Two future Duke Blue Devils were named to the Team USA U-18 roster earlier this afternoon. Duke's point guard of the future Kryie Irving and Virginia native Josh Hairston were named to the final roster after participating in the trials.
"When I heard my name it was a big relief, just the amount of talent that was out here and to just represent your country was big time. Everybody who came to the tryouts could have been on this team, everybody from the top to the last person on the list was very talented. I think the coaches put together the best 12 guys that meshed together and play well together so it’s an honor to be a part of that," said Hairston.
Hairston, who was not too happy when his name was not called out for the McDonald's All American and Jordan Brand All Star games, went into the trials with something to prove.
"I wanted to show the coaches I could rebound, that I could talk on defense, that I could run the floor and that I could be a leader. One of the things my dad told me before I came out here was to just go out there and work my hardest and that’s what I did," stated the future Dukie.
Kyrie Irving a will share the point guard duties with Abdul Gaddy and the experience should provide him with some great experience. "We’ve been working hard for about two-and-a-half days so coming out here and performing the way I did, I’m really proud of myself and all the guys that made it. We have a very talented team and we’re going for the gold." said Irving.
Irving also mentioned that he was the youngest player on the court. "That’s going to be primary role next year is to be a leader on that team along with Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, so just being a leader and being a point guard.
It will definitely help me. I’m the youngest player here; I’m playing with an older group. These are great players, competitive players, and it’s going to help me take my game to a whole another level."
Three Duke prospects also made the final roster. Duke is all over Austin Rivers who made the team and is considered by many as a strong Duke lean. When asked what he brought to the table, Rivers stated," I would say I bring leadership as someone you can count on in a game. Whatever you need me to do, I can do it. If you need me to score, I can score. If you need me to try to get someone the ball, I can get someone the ball. I’d say a little bit of everything. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it."
Quincy Miller of Quality Academy in Winston Salem and Detroit standout Amir Williams will join the future Dukies and Rivers on the team.
It’s a privilege to be named to the USA team. This is a great experience, a great time for me to go out and represent my country. It’s going to be a wonderful experience for me to play for this team, said Miller who list Duke and Kentucky on his list of schools.
BDN will follow Team USA closely in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more as the team prepares for play.
The 2010 Duke Recruiting class currently consists of three players and all were named Gatorade players of the year in their state. Josh Hairston [6-8 forward] was voted the top player in Maryland. Hairston transferred to Montrosse Christian Academy from Courtland HS in Virginia and enjoyed a very successful year.
Kyrie Irving was named the top player in the state of New Jersey where he played for St. Patrick's and he of course will run the point guard spot at Duke next season. Irving was also named to the McDonald's All American team.
Tyler Thornton [6-2 guard] led his Gonzaga Prep school to the title and was named Gatorade player of the year District of Columbia.
Blue Devil Nation congratulates the three incoming Blue Devils for their success on the hardwood this season.
Here is another edition of High School Hoops for Blue Devil Nation premium members. This edition takes a look at Duke’s three 2010 committed players: Kyrie Irving, Josh Hairston, and Tyler Thornton; as well as the other players Duke is looking at in the Class of 2010 and beyond. [private]
Kyrie Irving: St. Patrick has advanced to the Championship Game in the Union County Tournament in what could be their last game. Kyrie Irving scored 13 points as the Celtics defeated Union 64-47. St. Patrick will face Plainfield for the championship. Here is some video of the action.
St. Patrick has been banned from participating in the State Tournament due to Coach Kevin Boyle being present during open gym workouts prior to the official start of practice. St. Patrick has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court and a hearing will be held on Monday at 9 am.
Josh Hairston: Montrose Christian ended a losing streak with a 62-56 win over Fork Union. Hairston scored 20 points in the game. Hairston is averaging 17 points per game for the Mustangs and he is currently Second Team in the All-Met Watch.
Tyler Thornton: Thornton is averaging 15 points a game for the 22-6 Eagles. On Friday, February 26, O’Connell defeated Gonzaga 67-55. On Wednesday, February 24, Gonzaga defeated McNamara 62-58. Thornton scored 19 points in the victory.
Trey Zeigler: Zeigler fouled out in regulation but first he scored 27 points to go with 10 rebounds as Mt. Pleasant defeated Bay City Central 73-68 in overtime. The Oilers have now won 13 games in a row.
Marshall Plumlee: Christ School is 35-1 and will play Charlotte Christian for the NCISAA Championship on Saturday night. The Greenies defeated Wesleyan Christian Academy 81-40 in the Quarter-Finals and Forsyth Country Day 67-64 in the Semi-Finals.
Charlotte Christian defeated Ravenscroft to advance to the Championship Game.
Austin Rivers: Winter Park defeated Edgewater 70-59 in the Florida 6A Regional Semi-Finals. Edgewater employed a Box and 1 defense designed to stop Austin Rivers and held him to 11 points but it wasn’t enough to stop the Wildcats from advancing to the Regional Finals. Brett Comer stepped up and scored 23 points. Here is some game video.
In the Quarter-Finals, Rivers scored 41 points in front of a crowd of 1,200 fans including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as Winter Park defeated Winter Springs 83-60.
J.P. Tokoto: Menomonee Falls completed the regular season 14-0 in the Greater Metro Conference with an 80-64 defeat of Brookfield Central on Thursday February 25. J.P. Tokoto scored 23 points.
Menomonee Falls defeated Wauwatosa East 67-46 as Tokoto scored a game-high 18 points. The win clinched the Greater Metro Conference title and earned the Indians’ a first round bye in the upcoming state tournament. Menomonee Falls is the #2 seed in Sectional #5.
On Monday, February 22, Tokoto scored 27 points as Menomonee Falls defeated Homestead 74-71.
Finally, here is an article from the Raleigh News & Observer on Kendall Marshall that I’m including in this update in the spirit of the great Chinese Philosopher Sun Tzu whose sage advice was to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Taking into account all the Larry Drew II rumors about a possible transfer, Marshall could be given the keys to Roy Williams’ broken down jalopy as a freshman.
This edition of High School Hoops 2010 includes a Holiday Tournament action wrap up and coverage of teams recommencing their normal game schedules. There are updates on committed Duke players Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston, and Kyrie Irving as well as information on prospects Roscoe Smith, Austin Rivers, and J.P. Tokoto. [private]
Kyrie Irving: St. Patrick traveled to beautiful sunny San Diego (I love that city) to participate in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic and Irving came away as the Most Valuable Player as St. Patrick won the National Division with a 66 – 43 victory over Newark Memorial (CA).
In earlier games, the Celtics defeated Ironwood Ridge (AZ) 83 – 35 and Centennial (CA).
This ESPN article has been linked on message boards all over the Internet so most everyone has already seen it but here it is again for anyone who hasn’t already read this exciting statement:
“Irving will be the best point guard prospect heading to Duke since Jason Williams laced them up for the Blue Devils.”
How sweet does that sound?
Josh Hairston: On Saturday evening, Montrose Christian defeated St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes 79 – 50. There is no news on individual performances prior to Blue Devil Nation going to press with this article, but there is a great post from Studlee10 on the Premium Message Board describing the action.
Tyler Thornton: Gonzaga defeated Rice (N.Y.) 67 – 55. Rice was coming off their 55 – 54 Championship performance over Kinston at the GSK Invitational. Gonzaga defeated Kinston 84 – 64 in Honolulu on December 22.
Roscoe Smith: Oak Hill Academy traveled to Portland to compete at the Les Schwab Invitational. In their first game, Smith recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds as Oak Hill defeated Sunset 94 – 66.
Oak Hill took care of Oregon City 80 – 67 in the second round. Smith was limited to six points and three rebounds in the game.
In the semi-finals, Smith recorded his second double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds as Oak Hill defeated Westview 72 – 58.
Westchester (CA) defeated Oak Hill 52 – 47 in the Championship Game. Smith finished with six points and seven rebounds.
Austin Rivers: Winter Park traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to participate in the T-Mobile Invitational. In the first round, Butler (AL) defeated Winter Park 60 – 58. In the consolation game, Winter Park defeated Kentwood (WA) 72- 52. Kentwood is Josh Smith’s school, but Smith did not participate due to being injured.
Winter Park is sitting at the top of the Orlando Sentinel’s Super 16 rankings.
J.P. Tokoto: It was a rough two days for Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee. On day one, Menomonee Falls fell to Arrowhead 67 – 66 in overtime, and on day two, they fell to Catholic Memorial 68 – 63. Tokoto delivered a good individual stat line in both games but he struggled from the free throw line.
Against Catholic Memorial, Tokoto scored 23 points with 17 rebounds, three blocked shots, and five steals, but went 3 – 11 from the free throw line. In the overtime loss to Arrowhead, Tokoto scored 18 points.
Menomonee Falls is now 6-3 on the season with J.P. Tokoto averaging 18.2 points per game.
BDN Premium caught up with future Blue Devil Josh Hairston who discussed his season to date with Montrose Christian, his improvement and some of the hot names in recruiting of late like Terrence Ross . He touches on playing with Kyrie Irving and Andre Dawkins as well in an in depth audio interview. This [private] interview was conducted after I covered the Tournament of Champions event in a bit of a cramped situation, thus the tint like sound on my end. Regardless, I think you'll agree that Josh is comfortable in answering questions in that BDN has covered him from when Duke first started recruiting him. Let me know how you like actually hearing Josh for this is a first for us passing it own as it happened. Happy New Year! [/private]
As many of you are aware, the Duke Men's Basketball staff has been very active on the road of late, but they will now take a break to spend time with their families. Just about all of the Blue Devils players are at home with their families for the Holiday season. We will be covering a few kids live after Christmas and I will have more on that later. Let's just say that BDN will be back in the groove in a major way in the coming year and our coverage will be better than ever.
Many of you have asked if there is anything new going on and the answer is [private] not much. We'll start with Austin Rivers who you can see on ESPNU tonight against one of the best teams in the country. Rivers dropped 45 points and, as we told you months ago now, he will concentrate on his high school season. Rivers continues to say he is a Florida Gator, and that is technically true. However, Rivers is quick to tell you that Duke is recruiting him and that he likes the fact that Coach K has taken an interest in him. Rivers will take a visit to Duke this season after the new year if all works out. I continue to feel very good about Duke's chances of landing Rivers - far too many reasons to list, but it's not over until it's over. The Rivers family will watch and see how UF and Duke fare this season and see how Austin fits in. It's no secret that Rivers has stayed in close touch with Kyrie and Andre among others. Krzyzewski loves what Rivers brings to the table and he has been front and center for Rivers games since the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Krzyzewski and Collins attended Rivers' game last week. The staff will follow him closely, staying in touch as often as the NCAA rules allow. This one will go to Spring or after the season.
As many of you know, one of my pet peeves is the unsubstantiated rumors that make message boards go crazy. It's one of the reasons I spend little time on my own board these days. The latest one says that Duke has stopped recruiting Roscoe Smith, which is false. I have been telling you for a good while that Duke has been trying to arrange an on-campus visit and that remains true today. UConn is the chief competition and probably the leader at this time. It's been hard for Duke to proceed, for they need to make sure Smith can qualify. There is no secret that it is easier to qualify for UConn than Duke. My understanding is that Krzyzewski likes Smith's potential and he did catch one of his games over the break. So, there is a wait and see approach with concerns to Smith and the picture should become clear in the next month or two. Nobody would have put Smith and Duke together early last summer, but Nate James hit the road running and developed a good relationship with the prospect.
Rocky Mount's Tashawn Mabry and his family sat behind the Duke bench for a game recently and Duke is in the evaluation or get to know stage with Mabry. I was scheduled to check him out during the Glaxo Tournament, but Rocky Mount could not work out the logistics to be there. Mabry was one of the most underrated players in the country but his star is rising this season.
One thing to keep in mind is that Duke will be careful who they offer and they will not just throw one out there for anyone who they don't think can contribute. I must admit that project players like Boateng or Czyz rarely work out, for the learning curve is behind other kids. Duke has, however, had success with role player types going all the way back to Brian Davis and Marty Clark for but two examples.
Brace yourself for a ride with two prospects. Quincy Miller attended the Duke Elite Camp and he, indeed, likes the Devils as does a key member of his family. Miller is a good interview in person and he has a great personality, but the recruiting game seems to get fun for these kids as they go along and anything they say until they are a rising senior should be taken with a grain of salt. The longer this one goes on, the more familiar it will seem, meaning a little stress. Still, Duke is right there for Miller at this time and there is a strong foundation with concerns to relations with the coaching staff. I will be catching one of Miller's games soon and we will eventually talk with him.
Then there is JP Tokoto who loved the Duke Elite Camp but he grew up a UNC fan. Tokoto sent signals that he may commit early, but that changed in a matter of days and he is now scheduled to visit UNC for the Duke game. The Heels are coming on strong and will offer him as a junior. Whether Duke decides to look elsewhere or pull back remains to be seen. But they will surely send some feelers out there to gauge his interest. If he is like PJ Hairston and the debacle Harrison Barnes, maybe Duke should broaden their options. It's hard to imagine Duke wanting to go down to the wire again while other talented kids might be a better option. Tokoto's stepfather likes Duke, but he also likes UNC. This one promises to be, as I mentioned, stressful over time.
Duke has been keeping tabs on Trey Ziegler for a long time now and they are still checking him out, seeing him play recently. There haven't been enough developments to take this much further at this time.
Duke will continue to watch Marshall Plumlee and Christ School as the new year comes in as well.
As for Brad Beal, he just had his mind set on Florida and he was simply unable to make visits due to family reasons. As things started looking good with Rivers, Duke pulled back on the reins with the talented Beal.
Let's talk about Olek Czyz for a minute. The transfer is on good terms and he has already talked with Nevada but is looking elsewhere. Czyz was rated in the top twenty players in his class by Clark Francis in perhaps one of the clearest cases of gurus rating players too high after a single AAU event. Czyz, always a dunking machine, simply never got the rest of his game together. He worked hard over the summer, but when given a chance he would miss assignments, causing a chink in the armor when he was on the court. Duke will not miss Czyz and to make a lot out of the transfers of late is overreacting a bit. Many never consider that kids may struggle in the classroom as well as the hardwood. In short, Czyz leaves in good standing and simply wants to go to a school where he can start. We wish him luck.
The staff is happy with this year's team and feel like they are in a good place for this time of the season. Duke is now ranked seventh in both polls and their team defense has been a pleasant surprise. Look for Duke to continue to play the bigs that produce while on the court. Expect more development with Mason in the new year and Kelly has positioned himself with hard work to contribute more. Duke is looking for consistency down low.
If Jon Scheyer continues his play he will push for not only All ACC honors but ACC POY and maybe even All American. The staff is not worried about him wearing down, saying he is young and in the best shape of his life.
Some good news is that at this time the Duke feels Kyle Singler will return for his senior season. Singler is enjoying the college life and it may be in his best interest to return in what could be a magical senior campaign.
Back to future Dukies, the staff is pleased with the development of Josh Hairston who is going against tougher comp this season. The same holds true for Tyler Thornton. We'll check in with both of these guys after Christmas and or the holidays.
Nate James checked out 7-1 Aziz Ndiaye JUCO from Southern Idaho. Word is that this kid is a beast. He also took in Carrick Felix, a 6-6 swing who is swift afoot.
When there is some real news or changes I will let you know without you having to ask daily if anything is different. We'll talk to the kids and bring you our famous interviews, but until there are legitimate developments BDN decided not to bug these kids until after the holidays. After all, they are all playing in tournaments galore and no matter what site you visit, they are saying nothing you haven't heard here a long time ago. Sometimes, things are just a little slow and we have been facing that after Barnes' recruitment. So hang in there and you will see what separates us from the rest as time goes on. You have to keep in mind that Duke is in the midst of the season and sometimes it's good to enjoy the current team instead of always worrying about the future. Okay, I will admit that only works for a awhile Happy Holidays to the Blue Devil Nation! [/private]