Tag Archives: Myck Kabongo

BDN’s Monday Musings – Recruiting, Football Wins, Praise and Injuries

A Monday Musings tradition is the Cheerleader of the Week pic - Rick Crank, BDN Photo

Good Monday morning Blue Devil Nation!  It’s the first day of November which means we are into the meat of the football schedule while basketball begins in earnest.  It’ll be a busy week ahead as recruiting heats up and Duke prepares for Virginia on the football field in Wallace Wade this Saturday and Cal Poly Pamona visits Cameron Indoor Stadium prior to that.

We’ll start with basketball recruiting for the November early signing period begins on the 10th of this month and ends on the 17th.  The news broke over the weekend that Myck Kabongo had decommitted from Texas and that Duke was on his list.  The Blue Devils will get involved but it remains to be seen how this one will play out for many reasons.  One of those reasons is Quinn Cook who holds an offer but who let North Carolina in at the midnight hour adding them to his list just yesterday.  Cook grew up a fan of the school and it is no secret that Roy Williams always seems to come in later on just about every kid the Blue Devils target.  A lot of people expected Cook to give Duke a verbal already, including me, but oh how the landscape changes quickly in the world of recruiting and Duke has positioned themselves to come away with a point guard to run alongside Austin Rivers.  Michael Gbinije, Marshall Plumlee and the aforementioned Austin Rivers are all expected to sign during the early period.  More recruiting discussion can be found if you gain full site access by joining BDN Premium and that’s how you can support the hard work of the BDN staff and this site.

I attended the Coach K Coaching Clinic this past weekend without the media hat on for I have a passion for coaching myself.  But it was hard not to come away having gleaned some key insight into the team itself and I can share with you that Miles Plumlee earned high praise from Krzyzewski for his practice of late.  In fact, he was mentioned on three occasions and that is a sign that he’ll certainly be a main cog in the lineup early on.  The key for Miles is to stay intense for Duke and he’ll once again begin the season as a sure starter.

Also mentioned was the fact that Jon Scheyer’s eye injury was not a good thing in that he has apparently lost some of the vision.  Scheyer will embark on a journey to Europe soon and we’ll of course keep tabs on him.  Meanwhile Brian Zoubek had some unfortunate luck as well and he is currently rehabbing at Duke after an operation on his back.  BDN’s wishes these national champions a speedy recovery.

Krzyzewski also spoke of “10 standards,” for this seasons team and we’ll let him share that at a later date.  We can tell you that the US team had 15 standards as well, bet here is what we’re getting to … the standards act as a contract.  This carries over into a much discussed issue of social media, namely Twitter.  During ACC Operation Basketball I spoke to Krzyzewski about the standards which he’d clarify more in recent days.  I basically said that he trusts his players in that they would not go as far as kids just down the road.  Krzyzewski doesn’t think that he should put but so many restrictions on his team so that they’ll grow in the process both on and off the court.  In short, Duke sets forth standards which players respect and adhere to and this enables Krzyzewski to trust his players judgement and that means we”ll continue to be entertained by Nolan Smith’s tweets.  And isn’t it obvious that the Duke kids have not embarrassed themselves or the school?

I personally think it is crazy to hang on every single comment from Twitter via prospects every little whim, but we do like it as a tool to further our site.  That said, join BDN Twitter for we bring you an additional game experience from press row in Cameron and Wallace Wade.  If you want constant behind the scenes tidbits then sign up now and get a unique perspective.  We carried you every step of the way to the national championship last year and we hope to do so again this season.  And we promise not to tweet what we are eating  and every little thing which is not pertinent to your fandom.

Man, did the football team need a win and the victory over Navy cured some ills getting the Blue Devils back into the win column.  One cannot help but think what if Duke had defeated Maryland and Wake Forest, two games where they outplayed their opponent for they’d be 4-4 going into the UVA game.  Still, the team has a chance to end the seasons with some positives but it’ll take consistent play.

Winning down the stretch for Cutcliffe’s troops will also be aided by another game with no turnovers.  We see what can happen when Duke protects the ball the entire game against a Navy team coming off a victory over Notre Dame.  Turnovers have doomed the Devils more often than not this season and they’ll need this to turn around against a physical Virginia team coming off a win over Miami this past week.

Lastly, thanks for your patience of late as our staff has been very busy.  We’ll get fully back into the gro this month and that means max coverage of the games on the Duke Beat along with some tweaks to the site along the way.  Also, check out our Facebook site which we have not pushed with the success of BDN Twitter for there all fans can post and or add pictures there.

Lastly, for the longest time we’ve held out from allowing advertisers on this site but that will change in the near future.  Originally, we thought we’d give you a break from those annoying ad’s which bounce off the page or force you to read them for we’re dependant on memberships to fund BDN.  For several years we chose to keep advertising off to facilitate a clean look for your viewing pleasure but the additional income will go towards site maintenance and growth.  We promise to avoid those annoying ads but will be adding some which we personally approve of.  Advertisers can contact Susan in Admin or myself for more details with your needs and at this time we still have a top banner opening.    Have a great week ahead and remember we all make up the Blue Devil Nation.

Will top prospect Myck Kabongo re-open his recruitment? Yes, he will!

Myck Kabongo is a Texas commit but many are saying he might de-commit. BDN caught up to Kabongo after hearing he might be interested in Duke and North Carolina to get his thoughts.

The following interview was originally printed for BDN Premium members in September of this year .  This article, now free to the public shows that BDN Premium had the foresight to interview a kid openly interested in Duke.  So, check out Varand’s work and see for yourself that we saw this one coming.  Join BDN Premium today for full site access and stay ahead of the cvrve.

From Toronto to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, Myck Kabongo has been showing everyone that he is one of the elite players in the 2011 class.  The 2011 prospect displays a tight handle and great court vision, often making passes through tiny windows of space.  But what people really want to know is if Kabongo will open his recruitment back up as has been rumored and you can hear what Myck has to say about the Elite 24 event and more in our third premium interview this week.

BDN: We’re here with Myck Kabongo at the Elite 24 Midnight Run. Myck how’s it feel to be selected to the Elite 24?

MK: Oh man I’m blessed and I thank god first and foremost.  You know being selected as one of the top 24 guys in the country is something that every kid that plays basketball dreams of. I’m just happy to be here and I’m excited”

BDN: That is awesome, it’s a big honor.  It’s a big event going from the East coast in Rucker Park out to the West Coast in Venice Beach. Going into the game on Saturday is there anything you want to try to do?

MK: Really it’s just about giving them a good show because that’s what they came out for, but I just want to win, I’m so competitive, and at the end of the day I hope I win. As far as showing out, I’m just gonna try and do the best that I can do and hopefully I just come out on the winning end, that’s [private] all I really care about.

BDN: Definitely. Now something that we’ve got in common, you’re from Canada, I’m from Canada.

MK: (raises the roof) woot woot!

BDN: Yea! You’re from Toronto, right? I was from Hamilton.

MK: Oh yea right around the corner.

BDN: Yea I just moved out here a few months ago and am making L.A my home. So how is the transition from basketball in Canada to the U.S?

MK: Obviously I think the athleticism. You know it’s just a whole different ball park, guys are built like men at 15-16 years old, it’s crazy! You look at my body and I’m frail, and I got a long ways to go until my body fills out. Some of these guys just fill out so early and the game is so fast.  You know, it’s like they made it a culture, it’s their life. That’s what we’re starting to do in Canada now, that’s why you see the progress we have now. I’m just excited to be a part of it really.

BDN: I saw you earlier this summer at the Pangos camp and something I noticed is you were very vocal and it really impressed me.  You probably hadn’t played with most of those guys on the same team but you had no problem being vocal with them.  Is that something you’ve learned over time or did you always have it?

MK: I really learned over time but I’ve always had it in me. You know to see me teammates succeed like me on the court; the more vocal you are the easier it will come.  Not every outcome is going to be good but the more vocal you are it helps open up things on the court, like on defense, the helps side and on offense getting everybody involved. So you know that’s something I believe every point guard deserves to have.  You got to be vocal because they look at you like the leader, so I feel like it’s my job to talk to everybody on the team and make them comfortable.

BDN: So you are committed to Texas, you have a recent Canadian who committed to Texas in Cory Joseph.  Do you guys talk about playing with each other at all?

MK: Yea we always talk about it, but yet again they (Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson) have a chance to do something special and have a chance to go to the NBA after this year given the minutes that they’ll play.  A lot is expected of them and I just hope the best for them. You know I’d love to play with them but if it doesn’t happen then you know I’ll be happy for my brothers to go to the NBA.

BDN: You’ve been committed to Texas for awhile, do you have a hypothetical list (he laughs) of schools that you’d be interested in if anything was to ever happen? 
 
MK: (laughs) Yea, yea of course. I’d look at Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky and Texas obviously. You always gotta think of them, those are the 5 teams I’ve always adored. Really, all those schools they’re all programs, they develop players and you know if anything was to ever happen like Coach Barnes left, or something crazy, or I just felt the best for me was to do that[decommit] I’d look at those schools.

BDN: Right, right.  Did you have a favorite NBA team growing up?

MK: Toronto Raptors really! (laughs) It’s right at home, I love the Raptors until the day I die. You gotta go with your hometown team, you just have to. And L.A [Lakers] is my second favorite team, so being out here I just feel like I’ve won the championship a couple months ago!

BDN: Thanks a lot for your time, Myck.

MK: No problem.

Boost Mobile Elite 24 Recap

VENICE BEACH – From the concrete jungle of New York to the sunny beaches of L.A, the Boost Mobile Elite 24 concluded the summers AAU schedule with an All-Star game in Venice Beach.  While we didn’t have Billy Hoyle and Sidney Deane running the courts, we did have the top 24 high school prospects in the nation.

The event kicked off Wednesday with a Midnight Run at the Hanger Athletic Xchange, also known as the HAX.  Starring in the game were the elite high school prospects along with some of the youngest talent the NBA has to offer.  Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans teamed up with DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Bobby Brown and recent #1 draft pick John Wall to take on the youngsters. While the game was full of crossovers and fadeaways, one in particular has gotten fans across the internet buzzing.  Austin Rivers, the 6’4 guard from Winter Park High School in Florida, crossed up recent #1 draft pick John Wall and took it straight to the basket for a lay in. Regardless of the big play, the pros dominated most of the games they played in.

The second day of the event offered a training and combine session followed by a scrimmage.  Conducting the training session was current Denver Nuggets strength and conditioning coach, Steve Hess.  Now, if you’ve never met the guy, all you need to know is he is one of the most intense people you will have ever met. While most players struggled with the core exercises, one particularly stood out, 2011 point guard Myck Kabongo.  Ending the combine session was Brandon Jennings discussing his struggles to get to where he is, as well as reminding the players to keep an open mind when it comes to signing a shoe deal. While no one completely dominated the scrimmage, there were a few standout players. 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad did show off some of his strong inside moves.  The talented wing-forward grabbed multiple rebounds inside showing off his strength, which lead to easy put backs. The other standout was 2011 Findlay Prep point guard Myck Kabongo.  Myck displayed his advanced dribbling skills and excellent court vision often making passes you wouldn’t think possible.

The third day offered the skills and dunk competition.  2011 guard Brad Beal of Chaminade College Prep School in St. Louis, Missouri, won the skills competition over Oak Hill point guard Quinn Cook. The dunk competition featured 8 contestants including Deuce Bello, Jahii Carson, Amir Garrett, Nick Johnson, LeBryan Nash, Norman Powell, Gabe York and Stephen Maxwell.  Deuce Bello edged out local prospect Stephen Maxwell in the finals, although his most impressive dunk was in the second round when he teamed up with fellow Westchester Day player, Quincy Miller. Quincy, seated under the net, bounced the ball and Bello completed a full windmill over Miller to bring the Venice Beach crowd to their feet.

Concluding the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event was the All-Star game on Saturday.  Clear and sunny skies offered the perfect weather for an outdoor basketball game.  While the crowd on Friday was much more laid-back, Saturday’s crowd created a much better atmosphere. There was a certain buzz in the air throughout the game.  The game offered a typical All-Star feel, big dunks and little to no defense, except in the final minute.  Kyle Wiltjer, who committed to Kentucky at halftime, was the games leading scorer with 20. In the end, The Raymond Lewis East Squad beat The Marques Jackson West squad 131-128.

Stay tuned for more interviews with Duke recruiting targets which will be feature this week in BDN Premium, your inside source for on the spot coverage Duke Athletics.