Tag Archives: John Wall

BDN’s Duke Basketball Recruiting Update – Wall, Barnes, Irving and more

Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo
Harrison Barnes - BDN Photo

All you have to do is read the names in the tags of this story to know what’s ahead.  If you still can’t figure it out, a lengthy 1800-plus word recruiting update with the very latest information awaits you inside.    Don’t miss our one time trial offer to join Blue Devil Nation Premium, for it ends at midnight on Saturday.  We think you will decide to stick around when that month is up. [private]

You will want to stay close to the Blue Devil Nation this weekend, for I will cover the Nike Boo Williams Invitational. The event is loaded this year and the four hour drive north will not seem so bad.  The reason is that I get to see Harrison Barnes playing for Howard Pulley.  For the first time, Barnes will play on the east coast.  Well, there is the NBA Player Developmental Camp, but other than that, this is his first time this far east in AAU ball.  BDN will be sure to get the latest from Barnes while we are there.  I will also talk once again to one of our best recruiters, Andre Dawkins.  As I told you a month or so ago, his athletic ability is starting to shine through.  He will play for the host Boo Williams team, which will also feature young McAdoo.  There is a possibility that Kyrie Irving will be in the house as well, but that has not been finalized yet.  Irving sometimes plays for two AAU teams.  Irving will also be visiting Duke very, very soon.  There are a few other kids (one big name in particular), but I am not going to tip in those other sites until after the fact.   Last season, the “borrowers” would send someone who would squirrel in the corner of the gym and watch every move we made.  It’s both sad and hilarious that this happens.  Anyhow, this site deals in facts and you can trust the names we give you for our sources are pretty darn good.  Our members know that new names often come out here and they sure as heck know this site works harder than anyone this time of year.   Okay, enough whining and bragging ;)  I will have some occasional live updates on the message board.

Speaking of the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board… there are both long time members and new trial members who have yet to register.  If you are not taking the occasional peek there, you are missing the full effect of BDN Premium.  Keep in mind that you must register for the board in that it is not set up automatically upon payment.  Also, we’d like to welcome the trial or new  members and encourage all of you to post and introduce yourselves.  Trust me, most of the members here lurk.  That said, there is no better time to start posting than now.

Will Ryan Kelly work on his former D-One teammate John Wall?
Will Ryan Kelly work on his former D-One teammate John Wall?

A few of you have asked if Duke has any interest in Deshaun Painter who will not go to Florida.  The answer is no.  You may have already known that, but you probably don’t know this – Josh Smith is no longer being recruited very hard.  The reason is that Duke is concentrating their efforts on players they feel are realistic.  Smith has long been rumored to be a UCLA lean and all of my sources have maintained that getting off the west coast is a long shot.  Why should the Devils waste all that time with a kid in Washington state whose interest is lukewarm?  Yeah, I know.  We need a big bruising inside guy. First of all, Duke has not shied away from this type of player, but they have missed on some.  The bottom line is getting a kid who can qualify and, for whatever reason, Boozer types have been few and far between in meeting the prerequisites.  Duke feels as if their current front court is deep and the addition of  Hairston in 2010 will add athleticism.  Put Barnes in the mix and Duke is going after guards.

Still no official word on Gerald Henderson, but he will almost certainly go in the draft.  The Hendersons in no way blind sided Duke.  In fact, they were forthcoming in saying this would likely be the last year before the season started.  Still, Henderson wants to go in the lottery and if he slips for some reason, he may well return.  Keep in mind that true measurements and such will come into play during visits with NBA teams.  Henderson could surely benefit from another year by learning to go to his left.  His handle needs some work as well, but his athleticism and lineage makes him attractive.  We should hear something on this in an official capacity next week.

Nate James will contact Eric Bledsoe to see if they have indeed been dropped off the final list.  Turns out that if he dropped Duke, he did not tell them.  Stay tuned.

Josh Hairston is playing very well and garnering attention.  Here is an excerpt from Scouts.com – Hairston plays with a great deal of energy and effort, when engaged in the game. He has a versatile skill set, which allows him to dominate games when he tries. He has to alleviate his tendency to drift, especially offensively, when his team needs a critical bucket. This face-up 4-man has very good quickness and athleticism, which he uses to drive past bigger, slower defenders. Once in the paint, Hairston will finish with his left or right hand at the basket. He can also stretch defenses with his ability to connect on jumpers, with the occasional 3-pointer falling, but he needs to improve his perimeter consistency. He will also post up on the block and he demonstrates solid footwork with his back to the basket. As Hairston gets ready for the next level, he will have to add strength and muscle to his frame, which will make him a better finisher and rebounder on both ends of the floor. He also needs to continue his improvement on the defensive end, an area in which he said he needs better for college. Hairston plays an unselfish brand of basketball and readily accepts coaching. This young man, with his good character, should flourish throughout the summer and become a very good player at Duke, when he enrolls in the fall of 2010.

Ole Roy is making his move on Wall, but is it too late?
Ole Roy is making his move on Wall, but is it too late?

Anyone heard of this kid named John Wall?  It amazes me how much false information and rumors abound on message boards, but that is the nature of the beast these days.  Wall left on Tuesday to participate in the Nike Hoop Fest.  In a recent brief conversation, he said he would sit down with UNC coach Roy Williams.  But he also said that Duke is very much in this race and that he continues to get to know Coach K and was impressed with all that he has heard.  Another source close to Wall, claims that Coach K is considered the most “straight up,” of the remaining suitors.  This source also stated that Wall is still very much undecided and that he would likely go until the end of April before a decision is reached.

While N.C. State has been rumored to be in the hunt, I think they are out.  In fact, I feel he will not make the trip to Miami as well.  Look for Wall to make a final list soon to set up a televised decision.  I feel Kansas could be on that list but will not be a serious player.  I am certain Duke, UNC and Kentucky will make the list and Memphis may sneak in as well.  Wall’s coaches do not like the fact that Williams is just now coming in and Wall himself is the only one giving them the time of day.  This stems from them avoiding Wall in every way while recruiting others and is considered a slap in the face.

Brian Clifton is sometimes referred to as a handler, but he has been a part of Wall’s life.  Clifton (D-One AAU coach) had reservations about Duke for the Wall camp had heard plenty of the negative recruiting tales and didn’t know what to believe.  After the visit with Coach K, both Clifton and Wall realized that K was actually a pretty good guy.  It may help Duke in that they have been open about anything from Kenny Boynton to how Wall will be utilized.  It makes a little sense that another D-One teammate, Ryan Kelly, could help here as well.  It also makes a little sense in that Clifton could start a pretty good thing in a pipeline to Duke which would surely benefit him.  Deep down, both of them know Duke is a great opportunity.

While I am rambling, let’s go back to Roy.  Williams would get involved if for no other reason than to block Coach K and Duke from Wall.  Maybe he’s heard the visit went well and fears the Devils the outstanding PG??  Imagine UNC adding some negative recruiting to go with Calipari’s ….   could be that Roy wants Wall in Lexington.  The rumors you hear about Wall wanting to stay close to home cannot be proven and he will certainly tell you that’s not the case, but it could very well be true in the end.  Look, pull up a chair and look to the wind, for every time it changes directions, there will be another twist.  The Duke staff simply has to let this play out and hope that the offer of a key to drive the Duke machine will entice Wall to play his ball in Durham.  And you surely realize that I used a lot of speculation and what-ifs above.  We will continue to stay on top of this recruitment.

New Memphis Coach Josh Pastner is still trying to lure Xavier Henry’s Father from his duties with the Oklahoma City AAU team.  He was originally slated to take the basketball operations job, but that is on hold for now.  Sources are now saying Kansas may be his destination but a few pieces have to fall into place.  I will talk to Mr. Henry this weekend to see if I can get the facts.  Solid sources are saying Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson are talking with agents and will enter the draft.  Ellington’s final four MVP and late season play sealed the deal for him.  Oddly, Lawson deseved the trophy.  There were 32% no shows for the coaches NABC during the Final Four which pretty much guaranteed Detroit was a one time deal.  Many complained about the logistical nightmares.

Okay, okay … the other name I was hinting at above is Brandon Knight.  Now, sit back and watch those corporate sites try to play catch up and magically get the information now that it is here;)  Welcome to Blue Devil Nation Premium!   [/private]


With rumors flying, BDN Premium gets the facts from John Wall himself

John Wall - BDN Photo
John Wall - BDN Photo

There has been quite a bit of buzz on various message boards about John Wall contacting North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, or was it the other way around?  The news traveled through the Duke, UNC and Kentucky forums at warp speed, each poster giving it more of a spin until the rumor mill was spinning like a tornado.

Wow!  First, it was John Calapari’s leaving Memphis for Kentucky, many of their fans claiming Wall was a package deal.  Today, it was UNC’s turn, despite the fact they are on the verge of a semi-final game in the Final Four.  I made a few calls and got a different take from each person, almost as if they were making it up as they go.

I finally opened the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board and the sky was falling.  I then saw that the News and Observer had talked to Wall’s AAU Coach, Brian Clifton, about the situation, but he hadn’t talked to Wall.  What was left to do in order to figure this whirlwind out?  Of course, talk to John himself, and that’s what I did.  So, here is the latest from the horse’s mouth.  And as always,  BDN Premium just deals in the facts.  That said, here they are -[private]

Wall had just finished a day at school where he is trying to close out the academic year in a strong way.  Other than that, he is preparing for the Nike and the Jordan Brand Classic All Star Games.

It sounds like a lot has been going on today.  The message boards at Duke, Kentucky and UNC are buzzing.  I have heard that either you contacted UNC Coach Roy Williams or that he contacted you.

Did I contact him?

Yes …

No, he contacted me.

When did that call take place?

Last night.

Can you talk of what he had to say?  Was he getting involved in your recruitment or showing interest?

He really didn’t say too much.  He just said he wanted to call and keep in contact, but it’s nothing major right now.  We were just talking, he hasn’t said he was interested yet.  He is just getting ready for the Final Four and all that.

So, is there any truth that you contacted anyone at UNC to have him call you?

No sir.

Okay, just trying to get the facts straight.  Will you likely talk to Roy Williams after the Final Four?.

Uh, that’s what I am hop … (cut short) that’s what I think we are looking to do.  But like I said, I don’t really put too much into what’s going on.  He just called and that’s basically it.

Has UNC been a school you had been interested in?  Did you grow up a UNC fan?

I liked them like any other school that’s around like Duke and N.C. State.  I liked all those schools.

Do you feel as if UNC is getting in late at this point, or is this good timing?

I don’t really know (obviously thinking about the question).  I don’t know if they are really in it or not, they just call and that’s it.

Duke has made inroads and Kentucky is on the verge of making a push, is it odd to you in any way that Williams calls after these developments?

I don’t know.  I think he (Roy) just called to see how I was doing.  If he calls back and we talk, I can let you know more about it, but all we had was a quick conversation.  He asked how I was doing and that was basically it.

Have you had a chance to talk with John Calipari yet?

Naw, he called me the other night but I was asleep, so I will call him back today.

But you have been staying in touch with his assistant coaches that will likely follow him to Lexington?

Yes sir.

When is the last time you talked to Duke?

It was the day of the McDonald Game.  I talked with Coach K.

How did that go?

We were just getting to know each other better?

What are your overall feelings about Duke at this point?

I think it’s a great school, you know.

And N.C. State?  Have you talked with them?

Um, they’re still in there.

Have you been able to talk with Brian Clifton or anybody else since all these happenings?

No, not really.  I’m just get ready for the Nike Hoops and Jordan game.

Are you still targeting the Jordan Brand game for a decision?

No.  That’s not going to be when I announce my decision anymore.

What’s on your agenda next in regards to recruiting?

Probably taking a trip to Miami.  I will make my decision shortly after that.

How many official visits have you actually been on?

Three.

You have one more visit besides Miami that you can still take.  Is it fair to say that might be used for Kentucky?

I don’t know yet, it could be reserved for anybody.  I really don’t know, you know.

But UNC would be like Duke in that you wouldn’t necessarily have to take an official visit?

Yes sir.

Was it exciting that Roy called you and would you be willing to let them in?

I really don’t know yet, we just have to talk about it.  It’s really like any other coach calling you.  Carolina is a great school and he’s a good coach, but I didn’t really get all that excited, they are just like any other school.

I remember talking to your AAU and Word of God coach and they seem perturbed that UNC never really looked at you in a serious way early on.  Is it fair to say that UNC never really came around until now?

They didn’t really recruit me really hard , so ..,

Which school has been recruiting you the longest?

N.C. State.

Where to from here?

Just trying to finish school strong before the break and that’s about it.

Thanks, for helping me get the facts straight and good luck in the coming all star games.

Yes sir, no problem. [/private]

BDN talks to John Wall about his visit with Coach K, “It was great!”

Wall posed for BDN at last years TOC event
Wall posed for BDN at last years TOC event

John Wall was able to sit down with Coach Mike Krzyzewski on Sunday evening.  Wall is the nation’s top point guard prospect, and he will be making one of the biggest decisions in his young life by April 30th.  Blue Devil Nation Premium spoke to Wall about his visit and the first thing said was, “It was great,” when questioned about the visit. [private]

Wall visited with his Mom and AAU Coach Brian Clifton of D-One Sports.   The three of them arrived around 6:00 and he talked to Coach K  just over an hour.  “A lot of people have told me a lot of things about him (Coach K) and he wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I got to see for myself,” said Wall of Krzyzewski.  Wall continued, “He told me how he would use me in his system and I like what I heard.”

When asked if he could see himself in a Duke uniform running the show, Wall exclaimed, “Yes, I can see that.”  The visit was a long time coming and many were starting to wonder if it would ever take place.  Wall said that he was able to tour the basketball facilities and that they were really nice.  “I felt comfortable and really liked what I saw,” said Wall.

I asked if Wall had discussed the visit with his Mom and Clifton and he replied, “I really haven’t had a chance to sit down and discuss it yet.”  Wall did say that Clifton thought it was a great place.  He mentioned that he would be concentrating on the Nike Hoop Summit and that he may have taken all of his visits, which pretty much means Miami is out.  “Right now, my list is still the same,” said Wall.

Wall was very upbeat during the conversation, but stopped short of saying he was offered.  “Well, not really, but I think it’s there.  I know it’s there if I wanted to come.  I’m pretty sure it’s there.”  It was clear that John was still processing the visit, but for all those who think he is not taking the Blue Devil’s seriously, think again.  “The visit definitely helped, I feel better about them after talking with Coach K.”

When asked what was the best part of the visit, Wall stated, “Just being able to sit down and talk to Coach K.”

The Blue Devil Nation was the first to report of the pending visit and you can bet we’ll keep you informed.  With the Curry addition and good vibes coming from Wall’s visit, this has been a good day for Duke. I will have more on this article on the message board.  NEW MEMBERS -  Be sure to register for the members only message board.  If you are not up and running within 8 hours, drop us a line.  If you use a different e-mail address than on your paypal account, it may not stand out.  We have to manualy check off members as they join for we cannot keep non-members from registering at this time.   I will have more on the visit by noon tomorrow.  We will also bring you some news and quotes on from 2011 kids on the radar. [/private]

John Wall Report Part II

John Wall - BDNP
John Wall - BDNP

Blue Devil Nation Premium is heating up and the news continues to roll in.  We are hitting our stride with recruiting earlier than ever this season, so now is the time to join!  I talked with Brian Clifton this afternoon and he acknowledged that  [private] Memphis would be an emotional choice and that Wall’s Mom would prefer he stay near home.  When a trusted friend of mine who backs NCSU asked if he needed to be worried, Clifton replied no.  That adds even more mystery for many I had talked to said the Pack was out of it.  Rumors continue that certain alumni want Lowe replaced, but this likely will nor would it likely one and done Wall.

Memphis is still supposedly the leader and Wall will tell you that.  But just how much of a leader?  As I said earlier when asked about the departure of Tyreke Evans, Wall alluded to the fact that Henderson leaving Duke would make them more attractive due to the situation.

I still get the impression that Clifton is just going along for the ride for he just doesn’t seem too enthused about the situation.  However,  a source close to an incoming freshman, said he would be alright with it, should John end up at Duke.

Despite my perceived vibes from Clifton, he did state that Wall playing with Ryan Kelly for D-One Sports was a positive and that Kelly wanted someone to get him the ball.

Wall also mentioned that he talked on occasion with Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams.  He  seemed upbeat when talking of Duke and excited about the pending visit.  The mere fact that Duke is stillon the list and he will have a face to face with Krzyzewski is encouraging, but reading too much into this on going drama may set one up for a let down.

The Pack desperately need Wall as a hometown hero, but with C.J. Leslie bailing, well, that can’t be too good.  But again, don’t read but so much into that for Lesle said NCSU was still a possibility when questioned today.  FWIW, Leslie was rumored by trusted Pack sources that he would test the water last July during the NBAPA Camp.  It took a whole, but that speculation proved to be true.

Memphis is trying to sell Wall on the fact that they are the perfect one and done school, but with a loaded freshman class and some returnees, just how many shots could Wall get there.

While Miami and Kansas were  previously listed, I hear that they are both out.  I am almost certain Miami is toast for they may not even retain their coach.  D-One Sports has played in tournaments in the Kansas region this past year.

Baylor is the enigma here.  How much pull does Clifton have?  For that matter, where does his high school coach Levi Beckwith come into play?  Beckwith attended the Carolina Challenge and it is said that he prefers the Pack, but likes Duke as well.  It makes sense that he would want Wall to stay local in that he will remain the coach of Word of God.  Still, he seems to be more on the outside looking in of late.

So, the soapy recruitment will continue, but time is running out on Wall and he has to make a move by April 30th .  He has said that the Jordan Brand All Star Classic would be a possibility, but he’s also said a week after.  We plan on following up withWall after his meeting with Krzyzewski and will keep you posted on any breaking news.

We interviews with some of the state of North Carolina’s best prospects coming, and yes, some of them mentioned Duke.  I will also have the actual quotes from Wall up by tomorrow.

And Curry will be on campus tomorrow.  Duke has wasted no time in attacking their needs with recruiting. [/private]

Breaking News – John Wall set to cut his list to three, will visit Duke

The race for the services of John Wall is still on and the Blue Devil Nation talked to the country’s top unsigned point guard to get the latest scoop.  Wall will [private] trim his list to three schools by next Wednesday and maybe sooner. Wall told the Blue Devil Nation that he is set to visit Mike Krzyzewski and Duke tomorrow.  He will be accompanied by his Mom and Brian Clifton.  He also told BDN that he would sit down with his mom and mentor on Sunday evening to discuss trimming the list.  When questioned whether Tyreke Evans’ imminent departure from Memphis would be attractive, Wall said that players leaving would have an influence on his decision.  He then mentioned that if Gerald Henderson left, Duke would be attractive.  When asked if Duke was still in it, he nodded.  As for the decision itself, he is still leaning towards the Jordan Brand All Star Game.  BDN Premium will have more on this later. [/private]

John Wall and Word of God take round II

Raleigh Ravenscroft played host to Word of God last evening in one of the more hyped Wake County area basketball games in recent memory.   The gym was full

Beckwith, Leslie, Wall - copyright BDNP
Beckwith, Leslie, Wall - copyright BDNP

before the girls’ game started and by game time for the boys, there was a throng of people standing outside in frigid weather hoping to catch a glimpse of John Wall, C.J. Leslie and Ryan Kelly. Some went as far to bill the game Wall versus Kelly II. Ravenscroft had defeated Word of God on their home floor earlier this season.  The Ravens were poised to sweep the series, but Word of God had other ideas and a bit of a chip on their shoulder. After the game Ravenscroft head coach Kevin Billerman said, “I think it was a great environment for high school athletics to have the city of Raleigh turn out as it did.  If you looked in the stands you saw maybe fifty percent of the highs schools area basketball players.  Everybody wanted to see the game.” The Ravens started out ice cold, Kelly went 0 for 5 before finding his range.  For a while Kelly would score and then Wall would answer.  For instance 8Kelly scored on the baseline and before you could blink Wall nailed a three.  Then Kelly would dunk and Wall would return the favor.  ” “They were just leaving me open and I was making shots tonight feeling confident.  He (Kelly would hit one and then I would shoot it and it felt good,” said Wall. It benefited WOG that N.C. State bound C.J. Leslie asserted himself early as well.    Leslie who would end the game with points showed a good mid range jumper to go with his play around the glass and even drained a three point shot. UNC Wilmington commitment Matt Wilson also played well early, but faded down the stretch.  It was later learned that he had been fighting off a bug and was playing sick. But Wall put on a show.  I once timed him after a rebound and he went end to end finishing with a driving lay in just as the stop watch hit three seconds.    Every time 7the home team would cut it to with a couple of  baskets, Wall would raise the level of his play often dunking in a show boat fashion bringing the crowd to it’s feet. Word of God was able to get the Ravens to play their style of up and down ball and a few rushed shots later, they took a 43-30 lead into the half. It would never get any closer. As the second half opened, the slam fest continued.  Before you know it Wall had tallied 24 points and his team had a commanding twenty point margin many of those by way of the break. “When you take jump shots against them, all of a sudden John (Wall) is laying it in

Wall and Beckwith - copyright BDNP
Wall and Beckwith - copyright BDNP

on the other end.  Our best two defenders are our two 6-11 guys and for them to sprint back when John Wall does is difficult,” said Billerman. He continued with his accolades for Wall, “I’ve seen John play many, many times before and he shot the ball as well as I have ever seen him.  He’s really a very good team player.” Kelly did his best to put his team on his back, but the twenty point working margin held up for a 82-64 Word of God victory.  The win pushed their record to 11-9 for

Kelly at the end of flushing down a dunk - copyright BDNP
Kelly at the end of flushing down a dunk - copyright BDNP

the season, but bare in mind that record comes against a tough tournament laden schedule. “We got into a bit of a running match which isn’t what we are.  We don’t compare well with a team with their athleticism.   The last time we got them and we controlled the tempo better,” said Kelly. Kelly wound up the games high scorer with 29 points, but his teammates failed to find him on the blocks where he had enormous success when given that chance.  In fact, the guard play of the Ravens was their undoing in due to rushed and poor shot selection. Wall ended the game with 28 points, with two three pointers and a bushel of

Wall signed for fans
Wall signed for fans

dunks.  He showed a better touch from the outside than he has in the past and seemed to recognize holes in the defense. “We took an extra look at film yesterday and we saw we should push the ball with no hesitation.  And you could see we were pushing and their backs were turned and we were scoring and getting fouled.  I was seeing the different match ups and after talking to the coaches and it worked out fine and we came out with a good win,” said Wall. Wall was surrounded by autograph seekers after the game and he stated, “Im used to it after AAU ball, but usually it’s not that much.” The WOG handlers stepped up in the press conference and would not allow any recruiting questions, threatening to immediately leave if the media didn’t comply.  Wall is the top player in high school that has yet to commit. There were some hints given earlier that he would be trimming the list and setting up some visits which will be discussed in our premium section.  The entire Wall Q & A is there as well. Another player who helped the Rams cause was Bishop Daniels who tallied 15 points.  “Bishop is really doing a great job developing.  I told him at the beginning of the year we’re going to play thirty games this year, 18 of them, you’re going to stake it up.  One of the things you saw him do tonight is get out in transition,” said WOG Coach Levi Beckwith. While disappointed in the loss Ravenscroft Coach Kevin Billerman put the game into perspective, “This will be a game is good practice for us and good preparation for us advancing into the state tournament in two weeks.”  Notes – Ravenscroft (21-6) will travel to Durham Academy this Friday.   Word of God will host Greenfield next Wednesday.  Greenfield is rinding a 16 game winning streak.  North Carolina State Coach Sydney Lowe watched the game.  One of the WOG coaches said their recod was 17-7.  So, I’m uncertain of which record is correct.  For futher coverage, join Blue Devil Nation Premium and get full inside access.