Tag Archives: Kyrie Irving

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]

Getting to know Kyrie Irving – in depth interview with the rising star

Andrew Slater is at it again, this time bringing BDN Premium members an in depth interview with hot prospect Kyrie Irving.  Join now to see what you are missing! 

Kyrie Irving is a 6'2" guard for St. Patrick's of Elizabeth, New Jersey, having transferred in from the more gentrified Montclair Kimberley Academy after his sophomore season. Kyrie's father, Drederick, played for the Boston University

Big time prospect, Kyrie Irving
Big time prospect, Kyrie Irving

Terriers in the mid-1980s. Mr. Irving, a Bronx native, left BU as its all-time leading scorer after losing to the Duke Blue Devils in the 1988 NCAA Tournament by a final score of 85-69.  He has since been inducted into the Boston University Hall of Fame and is currently the second highest scorer in Terrier history.

Over the past week, Kyrie has led his Celtics to impressive wins over previously undefeated and nationally second-ranked St. Benedict's of Newark, NJ, 88-62 and the USA Today's tenth best "East" squad, Pennsbury of Fairless Hills, PA, 39-35.  He spoke with Blue Devil Nation after both wins.  The first portion of the interview was done in the hallway to the Rutgers locker room following the Celtics biggest win of the season, while the second half took place at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ after a win in which Kyrie Irving was named Most Outstanding Player for the victors.

Blue Devil Nation: What schools are recruiting you? [private]

Kyrie Irving: I can't give you specific names, but it's like UConn, West Virginia, St. John's, Rutgers, Seton Hall. It's the majority of the Big East and most of the ACC and Memphis.

BDN: Do you have any sort of timeline for when you'd like to decide by?

KI: I think I'm going to decide probably after this AAU season...Probably around August, you know.  The main thing I'm looking for in college is just "a home away from home."

BDN: Have you been on or do you plan on doing any unofficial visits?

KI: I'm going to Notre Dame in the spring and I'm not sure past then, but I'm not taking any...I went to Memphis in October and Indiana in November.  They were both great schools.  When I went to Memphis, I went around with Jeff Robinson (who has since transferred to Seton Hall University).  He took me around and it was just great.  Then, I went to Indiana.  I stayed around with Devan Dumes (suspended indefinitely on Saturday by Coach Crean).  I met with the academic dean. I met with the coaches. It was just great at both colleges.

BDN: What position are most colleges recruiting you for?

KI: Most of the colleges are recruiting me for a combo guard.

Blue Devil Nation: Can you talk about the transition from Montclair Kimberley Academy to St. Patrick's?

Kyrie Irving: Well, just the pace and our defense leads to our offense. The way we play defense is just...it's just totally different from the league that I played in at Montclair Kimberley.  This was my first big game

BDN: Sure, sure

KI: ...playing against St. Benedict's at the RAC (Rutgers Athletic Center). It was just a great experience. It's just totally different.  All of these people were here to watch a high school game. It's just very rare.  Let alone to be playing in a college gym and for all of these people to show up. It was just a great experience tonight.

BDN: How about the competition in practice?

KI: The competition has been great.  Me and Dexter go at it every day...trying to make each other better everyday.  You know we practice really hard. That's the main thing.

BDN: What are some things that you've learned from Dexter Strickland (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Paris Bennett (George Mason)?

KI: They've tried to teach me how to be a leader and how to be a leader by example vocally.

BDN: How about the transition in school, socially, etc.?

KI: It's been great. I came by here last year. Everybody's friendly. We have a lot of different cultures at St. Patrick's.  It's been good to meet a lot of different people.

Blue Devil Nation: Your father, Drederick (pronounced "Dedrick"), was a very successful player at Boston University.  That's obviously a different experience than the average kid in America.  How do you think that differentiates you in any way or has influenced your playing?

Kyrie Irving: My dad just taught me to be unique.  You know be my own player and, you know, just be a good leader on and off of the court and to just be a good citizen...but, you know, on the basketball court, it's war out there.  Just have heart and play the game.

BDN: What AAU team will you be playing for this year?

KI: The New Jersey Roadrunners.

BDN: What's your current height and weight?

KI: 6'2," 175

Blue Devil Nation: What players do you try to emulate your game after?

Kyrie Irving: Probably...I like Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant.

BDN: Who's the toughest player you've ever gone against?

KI: Probably Dexter (laughs).

Blue Devil Nation: What would you like the audience to know about you as a person?

Kyrie Irving: That I'm not just an offensive player.  You know I play defense also.

BDN: I'm sorry I actually meant about you as a person away from the court. Outside of basketball...I mean that's fine too, but..

KI: Oh, okay.  Well, a lot of people don't know, but I take writing seriously.  In college, I'm going to major in journalism.  I made my mind up about that.  That's certainly something most people don't know.

BDN: That's interesting. So you're gonna take away Kevin's job. (Kevin Armstrong, a writer for Sports Illustrated, was standing next to us.)

KI: (Laughs) Yep, yep

Blue Devil Nation: What's your feeling about Duke, both as a program and as a university as well?

Kyrie Irving: Duke? It's doesn't get better than Duke. Duke, it's just way up there.  Even the title itself is just a household name.  I've talked to Coach Collins a lot and they've talked to my Dad too.  You know they just want me to come in and make a contribution.

Blue Devil Nation: What's your opinion, from afar, of Coach Krzyzewski?

Kyrie Irving: Oh, he's a great coach. He's probably like the number...well, I mean I was watching him on the USA team over the summer.  Personally, I think he's just the best coach.

Blue Devil Nation: Whenever you do decide on a college, what are the most important factors that will go into your decision?

Kyrie Irving: Oh, well, a "home away from home" and, you know, socially and academically I want to be set for life.  My dad always talks to the coaches and he tells them that, you know, when I sign with a college, I'm not singing with them for four years, but over sixty years.

Blue Devil Nation: I like that perspective. Lou Holtz allegedly said something very similar, but said forty years.

Kyrie Irving: Yeah, yeah. That's what I'm basically signing with a college for...a place that can put me ahead in basketball and also academically.

BDN: Who will be the people that you turn to when you ultimately decide on a college?

KI: My father definitely. My father and my uncle are going to help me with my decision.

Blue Devil Nation: What was your reaction when you saw that Coach Boyle said, "Kyrie Irving, when it's all said and done, he will arguably be as good as any guard who's played in New Jersey," Boyle said. "Any guard.  Ever.  Ever.  DaJuan Wagner, Bobby Hurley.  You're talking about a guy who's a great shooter, a great finisher, he's going to be as good as anybody who's played in New Jersey."?  It must've felt good, but were you surprised?

Kyrie Irving: It felt good, but, yeah, I was surprised definitely.  At the same time, I've got to remain humble.  That's a statement I want to live up to, but also I still want to maintain the progress I'm making right now as a student, as a person, and as an athlete.

BDN: What style of play appeals to you?

KI: I definitely like fast-paced...just up-and-down

BDN: As opposed to today (combined score was fourteen points less than St. Patrick's scored in their win over previously undefeated St. Benedict's)

KI: Yeah, it was just a half-court game today, but I can play both styles.  I'm comfortable either way.

Blue Devil Nation: What do you think is your greatest strength right now?

Kyrie Irving: Probably just leading by example and pushing the ball every time I get it.

Blue Devil Nation: How about your shooting?

Kyrie Irving: Oh, yeah.  That's the part of my game that, when I was younger, I was known as a shooter, but I wanted to expand my game.

BDN: What would you like to improve upon most before arriving on your college campus?

KI: Developing as a leader.  Paris, Dean, and Dexter will be gone next year so.  I am in development right now in order to take over as captain.

Blue Devil Nation: You mentioned before that schools were recruiting you as a combo guard.  What position will you be playing next year and what do you feel is your natural position?

Kyrie Irving: Schools are recruiting me mostly as a combo guard.  My natural position is as a one. I played that all my life, but, you know, as I got older, I grew and then some people moved me over to the two and I became a scorer and it just went from there.

BDN: Speaking of growth spurts, how tall are you projected to grow to?

KI: 6'4 ½." My dad is 6'4." My mom was like 5'11" so..


(Another person interjects)

Other Person: Do you want to play at BU?

KI: Me and my dad joke about it, but, no, really I don't think I'm going to Boston University.  I want to follow in his footsteps, but just not there. I want to make my own path.

OP: Do you have a favorite school?

KI: No, not really

OP: You just want to go to a major school.

KI: No, not necessarily a major school.  Just a place where the coaches are great. The family relationship with the coaches is great.  Everything is just about, you know, timing.

OP: Are you looking to go to a school with a good basketball tradition like North Carolina or Indiana...a school that's known for, you know, producing great basketball players?  Is that all your thinking about or what's the deal with that?

KI: Just a school that's right for me. It doesn't have to the North Carolinas or one of those major schools.  Just a school that I can go in and make a quick contribution and hopefully produce me to the next level.

BDN: How are your grades?

KI: I've got a 3.5.

 Blue Devil Nation:  You mentioned quite a few schools the other day.  Which ones have offered you?

KI:  Yeah, all of them have.

Blue Devil Nation: Is there any one or two that are currently more aggressive?

KI: Well, they're really all mostly aggressive right now.  I can't think of any one or two off of the top of my head right now.

Blue Devil Nation: What camps will you be going to?

Kyrie Irving: I probably won't know until right after the season or towards the end of the season.

Blue Devil Nation: How would assess your handle and your defense right now?

Kyrie Irving: Sometimes, I'll have one or two turnovers, but that doesn't usually occur. I just have to tighten that up a little bit. On defense, I think I'm doing fine right now.  You know KB (Coach Kevin Boyle) keeps saying I'm playing very good, intense defense right now so I'm just trying to contribute on the offensive and defensive side.

Blue Devil Nation: Lastly, someone wanted to know about the NJ Roadrunners. Who are they sponsored by?  Are they independent?

Kyrie Irving: They're actually sponsored by Protégé by Al Harrington (a former St. Patrick's player and Roadrunner as well as current NY Knick), but I don't wear them. [/private]