Tag Archives: Kansas

Al Freeman says Duke has showed interest but Kansas and Villanova are his leaders

 

Al Freeman - BDN Photo

The Duke Basketball program puts out a lot of feelers and they are currently evaluating a lot of players.  Al Freeman (6-4 SG, Olympic HS in Charlotte, N.C.) is one of the highest rated guards in the class of 2013 and he said his coach recently heard from Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins, UCLA and  Ohio State.  He recently trimmed his list to Kansas and Villanova but said he would still entertaina  school that is the right fit.  Freeman scored but a single point in his opening game which caused one veteran analyst to say he was the most disappointing player he viewed in the morning session, but he bounced back with 19 in the next game and averaged 9.0 during the Carolina Challenge event which features the top players in the state of North Carolina.  BDN Premium caught up with Freeman and got his thoughts on the process.

How are you liking the camp thus far?

I love this camp, it’s my third year here.  I got here a little late but just went right in and played in the first game.

If somebody had yet to see you play, how would you describe your game to them if asked?

A big combo guard who looks for his shots as well as teammates and loves to win.

Do you pattern your game or try to emulate [private] anybody on the court?

Deron Williams

What is going on with you and the recruiting process or where do you stand at this time?

I cut it down to Villanova and Kansas.

Is that the only two schools that have come in or that you have settled on?

Ohio State and UCLA jumped in and Duke is starting to show interest.  Collins expressed interest to my AAU coach.

Do you have any interest in Duke?

Yeah, I have interest in Duke.

Villanova develops players and their guards specifically, they have a great coaching staff that really cares about their players.  The same goes from Kansas and they get guys to buy into what they do.

What are you looking for in a program?

Just a program that allows their guards to be guards.  I don’t want to go to a program that makes you a one or two guard.

So are you willing to let other schools in?

Uhm, only if it’s the right fit.

With a program coming in a little late like say Duke, does that have a negative effect?

Naw, everybody has their way of recruiting, each school handles it differently.

Will you take all of your allotted official visits?

I don’t know yet, it’s hard to say.

Is their a timeline for a decision?

No, not really.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the process.

My take - Duke is in with a lot of shooting guards and may feel a late push for Freeman is more time consuming than it is worth.  While he is truly a good prospect, everybody felt he was overrated nationally with concern to guru types except those who gave him such a lofty ranking.  He’s a strong guard who plays aggressive defense and he’s not a great athlete but a pretty good one.  He got past defenders at this level but made a myriad of mistakes in his first outing be it a 5 second count, bad passes or turnover.  However, he bounced back nicely in his second outing where his shot dropped and that energized him a bit.  He needs better shot selection and he is IMO a borderline Top 25 player.  I would be surprised if Duke elects to pursue him with current events but wanted to get to know him as a prospect.   More to come. [/private]

 

Bilal Marshall was the first 2012 QB with a Duke offer and remains a top target

Duke is a finalist for elusive dual-threat QB Bilal Marshall

Bilal Marshall was the first 2012 QB with a Duke offer and remains a top target

Yesterday, BDN featured an interview with new Duke QB target Thomas Sirk, more of a traditional pro-style quarterback prospect with a 6’5” frame. Historically, Head Coach David Cutcliffe has had great success with quarterbacks from this mold, with Peyton and Eli Manning serving as exhibits A and B. Given recent trends in the game of college football and the success Duke had in 2010 with freshman Brandon Connette, the Duke staff would love to add a dual-threat quarterback to the class of 2012. Recent players like Cam Newton at Auburn and Darron Thomas at Oregon have been elite program-changers, and the Blue Devils have targeted a dual-threat prospect from Florida in hopes of similar success. At 6’3” and 170 pounds, Bilal Marshall, has an agile frame and a natural athleticism that makes him the elusive playmaker Duke needs. Duke was among the first to offer Marshall early in 2011, and have remained aggressive in their pursuit of the Dade Christian star throughout the spring and summer. After a dozen scholarship offers, Marshall has landed on four top schools, and the Blue Devils have made the cut. BDN first spoke with Bilal back in February, and recently caught up with the talented athlete after his trip to Durham. [private]

 

BDN: I know your recruitment has really picked up since we last spoke; how many offers are you up to now?

Right now I’m at 12 offers from several schools such as Wake Forest, Duke, Kansas, Purdue, Boston College, Tulane, Northwestern, FIU, Rutgers, and a couple more I can’t think of right now.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit this summer?

This past weekend I was just at Wake Forest and Duke.

BDN: How did those visits go for you?

It went great, I got a great feel for the city and the coaches. It was a great thing.

BDN: What other visits do you have planned?

Towards the end of July, I’m going to be taking a trip to Purdue and Kansas to see what I can find out there.

BDN: Where would you say you are in your recruiting process?

I’m pretty much towards the end, I’ve narrowed it down to those four schools right now.

BDN: So you’ve narrowed it down to Wake Forest, Duke, Purdue, and Kansas? And are all four schools recruiting you as a quarterback?

Yes. And yes.

BDN: In addition to your visits in July, what else do you have planned for the summer?

Just footwork, that’s basically it, just getting stronger each day and working on my feet.

BDN: What are your plans for narrowing things down and making your decision?

Yes, I’m going to take my officials in the fall to get a football game aspect of it, to see how the atmosphere is during the game, what it’s like if I were to play football at those schools and then after that I’ll make my decision.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Bilal and best of luck to you.

Alright, I appreciate it.

[/private]

 

Duke has offered top Miami CB Larry Hope

Miami CB Larry Hope plans to visit all schools that have offered this summer

Duke has offered top Miami CB Larry Hope

While Duke worked hard to improve their defense on the field this spring, the coaching staff is also working hard to upgrade the defense with a talented group of prospects in the class of 2012. The Duke staff has targeted an elite group of defensive backs who already have received verbal scholarship offers from the Blue Devils, among several other top programs. The Blue Devils added a quality cornerback from Florida in the class of 2011 in Tim Burton, and hope to do the same in the class of 2012. One of the most recent prospects to pick up a verbal scholarship offer is Larry Hope, a 5’11” 167 pound prospect from Miami, Florida.

BDN: Can you start off by describing your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?

Well, I think, college coaches say they like about me is that I’m the best man-to-man coverage player that they’ve seen. I’m good for my height, I’m a very big player, strong and physical, and very fast. When it comes down to shutting down a receiver, I think I’m the guy. But I like my actions to speak for themselves.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on this offseason?

I’m working on getting stronger. I’m in the weight room every single day, even on weekdays, weekends I’m outside trying to get faster. We’re trying to get faster and stronger.

BDN: What are some of your goals for yourself and your team in your senior season?

As a team, I want to come together and bond so we can have a better year than last year and hopefully make it to the playoffs. Me, I just want to do what I’ve been doing, come out there and play my role as I’ve been doing.

BDN: As you look at your college decision, what are the most important factors you are looking for in a school?

I’m looking for a family bond and someone that can help me become a better player for the next level, because that’s what everybody wants to do. But I’m looking for a family bond, someone that’s like a father figure at college, and most of the colleges that I’ve been talking to that have offered me, has been that. They call me, I call them, and we talk on a daily basis, get that family bond. They mostly are defensive back coaches, and mostly played DB at the next level, so that’s what I’m looking for.

BDN: Which schools have you in contact with the most, and which schools have extended verbal offers?

I have seven offers from Wisconsin, Buffalo, Nebraska, USF, Louisville, Duke, and Kansas. West Virginia and Miami, Florida State, and Florida, they all want to come to my spring practice – Ole Miss and North Carolina are all coming to my spring practice, sometime around the first of May or the first week in May.

BDN: Have you had a chance to take any visits this spring?

In the summer I plan on visiting all the colleges that have offered me. When it comes to visits, so far I’ve visited Miami, Florida State, and Florida, and USF and UCF, and that’s it.

BDN: Have any schools impressed you or surprised you at this point in the process, either on your visits or your contact with coaches?

Well, no, all the colleges that have offered me are trying to impress me, so not yet.

BDN: Do you have an idea for how or when you would like to narrow your list of schools down and ultimately make a decision?

Me and my dad are weighing my options and just sitting back and relaxing. We’re trying to gain that bond, if I feel like I’m comfortable with a school, there’s no time limit on when I’ll decide.

BDN: Is there anything else you think is important for college football fans to know about you?

I feel like I’m more loyal to football now. Everything revolves around football and I’m working harder than I’ve ever been working, and I like what I’ve been seeing and I’m going to keep putting more into my craft.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Larry, and best of luck to you.

Alright, thanks a lot.