(We have now made this a public video) I had the pleasure of talking with ESPN's Jason Jordan about Duke Basketball Recruting during the recent Holiday Invitational in Raleigh. I got Jordan's thoughts on Julius Randle, the latest on Tony Parker, Theo Pinson, Jaquell Richmond and Tyus Jones and more in this exclusive BDN Video for our premium members.
The Holiday season is upon us and that means Duke Basketball plays just a couple of December games, but make no mistake, it is still a busy time. The Duke Men's Basketball staff will put in their frequent flyer miles and burn a little rubber as they hit the recruiting trail and BDN Premium brings you an update on the latest news.
Coach Krzyzewski and assistant coach Jeff Capel will be in Dallas, Texas today to watch Julius Randle, the nations #2 ranked player in the class of 2012. Duke will also see (1271 word update ahead for BDN Premium members) [private] Matt Jones, the shooting guard who just pledged to the Blue Devils. There is no mistaking the fact that Duke hopes Jones will help recruit the banging horse, Randle. And Rasheed Sulaimon may help there as well. As I have said in past updates, the Blue Devils covet Randle and think they can get him and Jabari Parker and that would be just magical for the fan base.
Speaking of Jabari Parker, the top rated player in his class that is now being compared to Kobe Bryant by some, the staff will watch him in Fayetteville this weekend. I have long maintained that I feel Duke is in incredibly good shape here and that they were in on Parker very early and have developed great relationships with the family. Duke will also take in the Beach Ball Classis in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they'll see him again at the end of this month. Parker will have his parents in tow this weekend and probably Myrtle Beach as well.
And speaking of the the Beach Ball Classic, one of two top recruits left for this season at this time, Tony Parker will be there. Duke continues to get good vibes from his camp, especially his parents who I have said for a long time now favor Duke. Parker is a stressful prospect for Duke fans in that the Blue Devils really need him and or have a place for him. I was the first to tell you that the December date was sketchy and that you cannot really go on what Parker says he'll do. And that means the old line, don't listen to what he says, but watch what he does. Parker is enjoying the process, a bit too much for most Duke fans taste for it makes little sense he would choose any situation but Duke for numerous reasons. Of course, they have on royal blue glasses as well but even the objective observer sees the best spot for him is in Durham. I still think he will end upo taking this until summer - late summer, so try and keep your composure and not go bad mouthing him in forums which could possibly damage the teams efforts.
We cannot leave out the top rated player in this seasons class, Shabazz Muhammad who will also be in Myrtle Beach. UCLA, once considered a strong leader is now third in my opinion and as I said a bit back, it will come down to Duke and Kentucky. His decision could hinge on Austin Rivers decision to go pro or stay at Duke, so this one as I have said all along will go to the podium the last day or so of the signing period in late summer. And it doesn't hurt to dream and think that both Parker and Bazz might choose Duke taking all of the build up stress away and making us all five years younger in the process. Muhammad could really flourish in the Duke system where I feel he would be more of a go-to guy than he would be at Kentucky.
Another Chicago are kid has caught the Blue Devils eye as well. Jalhill Okafor is a bruising type in the class of 2014 and stands 6-10 and weighs in at 280. Duke has mad in roads with him and they'll see him this weekend along with Jabari Parker. I am looking forward to reporting on his game as I focus in on him solely for the first time. He plays AAU ball for the Mac Irwin Fire and they at times have so many good players, that it is hard to focus in on one early in the circuit season.
Two players that will play at the former Glaxo event in Raleigh will be Rasheed Sulaimon, already signed with Duke and young Theo Pinson. Sulaimon will thrill the crowd for sure with his water bug like movement. He glides around the court with high energy and his on ball defense is much improved, making me think he can be a stopper at Duke. Our diary session kind of imploded due to his schedule, but he has said he will pick it up soon. Pinson is another 2014 kid that liked Duke growing up. He is an interesting wing that still seems to be growing at 6-5 and will likely be a small forward type in college, but he has good guard skills as well and like all Duke prospects, he has great character. Okay, I know what you are thinking about that statement, but be nice as I said up top, LOL.
The City of Palms, Texas, Vegas .... the Blue Devils staff will be seeing a lot of kids this month. Some of those will be individual visits to the likes of Tyus Jones and Austin Nichols. The Blue Devils fell in love with Jones last year and I had already been there in that he always stood out to me. During my last interview with Jones, I came away very impressed at his grounded maturity which is far ahead of his years. And that kind of maturity is what you seek in a point guard. Duke will be on this kid hard as will everybody else int he nation, but early returns are that he likes Coach K and Duke a lot. Austin Nichols is a 6-8 slender forward approaching 200 pounds that the Devils staff will check out individually. A lot of SEC schools are on the Tennessee native and a few from the Big East along with Butler. Nichols caught the Blue Devils eye but it is early on this one, so we'll call it an on going evaluation.
On the team front, Coach K is very pleased with the 9-1 start to the season and the staff will take measures to try an assure there is no burnout from the added stress of the China trip. There are a few nagging injuries (nothing major) but I only speak of them when announced and the team rarely does this. The staff will be watching a lot of film, so expect a few new wrinkles as the new year moves in. As I said, the plan is to redshirt Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee and this will be a good thing down the road for these will be seasoned and mature freshman. And yes, I played a bit of a game in mentioning lineup changes the other week and many got a chuckle out of other sites running with it in public. It pays to know Duke Basketball, wink-wink and to be a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium. Thanks for being a member guys and let's go Duke!
Talk about this article on the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board, a part of your membership package and please do not share, copy and past this information per user agreement. There will be more news to follow in an addendum I will add to this update and we'll be on prospect hard. This is where you will get an idea of what Blue Devil Nation Premium is all about. [/private]
Since last we profiled Chicago's Jabari Parker, he has led the United States to a Gold Medal at the FIBA Americas 16U Championship in Mexico, where the 6'8" wing was named the MVP of the tournament. Over the past month, Parker stood out against the nation's best at the LeBron James Skills Academy and helped take his relatively young Mac Irvin AAU squad deep into several tournaments including the Peach Jam, Fab 48, and, most recently, into the finals at the Desert Duel.
Recently, Jabari spoke with us about a variety of issues, including his USA Basketball experience, his recent profile in Sports Illustrated, and a scouting report on some of his recent teammates, who also have received recruiting interest from Duke.
What schools are you considering? Kansas, Washington, Duke, Illinois, and Michigan State.
What’s going to influence your decision when you choose a school? The best program where I can fit in, a program where I can develop as an individual, both in basketball and character-wise.
[private] (Other site) Chicago basketball, is that the best basketball in the country or what? I would say in the country because, as a public school, we don’t have the ability to recruit as the other schools do, so I always consider us one of the best high school programs in the country.
What did you learn about yourself at the academies? I learned that these guys are just as good as me, so I have to work hard, I have to make myself stand out through hard work.
What do you feel you need to work on? Not just being an individual, but being able to have your teammates play around you and it’s not about one person...Just getting to loose balls and playing better defense, too, cause you know I can lag on that. And getting my jump shot improved, too.
What’s it like playing in front of college coaches? Not a lot of pressure, but, you know, I’m kind of used to it, but it’s good because you know… Do you find it makes you play or act differently? Do you find it motivates, excites, or even makes you a little nervous? It makes me kind of motivated because I can show them what I’m not good at and show what I’ve improved on and lacking in skills.
Do you feel you've improved as a shooter over the past few months? I’ve gotten better, but it needs some work. You know, I’m just getting in the gym and getting shots up. I’m not thinking about it too much, but just.. Getting comfortable with your range? Yeah.
What was the USA Basketball experience like? It was very good. It was very aggressive. It’s kind of different from the States because they called a whole lot of ticky-tack fouls. In the national game, they let you be more physical where hand-checking is allowed.
How long does it take you to get used to the rules, etc.? Well, it took me about a week. We practiced in Colorado Springs, so they had us learn the rules.
What about winning the MVP? It must have been exciting. It was good. I was actually surprised because you know Aaron? Yeah, Aaron Gordon.. He played well and just my teammates..they were just as good as me, so when I got it, I felt honored.
What were the highlights of the trip? The highlight was obviously winning the gold medal, but other than that, I meant… Yeah, but off the court, we went to Chichen Itza. It was one of the Aztec pyramids or something like that we got to see. It was like another wonder of the world. We got to see that up close.
Oh, that must've been a great experience. Forgive me, but what’s the latest in your recruitment? Missouri just offered me, Tennessee just offered me, and UConn, too.
Who’s been after you hardest since that June 15th deadline? Illinois and DePaul. DePaul has sent me a lot of things. They kind of get under you because they’re the local school.
Have you enjoyed playing with Jahlil Okafor? He said he looked up to you. What’s your relationship like with him? Oh, that’s like a little brother to me. Jahlil’s very good. He’s a really big person down-low that you can throw the ball down to. He’s looking to be like me- one of the top players in his class. He’s very dominant.
He had mentioned how you had slimmed down on your body and how he was going to try to do the same. Yeah, with me and him, it’s all about our bodies are different. Growing up, it’s about eating the right food. You can’t get away with taking a lot of days off.
Can you give the audience a scouting report on Theo Pinson? Oh, Theo’s very good. You know, without the ball, he can run the lanes very well. He’s very athletic. He’s just good for his age. He can do so much that other kids can’t do at his age. He’s a very natural player. Yeah, he’s very natural.
What was the experience at LeBron like? It went well. We did a lot of skill development, getting coaching from all different levels- from the NBA down to high school. You know, it just brings different views.
What sort of things did you learn? Footwork, just different footwork… and skills as far as reverse pivots and face-up game.
Speaking about those five or six schools that you mentioned before, can you mention something about each of them? Well, they each have great coaches, they have a long history, they’ve been able to win, you can also develop as a person too with them and you can trust them. I just like that the coaches there are all good. I think I can fit into their systems well.
What makes you think that you can fit into their systems? Because it’s versatile. I’ve been scouting throughout the players they had and I’m similar to some of those players..the ones that are able to post inside and out and play the small forward position.
How likely is it that your schools are likely to change from here on out? It’s able to change, there are a lot of schools trying to come in, but you know, things can change, I guess. I just like those schools.
I guess I was just curious, but do you have a friendly rivalry with Julius Randle? Well, you know, he’s a very good player. You know, me and him are a rival on the courts, but me and him get along very well and we talk. We share words and we talk about schools. I just like being around him. I know you guys are often associated on a national level. Yeah, yeah.
In terms of visits, have you taken any recently? Do you have any upcoming? I don’t have any visits planned because, you know, I’ll be busy. In August, I really don’t know.
Who are some coaches that you’ve enjoyed talking to? It was surprising to see Jim Calhoun, you know he just won the National Championship..and his interest in me being very high. He’s always won national championships and he plays in the Big East.
Have you spoken with Durant and what advice did he give you? I met Durant in Chicago and… I remember you really looked up to him, I remember that he was one of your favorite players. I’m glad that you had the opportunity to meet him. Yeah, he’s a very good guy. He was always involved with us. He also worked with us individually as well. He also told us that we need to work hard and told me not to let my talent be wasted by not working hard.
Did you get to play against him at all? Yeah, I got to play against him. How did you do? I did okay. He didn’t really play to his full effort, but…
How far along do you feel you are in terms of your recruitment? I think it’s getting there. I think it’ll be before my senior year. I’ll be able to decide one day. Only time will tell.
(Kentucky site reporter) You mentioned Kentucky. You've gotten a little interest from Kentucky. Have they called you since June 15th. Yeah, they called my parents and they didn't really give me any insight into what was said. They just said that they were very interested in me.
(Kentucky site reporter) Do you feel like you have an offer from them? Not really, because I think that they're interested in other kids from the 2012 class. But Coach Orlando, he contacts my mom sometimes. (Kentucky site reporter) What would be your interest level if they did come through with an offer? It would be so-so.
Have you visited all five of them? I have visited all but Kansas. I haven't visited Kansas yet. I've been away and at the camps. I haven't visited them yet.
Is that something you want to do or thought about? Yeah.
Since we're getting near the end of the season, how do you feel you and your team are playing right now? I think we're playing well, you know. We're playing well as a team. This spring, you remember we were struggling a little bit, when we were trying to get used to each other and our surroundings. Right now, we're starting every game strong and everybody is playing well with each other.
What is the importance for you and your teammates of going out with a bang…ending the summer on a high note? I've been playing pretty well this summer. You know getting a lot of hard work in, between the Nike Skills Academies and the LeBron James Camp… and I've just tried to grow from there.
It translates also back to AAU ball. Yes, it does. It really started from USA camp. We worked very hard from there and coaches there just said, you know, to play as hard today in practice as you will tomorrow in the games. We all tried to take that to heart, you know.
Speaking of USA Basketball, what was it like playing with Tyus Jones? How did he mesh with the team as your point guard? Oh, yeah, it was really good group and Tyus was one of the best guards at passing. He really facilitated more than he scored for our team, but, you know, he could score anytime that he wanted.
In terms of watching tapes or games of older players, which ones have you enjoyed watching most? I've actually enjoyed watching a lot, but recently I was watching the Boston Celtics against the Houston Rockets. I just loved to watch Larry Bird move around the floor and seeing how he stayed active and involved. Then, I've also been watching the Portland Trailblazers against the Nets or I mean the 76ers back when they had Doctor J and just trying to take from that and how they played hard and how they would try to get their baskets.
I saw you yesterday trying to incorporate the bank shot, which is sadly missing in a lot of the younger guys' games. Oh, yeah, definitely.
What did you think of the recent SI article? Yeah, it was real good. You know I appreciate it. The guy interviewed me and he thought I was a very good guy. Yeah, well, you are. Thanks, you know I'm just glad with the way it turned out and I appreciated his time. I'm just so glad that I had an opportunity to have an article on me and I never want to take it for granted.
How do you account for the improvement in your explosiveness? When you're dunking the ball, how much does the thought of igniting the crowd play into what you're going to do? You know I just started to get a little more bounce. Sure. Yeah, and you know the weight going down has helped me a lot as far as being lighter and helping me stay in the air a little longer.
What about your match-up with (Kuran) Iverson? He's got a lot of tools too and he's around your size, age, and athleticism. Yeah, I've got to say that he brought the best out in me. He made me play harder and not so sluggish. In the beginning, I thought he got the best of me and so I needed to come out strong for my team in the second half.
Thank you very much. It was great to see you, Jabari. It was great to see you.[/private]
A young man caught my eye during the opening session of the Nike EYBL in Hampton, Virginia this season. I watched on as he ran his Howard Pulley team with great precision from the point guard spot. I later learned that Tyus Jones was in the class of 2014, yet here he was playing with the big boys and looking as if he were there classmates. He impressed me with his ball handling skills and the kid has a seriously good offensive game to go with his multiple skills.
Jones also caught the eye of the Blue Devils staff and they will get involved early on with the Apple Valley, Minnesota product. He dropped 30 in front of Coach Krzyzewski during this past weeks Nike EYBL Peach Jam and BDN Premium caught up with the budding talent in an effort to get to know him. After our conversation it is fair to say that Jones is very mature for his age and he comes off as a really bright young man with great character.
Jones also played for Team USA and he turned heads there as well, so keep an eye out for this kid can play.
You've been playing very well the entire AAU season but you also played well for Team USA. How was that experience?
It was definitely an honor to be selected to play for tour country and it's something I enjoyed participating in. It was a great experience where we went 5-0 in Mexico City.
Do you have a list of schools? [private]
Iowa and Baylor offered. Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Arizona, USC and others making contact.
You mentioned earlier that a couple of other schools are starting to show keen interest.
The newer schools are Tennessee and Florida.
Have you heard from any ACC schools?
No, not really. North Carolina sent me a questionnaire but that's about it. I haven't talked to the coaches yet.
Would you be open to ACC schools like Duke or UNC?
Yes, definitely, definitely. (emphatic)
What do you think of Duke?
Duke is a great program. I mean they have Coach K and great tradition.
Did you have a dream school growing up?
Not really. I watched all the big name schools but had no real favorite. I guess I followed Michigan State the most growing up and they recruited my brother, so I kind of rooted for them but they are not necessarily a favorite in the recruiting process.
How would you describe your own game?
Probably just a complete point guard who likes to distribute the ball and set up my teammates to give them an opportunity to score. But if I am given the opportunity to score or someone plays off of me, I'll take the shot.
Do you have a timetable with concern to when you would like to commit in the future and who will help you make your decision?
Definitely no time table and I will probably not commit until late but you never know. My mom and Dad are the people who will be most involved. They were the people who raised me and made me the person that I am. My older brother will play a big part in it as well. Maybe my high school coach and Antwan Harris my AAU coach,
Will distance be a problem?
Right now we are looking at everything, so I am not really sure yet, but probably not.
How do you feel about education?
Ever since I was little it was important, so I was raised taking my education seriously
What are you looking for in a school?
Just a goof fit. It will be a combination of a lot of things.
How do you feel you played here (Peach Jam)?
I think I played pretty well and as a team I think we had some success as well.
You're a young man with a lot of time before you have to get serious about schools, yet you seem mature beyond your years. Do you feel that you are?
Yes, I guess so. I have always been comfortable playing with older players, so I have grown into it. It is nothing new to me.
Do you try an emulate anybody on the court or do you have a favorite player?
Probably LeBron James. I watched a whole lot of basketball growing up. I want to be successful like him.
Born and raised in Minnesota?
Yes. I was born and raised there.
With all these coaches watching, do you ever in awe of say Izzo, Coach K or Williams see you play?
Definitely the big name coaches. You see them on TV but not so much in person and the three you named are all pretty ... it's a cool thing.
When did you first know you had it?
Ever since I was little I was playing up. (with older kids) I talked to my parents when I was in the 7th grade about playing varsity and I was successful and I knew I would get recruited.
Have you taken any unofficial visits?
Only the U of M, Minnesota. I might take a couple in August but I am not sure where yet.
What style best fits your game at the college level?
I definitely like to push the tempo so an up tempo team. I will be looking into things a lot. The location and coaching style and campus, players, just all have to fit. You want to have a good team bond like my AAU team, it is important and I will have to see where I can fit in.
Do you want to play for a team which has a shot at the national title in college?
Definitely. A national championship as a college athlete would be a great accomplishment.
Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the way.
Discuss this article on the BDN Premium Message Board. A side note - members must sign up for the board separately in order to gain access. Once you've done so, you will be approved in short time. [/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.
We can lay claim to the fact that we cover more major recruiting events in person than any other site and that has been a running thing for several years now. We don't send "stringers," with limited knowledge of the subject matter to do our work, nor do we sit back and depend on national network guys to do our job for us. Seriously, do you not want first hand observations from an accomplished staff that has seen the prospects play multiple times? No knocks here on the National guys in that many are our friends, but their sole focus is certainly not on Duke prospects nor is it a priority to cover them. There are no smoke and mirrors tactics at BDN folks, nope, we are straightforward and honest when it comes to our coverage and we take pride in that.
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]