While there was a boat load of Duke recruits this week in L.A for the Boost Mobile Elite 24 there was only one Duke commit, 2012 Rasheed Sulaimon. Rasheed started out the event with a solid performance vs. the pro’s on Wednesday night where he showed his solid 3 point shot as well as his active hands on defense. There was no backing down from the rising senior as he effectively showed everyone why he is rated as high as he is. Rasheed continued his hot shooting into the practice where he was easily a top 3 player on the court at all times. Sulaimon also showed great athleticism over the week with numerous high flying dunks as well as great lateral quickness which will help him on defense in the future. It isn’t very hard to see why scouts have him rated so high and once again the Blue Devils pulled in one of the best guards in the class. Rasheed was kind enough to take a few minutes and speak with BDN on his time at the Elite 24 (Note- We are currently running a one week special on memberships which is 15% off the yearly rate. Other options discounted as well.)
BDN: What’s this experience been like getting to play with the pro’s?
RS: It’s just been a great experience you know. Coming out here and competing with top notch guys like Kemba Walker who won a championship last year, Brandon Jennings who had 55 points his rookie year, Tyreke Evans, and the list goes on and on. Just to be on the same court as these guys it’s truly an honor and we just try to come out here and compete as best as you can and it’s just a really [private]fun experience.
BDN: What do you think separates them from where you are?
RS: I think it’s just the mentality. They have the killer mentality all the time and that is one thing us youth have to grasp if we want to make it to the next level. Also their bodies and size, you know they’re 6’5 as a two-guard. You know these are all things we can work on.
BDN: What do you have to do to get there?
RS: You know just keep working every day, staying in the gym, staying humble, staying hungry, continue to get stronger and faster and improve on my skills each and every day. If I stay healthy and keep working, you know in the future I might have a chance.
BDN: When you’re on the court is there anybody better than you?
RS: (laughs) You know, you have to have that mindset. I have a lot of respect for guys but when you’re on the court you gotta compete and you gotta have that mindset that nobody can stop you, otherwise you know you’re going to have fear and that’s not good for playing basketball. Of course you gotta have that mindset but at the same time you have to respect.
BDN: Over the summer you obviously build some relationships, has there been any new ones this year?
RS: You know, a lot of these guys I grew up with so we just keep in touch a lot. I think maybe one guy that I developed a really good relationship with is Anthony Bennett from Canada. He was on my team at Lebron and NBA Camp and we became really good friends.
BDN: Have you been able to catch any of the Duke games in China at all?
RS: Yea I have. Actually I DVR’d and watched them. You know they (smiling), it’s early in the season and they showed a lot of growth in the few games they’ve played so far and they’ve really been playing well.
BDN: Have you been in contact with any of the coaches while they’ve been gone?
RS: Yea I called Coach K a couple of times and it was kind of hard because of the signal but we got in touch and we just talked a little bit, and talked about how they’re playing and everything like that.
BDN: You’ll eventually be taking an official visit, have you set a date yet?
RS: As of right now I’m not sure but I’m looking probably to make it before the season starts.
BDN: You know I’ve got to ask this, have you been making any progress on the recruiting trail?
RS: (laughing) Yea I know that’s the hot topic right now especially on Twitter, and you know there’s a lot of Duke recruits here like Tony Parker and Shabazz. I’m continuing to talk to them and trying the best that I can to come to Duke with me.
BDN: Who was the hardest pro you got to play with this week?
RS: It’s probably between Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker.
BDN: What was difficult about that?
RS: Well they are lightning quick, ball handling, they got the ball on a string, they can make any shot and make any move. With those guys you can’t really give them too much space and if you do they are just gonna destroy you.
BDN: Are they faster than on TV?
RS: (laughing) Oh shoot! They are WAY faster!
BDN: Thanks for your time Rasheed.
RS: Oh no problem man. [/private]
BDN's Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates have set the standard among the sites and sure enough, this concept is now being copied. We'll take that as a compliment but when push comes to shove, it is all about the content and we'll stack ours against anybody. Here at BDN, our staff is in the trenches at AAU events. That means our members are getting live streams of information as it happens, making our site well ahead of the curve.
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If you have yet to try BDN Premium, you don't know what you're missing of late and with some exciting changes on the horizon, it's the perfect time to check us out. Our staff is hard working, dedicated and hands on in everything we do. In our current update we lay out a clear picture of the staff's efforts. And before we get on with our update where lots is happening, take a look at how much content we've pumped out recently which includes: Two interviews with both Tony Parker and Matt Jones to go with individual interviews with Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Jahill Okafor, Rasheed Sulaimon and much, much more. Just today, recruiting analyst Andrew Slater goes in depth with Mitch McGary and we have content laying in wait this week. And our interviews have meat to them in that we don't lure you in with a premium article featuring a couple of quotes via texting. Anyhow, let's move on to another informative and detailed (2521 word) update on the Duke Basketball recruiting scene where we paint a crystal clear picture for our members. Trust me in that you will absolutely love our update, so if you want to find out where the coaches will be going, who is really on the radar and such, we have the answers for you. And if you are not satisfied, we'll refund you within the first 24 hours of joining.
The picture is now crystal clear with concern to 2012 and beyond. Duke will stick with Tony Parker until his decision is made. Coach Krzyzewski sat front and center for many of Parker's games and the big man [private] knew it, cutting his eyes towards the man while playing. Parker has been a bit up and down with his comments of late but my belief is that Duke is in better shape than anyone else for Tony. His parents love Duke and if they had their way, this one would be over from what I've heard from legitimate sources. The Parkers sat directly behind the bench this weekend and they certainly saw the Blue Devils' keen interest. Duke has been faithful to Tony and his verbal could set other things in motion. Coach K loves his hands and footwork and wants him to anchor the paint in Durham. The Blue Devils have made Tony priority 1 on their 2012 wish list.
And if Parker is priority 1-A, then Mitch McGary is 1-B, or you can reverse the order if you'd like. Duke will go hard after McGary and they feel they have a great chance at the tenacious big. Sources are now saying McGary may pull the trigger before his high school season and if that is indeed the case, look for a whirlwind of activity in the coming months. It is safe to say McGary will be visiting Duke and the Blue Devils will be in home with him when the time comes, but that will not happen until the team returns from their venture to China and Dubai.
The Blue Devils were most impressed with Matt Jones and he gained an offer after his play this past weekend. Of course, as members, you all saw this one coming. Jones glowed beyond belief when talking of Duke and you will see those videos this week. We spoke to Jones the other night but kept it short. He told BDN that he was on cloud nine after Coach K called and that he could certainly see himself there. He was very excited that Duke moved in and it is fair to say that they went to the top of his list. Jones has shown steady improvement in his game and he can slash through the lanes and has an outstanding outside shot. He is a good on-ball defender as well and he sent a game to overtime with a defensive stop in front of Krzyzewski as time ran out. The only knock I witnessed is that he at times has trouble shaking free for his shot. He is a great character kid as well and BDN got his AAU coach's thoughts on that, which is another feature you can look forward to.
His teammate, the hulking Julius Randle, also has an offer and Duke feels they are in good shape there as well. Jeff Capel has certainly been a help in this one and the thought of a package deal with Jones is most appealing. But make no mistake about it, Duke loves Matthew Jones as a stand alone player. Randle was called the best player in the nation on the night he dominated the Memphis front court by someone close to the situation that watched him play. That was a bit cryptic but easy enough for you to figure out on your own. Randle was like a bull in a China shop and it is clear that he will not back down from anyone. I caught several of his games and was most impressed by his enormous upside. He is a true power player that may or may not fit should Duke get Tony Parker.
And then there is another 2013 product named Jabari Parker. What a humble superstar he is and you'll see this on coming videos as well. Parker likes Duke a lot ... a whole lot and the Duke coaches like him a lot, a whole helluva lot. They are in great early shape with Parker and this one might end in the spring of next year at the latest. Parker will make an unofficial visit to Durham in due time and we'll have more on that as it develops. While UNC and others are on him, Duke has been from the start and that will IMO pay dividends down the road. Parker is smooth and versatile and at times cannot be stopped. He is part of the spectacular trio joining Randle and Noel as the best of the best in 2013.
One thing many seemingly fail to see is that Duke has a great jump on 2013 for a reason. The Duke staff will be tied up with Team USA duties next summer limiting their time on the recruiting trail. That especially holds true for Krzyzewski and that is why he was so hands-on this past week with the class. The three aforementioned 2013 players are clearly at the top of the wish list but more names are in the works, specifically Nerlens Noel. This defensive demon we coined the "Sultan of Swat," is a most interesting talent and game changer. Then there is the "Nerlens Noel effect," which causes players to alter shots for Noel is an absolute terror when it comes to blocking shots. By the end of the EYBL he was in every prospect's head and it doesn't matter who he is guarding. In short, he inflicts pain on guys the same age, younger and/or older. When I joked with Noel about the fact he didn't send out invitations to his "Block Party," he loved it. Form that point on, Noel really opened up to me. Make no mistake, everybody is on Noel, so Duke will have their hands full as will every other team that vies for his services. I love me some Nerlens and so does Grant Hill, for he is making his fade rise on the cover of the 1991 Sports Illustrated stylish again;) A side note is that Grant Hill will go along on the China trip and he will be helping to teach the "Duke culture" to newcomers.
Some have attempted to hang me out to dry with a comment on Rodney Purvis which was misquoted, but that is something I am used to from another Duke site. This time they made sure my name was in the head of a post. I never intended certain things to go public but when users break the agreement upon signing up all I can do is boot them. Purvis flat out wants to come in and play right away but Duke has a bevy of wings on the roster and in the works. Purvis wanted to hang with Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and LJ Rose this weekend and he is seemingly upset at, well, everything that is said these days. The mere fact that Duke did not watch him is telling and I can tell you without revealing sources close to the situation that Purvis is no longer an option. Of course, we were the first to say that in a private forum and now all but one site is on the bandwagon. I think the offer to Jones may have made him see the light and/or the writing on the wall. Purvis is a good kid, but his emotion concerns me as does his behavior when he is not on the court. Would Duke take him if he called and wanted to come? Make no mistake, Purvis has talent and he is a good kid, so I am in no way beating him down, but he is no Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving.
We have to watch how we mention prospects around here and even where we'll be going on the recruiting trail in that it tips off others. Just this week nobody was on Nerlens Noel until we were seen talking to him. Yes, people pay close attention to everything we do at events. It frustrates us at times but what can you do? All I can say is pay close attention to when information is printed and as a member sit back and know that you were aware of it beforehand. Noel is sure to pick up an offer soon.
Rasheed Sulaimon played very well at the EYBL finals as well although he saved his worst game for last and a lackluster offensive performance cost him the scoring title. Still, he finished second and he has improved immensely since a season ago; he's like a water bug running all over the place and locks down well on his defensive assignment. His handle is improving as well and his offense is top shelf. The Duke staff knew exactly what they were doing in getting this kid aboard early, a testament to Krzyzewski's eye. That too should excite one more with concern to Jones.
Wojo was in Wisconsin this week and Krzyzewski was as well before returning to Augusta. Chris Collins was at home this go round but he returns in the coming week. The addition of Jeff Capel has been a winner and this staff is, well, pretty darn good.
One kid that caught our eye during the EYBL opening session was Tyus Jones, a 2014 PG from Minnesota who plays for the older Howard Pulley team. Once we interviewed him, it was obvious to others he had caught the Blue Devils' eyes. Again, our every move is watched by others at events. We actually interviewed Jones while at Boo, so he didn't slip up on me at all. In fact, he stood out and I was amazed to learn he was 2014 for his play was smooth as silk and so far ahead of those in his class. We have a nice interview coming your way with Jones as well. I can tell you that he has great character, confidence and his recruitment will go on for a very long time. Still, both Andrew and myself take pride in giving you background on players Duke likes before it really gets out there. In short, we anticipate while at the many events, as Andrew did with JahillOkafor. What you may not realize is how rare a good interview with Oakfor is, so pay attention to our offerings.
Duke is still keeping an eye on Alex Poythress and Perry Ellis as well. Neither of them have an offer and both play pretty much the same position. Duke would likely turn here if they got one of Mitch McGary and Tony Parker but the real need is bangers and not wings. Still, keep a close eye on these guys as the recruiting evaluation period opens back up.
Just in are the players Duke will watch in Orlando for the AAU National Showcase which runs from the 23rd to the 27th. Mitch McGary will start there and once it is over go to Kansas City. Teammates Julius Randle and Matt Jones will be there as well along with Nerlens Noel and Theo Pinson. Rasheed Sulaimon will play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando which takes place after the loaded Showcase. And Tony Parker and Alex Poythress will play in both events. I am trying to swing this event but right now it isn't looking good.
I am trying to rework my schedule to go to Orlando but a cash crunch may prevent that from happening. However, Andrew is set to go to Las Vegas and you know his coverage will be top shelf. In closing our latest update I would like to thank all of you for supporting us through membership. We would like to give back, so here is an opportunity for you. If you refer new members to BDN Premium, we'll give you 15% of their membership provided you e-mail or PM us before they join. If you have a friend join for a year, that means you get 15$ cash sent to your paypal account. If it is for six months, you get 9$. There is no referral granted for a one or three month membership. This is a limited time offer. Help us grow our community!
Thanks again for choosing Blue Devil Nation Premium and the future is looking bright around here, so stay tuned for more on that. [/private]
BDN Recruiting analyst Andrew Slater is currently sending back live reports to members on the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board. He's checking out the skills portion of opening night at the LeBron James Skills Academy and he'll float to Akron for the Adidas Invitational this week. He will of course be checking in with all the major Duke prospects as the coaching staff can see prospects play during the open period and will be present at the events. Don't miss any of the reports from BDN by joining today. We set the standard for complete AAU Basketball coverage of Duke prospects and we are sure you'll enjoy what we have to offer. Whether you like in person player analysis, prospect videos, or our famous in depth interviews, BDN brings you the highest quality of coverage available on any Duke site.
Here are couple of clips of Rasheed Sulaimon. In the first clip, he ties the game up with a three point shot which put the game into overtime. His team rallied from a 20 point deficit.
In the clip below, Sulaimon was dribbling out the clock and about to make a move. You can see a surprised look on his face when his coach called a timeout. The problem was is that the rules state there are no timeouts in overtime, so they turned the ball over. You can see his coach walk to the ref and ask for time. His team eneded up losing the game by a deuce after that play.
In the clip below, he had a blown assist but he then hustles back down court to tie up his man via on ball defense and he walked.
Stay tuned for the first entry in the Rasheed Sulaimon diary, a BDN exclusive, where he will update us until the end of his high school basketball season.
CHARLOTTESVILLE -Several close contests highlighted last nights evening session of the NBAPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. Future Blue Devil, Rasheed Sulaimon drained a three point shot to help get his Laker team to overtime, but a timeout called doomed them in that there are no timeouts allowed in the extra period.
THURSDAY NIGHT RECAPS Spurs 65
Kellen McCormick scored 10 points leading a very balanced Spurs attack and pushing them past the Mavericks 65-62 evening their record at 1-1 on the day’s action. Amile Jefferson continued to impress, scoring a game high 20 markers. T.J. Warren added 11 in the tough loss.
Gary Harris posted 17 points and the Grizzlies moved to 2-0 on the first day with a 79-63 burning of the Heat. The Grizzlies stand as the top seed after the first day’s games based on point differential. Adam Woodbury turned in a strong performance with 13 points and was joined in the scoring column by Anthony Bennett with 11. Kyle Anderson led the Heat with 14 points. Tony Parker added 11 points.
Codi Miller-McIntyre sank a short jumper in overtime pushing the Magic to an 81-79 victory over the Lakers and moving to 2-0 on the day. Miller-Mac was outstanding finishing with a camp high 26 points, including four 3’s. Katin Reinhardt added 10 points in the tight victory. Rasheed Sulaimon led the Lakers with 17 markers, including a deep three to knot the score in regulation. He was assisted in the scoring column by Javan Felix with 12.
The Celtics move to 2-0 in camp action with a hard fought 75-64 victory over the winless Bulls. Jordan Price was a young man against boys finishing with 21 large and his running mate Savon Goodman added 18 in the win. Glenn Robinson added 12 points for the Celtics. Mike Gesell was high man for the Bulls finishing with 12. Shaquille Clear added 10 in the loss.
Arnaud Moto tipped in a missed chance and the Hawks came back from a major deficit to slide past the Thunder 55-53. Mitch McGary converted a 3-point play the old fashioned way and the Hawks grabbed their first lead of the game with a little under four minutes remaining in the contest. From that point a back and forth contest ended with the Moto tip. Sam Dekker led the Hawks with 14 points and Gavin Ware captured a double/double with 10 points and 11 boards. Jordan Burgess led all scorers with 16 points in the tough loss.
Top 10 Games
1. Codi Miller-McIntyre, Magic 26
2. Jordan Price, Celtics 21
3. Amile Jefferson, Mavericks 20
4. Tyler Lewis, Thunder 19
5. Jerome Hairston, Celtics 17
T.J. Warren, Mavericks 17
Rasheed Sulaimon, Lakers 17
Gary Harris, Grizzlies 17
9. Codi Miller-McIntyre, Magic 16
Amile Jefferson, Mavericks 16
Jordan Burgess, Thunder 16
BDN has established a lot of genuine relationships in that for years, we have been covering the Grassroots Basketball scene live and in person. The great thing about being an independent site is that we can use a myriad of the nation's best recruiting gurus, whereas corporate sites are generally limited to those who work within their ranks. In the past, we've talked to the best of the best and this time is no different, as we enlist the help of long time talent guru, Van Coleman.
Coleman is well respected and established in his field and, like our past guest analysts, he brings years of experience to the table. And if you're looking for the best quality coverage around, BDN Premium is "the" place to be. Without further ado, here is Varand Khachdouri's chat with Coleman, as we give you a sample of the kind of work you will find inside BDN Premium, our subscription based service. - Mark Watson
Offering a loud and booming voice, long time scout Van Coleman really hammered home his points to the campers about what it takes to really make it. BDN got a chance to pick the brain of the long time scouting guru. Take a look at what he had to say about some current Duke prospects.
Shabazz Muhammad: He’s a tremendous athlete, a guy who can make plays on both ends of the court. He does it off the dribble and uses his hands on defense. Really has worked very hard on improving his jump shot. That’s one of the reasons why I think he’s right up there for the number one player in the country, because of his consistency of play, and the things that he can do kind of offsets what those big guys and all their athleticism. He really is a guy who can win ball games for people.
Rodney Purvis: He’s a tremendous ball handler, a guy that can score off the dribble, improved his jump shot to the point where it now freezes the defense. It makes him a much more effective player. He can play either guard spot. One of the nice things, like Nolan Smith, he’s a guy that in college becomes a guy who can take that spot over (point guard position) if he has to. He’s a scorer first but he’s a guy who can run the show. One of the top 20-25 kids in the country.
Rasheed Sulaimon:The guy can score! He flat out will put points up. Shoots the three, is a tremendous athlete. At the rim he finishes over big guys. Just a guy that’s going to put a lot of points on the boards for the Blue Devils.
Mitch McGary: One of the big surprises of the spring. He’s really had a tremendous spring. He’s improved his skill set away from the basket and face up. He knocks the jumper down now. He has developed the ability to get that 1-2 dribble drive, something he didn’t have a year ago. That’s really lifted his level to where now he’s in consideration for a top 10 spot by a lot of guys. He has become a McDonalds All American I think with that, that’s been the big change for him. He’s a power guy who can score around the basket, defend, and is smart and understands the game. That makes him a guy that Mike Krzyzewski is going to look at.
Tony Parker: A rebounding machine. If you love Kevin Love, you’re going to like Tony Parker. He’s a guy that can absolutely dominate on the glass, and finishes around the basket. I’d like to see his face up game get a bit better but that will come with time. Right now, he is a man on the back boards. No better rebounder maybe in high school basketball.
Alex Poythress: Athletic, long, a guy who’s improved his jumper which has made him a more much affective player. I think he has lifted his stock this spring with a lot of folks. As that shot gets better, the more exciting of a player he’s going to become because when it comes to getting to the rim he’s one of those guys who makes highlights.
Julius Randle: Maybe the most skilled big man in the country as far as how he utilizes those tools. He can handle it, he can go to the middle on the break, he can take you off the dribble, he’s long, and he’s got a great shooting touch from 17ft to the basket. He just does a lot of things. He might be as good an all around big man as there is in the country.
Jabari Parker: Takes off 20 lbs and the comparisons to Paul Pierce really start showing up in a hurry. He’s got great skills, he’s really improved the jump shot, he makes people pay if you back off of him, he can get to the hoop with either hand. He’s a guy that right now I think has risen to challenge Randle for the top spot in that class.
Nerlens Noel: He’s long, he blocks shots. Offensively he’s very very raw. At this point it’s mostly right around the basket. The drop step dunk, those kinds of things. But man can he change the game in the paint with his shot blocking ability, and he can run the floor like he’s 6’5, so he gets up and down and creates opportunities. When the offense comes, he’s going to be a special player.
Theo Pinson: Well we’re talking about offense, I tell you what, we’re talking about a guy that can score a lot of points in a hurry. I think he’s really improved his ability to take people off the dribble with confidence and finish in the lane. He’s always been a guy that can pop that outside jumper and get people to freeze a little bit. Now he has the dribble drive game to go with it. I think he’s a kid that’s on the rise and is really going to be a tremendous talent for whoever he ends up with.
Brannen Greene: He can put it up from the perimeter, a real long range guy. He really bombs it. He has enough handle though that if you guard him he can get that 1-2 dribble pull up jump shot. A kid that’s on the rise, a lot of people hadn’t seen him a lot until this spring, and I think he’s a kid that could surprise a lot of people with that jumper. You know what, there’s never too good of a shooter.