North Augusta, SC - Keep the name Luke Kennard in mind for you will be hearing more of the 2015 SG from Franklin, Ohio in the coming days. Kennard is a major target for the Ohio State Buckeyes and he was recently offered by North Carolina and yes, it looks as if Duke will get involved as well. Coach Mike Kryzewski joined Tom Izzo, Roy Williams and many other coaches just moments ago for his game and Blue Devil Nation caught up to the rising star and obtained this one on one interview with Kennard last evening. So join BDN Premium and get to know a new prospect on the radar. [private]
More to come! Discuss this article as a member on the BDN Premium message board. [/private]
The Nike Peach Jam is in full swing and we are here in South Carolina to bring you updates on all the action and the latest on the many Duke prospects here. Austin Nichols, Matt Jones, Julius Randle, Justise Winslow, Theo Pinson, and Jahlil Okafor are but a few of the informative interviews we have on tap. In addition, there are some younger kids starting to catch the staff's eye as well. You can learn about them and much more as a member. Considering the bevy of interviews we have up for Blue Devil Nation Premium members, if you've been on the fence about it, this is the perfect time to join.
Here is the recap of the Friday day session:
Howard Pulley 74 Team Texas 65
First of all, this game had some intensity to it, as Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, the Duke staff and others crowded the court to the point where they would not let any more people into the gym once the game started. The game was much closer than the score indicates. A Julius Randle turnover allowed Pulley to go up 4, but he then came down to score and "and one" inside, which cut it to 1 with little time left. Pulley's Tyus Jones drew a triple team and found an open teammate for a 3 and that pretty much sealed the deal. After a Team Texas miss, Jones quickly scored again on a drive and then assisted on another trey and that made the final score 74-65. Despite his team being upset, Randle was a beast again, scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 boards. While aggressiveness is something Randle thrives on (and as he told BDN, he feels he can take anybody off the dribble at any time) his aggression sometimes causes turnovers and could also make him foul prone at the next level. But the big picture with Randle is he is a big-time force on the floor. One coach sitting beside me quipped, "It's hard to evaluate the players around him and those who defend him in that he's so good." I have to agree. Then there was Tyus Jones, a smooth, spunky leader on the court who thinks [private] "team first," yet still gets his own shots too. Jones's late heroics helped his team to a win; he finished with 24 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. Randle and Jones are now the number one and two scorers at the entire event.
Capel will follow Team Texas
Jeff Capel has been sitting with his brother Jason for much of the camp today. Capel said he would go to Orlando and the AAU Nationals and be anywhere Julius Randle and Matt Jones were playing. So, yes, there will always be a Duke presence as Randle nears his decision.
Semi Ojeleye continues to play well
Ojeleye scored 20 points and grabbed 3 boards as his team coasted past Bluff City Legends. I just love his size and strength. I have a mini-interview coming with Semi. I will tell you that the Duke staff feels really good about their chances with him, and that it could be over in the near future. He's just a Duke kid through and through.
Jahlil Okafor struggles?
Part of the problem is his own play, but part is his teammates just not looking for him. While I think the latter is the main culprit, still Jahlil was not impressive in Mac Irvin's loss to CIA Bounce. He fouled out in 15 minutes of play and his numbers were dismal: 2 points and 0 rebounds. He has not helped himself here so far. By the way, Andrew Wiggins had 21 points for CIA. He is one of the four best players in camp.
The dysfunctional bunch known as Boo Williams is again winless. In their first game, Anthony "Cat" Barber and Al Freeman jawed hard at one another, and it took a while for Barber to let it go. Talent and no production makes college coaches pause. Freeman and his game are still a bit of a wreck. Note: the Duke staff has not watched a single game this squad has played. And wasn't star forward Troy Williams supposed to have decided? Hmm.
Marcus Lee struggles as well
Marcus Lee is foul prone in a big way, and he once again finished the game on the bench as California Supreme lost again, and is now 0-3. Lee had 2 points and 5 boards; his offense is anemic. Yes he's talented and long, but putting all the hype aside, he is a little overrated and I am not the only one who feels that way.
From my conversation with him, this really seems like a good kid. He has recently been offered by Calipari and Kentucky, and he spoke highly of them, but Duke is on his list and he also spoke well of Coach K and his recent U-17 camp experience with Team USA. His production here has been good; he went for 16 points and 8 rebounds in his team's two point win this morning.
Yes, Theo! You do have an offer!
Theo Pinson has had an offer for over eight months. Odd how nobody knew, but the bottom line is he does now. More may come out from this, not that it even matters at this point. In the morning game he scored 23 points to lead CP3 to a 75-71 win over California Supreme.
Don't miss Andrew's interview with Austin Nichols. The Duke coaches feel he will take all five of his visits before deciding.
One of the studs in the class of 2013 is Julius Randle who plays his AAU ball for the Team Texas Titans. Duke, UNC and other major coaches all took in his power game yesterday at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina. BDN Premium is covering the event as we always do and we caught up to Randle for this ... For full site access to all of our interviews and premium articles, join Blue Devil Nation Premium, then discuss the latest on our members only message board.[private] video interview -
Austin Rivers was the morning's high scorer with 29 points during the first day of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in Augusta, South Carolina, Recent diary entries brought about a lot of questions and Duke and UNC fans wanted answers. Well, BDN wasted little time in acquiring them right away. Check out the following lengthy interview and stay tuned to BDN for real time updates on our premium members message board. With Andrew Slater's in depth Shabazz Muhammad interview and now this one, BDN is quite simply the place to be for the best coverage out there. Check out our trial offer which last just 24 more hours or go ahead and get the best value by joining for a year. Check out our coverage of the prospects you want the hear from and our in person analysis of the events. After all, you have to get out here and see the prospects to be able to talk about them, right?
So, what is your list of schools?
Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas and Kentucky. Those are the five I had and those are the ones here watching me right now.
You decided to push your decision back ...
Basically I just want to see how people do this year at the schools I'm looking at. I'm just going to wait for the college season to start and watch a little bit of the ball and after a couple of weeks or so, make my decision. I feel like it is important to me to just wait a little bit longer. I'm looking for playing time and want to come in and impact the team. I want to play for a team that goes up and down and attack.
Have you talked with UNC lately?
I talked to [private] Roy Williams a couple of times but it's been a couple of months since he called but when I was playing for Team USA I was out of touch.
You mentioned Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving in your latest diary entry, can you speak of those two?
Well, I'm friends with Harrison Barnes but we don't talk on the phone or anything like that. I'm real good friends with Kyrie but not because he goes to Duke. I've been playing with him at these camps from the start, so I have developed a good relationship there. I'm also friends with Kendall Marshall and my best friends are Marshall, Kobongo and Irving.
Your Dad said you would slow down in the AAU tournaments and take in the Showcase but not the AAU Nationals.
Yeah, just the Nike Showcase. I just felt like I needed a break and just want to get stronger but after being in LA and with Team USA for 13 days and here ... that should be enough for the summer.
So, there really isn't a timetable. Will you just make a decision when it feels right?
Basically, yeah. When it comes to mind and I feel like it and know that this is the school for me I will make the decision.
Do you plan to take a visit to UNC?
I do plan on taking a visit North Carolina in late August right before school starts because I haven't been up there and later on that year we'll see if they get another visit. I might then go to Kentucky.
Will you vist Duke as well on that trip?
Probably, because they are eight miles apart and it's the right thing to do. I went to Duke a couple of months back but not North Carolina, so this will be like a double header.
Does it upset you that some coaches are not here to watch you from the five schools you mentioned?
I don't like them less or more because of this. I like them and I hope they feel the same way because I am interested in them.
What is it like playing in front of coaches?
I try to block it and not try to change my game when they are here. I'm just trying to win
Do you like it when coaches come to watch you?
Yeah, it shows that they are interested in me and that they want to recruit me. I don't know who was here today.
The Duke coaches were the only ones here.
Really? I like that Coach K was here to see me.
A while back people considered Duke to be the favorite. Some are saying that has changed and that you have cooled a bit on them.
I have an interest in a lot of schools right now. I have the best relationship with Florida and Duke because I have been recruited by them the longest, but Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas are in the picture and I am not favoring anybody right now. I really haven't even talked to my father about it and he doesn't even know. I really don't know where I am going yet. Right after AAU starts that's when I will sit down with my family and coach and figure out whats best for me.
Do internet rumors bug you?
I just laugh at people who tell me like I am going overseas to play and stuff like that. The internet really confuses people sometimes.
Your parents are here to support you ...
Yeah they do a lot to support me, especially my mom. She is the person that keeps the family together and my Dad really keeps busy with his job.
So, mom is the rock?
Yeah, shes the rock, the man of the hours really.
You mentioned relationships with other coaches, would you like to build more of them?
Yes, yes. I would like to build relationships with Coach Calipari and Coach Self.
You do not seem as dependent on your outside shot in game one like you have in the past.
Yeah, I've tried to mix it up a little bit. I have a really good right hand floater and a left hand floater, I've been working on that. You will see me use that throughout the tournament.
Which school has been recruiting you aggressively in the past two months?
Duke is the most aggressiveness. We have a good relationship that is building and we talk once a month and have a good conversation of about 45 minutes or better. They really show that they care. North Carolina sends me a lot of letters that Roy Williams writes and stuff like that, so it's all good.
When did you first hear from UNC?
Three and a half or four months ago when I first talked to North Carolina, at the end of my school year. I talked with Coach Williams after the initial contact.
In your diary you mention Kyrie possibly turning pro early and it seems as if that was a major concern. Is it?
Yes, to be a championship team I want to have some good players. Kyrie is that good and he may go to the pros after one year but how will it affect me? It wouldn't keep me from going to Duke. They are always going to have good players and they are building their program and they will be ranked number one this year so we'll see how they do. Duke will always be in the spotlight.
And what of those banana yellow Nikes?
Yeah, they're terrible. They sent us a fluorescent pair. What can you do? [/private]
Andre Dawkins torched the nets for 36 points and added 9 rebounds but his Boo Williams team was no match for talent laden Team Final. Team Final is of course led by Michael Gilchrist, but his 13 points and 8 rebounds were not the main factor in a 101-74 victory. Tyreak Duran and Trevor Cooney scored 52 points together and Rakeem Christmas contributed with 12 points as Team Final moved to the next round.
It is worth noting that Team Final won that game as well 92-77 over California Supreme. Gilchrist went for 14 points and 11 boards in that game and Cooney and Christmas added 20 points apiece. Team Final will play Team Florida in the semi finals tomorrow and will play the winner of the Albany City Rocks - All Ohio Red.
Earlier in the day, Harrison Barnes and Howard Pulley were sent packing. Barnes had another amazing game in a standing room only audience scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to go with 2 steals.
BDN talked with Barnes after the game [private] and you will get the lowdown as the week goes on. Barnes will only play in two more events, none of which are on the AAU circuit. He will attend the Nike Global Challenge and the Rumble in the Bronx in Rucker Park. Coaches watching Barnes were Wojo and Collins, Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, John Calipari, Bill Self and Johnny Dawkins.
Tobias Harris has cemented his name and will rise on all of the gurus charts. His 27 points helped Albany to the semi finals. Jarren Sullinger(21 points 8 boards) and All Ohio Red sent Each One Teach on packing. Austin Rivers had 10 points and 4 assists. In the previous game, Rivers scored 22 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists leading his team to a win over Houston Hoops.
Finally, Brad Beal redeemed himself in a big way with a stat stuffing performance. Beal talked with BDN for a second time after the game and mentioned that he took fouling out with 2 points hard. Beal's impressive numbers were 29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals.
That's it for now, but we will have plenty more to come as the week goes on. One last note, Chris Spatola came in and took Wojo and Collins place as the duo headed to West Virginia. [/private]