Tag Archives: recruiting

Andre Dawkins discusses Coach K, prospects he wants to play with and more

Andre Dawkins is already preparing for his junior season despite the fact that his AAU ball just ended. In fact, he pretty much thinks about basketball all the time. [private]Dawkins of course, is Duke’s only current commitment in the class of 2010, but if he has it his way, that will soon change.

Dawkins stated, “I stay in touch with Josh (Hairston) all the time. It would be great for me at Duke with a couple of guys that I know already. Tyler Thornton was the other player he was referring to. He grew up with Tyler and complimented him for continuing to develop his game.

While Dawkins has lost touch with Thornton who moved, he remains tight with Hairston and mentioned Hairston was close to Thornton and that he wanted to get his cell number. “It would be so easy to mesh as a team with these guys both on and off the court,” said Dawkins.<

Dawkins said he felt Josh would make a decision soon and hoped he could get down to Durham before he makes his decision. “He may make one last visit to the schools he likes in order to make an informed decision. Josh knows I want to play with him at Duke and I think they have a good shot, but you never know for sure what might happen.”

Dawkins first memory of Duke was in 2001 when they won the national title with a talented cast of players. “Growing up my Dad was a Duke fan and when I was a kid, I always wanted to be just like him,” said Dawkins. As Dawkins aged, Duke grew on him even more and he eventually chose Duke for his own reasons and not that of his Dads.

My Dad and I have sat down and watched a lot of Duke games,” said Dawkins. He went on to say his Dad was the first person to put the ball in his hands, but that he didn’t pressure him like some little league Dad’s . “He never crossed the line making me do something I didn’t want to do,”

He went on to say that his Dad let him do his own thing and admitted that he thought he knew more about life when he was twelve or thirteen. “He stood back and let me do it my way until I saw I couldn’t do it all on my own,” said Dawkins. At that time, Andre Jr. started listening more to Andre Sr.

Dawkins said that playing for Boo Williams older team had both pros and cons. He felt at times like he should be playing more but still felt he benefited from playing with older guys. Dawkins is the go to guy in high school for Atlantic Shores Christian where he played alongside Steven Pledger who committed to Oklahoma.

The young budding star said he wasn’t as confident at times in that he usually came off the bench as the sixth or seventh man. The lack of repetitions seemed to bother him. Despite that feeling, Dawkins would light it up in many of the games I saw him play in, proving himself to be a terrific outside shooter. “I just wish I could have showcase myself more,” said Dawkins.

When looking ahead he wouldn’t commit to play for Boo Williams again next season at this time. He said that is something that he would discuss with his parents at a future date. He again stated that his sole focus is on the upcoming high school season.

Dawkins will be called upon to play multiple positions on his team in the Fall. “Most of the time I’m on the wing, but there are times when I need to play down low against certain teams, said Dawkins. This has added to his versatility, but he is projected as a wing guard or small wing forward at the collegiate level.

As for more visits to Duke in the coming season, he stated that he wanted to talk to Coach K in order to set some games up. He did mention that come rain or snow, nothing would keep him away from the UNC game and that he planned on watching future teammates’ exact revenge over last seasons defeat in Cameron.

I then asked about his playing with teammates who have committed to UNC, namely Kendall Marshall. “He can be on the computer and if he has to type in Duke, he’ll tell me to type it in because he doesn’t want to do it,” said a laughing Dawkins. He said the two were already playing around with each other but when it came time, it would be all business.

Dawkins love watching Coach K in the Olympics and developed a worry. That worry being that Coach K was getting use to coaching the best pros around and that he may take off to the NBA. “It was nice to have the opportunity to see how great of a coach he is,” said Dawkins. He continued, “Hopefully he doesn’t get too wooed by the NBA.

He was also in awe of Coach K’s ability to get the players to play good defense, again stating teams would likely come at him with big money. In short, Andre really wants his chance to play for Krzyzewski.

Andre went on to say that Wojo and Coach K each called him while in Beijing, China. He also mentioned that he received some e-mails. K’s call was before the Gold Medal game and it was obvious that Dawkins appreciated that. “It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I will be playing my basketball for Duke and Coach K,” said Dawkins who then said it makes him want to get better so that he doesn’t disappoint.[/private]

OL David Harding commits to Duke – Today’s Scrimmage Report

[private]The Duke Blue Devils continued their early assault on the class of 2009 getting a commitment from David Harding a 6-4, 280 pound offensive lineman.  Harding plays tackle for Boone High School in Orlando, Florida.

The Devils beat out Florida State, Vanderbilt and many others including South Carolina.  There were unfounded rumors that Harding would commit to the Gamecocks this weekend floating around the Internet.

Harding’s decision gives the Blue Devils a total 22 commitments under first year Coach David Cutcliffe.  It’s quite obvious that many prospects can clearly see the direction in which the program aspires to go.  Harding was on campus to take in the “Meet the Devils,” festivities and the scrimmage.  Duke has very much turned their attention to the class of 2010, but still has a few spots to fill in the 2009 class.

It’s been a long time since Duke has committed so many prospects before their first snap in the coming season.  The staff has been quite active on the recruiting front and it’s clearly the “Dawn of a New Day,” which is the slogan on this seasons team poster.

Pictured – David Harding (center) checked out the Duke scrimmage with other prospects this past weekend

Today’s Sctimmage Report from GoDuke.com -

DURHAM, N.C. — Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed nine-of-11 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown and added another score on the ground to highlight Duke’s 50-play controlled scrimmage on Tuesday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Lewis hooked up with Sheldon Bell for a 33-yard scoring strike to go along with his four-yard touchdown scamper.  Tony Jackson paced the ground attack with 10 carries for 68 yards and one touchdown while Jay Hollingsworth scored on a three-yard run.

“The big thing was to try and create some game management situations,” said head coach David Cutcliffe. “We came out and divided our squad up and had our starting units together. We put them down 10 points midway through the third quarter and tried to play a game from then on. Fortunately, we came back and won by 21. We were productive, but the biggest thing I wanted to accomplish was not to get anybody hurt so we did not tackle live.

“What I was interested in seeing was our execution,” continued Cutcliffe. “I thought our offense executed very well and knew what to do. They threw and caught the ball well. Defensively, we worked exclusively towards James Madison. We got a really good jump start on that. We have been working off and on with that style of offense a lot. I think we learned a couple of things which was good for us. It also gives you a chance to look at your young players on the other team and some of those guys stepped up.”

Bell had three receptions for 53 yards while Johnny Williams added three grabs for 50 yards.

The Blue Devils open the season on August 30 at home versus James Madison.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. and tickets may be purchased at www.GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 877-375-DUKE.[/private]

Jamil Wilson talks of when he’ll make a decision

Some sites have reported Jamil Wilson has stated he will not announce his college decision until 2009.  If that were true,  he might could  play his way into a scholarship offer over the next year.  If Duke had to make a choice today, I am of the opinion that Jamil would be on the outside looking in with concerns to a Blue Devil offer, but I am not privy enough to state that as a solid fact.

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Wilson has been anything but consistent all summer (AAU season) long.  During the NBAPA Camp, he drained some threes or blocked key shots.  During the Peach Jam, Wilson grabbed one board, took the ball the length of the court and finished the play off with a driving lay in.  Any observer who saw certain plays would quickly recognize a budding star.

If one were to keep watching Wilson, they would see inconsistency.  Much like Daniel Orton, he plays very well in sequences only to get lost on the court making one wonder if they are watching the same player.

One of the things that bothered me during the Peach Jam was his not so emotional attitude.  It could have been sheer frustration, I mean, I’m not a psychologist.  Whatever it was, it just didn’t seem positive or assertive.

Despite that, he would come out of nowhere to get a block or crash the board for a key rebound.  His offense simply wasn’t there.  He scored just two points in one game and averaged around 8.5 for the tournament, his team going hime with a 2-3 record.

I had noticed one time when it looked as if he tweaked his ankle and subsequently talked to him about this and the recruiting process.  He mentioned that he had twisted his ankle a few weeks back and that it bothered him during the LeBron James Skills Academy, so I asked if he was still feeling the effects.  Wilson replied, “I came down wrong and kind of tweaked the ankle, but I’m fine.  I really try not to think about it, but I feel it’s a lot better now.”

I then wondered if he might be a bit tired from the wear and tear of the AAU season and asked him if the circuit was taking it’s toll.  “Ummm, sort of, but I love the game, so it’s okay.”

In the previous game, he had put up a goose egg in the first half, but came back with 9 points in the second half.  “I really wasn’t being assertive.  I wasn’t looking for my shot in the first half.  I was trying to get out and get ahead and was working on rebounding.  I need to be more consistent,” said Wilson.

When I told him he was tied for the lead at the camp in blocks after three games, he did light up.  “You got to play defense too, that’s the way I see it,” said Wilson.  I then took the opportunity to ask him if he had noticed coaches in the stand that were recruiting him.  “I didn’t really pay a lot of attention, but sometimes on dead balls, I’d look up and see them.  It’s not like I was trying to pick them out though saying here is a coach who is recruiting me.

Many at the event said Michigan State was the team to beat for Wilson and Tom Izzo and an assistant were present at three of his games.  I asked him if this were true and Wilson responded, “I think every team is the leader.  I’m wide open.  I haven’t put Michigan State on the top of my list.”

Several coaches were seen during his play, Marquette had two assistants around at all times, Wisconsin was low key, but they were there and several smaller schools from the Wisconsin are watched, as well as Northwestern and Coach Wojociechowski from Duke.

Wilson seemed more open than ever which surprised me.  Perhaps he was playing it safe with his comments.  He still lists Duke, Wisconsin, Marquette and Michigan State, but added Texas.  “The end of summer,” said Wilson when asked when he wanted to make his collegiate choice. 

That certainly differs with what other sites are reporting and he told me this in a clear manner.  My reaction was that’s not long, so I asked how he could make a decision that soon. “Because I’ve been thinking and chipping away at it and my Dad has been doing the same.  So, by the end of Summer, we should be able to release something.”

Of the schools listed, Wilson has yet to see Texas or Michigan State.  Take that for what it’s worth.  I couldn’t help but ask again about the original take that he would not go out of state to college.  “That was mainly my sister, but Dad and sister want me to go off and experience life as a young man.  People can say things, but if I don’t say it, it’s a rumor.”

Nobody can say that Wilson is a selfish player and if he harnesses his skill set, he will be a solid player at the next level.  To his credit, he volunteered to work on the extra drills at the NBAPA Camp while most of the players elected to kick back and rest.[/private]