Tag Archives: Boo Williams Invitational

Recruiting Focus – Brad Beal is the real deal!

Brad Beal - BDN Photo
Brad Beal - BDN Photo

Every now and then there is a prospect who suddenly commands attention and that certainly applies to Brad Beal.  Some of you might be saying, "Who is Brad Beal?"  While a few folks in recruiting circles know of the 2011 youngster, there seem to be a great many who have yet to see Beal in action.  I mean, the Boo Williams Invitational rosters even have his named spelled 'Beel' and when mentioning his name to some over the weekend, they'd ask me, "Who?"

Part of the reason for Beal's former anonymity is due to the fact that as a freshman he averaged just 8.5 ppg.   But this past season Beal broke into the limelight by averaging 23.5 PPG, not to mention a 30 point effort in the state championship game.  In fact, Beal scored 26 points in the fourth quarter of another game in the regular season and ended the contest with 52.

The rising junior stands 6'-3" and weighs a solid 175 and is still growing.  [private] Many of the services have Beal listed as a shooting guard but, make no mistake, he possesses that rare ability to find the open man.  As I watched Beal, he impressed me with his ability to share the ball with his teammates despite his scoring prowess.

Beal would lead his teammates perfectly on the break, throwing them the ball where they could make the play by leading them to the basket.  He could thread a needle with his passing and is very quick with the ball.  Beal has a pull-up jumper to go with his knack for taking the ball to the rack for a dunk.  A dangerous player in the open court, Beal always seemed to make the right decision this weekend.

It's amazing how far ahead of the curve this young man's game is compared with those in his class.  He can drain the three, play good on-ball defense and fill the passing lanes.  He's a tweener in the best sense of the word, for he can run the point with ease.

While Beal may not be a household name to the recruiting public, he has already garnered the attention of Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri.  Each of those schools have offered and many more pitches are on the way.  The sky is the limit for this youngster and whether Duke gets involved remains to be seen, but it's highly likely that if the staff catches his games, they'll like him.

After all, St. Louis has been good to the Devils, giving them former player and head team manager Chris Carrawell.  Stay tuned for more recruiting news from BDN Premium and enjoy the interview below where one comment is sure to stand out.  Trust me, you will hear the name Brad Beal in the future.

That was a tough loss out there, but you did everything you could to get your team to the championship game.  You had 29 points out there and are quite the scorer.  Where did that come from?

It's just the way I play.  The past couple of games I've been shooting the ball well, but knew I would have to shoot even better in the championship game.

Where did you learn you basketball skills?

My Mom.  Mainly my mom, because she always pushed me.  I''ve been working out since I was in, like, the third grade.

You're obviously close to your Mom.  Will she play a big role in your decision when the time comes?

Somewhat.  She supports me 100% so wherever I want to go she's fine with it.  She just tries to develop the relationships with coaches just like I do.

If somebody had never seen you play, how would you describe your game?

Real smooth and calm on the court.  I don't let a lot of things effect me and play as hard as I can every game.

You seem aggressive as well.  I saw where you are not afraid to get on the floor to fight for loose balls.  It seems like you are really able to find open guys too, leading them just right.  Is that something you work on a lot, your passing ability?

Yeah, I do, because I like to get my teammates involved - I'm not a selfish ball player.  I, like, to try to get everybody involved, that way everybody gets into the game and then we get up and down faster and score points.

Rumor has it that you are a heavy Florida lean, is that true?

Maybe, but I'm not sure right now.

Can you give me a list of schools which are showing interest?

Kansas, Florida, Villanova, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri are some of them.

Are you open to other schools coming in?


Do you have a time line on trimming the list?

I'm not sure yet.  I'm hoping to make it soon but not too soon.

Do you have aspirations to play in the NBA?

Yeah.  I know I have a long ways to go so I've got to work hard to achieve my goal.

Do you pattern your game or is there any particular player you watch?

Kobe for his ego and ability to score when it's on the line.  LeBron is great.  Ray Allen can shoot ...

Did you have a dream school growing up?

I liked ... not really.  Whoever has the most dominant team every year I usually choose them.

Who were you going to say you used to like?

Probably Duke because of JJ Redick.  I used to always watch him shoot.

What if Duke came into the picture, would you be open to them?

I would be open to Duke and any other school,

How are your grades?

I have a 3.8 GPA

Where will your team go from here?

We go to Arkansas next weekend and I know we are going to the Peach Jam.

Thanks for your time and good luck in your basketball future.

Thank you. [/private]

BDN Prospect Focus – Brandon Knight chats up the Blue Devil Nation

Knight defends during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo
Knight defends during the Boo Williams Invitational - BDN Photo

Blue Devil Nation Premium participated in several interviews with Brandon Knight during the Boo Williams Invitational.  This is a true one on one interview with Knight, save two questions.  Members received live updates on the premium message board all weekend long and there is lots of information awaiting you should you join.  Already up is an interview with Harrison Barnes, Andre Dawkins (message board only), Josh Smith and now Brandon Knight.  BDNP was on hand for the entire tournament and we'll have offerings of premium prospect interviews every single day through this coming Sunday.  You will also hear from some prospects which most sites are not even aware are on the radar.  Join us now and see for yourself what others are talking about.

That's quite a game you just had.  Your team is 3-0 now, how does that feel?

It feels good because you want to come in here and start off strong.  I thought we could have played a little bit better, but we got the "w" and that's all that counts.

You are really scoring well in this tournament, averaging around 25 ppg.  Do you feel as if you want to be the go to man or the guy who takes the big shots?

Basically my team looks for me to close games out and do the right thing.  So, I feel like they're counting on me to score at the end or to have the ball.  I think I make the right decision sometimes to score or get my big the pass when he goes to the basket to finish or something like that.  Rebound or whatever it takes.

Do you like that role?

Yeah, yeah. (shaking his head up and down)  As long as you have confidence it's always nice to have that role.

Have you been hearing from coaches since being here this weekend?

[private] I haven't really had my phone on.  I've just been chilling and focusing more on trying to get these wins.

You don't have a lot of times on your hands at an AAU event like this ..


Do you get tired of the media or folks reaching in with mic's in your face?

No, this is fun - just keep your composure.   It prepares you for whats to come.

(NBADraft.net) Do you get swarmed by a lot of other guys here trying to get you to come play for them?  (Interesting question in that this guy suddenly "swarms" into the conversation)

Are you talking about their schools?

(NBAD) Yeah, some of the current commitments. (runs towards another prospect after one question)

Oh, oh, oh.  Just some schools are on me like from Florida and Villanova.  That's about it.

Well you play with Rivers, so I suppose he works you?

Yeah, a little bit.

Let me get this straight, I am not going to ask you about a list of schools which you have been asked on numerous occasions ...

Okay, okay ...

You played with Kenny Boynton  last season with Team Breakdown and he's now at Florida.  Can you see yourself playing with him again?

Yeah, yeah, I wouldn't mind as I have said before.  We had such success during the summer that I feel that we probably would have a good season and make it deep in the playoffs if I went there.  I have to sort teams out with my family and make sure ... I want to do the thing that is best for me and it may not be going to Florida.

You talked about going deep into the tournament.  How important is it for you to be successful in the NCAA's?

I don't want to go anywhere and lose.  I think that the main goal is to be able to play and win.  I think you only get looked at if you win and if you are not producing and or are successful, you start being labeled as  different things.  But if you are labeled as a winner then I think that only helps your stock.

You are talking in terms of the NBA?

Yes.  Yeah, I want to come in and play and win at all levels.

You have filled out a lot more this season - more defined or muscular ...

It's made a big difference.  When you try to retain that same quickness, so when you get to the lane you are getting bumps, or you can roll to the basket and try to bump your defender off and try to finish.  So, it helps you from getting bumped off your path and not being able to finish and stuff like that.

What is your routine?

Eating right and lifting and stuff like that.  Doing push ups ...

More so than in the past?

Yes, just eating a lot healthier.

But some of the filling out process is a natural process as well ...

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You get stronger as you get older, but you can help the process along by lifting and stuff like that.  I continue to lift during the season in trying to get stronger.  I don't want beef myself too much, but i want to maintain.

** Rivals, DI - Have you heard from Duke very much? (Uh, the rivals guy just bumped in with a rather pointed question)

Not that much.  I am getting letters but not much else lately.

What schools are calling you the most?

Florida, Florida State, Miami, UConn, Syracuse, Wake Forest ...

A lot of rumors get started and they just run rampant ...

Yeah, yeah, message boards

Exactly!  I asked one of your AAU coaches about you yesterday and he said it would be real hard to pull you out of state and that you were a homebody.  I'm not trying to put you on the spot, but how do you feel about that?

Yeah, yeah (not hesitating to answer) I'm going anywhere I can play and feel like I can win.  Whether that's in the northeast or the west coast, I am going to go there.  I like staying at home with my family and friends, but if I have to go out of state to be successful, that's what I will do.

I have two more interviews with Brandon Knight and this was the second of the bunch.  The first was a media swarm.   I try to get prospects one on one and my questioning tactics will sometimes change when others come in.  All of the questions but three here were a true one to one from BDNP.  But other sites are not above using what they overheard once they moved in, so keep that in mind.  Also, you will notice that we do not ask leading questions about Duke unless they are mentioned by the prospect first.  Oddly, the fellow at Scout claims sitting down for one on ones with prospects, yet there is no sitting down and a great majority of the questions they use are mine.  That's not a one on one.  BDNP is up front about who is asking the questions during interviews and we strive to keep our integrity intact.  That's what has helped us to become the best at what we do and has allowed for a great network of sources.  We have a lot of interviews ahead, but will likely save to multi site ones for last.  Afer the interviews, I will get into scouting reports.  I saw Harrison Barnes play in seven games or parts there of.  It continues to be our policy that we will not go into our analysis of a prospects skill sets unless we have four or more views.  Thank you for being a part of the Blue Devil Nation and welcome new members.

One more note, with the onslaught of information we will likely stay away from true articles until a bit later.

*****Important note - If you are a member and have not signed up for the message board, you need to do so.  There is a lot of information there including the first of two interviews with Andre Dawkins.  **You must register for the message board separately and be approved.  If you use a different e-mail address it may throw us off, so e-mail that you have signed up so we can speed up the process.  If you have registered and have yet to hear from us for approval, let me know.  Go to the help page on the main site for further assistance. [/private]

Big Josh Smith chats up BDN Premium after he tossed in 36 points in his team’s BWI opener

Josh Smith - BDN Photo
Josh Smith - BDN Photo

BDN Premium caught up with Josh Smith (6-9 Kentwood HS, Covington, WA) after he tossed in 36 points in Seattle Rotary Select's opening night win at the Boo Williams Invitational. Discuss this interview on our private message board.

Wow!  Thirty six points, game winning shot in the opener, what's up with that?

Aw, I man (smiling) ... it felt good.  I started out feeling good and kept on pushing it inside.  We had a little jet lag in the first half but we kind of woke up. [private]

Is this your first AAU Tournament on the east coast?

Not my first on the east coast, but my first time here.

So, where have you been on the east coast with concerns to AAU ball?

New York, Cincinnati.

Who is recruiting you?

Well, everybody is recruiting me right now, but I don't have a list.

I am sure you have heard this question before, but is there any truth that it is down to UCLA and Washington for your services?

That's not true.  I am not necessarily staying on the west coast.  If I do, I do.  I'm not totally sold on the west coast despite what people are saying.  It's where ever I feel comfortable, east coast or west coast.

Which schools stay on you the hardest?

All the PAC-10 schools, Texas, Louisville, Carolina, Duke.

When is the last time Carolina or Duke got in touch with you?

They send me letters all the time.  They call my Dad.  Coach K and my coach are real close so ...  my high school coach and they talk a lot.

When is the last time you talked with coaches from Duke or UNC?

It's been a while.

So, you are still open to Duke or UNC?


Three words which best describe you as a person -

Calm, determined and funny.

How did you feel after hitting that winning shot?

It felt good.  I felt kind of nervous because I was going to go up and dunk, but my knee gave way and I got the lay up.

I will elaborate more on Josh and Duke on the message board.  This is an interview to get the ball rolling. [/private]

Desperation Gilchrist three steals the show from Boo Williams and Andre Dawkins

Gilchrist hit a three pointer from half court after a steal and Team Final scored 6 points in 3.1 seconds to defeat Boo Williams, despite a huge effort from Duke bound Andre Dawkins
Gilchrist hit a three pointer from half court after a steal and Team Final scored 6 points in 3.1 seconds to defeat Boo Williams, despite a huge effort from Duke bound Andre Dawkins

Here is a sample of our live updates for Blue Devil Nation Premium members.    The trial runs out at midnight, so take advantage now and witness the hardest working premium Duke site on the Internet.  Join now and discuss the many happenings on our private message board.

Wow! Tremendous games today. I was all set to make the headline "The Andre Dawkins show" for his 27 points were a team high for Boo Williams and they held a 63-60 lead with possession of the ball and just seconds left on the clock. On the in bounds play, Team Final forced a turnover and had the ball with 1.3 ticks left. Then a floating three point shot by Tyreek Duren and it looked like OT.  After Boo got it to Luke Cothran at half court who fumbled it and Mike Gilchrist threw in a three point shot from just left of center court.  Team Final rushed over to the camera and Boo Williams' players were stunned that Team Final scored 6 points in 3.1 seconds to win. Unreal.

On the next court, All Ohio held on for a close win led by behemoth Jared Sullinger over Team Stat.   Brandon Knight was injured in the first half and did not return after scoring 10 points.

To have been able to watch both of these close games was amazing.

But that's not all! I went across the way to catch Howard Pulley in their semi final bronze medal game. Upon entering the gym, Barnes drove to the hole for a slashing lay in.  The next time down he nailed a three pointer but that was after he blocked the shot on the defensive end. If that wasn't enough, he threaded a pass to a cutting teammate for an assist on the third straight offensive possession.  Barnes went on to score 26 points and his team has won three straight contests after dropping the opening two games.   Barnes will play one more game which I will stay for.  IOW, I am closing it out and staying for the duration.

The best I have seen - Barnes, Knight, Sullinger, McAdoo and Lamb would make up my first team  Dawkins played really, really well after his first game.  Much to come including a bevy of interviews and information.

Harrison Barnes set to trim his list in the next few weeks – interview

Barnes was swarmed by the media after scoring 29 points  BDN Photo
Barnes was swarmed by the media after scoring 29 points BDN Photo

Harrison Barnes tossed in 29 points in Howard Pulley's opening game of the Boo Williams Invitational.  Blue Devil Nation Premium was on hand to see Barnes try to lead the comeback and talked to the prospect after the game.  Our coverage will continue through the weekend including live blogging on the BDN Premium Message Board.

All of a sudden you are in the middle of a Duke and UNC recruiting battle.  What is that like?

It's an honor to be recruited by two great schools with such tradition.

You reached down deep and almost brought your team back scoring 29 points, but you looked a bit tired early in the game.  Was this due to travel?

Yes, I did get a little tired early and that's from getting back into the groove playing again.  We tried to make a run at the end there but just couldn't get over the top. [private]

What do you think of this media throng?

(laughing) Yes!  During the high school season, I definitely got accustomed to the media.

And you are visiting UNC after the NBA Player Developmental Camp?

That is correct.

I am going to take a few weeks to evaluate some more schools and then after that I will try to trim the list.

In the next few weeks?

Yes.  Because I've seen only three schools up close and it would be pretty hard to establish a leader at this point.

The schools recruiting you seem to have different systems, can you see yourself fitting in at any of them?

I think I am versatile in that I can play up and down basketball, but I can also be in a structured system.  It's definitely good for me to look around and see what system fits me best.  Whatever school I decide to go to, it's going to be a team that can contend for the national championship.  Winning is my first priority.

Is there a certain type of school you are looking to go to?

I would say that whatever school I go to I could contribute in some way, whether it's being the man or not, I am going to contribute somehow.

You said you would cut your list of schools.  Do you have an idea how many that might be?

At this point I am not sure.  I will sit down and think about it before I take my official visits.

Will you take all five?

I will take as many as I need to.

What was it like for Roy to visit your school?

It was a really humbling experience, especially after they were coming off a national championship.

What are your thoughts on UNC winning the title?

They were my pick to win it the whole time, so ...

When is the last time you actually heard from coaches from Duke and UNC?

I talk to them on a frequent basis, both of them.

So who are you comfortable with?

A big part of recruiting is establishing a relationship so  it's definitely important that I reach out to them.

How do you think you performed in the game?

I thought I could have played better but my defense is coming along.

What position do you see yourself playing in the pros?

Two guard.

Do you like playing defense?

I do pride myself on my defense and it has a long way to come, but I am getting there.

What do you say to people who feel you are a North Carolina or Duke kid?

To me its not ... I haven't narrowed down my list to just Duke and North Carolina and I think a lot of people have the assumption that those are the lead schools, but there are a lot of other schools in the mix.  By the time it comes down to it, they might not even be in the final two.  So I think it's a little premature to say that I am a Duke or North Carolina kid.

What do you like about Kansas?

I like the player and coach relationship.  I feel that all the coaches are able to bond with the players.

And what is it about Duke?

I would say that it's a family thing going on there.  After you leave if you are an alumni you are always welcomed back.

North Carolina?

They are really good at sending players to the next level.

Do you see any player at thee college level you compare to?

I haven't watched college that close until this year, so it's kind of hard to make that comparison right now.  I grew up watching the NBA.

What are your thoughts on Coach Williams, K and Self?

Coach Williams is definitely basketball smart.  He likes to share his expertise with his players.  He's more hands on.  Coach K is more instructing and preparing you for let's say the next level.  Bill Self is a defensive minded coach as well as Ben Howland.  I think each coach has a different style. [/private]