BDN Premium caught up with Josh Smith (6-9 Kentwood HS, Covington, WA) after he tossed in 36 points in Seattle Rotary Select’s opening night win at the Boo Williams Invitational. Discuss this interview on our private message board.
Wow! Thirty six points, game winning shot in the opener, what’s up with that?
Aw, I man (smiling) … it felt good. I started out feeling good and kept on pushing it inside. We had a little jet lag in the first half but we kind of woke up. [private]
Is this your first AAU Tournament on the east coast?
Not my first on the east coast, but my first time here.
So, where have you been on the east coast with concerns to AAU ball?
New York, Cincinnati.
Who is recruiting you?
Well, everybody is recruiting me right now, but I don’t have a list.
I am sure you have heard this question before, but is there any truth that it is down to UCLA and Washington for your services?
That’s not true. I am not necessarily staying on the west coast. If I do, I do. I’m not totally sold on the west coast despite what people are saying. It’s where ever I feel comfortable, east coast or west coast.
Which schools stay on you the hardest?
All the PAC-10 schools, Texas, Louisville, Carolina, Duke.
When is the last time Carolina or Duke got in touch with you?
They send me letters all the time. They call my Dad. Coach K and my coach are real close so … my high school coach and they talk a lot.
When is the last time you talked with coaches from Duke or UNC?
It’s been a while.
So, you are still open to Duke or UNC?
Three words which best describe you as a person -
Calm, determined and funny.
How did you feel after hitting that winning shot?
It felt good. I felt kind of nervous because I was going to go up and dunk, but my knee gave way and I got the lay up.
I will elaborate more on Josh and Duke on the message board. This is an interview to get the ball rolling. [/private]
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.
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.
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]
Mason Plumlee scored 19 points as Christ School won their third straight NCISAA Championship with a 62-54 victory over Ryan Kelly and Ravenscroft.
Plumlee and Kelly led their teams to the championship game. On Thursday, in the quarterfinals, Kelly scored 20 points as Ravenscroft defeated Wesleyan Christian Academy 59-36. Plumlee recorded a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds as Christ School defeated Charlotte Latin School 44-31.
In the semi-finals, Kelly recorded a 24 points and 12 rebounds double-double as Ravenscroft defeated Greensboro Day 57-45. Kelly also had five blocks in the contest. Mason Plumlee blocked eight shots and dished out five assists as Christ School defeated Charlotte Christian 59-47.
Andre Dawkins recorded his 2,000th career point as Atlantic Shores improved to 28-1 by defeating Denbigh Baptist 73-21 in the Metro Conference quarterfinals on Thursday. Dawkins scored 17 points in the game. In the semi-finals on Friday, Dawkins scored 30 points as Atlantic Shores defeated Hampton Christian 89-42.
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points as Ames Little Cyclones defeated Des Moines Lincoln 73-46 in sub-state semi-final action on Friday night.
Eric Bledsoe scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists as Parker High School defeated LeFlore 52-39 in the Alabama 5A state semi-finals. The Championship Game is currently underway in Birmingham.
Josh Smith scored 18 points in a losing effort as Kentridge defeated Kentwood 51-41 in the West Central 4A District tournament. Smith averaged 24.3 points per game for Kentwood this season.
This edition of High School Hoops begins by looking at the Class of 2009 commitments. Ryan Kelly scored 22 points and recorded three blocked shots as Ravenscroft defeated Durham Academy 94-43 on Friday night. On Tuesday, Kelly scored 23 points in a 69-54 win over Cary Academy. Ravenscroft hosts John Wall and Word of God on Wednesday, February 4.
Mason Plumlee scored 16 points on Friday night as Christ School defeated Asheville Christian Academy 84-59. Tony Kimbro added 12 points and Marshall Plumlee recorded five blocked shots. On Tuesday, Mason Plumlee scored 14 points in a 69-29 blowout of Carolina Day School.
Moving to the Class of 2010 commitments, Andre Dawkins scored 30 points in the first half on Tuesday evening in a 98-46 victory. Dawkins made six 3-pointers in the game. On Friday night, Atlantic Shores defeated Isle of Wright 62-45 with Dawkins scoring 20 points.
Tyler Thornton scored 11 points as Gonzaga defeated St. John’s 66-52 in our nation’s Capital on Friday night. Thornton missed a couple of free ones and was 1-for-3 from the charity stripe.
Moving on to recruiting prospects, Josh Smith scored a career high 43 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, and blocked seven shots in leading Kentwood to a 62-60 victory over Kentridge, in the Les Schwab Kent Shootout, on Friday night. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the full game details posted as does the Seattle Times. Smith is on a scoring rampage in recent games. He scored 40 points, on Tuesday, as Kentwood defeated Jefferson 56-45. Kentwood lead 39-38 at the end of the 3rd Quarter and outscored Jefferson 17-7 in the final period.
Harrison Barnes recorded a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds as Ames defeated Southeast Polk 72-43. On Friday night, Ames took to the road and defeated West Des Moines Valley 63-40. Barnes scored 18 points in the victory.
Brandon Knight scored 47 points as Pine Crest defeated North Broward Prep 89-63. Knight made six 3-point shots in the game. As of Tuesday, January 27, Knight was averaging 30.3 points per game and had made 75 3-point shots in 19 games. He is also making over 78 percent of his free throw attempts.
Brandon Knight scored 17 points, on Thursday, as Pine Crest dominated Chaminade-Madonna 68-32. On Tuesday, Knight made six three pointers and exploded for 37 points in a 79-48 victory over Coral Springs Charter. Knight will be facing off against Kenny Boynton for the second time this season on January 31st. The Sun-Sentinel has a game preview posted. Knight scored 35 points as Pine Crest defeated American Heritage earlier this season.
Atlantic Shores defeated StoneBridge 78-43 on Saturday night with Andre Dawkins’ 24 points leading the way. Dawkins scored 21 points on Thursday in a 68-52 win over Benedictine, and 16 points in a 73-36 defeat of Williamsburg Christ on Tuesday evening.
The Washington Post has an article posted on the Gonzaga – DeMatha game. Tyler Thornton scored 14 points as Gonzaga won 86-76. Of note, Gonzaga was 21/21 from the free throw line with Thornton going 4/4. Thornton scored 18 points and was 9/10 from the free throw line, on Friday night, as Gonzaga defeated Good Counsel 73-56.
Josh Smith scored 29 points on 14-of-19 shooting but #2 Kentwood fell to Kentridge 67-58. The game is the second story in this Seattle Times article. The lead story is about #1 Garfield losing to Foss. Garfield features Tony Wroten Jr. who did not play due to a sprained ankle. Earlier in the week, Smith scored 15 points and 39 points in two Kentwood victories. Smith is averaging 25.5 points per game.
Ryan Kelly followed up his career high 47 point performance by leading Ravenscroft to two victories on Thursday and Friday. Kelly scored 20 points and secured eight rebounds in the first victory, while scoring 21 points with eight rebounds in the second game.
Christ School dropped their second game of the season with a 64-60 loss to Princeton High School of Cincinnati on Saturday. Mason Plumlee scored 12 points. Plumlee scored 20 points and Tony Kimbro added 13 in a 68-66 win over New American of New York on Friday night. Both games were part of the Laurel County Hoop Fest in Kentucky.
Harrison Barnes scored 19 points as Ames defeated Mason City 86-63 on Saturday night. The game was tight early with Mason City having a five point lead in the second quarter before Ames pulled ahead to lead 44-41 at the half. The Ames Tribune has a game recap posted.
Josh Smith had a big week on the hardwood out West as he led Kentwood to three victories scoring 19, 33, and 25 points in the games. Smith continues to be the leading scorer in the South Puget Sound League 4A Conference at 24.9 points-per-game.
On Saturday evening, Smith scored 25 points as Kentwood defeated Federal Way 52 – 50. On Thursday, Smith scored 33 points as Kentwood defeated Kent Meridian 57 – 53, and on Tuesday, Smith scored 19 points in a 60 – 29 blowout of Tahoma. Kentwood opened the game with an 18 – 0 run and never looked back.
Moving to the Midwest, Harrison Barnes scored 13 and 26 points in two Ames victories. Barnes’ 13 points came in a 70 – 35 rout, while his 26 points came in a 22 point 81 – 59 victory on Friday night. Ames is now 10 – 0 on the season.
Andre Dawkins scored 26 points with 15 coming in the second quater as Atlantic Shores defeated Norfolk Collegiate 71 – 55. Dawkins made four three pointers in the contest.