Tag Archives: Julius Randle

ShabazzMuhammad-220x300

Big night for Duke prospects at City of Palms

The Holiday tournaments are in full swing from now until the new year and Blue Devil Nation Premium is representing.  While I was covering the Blue Devils win over UNC-Greensboro laast evening, our newest deep south correspondent, Travis Boyd, was in Florida for the City of Plams event.  We were simaltanously tweeting for BDN loves being in two places at once and on the scene of all things Duke.

Most of the information goes to BDN Premium, like our latest interview with Ricardo Gathers but here is a breakdown of last evenings action in the sunshine state -

Two of Duke’s primary targets for 2012 and 2013 went off for big games tonight.  Both played with a chip on their shoulder and were competitive with each other from the opening tip.  Shabazz Muhammad faced off againat Julius Randle as Prestonwood took on Bishop Gorman.  The entire Kentucky staff was in attendance for the game as were assistants from UConn, Michigan., Ohio State and Georgetown.

Randle was in aggressive mode hollering “all day” and “get off me” every time he would make a move to the basket.  Muhammad woke up in the 2nd half, 4th quarter especially.  He finished the game with 42 points and 5 rebounds and scored in every way imaginable, be it put-backs, big time dunks, jumpers, floaters, and hook shots.  There is nothing Muhammad can’t do on the offensive end.

Randle had an all around solid game with 26pts 10rbs and 5ast.  Randle showed a much imporoved handle in this game and is developing a scary good jump shot off an at times dizzying crossover.  As he displayed Saturday also, his ability to pass is far beyond other bigs in high school.  He wowed the crowd by running the fast break a few times. Simply said, these prospects can play at another level that most.

In the end, Prestonwood scorec a big 72-63 win.  The action continues today and live updates will be on the BDN Premium Members Message Board as they happen.  Also coming are more interviews with key Duke prospects and talk of the national scene.  Worth noting is the fact that another prospect, Jabari Parker went for a school record 40 points and 15 rebounds last evening.

So take advantage of our 20% off on a yearly rate which is our lowest price ever through Christmas and stay informed!  At 80 bucks for the entire year and full site access, we are talking 22 cents a day here for some of the best information available and as always it’s way ahead of the curve.  Team BDN has assembled a very talented and in the know staff and we’re ready to take you into the new year with us, so get off the fence and join today!

Key Duke prospect Jabari Parker - BDN Premium 1271 word recruting update posted.

Duke Basketball Recruiting Update – Coaches are working the trail hard this month

Key Duke prospect Jabari Parker - BDN Premium 1271 word recruting update posted.

The Holiday season is upon us and that means Duke Basketball plays just a couple of December games, but make no mistake, it is still a busy time.  The Duke Men’s Basketball staff will put in their frequent flyer miles and burn a little rubber as they hit the recruiting trail and BDN Premium brings you an update on the latest news.

Coach Krzyzewski and assistant coach Jeff Capel will be in Dallas, Texas today to watch Julius Randle, the nations #2 ranked player in the class of 2012.  Duke will also see (1271 word update ahead for BDN Premium members) [private] Matt Jones, the shooting guard who just pledged to the Blue Devils.  There is no mistaking the fact that Duke hopes Jones will help recruit the banging horse, Randle.  And Rasheed Sulaimon may help there as well.  As I have said in past updates, the Blue Devils covet Randle and think they can get him and Jabari Parker and that would be just magical for the fan base.

Speaking of Jabari Parker, the top rated player in his class that is now being compared to Kobe Bryant by some, the staff will watch him in Fayetteville this weekend.  I have long maintained that I feel Duke is in incredibly good shape here and that they were in on Parker very early and have developed great relationships with the family.  Duke will also take in the Beach Ball Classis in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they’ll see him again at the end of this month.  Parker will have his parents in tow this weekend and probably Myrtle Beach as well.

And speaking of the the Beach Ball Classic, one of two top recruits left for this season at this time, Tony Parker will be there.  Duke continues to get good vibes from his camp, especially his parents who I have said for a long time now favor Duke.  Parker is a stressful prospect for Duke fans in that the Blue Devils really need him and or have a place for him.  I was the first to tell you that the December date was sketchy and that you cannot really go on what Parker says he’ll do.  And that means the old line, don’t listen to what he says, but watch what he does.  Parker is enjoying the process, a bit too much for most Duke fans taste for it makes little sense he would choose any situation but Duke for numerous reasons.  Of course, they have on royal blue glasses as well but even the objective observer sees the best spot for him is in Durham.  I still think he will end upo taking this until summer – late summer, so try and keep your composure and not go bad mouthing him in forums which could possibly damage the teams efforts.

Tyus Jones is a mature PG and leader - BDN Photo

We cannot leave out the top rated player in this seasons class, Shabazz Muhammad who will also be in Myrtle Beach.  UCLA, once considered a strong leader is now third in my opinion and as I said a bit back, it will come down to Duke and Kentucky.  His decision could hinge on Austin Rivers decision to go pro or stay at Duke, so this one as I have said all along will go to the podium the last day or so of the signing period in late summer.  And it doesn’t hurt to dream and think that both Parker and Bazz might choose Duke taking all of the build up stress away and making us all five years younger in the process.  Muhammad could really flourish in the Duke system where I feel he would be more of a go-to guy than he would be at Kentucky.

Another Chicago are kid has caught the Blue Devils eye as well.  Jalhill Okafor is a bruising type in the class of 2014 and stands 6-10 and weighs in at 280.  Duke has mad in roads with him and they’ll see him this weekend along with Jabari Parker.  I am looking forward to reporting on his game as I focus in on him solely  for the first time.  He plays AAU ball for the Mac Irwin Fire and they at times have so many good players, that it is hard to focus in on one early in the circuit season.

Two players that will play at the former Glaxo event in Raleigh will be Rasheed Sulaimon, already signed with Duke and young Theo Pinson.  Sulaimon will thrill the crowd for sure with his water bug like movement.  He glides around the court with high energy and his on ball defense is much improved, making me think he can be a stopper at Duke.  Our diary session kind of imploded due to his schedule, but he has said he will pick it up soon.  Pinson is another 2014 kid that liked Duke growing up.  He is an interesting wing that still seems to be growing at 6-5 and will likely be a small forward type in college, but he has good guard skills as well and like all Duke prospects, he has great character.  Okay, I know what you are thinking about that statement, but be nice as I said up top, LOL.

Juilus Randle is a true banger in the paint.

The City of Palms, Texas, Vegas …. the Blue Devils staff will be seeing a lot of kids this month.  Some of those will be individual visits to the likes of Tyus Jones and Austin Nichols.  The Blue Devils fell in love with Jones last year and I had already been there in that he always stood out to me.  During my last interview with Jones, I came away very impressed at his grounded maturity which is far ahead of his years.  And that kind of maturity is what you seek in a point guard.  Duke will be on this kid hard as will everybody else int he nation, but early returns are that he likes Coach K and Duke a lot.  Austin Nichols is a 6-8 slender forward approaching 200 pounds that the Devils staff will check out individually.  A lot of SEC schools are on the Tennessee native and a few from the Big East along with Butler.  Nichols caught the Blue Devils eye but it is early on this one, so we’ll call it an on going evaluation.

On the team front, Coach K is very pleased with the 9-1 start to the season and the staff will take measures to try an assure there is no burnout from the added stress of the China trip.  There are a few nagging injuries (nothing major) but I only speak of them when announced and the team rarely does this.  The staff will be watching a lot of film, so expect a few new wrinkles as the new year moves in.  As I said, the plan is to redshirt Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee and this will be a good thing down the road for these will be seasoned and mature freshman.  And yes, I played a bit of a game in mentioning lineup changes the other week and many got a chuckle out of other sites running with it in public.  It pays to know Duke Basketball, wink-wink and to be a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium.  Thanks for being a member guys and let’s go Duke!

Talk about this article on the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board, a part of your membership package and please do not share, copy and past this information per user agreement. There will be more news to follow in an addendum I will add to this update and we’ll be on prospect hard.  This is where you will get an idea of what Blue Devil Nation Premium is all about. [/private]

Duke Basketball Recruiting Updates

Duke hopes to have Matt Jones and Julius Randle come to Countdown to Craziness

The Duke University Men’s Basketball staff has been and is currently still on the recruiting trail and there are lots of updates on Blue Devil Nation Premium, our subscription based service.  Come on inside and discuss the latest happenings and be made well aware who is receiving those visits and how they are going.  It’s a great time to join BDN Premium! We want you to be a part of the most Dukecentric subscription site on the planet.  And not to worry, we will still have plenty of free stuff for all!  Go Duke!

Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Update – BDN has the skinny

BDN’s team and recruiting updates have been a hit and the format is now being copied by others, but there is nothing like the original.  We are currently running a special for first time members.  A yearly membership can be had for $85.00, a 15.00 savings.  Our 6 month and 3 month options have been reduced as well and we now offer a monthly rate.  Okay, on to our latest update -

With the Duke Basketball team in China, recruiting has temporarily taken a backseat, but that doesn’t mean the Blue Devils haven’t been active.  With concern to 2012, the picture is quite clear in that Duke has focused in on the players they covet.  BDN Premium takes a look at those targets and gives you an idea of how their recruitment will proceed.

As I have stated before, Duke will ride the Shabazz Muhammad train until the very end.  He visited UCLA recently and our belief is that it is now a [private]two team race between the favored Bruins and the Blue Devils.  I am sure he’ll mention Kentucky and UNLV as well once a decison is made.  No timeline has been set but it wouldn’t surprise us if he made a decision sooner rather than later.  We are hoping for later for that favors Duke and their effort to get another visit.  With a player of Muhammad’s stature, you keep your name in the hat and hope for the best.

Stud big man Mitch McGary recently trimmed his list of schools and Duke made the cut.  Duke feels like they’ve developed a good relationship with his parents and that is always a positive.  This one will be quite a battle down the stretch but the Blue Devils are sure to get a visit before anything else happens.  I think this one will go on for a bit.

I was disappointed in the knee jerk reaction that some Duke fans had with the recent Alex Poythress situation, but both parties have overcome any misunderstanding.  Don’t get me started on fan interactions on Twitter …  Poythress is down to Duke and Vanderbilt in my opinion and a visit is in the works when the Blue Devils return.  If a team sneaks in, it’ll be Kentucky where he is visiting this weekend. Poythress is thrilled by the offer and I think we have a very good shot at landing him.  There is some ground to be made up but Duke is quite a name and playing for Coach K is an honor,

In regards to Perry Ellis, well, Duke never offered him but he continued to list them.  Duke was okay with that and he was a fall back option but he probably wondered where the interest was and dropped Duke.  Ellis never played well in front of Krzyzewski and I think they feel Poythress is more athletic.  They think a lot of Ellis but Duke is going to take their chances with the big four in 2012.

That brings us to Tony Parker.  Who knows what Tony will do.  I don’t think he knows what he will do.  His parents want Duke and he wants Memphis and he seemingly may have fallen for all the anti Duke rhetoric.  At the same time, it would be ill advised for Duke to jump ship and the aforementioned knee jerk reactions by fans would work against efforts.  Duke will see if Tony comes around and there is a chance.  You have to remember, Duke has been on his list from the very start and they have been mentioned in his top three with Ohio State and the Tigers.

In an ideal world, Duke would likely settle on McGary and Shabazz and wrap it up.  But they will take any combination of the guys I have listed and all of the players I have mentioned want to visit Duke.  The Blue Devils will set their strategy for visits upon their return form China and Dubai.

The offer to Bronson Koenig caught many off guard.  The bottom line is that  Coach K liked him and thinks he is a winner and a combo guard.  Yeah, I know his team didn’t win a game when Andrew watched, but who can argue with Coach?  I mean look how Rasheed Sulaimon and Michael Gbinije blew up after Duke got their verbal.  Wisconsin leads for Koenig but Duke is working on a visit and feel they can make up ground.

How will the offer to Koenig effect Matt Jones?  Duke sees Jones as wing-three point specialist.  It helps that he can drive the ball but he still needs work on getting his shot off in traffic.  Duke is losing Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry, so these two shooters firepower would be welcomed in 2013.  Jones will visit Countdown to Craziness and Duke expects the list to grow as the event nears.

Duke will stick with Jabari Parker in a big way and I still think they have a fantastic shot of landing this all around phenom.  The Blue Devils will look to Julius Randle as well but depending on who they end up with in 2012 could change this.  We mentioned a lot of other guys in our last update and very little has changed.  I can tell you that a lot of 2013 kids impressed the staff during the open period.

When the team hits the court in China, all the guys will get some serious minutes.  The hope is that the cream will rise to the top.  Duke will also name their captains after the trip and my thinking is that it will come from Curry, Kelly and a Plumlee.  For the record, Curry is more vocal and outgoing in interviews and he talking more on the court as well.  BDN will talk with some of the players via Skype [phone], so we’ll have those updates coming.   Members can discuss this update on our premium message board.  Remember, registration is separate for the board.  Once you have registered and we confirm your payment you’ll be approved.[/private]

Prince Ibeh: A Prince By Any Other Name

Prince Ibeh BDN/Andrew Slater Photo

Three years after trying organized basketball for the first time, 6’11″ Prince Ibeh played in a very lightly attended AAU evening game on the outskirts of Las Vegas. There were sixteen coaches in attendance, however, including three Duke coaches: Mike Krzyzewski, Jeff Capel, and Steve Wojciechowski. Ibeh, who wields a 7’4″ wingspan, has landed on the radars of high-major programs like Texas, Florida, Maryland, and Vanderbilt by possessing a tantalizing mix of size, athleticism, and upside.

For the majority of this AAU season, the 2012 prospect has been the defensive stalwart and veteran presence on a young Texas Titans team, where Ibeh, who has added more than twenty pounds of muscle, was a teammate of both Dallas-area Duke 2013 recruits Julius Randle and Matt Jones. The Garland, Texas product’s performance at the Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy earned him an invitation to Akron’s LeBron James Skills Academy. His length, lateral quickness, and quick-twitch second jump has made him into one of the better shot-blockers among the rising seniors.

Recently, he spoke with Blue Devil Nation about Duke’s recent interest, his unique first name, playing with Randle, and the keys to being a good shot-blocker.

For those that may only recently have seen you play, touch on your growth as a player over the past few years?
Yeah, a couple of years ago, I was pretty bad. (laughs) I was just starting and I guess I just got used to my body. I practiced a lot more and things started to fall into place.

In terms of your offensive growth or progression, where do you view it now and how far do you feel that you have to go? Where do you think it needs to be?
I think it needs to get a lot better, but it’s actually improved a lot.

Yeah, I think that your comfort level on offense and filling out your body have been the two biggest things that you’ve improved on since last year.
Yeah, absolutely.

With respect to recruiting, what schools are after you right now?
Duke, Texas, Florida, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Maryland, and then Baylor and a couple of other schools.

[private]

You must be, at least, a pretty good student.
Yeah, I am.

What was it like playing with Randle and Jones earlier? You were sort of their man in the middle to sweep up any mistakes.
Oh, it was good, but I didn’t have like any offensive sets on that team. (laughs) So, it was really just a defensive role, but it was nice playing with them.

You get a lot more touches on this team?
Yeah, but I knew what I was getting in to… (laughs)

What are your strengths and weakness right now?
My strengths are rebounding and blocking shots…pretty much defense.

Well, what do you feel are some areas for improvement?
Yeah, I really need to improve my shooting…my free throw shooting.
Well, you hit the one you took in this game.
(Laughs) Yeah, I was glad I made that one.

Do you view yourself more as a four or five?
A four.

Can you tell the audience a little bit about yourself away from the court? Well, first of all, how did you get that name?

Prince?
Yeah.
My mom thought I was going to be a girl and so she was going to name me “Princess,” (laughs) but I ended up a boy and, so, I’ve tried to make the most of it. (laughs)
Sure, that wasn’t exactly the answer I was expecting (laughs). Back to telling the audience a bit about yourself away from the court…
Yeah, I’m pretty laid-back. I just like to hang out with friends and listen to music. That’s pretty much it.

Okay, by the way, in terms of distance, will that be a big factor for you? It seems like you’ve got schools all around the country, but I had heard that you might want to stay near your family in Texas.
No, it won’t be much of a problem.

With respect to your timeline, do you still view this as early in the process for you? Late? I had heard you’d like to sign in the early period.
Yeah, I want to decide sometime in November.
You want to take some visits?
Yeah, definitely.

Have you taken any unofficial visits recently and do you have any planned?
No, I haven’t taken any that I’d call very recently and I don’t plan on taking any more unofficial visits. I think I’m just going to take my official visits.

Who will you turn to for guidance, whenever you do sit down and decide?
Coach (Lawrence) Mann, who’s my AAU coach, and my high school coach, Coach (Jeff) Clarkson

What are you looking for ideally, whenever you do decide?
A good coaching staff and a good opportunity to play…things like that

How long have you been playing basketball and what other sports have you played through your life?
I used to play mostly football. That was basically all I played, until my freshman year. My freshman year was when I started playing basketball.
So, it is true that you’ve really only been playing basketball for about three years.
Yeah, for better or worse, I’ve only been playing since my freshman year.
Any chance of seeing you at wide receiver or defensive end?
(laughs) Yeah, well, I used to actually play both wide receiver and defensive end.

How long did it take you to adjust to a new team?
The Titans?
Yes.
Sure, it didn’t take too long. I kind of understood right when I got there that they already had a system and how they were going to do things. I didn’t need much time.

Are you a Mavericks fan? How did you feel about them winning the title?
Oh, I hate the Mavericks. (laughs)

(laughs) I’m trying here. You’re sort of known as a defensive and rebounding specialist. Who’s been the toughest guy for you to defend?
There isn’t one guy that comes to the top of my head, but Julius (Randle) probably would’ve been.
Yeah, I was going to ask you about the best teammate that you’ve had, but I guess Julius would be your answer.
Sure, that would definitely be Julius.

What are some of your goals for the high school season, both individually and as a team?
Oh, well, for the team, we want to win the state championship this coming year.
You guys didn’t make it quite as far as you wanted to this year.
Yeah, definitely, we lost in the second round of the playoffs, but I think we’ll do a lot better this year.

In terms of Duke specifically, what do you know about the program and who has contacted you from their staff?
Coach Capel has called me. I don’t know too much about the program, but I know that it’s a good program.

What do you feel are the keys to being a good shot-blocker? Timing? Positioning?
Yeah, timing and positioning…oh, and athleticism, I guess.
Well, you sent one shot into the third row in this game.
(laughs)

Rather than necessarily having a player that you model your game after, who’s your favorite player right now?
Oh, definitely Kevin Durant.

Where do you prefer to catch the ball on offense?
In the high post..
Sort of around the foul line extended, where you were catching the ball a lot in this game and against the zone
Yeah, that’s right.

Does playing in front of college coaches have affect your play at all? Does it change your emotions at all?
It makes it a lot more frustrating when you make a mistake. It magnifies things, but I think it also makes people or, at least, me play harder and more consistently.

Do you think it affects players or teammates in general?
Yeah, I think it does affect them, but some just don’t want to admit it or say that it changes them a bit.

How do you feel that you’ve played throughout the AAU season, both here and with the Titans?
I feel like I’ve played pretty good overall. I feel like I’ve grown and contributed. I would’ve liked to have scored with the ball a little bit more, but things happen.

Staying with that and we touched on it before, but where would you like to be offensively by the time that you reach college? Where do you view as the area that you can improve most rapidly before college? Low-post play? Improving your shooting from the outside?
Yeah, I think improving my low-post play and developing more low-post moves in general. It would help make it tougher on defenders, I think.

Do you work on that often? What’s your schedule typically like? How much time do you put into improving yourself on the court?
Yeah, I try. I work out about three times a week. Um, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
With a trainer or by yourself? How does that work?
Sometimes by my self.

Alright, well, thank you very much, Prince.
Thank you very much.[/private]

Duke Basketball Team & Recruiting Update – A Crystal Clear Picture

The Dynamic duo of Matthew Jones and Julius Randle srike a pose for BDN - BDN Photo Do you want an accurate take on Duke Basketball Recruiting? Well, join BDN Premium and we'll give you a crystal clear picture.

BDN’s Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates have set the standard among the sites and sure enough, this concept is now being copied.  We’ll take that as a compliment but when push comes to shove, it is all about the content and we’ll stack ours against anybody.  Here at BDN, our staff is in the trenches at AAU events.  That means our members are getting live streams of information as it happens, making our site well ahead of the curve.

We can lay claim to the fact that we cover more major recruiting events in person than any other site and that has been a running thing for several years now.  We don’t send “stringers,” with limited knowledge of the subject matter to do our work, nor do we sit back and depend on national network guys to do our job for us.  Seriously, do you not want first hand observations from an accomplished staff that has seen the prospects play multiple times?  No knocks here on the National guys in that many are our friends, but their sole focus is certainly not on Duke prospects nor is it a priority to cover them.  There are no smoke and mirrors tactics at BDN folks, nope, we are straightforward and honest when it comes to our coverage and we take pride in that.

If you have yet to try BDN Premium, you don’t know what you’re  missing of late and with some exciting changes on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to check us out.  Our staff is hard working, dedicated and hands on in everything we do.  In our current update we lay out a clear picture of the staff’s efforts.  And before we get on with our update where lots is happening, take a look at how much content we’ve pumped out recently which includes: Two interviews with both Tony Parker and Matt Jones to go with individual interviews with Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Jahill Okafor, Rasheed Sulaimon and much, much more.  Just today, recruiting analyst Andrew Slater goes in depth with Mitch McGary and we have content laying in wait this week. And our interviews have meat to them in that we don’t lure you in with a premium article featuring a couple of quotes via texting.  Anyhow, let’s move on to another informative and detailed (2521 word) update on the Duke Basketball recruiting scene where we paint a crystal clear picture for our members.  Trust me in that you will absolutely love our update, so if you want to find out where the coaches will be going, who is really on the radar and such, we have the answers for you.  And if you are not satisfied, we’ll refund you within the first 24 hours of joining.

The picture is now crystal clear with concern to 2012 and beyond.  Duke will stick with Tony Parker until his decision is made.  Coach Krzyzewski sat front and center for many of Parker’s games and the big man [private] knew it, cutting his eyes towards the man while playing.  Parker has been a bit up and down with his comments of late but my belief is that Duke is in better shape than anyone else for Tony.  His parents love Duke and if they had their way, this one would be over from what I’ve heard from legitimate sources.  The Parkers sat directly behind the bench this weekend and they certainly saw the Blue Devils’ keen interest.  Duke has been faithful to Tony and his verbal could set other things in motion.  Coach K loves his hands and footwork and wants him to anchor the paint in Durham.  The Blue Devils have made Tony priority 1 on their 2012 wish list.

And if Parker is priority 1-A, then Mitch McGary is 1-B, or you can reverse the order if you’d like.  Duke will go hard after McGary and they feel they have a great chance at the tenacious big.  Sources are now saying McGary may pull the trigger before his high school season and if that is indeed the case, look for a whirlwind of activity in the coming months.  It is safe to say McGary will be visiting Duke and the Blue Devils will be in home with him when the time comes, but that will not happen until the team returns from their venture to China and Dubai.

The Blue Devils were most impressed with Matt Jones and he gained an offer after his play this past weekend.  Of course, as members, you all saw this one coming.  Jones glowed beyond belief when talking of Duke and you will see those videos this week.  We spoke to Jones the other night but kept it short.  He told BDN that he was on cloud nine after Coach K called and that he could certainly see himself there.  He was very excited that Duke moved in and it is fair to say that they went to the top of his list.  Jones has shown steady improvement in his game and he can slash through the lanes and has an outstanding outside shot.  He is a good on-ball defender as well and he sent a game to overtime with a defensive stop in front of Krzyzewski as time ran out.  The only knock I witnessed is that he at times has trouble shaking free for his shot.  He is a great character kid as well and BDN got his AAU coach’s thoughts on that, which is another feature you can look forward to.

His teammate, the hulking Julius Randle, also has an offer and Duke feels they are in good shape there as well.  Jeff Capel has certainly been a help in this one and the thought of a package deal with Jones is most appealing.  But make no mistake about it, Duke loves Matthew Jones as a stand alone player.  Randle was called the best player in the nation on the night he dominated the Memphis front court by someone close to the situation that watched him play.  That was a bit cryptic but easy enough for you to figure out on your own.  Randle was like a bull in a China shop and it is clear that he will not back down from anyone.  I caught several of his games and was most impressed by his enormous upside.  He is a true power player that may or may not fit should Duke get Tony Parker.

The Bull - BDN Photo

And then there is another 2013 product named Jabari Parker.  What a humble superstar he is and you’ll see this on coming videos as well.  Parker likes Duke a lot … a whole lot and the Duke coaches like him a lot, a whole helluva lot.  They are in great early shape with Parker and this one might end in the spring of next year at the latest.  Parker will make an unofficial visit to Durham in due time and we’ll have more on that as it develops.  While UNC and others are on him, Duke has been from the start and that will IMO pay dividends down the road.  Parker is smooth and versatile and at times cannot be stopped.  He is part of the spectacular trio joining Randle and Noel as the best of the best in 2013.

One thing many seemingly fail to see is that Duke has a great jump on 2013 for a reason.  The Duke staff will be tied up with Team USA duties next summer limiting their time on the recruiting trail.  That especially holds true for Krzyzewski and that is why he was so hands-on this past week with the class.  The three aforementioned 2013 players are clearly at the top of the wish list but more names are in the works, specifically Nerlens Noel.  This defensive demon we coined the “Sultan of Swat,” is a most interesting talent and game changer.  Then there is the “Nerlens Noel effect,” which causes players to alter shots for Noel is an absolute terror when it comes to blocking shots.  By the  end of the EYBL he was in every prospect’s head and it doesn’t matter who he is guarding.  In short, he inflicts pain on guys the same age, younger and/or older.  When I joked with Noel about the fact he didn’t send out invitations to his “Block Party,” he loved it.  Form that point on, Noel really opened up to me.  Make no mistake, everybody is on Noel, so Duke will have their hands full as will every other team that vies for his services.  I love me some Nerlens and so does Grant Hill, for he is making his fade rise on the cover of the 1991 Sports Illustrated stylish again;) A side note is that Grant Hill will go along on the China trip and he will be helping to teach the “Duke culture” to newcomers.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones, LJ Rose and Rodeny Purvis strike a pose for BDN

Some have attempted to hang me out to dry with a comment on Rodney Purvis which was misquoted, but that is something I am used to from another Duke site.  This time they made sure my name was in the head of a post.  I never intended certain things to go public but when users break the agreement upon signing up all I can do is boot them.  Purvis flat out wants to come in and play right away but Duke has a bevy of wings on the roster and in the works.  Purvis wanted to hang with Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and LJ Rose this weekend and he is seemingly upset at, well, everything that is said these days.  The mere fact that Duke did not watch him is telling and I can tell you without revealing sources close to the situation that Purvis is no longer an option.  Of course, we were the first to say that in a private forum and now all but one site is on the bandwagon.  I think the offer to Jones may have made him see the light and/or the writing on the wall.  Purvis is a good kid, but his emotion concerns me as does his behavior when he is not on the court.  Would Duke take him if he called and wanted to come?   Make no mistake, Purvis has talent and he is a good kid, so I am in no way beating him down, but he is no Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving.

We have to watch how we mention prospects around here and even where we’ll be going on the recruiting trail in that it tips off others.  Just this week nobody was on Nerlens Noel until we were seen talking to him.  Yes, people pay close attention to everything we do at events.  It frustrates us at times but what can you do?  All I can say is pay close attention to when information is printed and as a member sit back and know that you were aware of it beforehand.  Noel is sure to pick up an offer soon.

Rasheed Sulaimon played very well at the EYBL finals as well although he saved his worst game for last and a lackluster offensive performance cost him the scoring title.  Still, he finished second and he has improved immensely since a season ago;  he’s like a water bug running all over the place and locks down well on his defensive assignment.  His handle is improving as well and his offense is top shelf.  The Duke staff knew exactly what they were doing in getting this kid aboard early, a testament to Krzyzewski’s eye.  That too should excite one more with concern to Jones.

Wojo was in Wisconsin this week and Krzyzewski was as well before returning to Augusta.  Chris Collins was at home this go round but he returns in the coming week.  The addition of Jeff Capel has been a winner and this staff is, well, pretty darn good.

One kid that caught our eye during the EYBL opening session was  Tyus Jones, a 2014 PG from Minnesota who plays for the older Howard Pulley team.  Once we interviewed him, it was obvious to others he had caught the Blue Devils’ eyes.  Again, our every move is watched by others at events.  We actually interviewed Jones while at Boo, so he didn’t slip up on me at all.  In fact, he stood out and I was amazed to learn he was 2014 for his play was smooth as silk and so far ahead of those in his class.  We have a nice interview coming your way with Jones as well.  I can tell you that he has great character, confidence and his recruitment will go on for a very long time.  Still, both Andrew and myself take pride in giving you background on players Duke likes before it really gets out there.  In short, we anticipate while at the many events, as Andrew did with Jahill Okafor.  What you may not realize is how rare a good interview with Oakfor is, so pay attention to our offerings.

Duke is still keeping an eye on Alex Poythress and Perry Ellis as well.  Neither of them have an offer and both play pretty much the same position.  Duke would likely turn here if they got one of Mitch McGary and Tony Parker but the real need is bangers and not wings.  Still, keep a close eye on these guys as the recruiting evaluation period opens back up.

Just in are the players Duke will watch in Orlando for the AAU National Showcase which runs from the 23rd to the 27th.  Mitch McGary will start there and once it is over go to Kansas City.  Teammates Julius Randle and Matt Jones will be there as well along with Nerlens Noel and Theo PinsonRasheed Sulaimon will play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando which takes place after the loaded Showcase.  And Tony Parker and Alex Poythress will play in both events.  I am trying to swing this event but right now it isn’t looking good.

I am trying to rework my schedule to go to Orlando but a cash crunch may prevent that from happening.  However, Andrew is set to go to Las Vegas and you know his coverage will be top shelf.  In closing our latest update I would like to thank all of you for supporting us through membership.  We would like to give back, so here is an opportunity for you.  If you refer new members to BDN Premium, we’ll give you 15% of their membership provided you e-mail or PM us before they join.  If you have a friend join for a year, that means you get 15$ cash sent to your paypal account.  If it is for six months, you get 9$.  There is no referral granted for a one or three month membership.  This is a limited time offer.  Help us grow our community!

Thanks again for choosing Blue Devil Nation Premium and the future is looking bright around here, so stay tuned for more on that. [/private]