off Kentucky. Keep in mind, I could be wrong and admittedly, my opinion changes a bit as the wind blows on this one. Lastly, anyone who reads too much into comments in the coming days on Wall is wasting their time. Wall is changing some of his answers from one interview to the next and is obviously enjoying his day in the limelight. Please read our policies on sharing information on the message board. Sharing of information from our premium site is strictly prohibited. [/private]