Plenty of prominent college coaches are showing early interest in budding young star Mickey Mitchell. The 6'7"-6'8" lefty, a member of the class of 2015, plays at Prestonwood Christian Academy of Plano, TX, and if that school sounds familiar to Duke fans, it's because he's high school teammates with key Duke target Julius Randle. Mitchell is a year older than his classmates, as the rising soph is already sixteen years old. One potential wrinkle in his recruitiment is that Mitchell is also an outstanding football player, and is going to be highly sought after as a college quarterback as well. But the basketball staffs at Duke, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas have shown early interest in Mitchell, w ho has been rebounding from a recent injury, and is still working back into his game. BDN Premium caught up with Mitchell for a one-on-one chat during the Nike Peach Jam recently, and here is that conversation. [private]
More to come! Discuss this video on the premium message board with fellow members. [/private]
Future Blue Devil Matt Jones has helped lead Team Texas to a 2-0 record thus far at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC. BDN Video caught up with him after one of his games to get his thoughts on the tournament to date.
There is always a lot happening around Duke athletics, and this coming week is no different. BDN Monday Musings takes a look around in our latest group of tidbits.
Kyrie Irving injured again
Kyrie Irving suffered an untimely injury when, during a Cavaliers practice, he hit his hand out of frustration -- breaking a bone in the hand -- and will now be out of action until the start of training camp. Irving is, of course, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year who most recently was a member of USA Basketball's NBA Select Team. Here is more on his injury. BDN wishes him a speedy recovery. For the record, according to BDN's recruiting analyst who was recently in Las Vegas watching Team USA's preparations, Kyrie's play was as good as any guard in the USA camp.
The Nike Peach Jam is upon us
One of the more popular stops on the AAU circuit is the Nike Peach Jam, which is held in North Augusta, SC, just minutes from the site of the Masters golf tournament. This event provides coaches with one of their last opportunities to scout the Nike kids. Only the top teams qualify for the tournament, which ultimately crowns the best team on the "Swoosh" circuit. In fact, the importance of the event caused several players to back out of the Nike Hoops Summit this past weekend.
Several key Duke prospects will participate in the Peach Jam, and BDN will be there to bring you all the action. Our most recent offering for premium members is a very interesting interview with big man Jahlil Okafor, who stated on record how bad his team wanted to win it. The Nike Peach Jam was one of the first events that Blue Devil Nation covered, and it's always one of my personal favorites. BDN has now been around for ten years and our message board is celebrating its 5th anniversary this season. Want more great coverage? Join today!
Team USA preps and also entertains the troops
What an exciting summer it is for Duke fans, as they get to see coach Mike Krzyzewski try to mold another gold medal-winning national team. During yesterday's practice several members of our military and their families got to watch their heroes work out at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C. “They humble us. I mean they do so much for our country and represent our flag,” said Timberwolves and Team USA forward Kevin Love. “We just go out there and play basketball. So they are the reason we have our freedom.” Team USA will take on Brazil today; here is the team's entire schedule through theLondon Olympics.
Just 47 days remain until the Duke football team kicks it off against Florida International in Wallace Wade Stadium on September 1st at 7:00 EST. There is no update on Blair Holliday, who was recently injured in a horrific boating accident. Please keep his family and Blair in your prayers. But Duke Football will have to suck it up and prepare to start practice, where they will undoubtedly be hampered by the loss of Holliday at wideout, where he was slated to start. In fact, this is the position that will be watched most closely in the pre-season by media and coaches alike.
The ACC Kickoff happens in Greensboro this coming Sunday. This event marks the unofficial media start to the season, as coaches and players meet and the pre-season projected standings and All-ACC teams are released. BDN will be there as always to bring you full coverage, including the comments of Duke Coach David Cutcliffe.
In a move designed to shed $18 million from their payroll, Elton Brand was released by the Philadelphia 76ers. But Brand was quickly picked up and signed by the Dallas Mavericks, who outbid the rest of the league for his services.
Mason Plumlee named to Honor Court
Mason Plumlee was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2011-12 Honors Court today. The Honors Court awards the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom. Plumlee, a double major in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology, also received CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America honors last season. On the court, he was named third team All-ACC while averaging 11.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Plumlee also shot 57.2% from the floor and finished the year with 12 double-doubles and a school record 60 dunks.
North Carolina Pro-Am
The N.C. Pro-Am has kicked into high gear on the campus of N.C. Central University, and more Duke players could be participating in the event this week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There really hasn't been enough play thus far to warrant us passing on our opinions of the players we've seen, but that will change in the coming weeks. There are several interviews from the event up on the site already, and even more for members on the message board.
The Georgia Stars made it to the semi finals of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam before losing to YOMCA (Memphis) 78-64. Duke prospect Tony Parker sat for much of the second half with three fouls and when he returned there was a 14 point swing and a 17 point YOMCA lead. Parker had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes of play and averaged 9.3 rebounds overall in the event. Parker has long maintained a list of Duke, Memphis and Ohio State but in our closing interview with the budding prospect he added a fourth team which caught me off guard.
In fact, [private] he said that there was another team he "wanted" to come in and that he expected them to but he stopped short of naming the school.
You guys made a good run, how do you feel the week went?
I think we played well overall as a team and Shaq Goodwin had a mismatch and he took full control, killing us on the boards and in the post and we just have to have players who play both sides of the floor and that's the bottom line.
Your team had some injuries, like Alex Poythress and another starter out, so I guess that had a dire effect?
At this point if you have an injury you have to get past it. This is the Final Four so you have got to play through it. Every player out here has some sort of kink. We just didn't play both sides of the floor and injuries? That didn't have anything to do with it at all.
Memphis doubled down on you a lot, sometime throwing Goodwin at you and sometime Stokes ...
Yeah. They are both great players and good guys. They play both sides of the floor, play strong and tough.
Where will the Stars go from here?
I think Orlando.
It sounds like you are waiting for a certain school to come in. Is that true?
So you are expecting certain schools to come in?
Have they have actually sent some feelers out?
Yes sir. Yes.
Can you discuss that at all?
So, somebody has shot you some feelers saying they would come in and you are definitely interested in them?
I suppose they will call you some time this week?
And you will then add teams to your list?
Yes. I will add a couple of teams.
It sounds like the team coming in could shift the position of the other schools recruiting you.
No sir, not at all, They are all great schools and all have great programs.
So, Duke, Memphis, Ohio State ..
Duke, Memphis, Ohio State and UCLA
UCLA? Is that the one you were talking about?
Yes, well, that's one and maybe ...
UCLA is new huh?
Yes, they are new.
Have other ACC schools showed interest, like UNC?
They off (stopped short, so not sure what to make of it) ... I haven't heard from North Carolina in a while.
As far as a decision goes, is there an actual time frame?
I don't know. I'll probably sitdown with my parents soon and figure that out.
Thanks for your time Tony!
Yes sir. Thank you.
Last word - I wouldn't fret too much about UCLA being added to the list or worry with other comments. While the recruitment has become frustrating for the fan base, Duke is still in solid shape to land him. Still, we'd all like to see Tony realize the opportunity at hand with Duke and go ahead and pull the trigger. Looks like this one will go into his high school season at the current pace.[/private]
Prospect Alex Poythress was putting up nice numbers at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam but he twisted an ankle early in his last game, a Georgia Stars win. The Stars reached the quarterfinals which start tonight and it is unknown whether Poythress will play or not. Here is an interview with [private] Poythress -
The Nike Peach Jam is in full swing in Augusta, Georgia where BDN Premium is on the scene to bring you the latest on who the Blue Devil staff is watching. Coach K was here bright and early spending time between 2013 studs Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. He then watched Nerlens Noel and Rasheed Sulaimon.
Houston Hoops defeated the Arkansas Wings by a 76-61 score with Rasheed Sulaimon dropping 18 points. Baltimore Elite took care of Louisiana Select and Playaz took out the Family.
Adam Woodberry tossed in 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds but Nerlens Noel and BABC won easlily. Noel ended the game with 12 points, 8 boards and 3 blocked shots.
Jarnell Stokes didn't miss a shot from the field and he led his team to a 2 point win over California Supreme, tallying 14 points.
Justin Anderson dropped 23 as Boo Williams fell to the Oakland Soldiers and Branden Ashley with 24 points.
Team Takeover, the favorite to win the event, defeated All Ohio Red 73-68 as Patrick Holloway scored 18.
Athletes First got 27 points from James Woodard and they took down the Georgia Stars with Duke prospect Tony Parker scoring 16 pts, 5 boardsand Alex Poythress a game high 10 rebounds and 17 points.
CP3 was led by Rodney Purvis who dished ten dimes to go with 17 points as they defeated Albany City 76-63.
Mac Irwin Fire and Jabari Parker (12 pts, 6 rebounds) slipped past Mean Streets by a 65-56 score.
Team Texas lost a heartbreaker to Indiana Speice 57-56. Julius Randle had 10 points from the free throw stripe for 18 and Matt Jones added 26 and 8 boards, 2 more than Randle.
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