HAMPTON - BDN is in Hampton, Virginia to cover the Nike EYBL Session I, formerly known as the Boo Williams Invitational, this weekend where the nation's top prospects have gathered to kick off the grass roots season.
There has already been an upset on day one where Each One Teach One, led by Austin Rivers, defeated powerful Team Final, which features Michael Gilchrist and Rakeem Christmas.
Each One Teach One got off to a good start despite Rivers starting the game 2 for 10 from the field. Rivers ended the game with 15 points and his play helped lead his team to the 76-64 upset victory.
Rivers was swarmed by the media after the game where mainly UNC sites were asking the questions. BDN has that whole interview for you as well as another one when the rest of the media was not around. Those interviews will appear shortly for members of Blue Devil Nation Premium.
We talked to prospect Tyler Adams as well along with Justin Anderson on day one of the event. We'll be reporting from the camp this weekend and it is loaded with talent.
In the nightcap, future Duke star Michael Gbinije went 6 of 10 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw stripe for a total of 17 points to go with 2 rebounds and 3 steals. His team won easily and you will also hear from him in the coming days.
So, it's a great time to join Blue Devil Nation Premium where you'll get full site access and the skinny on the real Duke prospects.
The Duke Men's Basketball staff has been very busy during the most recent open recruiting period and they hope that the hard work pays off by months end. This should prove to be an eventful week for Duke in that they have in homes and official visits in place.
Let's start out talking about Austin Rivers. As some of you may know by now, Rivers had a great visit, so much so that many feel Duke made more than just a good impression. It's up to Rivers now [private] in that he must first de-commit from Florida before Duke can actively recruit him. The Duke staff told Rivers and his Mom to go home and discuss the matter with Doc. There is a lot going on behind the scenes these days in Florida and Donovan is learning that building on those two titles is not so easy. It is not out of the realm of thinking to see that a player sees how the Gators treated Jai Lucas and that they are still going after Brandon Knight. So, all eyes are now on the Rivers camp to see when they make an announcement. Rivers is a Duke player through and through and he got along with the players very well during his visit. We'll have more on this hot issue later.
Duke has cooled on the aforementioned Knight, only because Kyrie Irving is their first choice and they feel very good about the New Jersey native becoming one of their own. Coach K and Chris Collins will be in Jersey today to visit with Irving and he will then visit Duke. I think Irving will be a Dukie, it's just a matter of time. Irving fits the Duke system well and the team has defined his role already.
Duke is taking no breaks with Harrison Barnes. In fact, Coach K and Wojo visited Barnes during an open gym in Ames yesterday. The Blue Devils are in very good shape with Barnes and in my opinion are the leader for his services. UNC came in hard but they were late in doing so. While I am not counting them out, I think the visit is more than wearing off. The Heels gave it their best shot and followed up with a Roy Williams visit, but they now realize it is going to be tough to swoop him away and they are running out of bullets. Barnes is still considering Kansas and Oklahoma.
The Blue Devils had their in home visits with Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton on Sunday as we mentioned earlier.
Not much out there on Roscoe Smith due to trying to get in touch with him at Oak Hill Academy. Here is the deal, Nate James visited Roscoe at his school this past week. Duke is working on setting up an in home with his parents and that will likely take place in the next couple of weeks.
In the class of 2011, Duke has seen Quincy Miller,Marshall Plumlee, Brad Beal, Adonis Thomas, Michael Gilchrist and Trevor Cooney during this open period.
Duke took in2012 prospect Amile Jefferson, and JP Tokoto has also been seen this month. So needless to say, the Duke staff has been working their butts off.
Here is a list of standing offers - Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight and Roscoe Smith from 2010. Quincy Miller, Marshall Plumlee, Brad Beal and soon to be Michael Gilchrist in 2011. In 2012, only JP Tokoto has been offered. [/private]
ORLANDO - The super showcase is underway and the nations top college coaches fill the gyms as a multitude of teams take to the hardwood. The vast majority of the games are on the property of Disney Wide World of Sports. One facility features six games going on at the same time, the other, four. The best thing is that you can troll around the top and see all the action and clear netted partitions allows you to see scores on all the courts.
The top performance I saw today was Austin Rivers nailing seven three-pointers on his way to 30 points, leading his team to an easy win. Each One Teach One, being a local Florida team, drew a good crowd, but all of the games were well attended. Where else can you sit and see All Ohio Red, Team Final and Albany City Rocks in action at one time?
Speaking of Team Final, a bevy of coaches from schools like Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Texas and many others turned out to see a loaded team. Michael Gilchrist, of course, was a main attraction and he didn't disappoint, scoring in many different ways on his way to 23 points.
But who was the Duke staff watching? Well, [private] Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins watched Albany City Rocks in the morning game. Collins watched CP-3 and PJ Hairston before heading out to a local high school to see Brad Beal. In fact, he watched Beal after the Albany City game and, make no mistake, the word is that Duke is very much in the race and he will not announce early as has been reported. In fact, Beal will likely attend the Duke Elite Camp in August.
Collins also took in Kyrie Irving twice today, but the Roadrunners struggled to a total of 39 points in their first game. Irving scored 19 points under my watch, but I counted 6 turnovers. It's clear to me that Kyrie Irving is a top Duke target if not the top one with concerns to point guards.
Roshown McLeod looked a little weird in Indiana Red as he stayed close to Tom Crean. We chatted with Ro, more on that later. Also, rumbling of Josh Selby leaning towards Kentucky seem legit, but expect to wait for things to cool down a bit. FWIW, only Duke and Kentucky watched Irving in the game I saw, and they will be at all of his games in the coming week.
Coach Krzyzewski will roll into town on Monday after his duties with Team USA on Sunday. Wojo should be present as well. UNC was reperesented by Joe Halliday and everywhere you turned you rubbed elbows with coaches. Lots of rumors floating around about Will Barton, and Austin Rivers was seen chatting with PJ Hairston.
Anyhow, just settling in and will be on the scene for the next five days. I will chime in when time allows on the message board, but the first day is getting to know the lay of the land so to speak. [/private]
Michael Gilchrist is a ridiculously talented fifteen year old prospect who could already compete at the college level. Every AAU event I go to, he seems to be hitting buzzer beating half court shots or dominating guys two years older and ranked at the top of their class. The hype surrounding this young fellow is still gaining steam and there is no doubt that he is the best player in his class and that his future looks blindingly bright. BDN caught up with Gilchrist and learned more about how his camp will be handling the process in the future.
I know it's tough after a loss like that for you guys don't lose many?
What did coach tell you about the next time, just bring it?
Yeah, umh, just give it your all. That's it, just give it your all. (BDN covers the AAU in Las Vegas starting tomorrow, join the best Duke recruiting subscription now and you won't miss a beat.) [private]
(Other site) What schools are you hearing from now?
(Other site) What schools are you hearing from?
(That's when his mom stepped in saying, "We're not going to talk about schools right now. It's very early in the process for him." She seemed upset at the sudden abruptness of the question of schools from a member of another site. Hey, tone and easing in is important with these kids. The question about schools was asked in a not so friendly authoritative business like manner)
So, it is going to go down until the end?
(Mom again. " We have no idea, it's a family decision and we're just going to keep it close to our family. There is too much in the media about the schools and his selection. We are going to let him take his time and it's his life and his decision. That's what me and Dad have decided so that's the way it is going to be."
As a family are you feeling the pressure from all of the hype?
(Mom - "We don't feel any pressure, because me and Dad are driving this bus. Michael is fifteen he is having a good time, that's all." She then took a step back as the Nike reps eyes were wide from surprise at how she bristled.) I then felt as if I would try to close out the interview in some way other than walking off.)
Michael, what do you feel like you can improve on in your game?
I can improve on everything. Just improve on everything.
So, at this point you just want to concentrate on your basketball and not so much the recruiting process?
Do you know where you guys are going from here?
I am going to Florida, the (AAU) nationals.
There are a lot of elite camps going on, have you been invited to any of those?
Just the skill academiess.
Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the tournament.
In closing, I got the impression that Gilchrist is a young kid who is coming to grips with the hye surrounding him. With the nations top coaches and the likes of World Wide Wes watching your every move, it has to be daunting. Gilchrist seemed shy and uncertain with his answers, but his mom did allude to the fact he is just fifteen years old and that is something we all need to remember.
Michael is destined to be a special player. In fact, Coach K feels he is the best player in all of high school basketball at this early age. Duke knows that it will be a battle royall for his service, but they made sure that their presence was at the forefront in his games. The Blue Devils do have Gilchrist on their radar and contacts have been made. [/private]
Team Final won the 2009 Tournament of Champions by defeating CP-3 All Stars 72-64. CP-3 came back from an early deficit when Michael Gilchrist got into foul trouble. Gilchrist scored 22 points and Dion Waiters with 27 proved too much in the end. Waiters was named MVP. UNC bound Reggie Bullock was held to 5 points, while PJ Hairston led CP-3 with 15. We will have complete reports from this game along with interviews this coming week.
Gilchrist is a fifteen year old sensation with a bright future. He plays his high school ball for St. Patricks. Playaz BBall Club beat Long Island Lightening 56-52 in the title game for U-16. Dream Vision topped Indiana Elite 80-64 for the U-15.