Blue Devil Nation Premium covered the Carolina Challenge this past weekend, and this is the first in a series of reports on the top players in the state of North Carolina.
So, what’s changed since the last time I saw you at the Glaxo Invitational in Raleigh?
My jump shot and my right hand.
Do you mean you’re working on that more often?
Yes. I’ve been working on going to my right more often and my jump shot.
Has anything changed in regards to your list of schools?
Can you list them for me?
Oklahoma State has offered and Louisville has been in touch of late. I’m getting a lot of letters and contacts. I have pretty much the same list that I did in Raleigh. (See our first interview with Kimbro which is located in our premium section)
What has Coach Gaines had to say to you?
He just said I need to step up and not just be a role player.
With Christ School’s heavy losses, you will likely start …
Mason Plumlee was your roommate this past season and you obviously know him well. What has he said to you or left you with since he will soon graduate?
He just said that when you come here (Carolina Challange) make sure that you work hard and play hard because you don’t know who is looking at you or who is watching you.
Who will you play your AAU ball with over the summer?
I’m playing with Loyalty out of Louisville, Kentucky.
Of course, you are from there and your Dad played for the Cards. Are you enjoying their run of late?
Yes, sir. I’m loving it.
Do you think that’s your dream school?
I’ve started to like Louisville a lot more. I like the work they put into the game and that they never settle, always wanting more.
How do you feel about your play in the first game?
I feel like I played real well.
Are you still open to other schools besides Louisville and Oklahoma State?
Definitely. It’s still early in the process.
Good luck to you the rest of the day.
BDNP overview - Kimbro has some interest in Duke [private] , but the Blue Devils have made just casual contact. Coach K sent word to Christ School coach David Gaines about what Tony needed to work on when he visited a practice earlier this past season. Coach Gaines told me that he hoped to talk Kimbro into staying local this summer and playing for an area AAU team. He stated that his Mom likely thought that would be a good idea too. Kimbro still needs work on going to his right for that will be exposed at some point. He is always around the glass and picks up a lot of garbage buckets, but needs to develop a consistent pull up jump shot. His on ball defense is pretty good for his age. He does take plays off on occasion, but when motivated shows off his talents. [/private]
Brandon Knight scored 17 points, on Thursday, as Pine Crest dominated Chaminade-Madonna 68-32. On Tuesday, Knight made six three pointers and exploded for 37 points in a 79-48 victory over Coral Springs Charter. Knight will be facing off against Kenny Boynton for the second time this season on January 31st. The Sun-Sentinel has a game preview posted. Knight scored 35 points as Pine Crest defeated American Heritage earlier this season.
Atlantic Shores defeated StoneBridge 78-43 on Saturday night with Andre Dawkins’ 24 points leading the way. Dawkins scored 21 points on Thursday in a 68-52 win over Benedictine, and 16 points in a 73-36 defeat of Williamsburg Christ on Tuesday evening.
The Washington Post has an article posted on the Gonzaga – DeMatha game. Tyler Thornton scored 14 points as Gonzaga won 86-76. Of note, Gonzaga was 21/21 from the free throw line with Thornton going 4/4. Thornton scored 18 points and was 9/10 from the free throw line, on Friday night, as Gonzaga defeated Good Counsel 73-56.
Josh Smith scored 29 points on 14-of-19 shooting but #2 Kentwood fell to Kentridge 67-58. The game is the second story in this Seattle Times article. The lead story is about #1 Garfield losing to Foss. Garfield features Tony Wroten Jr. who did not play due to a sprained ankle. Earlier in the week, Smith scored 15 points and 39 points in two Kentwood victories. Smith is averaging 25.5 points per game.
Ryan Kelly followed up his career high 47 point performance by leading Ravenscroft to two victories on Thursday and Friday. Kelly scored 20 points and secured eight rebounds in the first victory, while scoring 21 points with eight rebounds in the second game.
Christ School dropped their second game of the season with a 64-60 loss to Princeton High School of Cincinnati on Saturday. Mason Plumlee scored 12 points. Plumlee scored 20 points and Tony Kimbro added 13 in a 68-66 win over New American of New York on Friday night. Both games were part of the Laurel County Hoop Fest in Kentucky.
Harrison Barnes scored 19 points as Ames defeated Mason City 86-63 on Saturday night. The game was tight early with Mason City having a five point lead in the second quarter before Ames pulled ahead to lead 44-41 at the half. The Ames Tribune has a game recap posted.
Blue Devil Nation Premium introduces you to 2011 prospect Tony Kimbro. We have put together the most informative profile available on the web to date. We include an in depth scouting report -
One of the schools that the Duke Men’s Basketball staff is quite familiar with is Christ School out of Arden, North Carolina. The main reason for the attention is 6-11 Mason Plumlee who will be on campus as a freshman next season.
There has been talk that Duke might have the inside track on his brother, Marshall Plumlee, but there is another youngster that has made it no secret that he likes the Blue Devils.
Tony Kimbro Jr. is a 6-4, 185 pound budding sophomore prospect. If the name Tony Kimbro sounds familiar, it is and not for the best of reasons for Duke fans. His Father played for the Louisville
Cardinal team which defeated the oh-so popular 1985-86 team in the national championship game in one of the most heart breaking losses for a team that won the most regular season games in college basketball history. His Dad was also named to the 1985 McDonald’s All American team.
Kimbro started his career at Manuel in Louisville, Kentucky which is his hometown. He then transferred to Mount Zion in Durham, North Carolina. That stint didn’t last long according to Kimbro who left after a brief stay to go to Christ School in Arden, North Carolina.
“Well, I went to Mount Zion and I didn’t like it there so much because it was basically all basketball and not so much emphasis on academics. So, I told my Mom and we looked on the Internet and found Christ School, so I decided to go there and see if I liked it. When I got there, the facilities and teachers were good and you can go to them about homework 24/7 or anytime you need help.” [private]
His teammate and Duke commitment Mason Plumlee had been awarded his own room as a gesture by Coach Gaines for paying his dues and or being a senior, but Plumlee offered to share his room with the newcomer and they are now roommates.
“Mason pushes me. He’s kind of like my older brother, he helps me out. He is dedicated. He’ll wake up at like six o’clock in the morning and go shoot shots. That pushes me to do what he does. He’s showing me the ropes,” said Kimbro.
“I like Tony,” said a smiling Mason Plumlee. He continued, “I’m glad he came to Christ School. He was the perfect fit for our school. He is what we were missing personality wise and on the court. He’s just a really good kid and he’s just going to get better.”
Kimbro plays shooting guard in the Greenies system and feels that may or may not be his position at the next level where he feels he could float to the three.
“My strength is getting to the basket, giving my team motivation, getting them pumped up for the game. My weakness is my right hand,” said Kimbro.
When Plumlee was asked of Kimbro and the strength of his game, he stated, “His left hand is his strength obviously.
When asked what he would do to improve his weakness Kimbro said, “Coach Gaines makes me work on it in practice. He really doesn’t let me go left. He makes me go right and dribble with my right hand.
“Coach K was at one of our games and said we’re going to work all spring with your right hand. I think his strength is he is a good defender and he’s a smart and unselfish player,” said Plumlee
During the recent Glaxo Tournament in Raleigh, Kimbro admitted he was nervous in that he was playing before a crowd of that size for the first time. The budding prospect calmed down and had eight key points against Rocky Mount and UNC bound Reggie Bullock and helped his team go undefeated.
In fact, Kimbro has scored eight points or better in 13 of 19 games for Christ School and considering the fact he is class of 2011 and on a team loaded with future college players that’s impressive.
When it comes time to make a college choice, Kimbro is quick to state that his Mother will have the most influence on his decision and that it is tough being away from her. Kimbro, who has two brothers said that his Father came to some of his games. He mentioned that his Father was critical and only stated what was wrong and not what was right with his game obviously being a bit dismayed. He also said that his Mom and brothers would be okay with his choice regardless of location.
There was no hesitance on his part when asked of his dream school. “Duke!,” he replied in an emphatic manner as if there was little question. When asked of other schools he liked, he mentioned Kansas.
I asked what he felt he needed to do to get prepared or noticed by the nations major programs and Kimbro replied, “I need to work on my grades and keep working on my game. I need to dedicate more time to my game instead of going to parties and stuff like that. When other people are chilling around I need to work on my game.”
I made it a point to ask a BDN staple question “What three words best describes you as a person.” and Kimbro stated, “Loyal, hyper and dedicated.” I then asked what three words or pharases best describe him as a player and he answered “Hard working, a team player and motivated.”
It’s very early in the recruiting process for Kimbro who has not received letters or calls from Duke at this time. But other schools like Louisville and Oklahoma State are already stating interest and if he continues to make strides with developing going to his right, he just might catch the eye of the Duke staff.
Sidebar- Kimbro said LeBron James was his favorite NBA player. According to Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier, Kimbro was the top player in the class of 2011 in the state of Kentucky.
Scouting Report by his head coach David Gaines – “There is something very special about Tony Kimbro. The first two weeks he was in school I wanted to overcoach the heck out of him. He’s a lefty, he does not use his right hand to the extent that a player of that caliber should use his right hand. We talk about it a lot and how we are going to fix that. He’s been able to play with one hand because he is physically so much better than everybody else. But what I think is so interesting about him is his instincts for the game. He sees things …. he’s almost like a miniature version of Mason. He understands the game and sees plays happening before they happen but needs some work on his shot. He can stroke the three and defend and I think if he will let us coach him and we can harness that talent. I tell him look, you’ll get a scholarship if you don’t develop your right hand, but if you really want to be a player at the next level – a real player, you have to be able to use both hands effectively. He’s 6-4, athletic and in the tenth grade but there is something really special about him. He has a nose for the ball and he loves the game. I don;t think work will be the issue but he’s a little hard headed at times. I mean he started a very large Manuel High School in Louisville as a freshman and he comes to our team and is coming off the bench. He’s accepted that and realizes he’s better off being in the game at the end when it really matters than to worry about being in the starting lineup.”
As has been mentioned, Kimbro is a tremendous player going left and being a southpaw often confuses his opponents. He is explosive to the rim and athletic and physical in that he welcomes contact. His handle is good but needs work, again with his right hand. He is an adept passer and a pretty good defender for his age. He’s a kid worth keeping an eye on. [/private]