Friday, April 29, 2011

Nance Jr. Chooses Wyoming

By: Kevin Duffy

When you have the genes of an NBA Slam Dunk Champion and All Star, you probably can ball yourself. This is the case of Larry Nance Jr., whose father won the 1984 Contest. The son of the NBA star has decided to take his talents to the University of Wyoming and play for new Cowboy Head Coach, Larry Shyatt.

"I committed because I love everything about it and am excited to be a part of a great program", said Nance Jr. on why he committed to Wyoming.

The 6'7 forward hopes to make an impact with the Cowboys starting next fall. "I hope to help the Cowboys move at least back into contention for the League."

The versatile forward makes a recruiting class of five. The others being Tyrone Marshall, Lekan Ajayi, Riley Grabau and Derrious Gilmore.

Just three weeks on the job, new coach Larry Shyatt has signed all five of the new recruits."Coach Shyatt is one of the best and most fun guys to be around", Nance Jr. said of the new coach.

"I'm excited for the new era(of Wyoming basketball)", said Nance Jr.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Latest on Negus Webster-Chan's Recruitment

By: Kevin Duffy

Louisville basketball lost a big 2012 recruit in Negus Webster-Chan this past week. However the Cardinals along with every other school in D1 basketball will be able to give their best pitch to the 6'7 shooting guard.

The Canadian product decommitted from Louisville on Tuesday because,"I just didn’t feel comfortable with all of the changes at Louisville. I had a great relationship with Coach Mark Lieberman and with his new role I just didn’t feel like it was best for me. I appreciate all of the Louisville fans that have showed their support for me and hope they understand",said Negus.

This shocked and then excited colleges around America. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Negus about his new recruitment options and more.

KD: So what schools are you considering now after you decommitted from Louisville?
NW: Everyone

KD: So you're still considering Louisville?
NW: Yeah I'm open to everyone right now.

KD: Playing with a lot of uncommited players with Team Takeover, would you want to play with them in college?
NW: Depends you know if its in the best interest for the both of us.

KD: How long do you plan to stay in college?
NW: All depends on how I develop.

KD: What position do you see yourself playing in college?
NW: Combo guard or straight Shooting Guard

KD: How is it to play at Hutchinson Prep with top prospects and how does that prepare you for college?
NW: It's really good and beneficial because I get to go up against top prospects everyday in practice and it makes me push myself harder whether it be doing weights or just practice. Huntington Prep is set up like a college program.

KD: Would you be more interested in college that gets people to the league faster or one that is usually of upper classmen?
NW: Whatever one is best for me to be successful.

KD: What are your goals for this summer?
NW: To prove I'm one of the best in my class and dominate and to win every game as a team.

KD: What do you feel you have to improve?
NW: Everything man, can't ever be satisfied.

KD: What camps are you going to this summer?
NW: Only confirmed camp I'm going to right now is the NBA Top 100 Camp.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gillis chooses Coastal Carolina

By: Kevin Duffy

Warren Gillis of Rise Academy has decided to take his talents to Coastal Carolina. He is a shooting guard in the class of 2011. I broke the news after Warren called Coach Ellis and informed him, he was obviously excited.

Gillis was down to Coastal Carolina, Xavier, and Southern Mississippi before he ultimately picked the Chanticleers.

"I felt like it was a perfect fit for me, they have a top accounting program, it's a place I can go and compete right away and help the team", said the 6'4 guard ,"It's a school that has won its conference regular season the past two years, they have a great campus, environment and great location."

Warren previously attended Academy of the New Church before going to play prep at Rise Academy for Coach Vin Sparacio.

Gillis averaged 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a senior at ANC, but college interest was primarily coming from Division II football programs.

His post-graduate season at Rise increased his options dramatically. Gillis averaged 23 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists per game, including 31 points against nationally-ranked Findlay Prep, 29 against Brehm Prep and 27 against Brewster Academy.

He plays big in big games. He expects "to win the conference regular season and post tournament".

I wouldn't be surprised if you see this big time player in the NCAA Tournament in coming years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One on One with Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon

By: Kevin Duffy

The Duke Blue Devils under Coach Krzyzewski have been able to produce great teams along with extraordinary people. One such recruit with a bright future ahead of him is 2012 Duke commit, Rasheed Sulaimon. The 6'3 guard is an honor student, very well spoken, and an outstanding ball player. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Rasheed about everything Duke, his summer, his goals, and more. Please check it out!

KD:So what's up with this "Fab 5" idea at Duke?
RS:Well you know me and L.J grew up together and one day we were watching the Fab 5 documentary. I knew that me and Alex Murphy were committed already to Duke and I knew that Duke was still recruiting L.J, Shabazz, and Tony Parker and I was just like L.J we can make like our own Fab 5 and a couple weekends ago at the All American Championship,it was on ESPNU,all five of us were down at Houston during the Final Four and so we kind of just talked about it a little. Tony and Shabazz were like yeah that could happen too that would be a cool idea but you know they still have some other schools that they are looking at too.

KD:How did you feel about Jalen Rose' comments about Duke?
RS:Jalen Rose's comments,it doesn't really affect me too much. He felt that way about Duke in the past, I do feel like his comments were false. Duke has shown that they recruit great players and great people, it doesn't matter what background they came from whether they have single parents or have both parents.It doesn't really affect me too much because I know Duke is not that way. They're just a great program.

KD:How is it to play with L.J Rose in AAU?
RS:He's a great point guard. We kind of grew up together a little bit, we've been knowing each other since we were 4 so I've been playing with him for a very long time. We have great chemistry. Him being 6'5, he has a great advantage as a point guard so he could see over the defense and he makes passes even when you don't think he can make it. He always gives it to you in the perfect spot, he finds you where you have the best advantage to make a play. Playing with him is just a great blessing because he does a lot of work for you so when you catch the ball really half the time all you have to do is catch it and shoot it.

KD:Why did you decide to attend Duke?
RS:I decided to attend Duke because it just seemed like a great fit for me. Their style of play fit my style of play. You know my parents are big on academics and Duke is a really great school academically and when we visited we just liked the campus life and everything like that. And of course Coach K, he has a great staff, he's a great person, great coach. I was excited about the opportunity to play for him so that's when I pulled the trigger.

KD:What position do you see yourself playing at Duke?
RS:I was just talking to the coaching staff and they said they are comfortable with me playing both the one and the two,they think I'm versatile enough to do both.

KD:Can you talk about the future of Duke?
RS:Well Duke they have some great players that are currently on the team right now and they have a great class coming in next year,you know Austin Rivers, Plumlee, Gbinji, and the possibility of getting DeAndre Daniels also. I just think they have a great, great, team and they are going to be young and very talented and I just think the future of Duke is going to be really, really good.

KD:How do you feel about the Duke-North Carolina rivalry?
RS:It's a great rivalry. I actually visited Duke during when they played at Cameron against North Carolina. The atmosphere is just crazy, it gets really intense and both teams really want to win and both teams really dislike each other. Just the opportunity to play in that in a couple years is just really exciting.

KD:How long do you see yourself in college?
RS:My intention is to go there for 4 years. Like I said my parents are real big on academics. I'm planning on going there for 4 years and getting my degree and everything like that. If an opportunity comes where I have a really good shot at making the NBA, I'll sit down with Coach K, the staff and my parents. If it's a good decision for me to leave early IF, then maybe I would leave early. But my intention is to go there for four years.

KD:What camps are you going to this summer?
RS:So far that I know of I'm going to the Deron Williams, NBA Top 100 Camp and the LeBron James Skills Academy.

KD:What do you feel you have to improve?
RS:I still have to improve my strength, I have to get stronger each and every day. I have to get quicker laterally to become the potential lock down defender that I think I can become and to continue to work on my range on my shooting.

KD:Who would you compare your game to and why?
RS:Just from what other people have told me they say my game is kind of like Jamal Crawford. They said I have a really good mid range game, kind of crafty with the ball, and I have long arms like him too so just from what other people are saying, Jamal Crawford.

KD:What are your goals for this summer? and next high school season?
RS:Well obviously my goal for this summer is to make it to Peach Jam. Last summer our team thought we didn't fulfil our potential and we fell short and that just made us much more hungrier this year to make Peach Jam and to ultimately win it. For my high school season, we won Districts last year but we went out early in the playoffs. So my goals for this high school season is to of course win Districts again but this time to go further in the playoffs and to win State.

KD:What schools were you considering before you chose Duke?
RS:Before I committed to Duke, the few schools I considered were Texas,Texas A&M,Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgetown.

KD:Anything you have to say to the Cameron Crazies and Duke fans?
RS:I can't wait to get to Duke. Each and every night I put on a Duke uniform I am going to try my hardest to win each and play my heart out for the Cameron Crazies.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sadeeq Bello:Making a name for himself

By: Kevin Duffy

"Yeah it gets annoying sometimes" says Sadeeq Bello about him being named as "Deuce's little brother". Sadeeq who is in the class of 2014 just wants to make a name for himself.

The point guard has learned a lot from his brother and "brother" Quincy Miller, both Baylor commits and best friends. "I learn a lot from them. Every time I play against them it helps me", Sadeeq said.

With Deuce and Quincy both leaving for college next year, Sadeeq expects a big role in the Westchester Country Day team. He says he has to become a leader next year on the Westchester team. He describes his game as that he likes to get his team involved, push it and score at the same time. Fairly similar to his previous counterparts.

The younger Bello currently holds offers from Cleveland State and Baylor with Marquette and Penn State are showing interest. If you are looking to see him play this summer, he is running with Kingdom Athletes 15U now and later on in the summer he will be playing with the U17 team.

However, the 5'6 130 pound PG realizes he still has a lot of work ahead of him. He works out every day and realizes that there are no days off to become like Deuce and Quincy. He states that he still has to improve his strength and finishing around the basket.

From one Bello to the next, the torch of North Carolina basketball is a family thing. It seems that Deuce will not be forgotten in North Carolina but could he soon be mentioned as "Sadeeq's brother"? Time will tell.

Friday, April 15, 2011

DaShawn Suber staying at St. Pat's

Within the last month, St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey has lost two important parts to their basketball program. First they lost in the State championship to rival St. Anthony's and then they lost their head coach, Kevin Boyle.

One thing they will not lose however is junior point guard, DaShawn Suber, who told me he will return to the Celtics for his senior campaign.

The former Rice(Manhatten) Raider transferred to St. Patrick's before his junior season does not expect to transfer before his senior year too.

Suber currently is considering Arizona, Georgetown, UNLV, West Virginia, Florida, Quinnipiac, Gardner Webb. He plans to go to the Florida and West Virginia Elite Camps and he will possibly visit Georgetown in two weeks.

"Hopefully in another year you would see me in a big time college" says Suber.

DaShawn is willing to improve and that is possibly something in his near future.

Additional Questions with DaShawn
How did Coach Boyle tell you guys he was leaving?
Last week he told us that there will be changes in next years season and then last Thursday he told us that he will be going to Monteverde Academy and that it was a better situation for him and his family.

How did you and your teammates respond to that news?
Some people were shocked but we talked about it and worked things out.

With Lon Kruger leaving UNLV are you still considering them?
Yeah, because I only met him I think one time. I have to go down and see the school first.

How would you describe yourself as a player?
Well I'm fast, have a very high basketball I.Q, can shoot the ball, and can go right.

Is there any player you would want to play with in college?
In high school I'd like to play with Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker and in college I would say Jimmer Fredette because I'm a point guard who can set my shooters up.

Why did you originally transfer from Rice to St. Pat's?
It's a smaller school. I like the environment of it and it has a big time basketball schedule.

What are your goals for next season?
One of my goals is to win the National Championship, we were close this year.

What camps will you be attending this summer?
Pangos All American Camp in San Diego and Hoop Group. Hopefully if everything works out I will be attending the Deron Williams Point Guard Academy.

What do you feel you have to improve?
I really want to work on my jump shot and to have a better understanding of the pick and roll.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Perry Ellis: Making a Legacy

By: Kevin Duffy

What's the first thing you think of when you hear "Perry Ellis"? The clothing line? Or maybe the Kansas high school basketball legend?

The latter is a 6'8 forward out of Wichita who has won three State titles and has acquired three Mr. Basketball awards in Kansas. Oh and by the way, he's only a junior.

Ellis,the ball player, previously trimmed his very long list of outstanding schools to six. The six which are Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, and Wichita State have all built through relationships with Ellis and his family."Well, all six schools had been recruiting me for a really long time. I had built relationships with all the coaches," Ellis said. "Several have been recruiting me since 8th grade. I want to feel comfortable and all these schools recruiting me have made me feel that way".Ellis said he has no timetable for a decision except that he plans to evaluate his recruitment after the summer.

Last Sunday, Perry participated in the East-West All American Game in Houston. He scored 14 and pulled in a team high 8 boars enough to garner the Most Valuable Player Award.

"It was my first year there",Ellis stated."I wanted to do good so I could come back over the years-putting on a legacy. I feel blessed to be able to go there."

In due time a "legacy" is exactly what Perry will leave on Kansas hoops. Already people are putting him right up there with the best ever in Kansas hoops. However this humble star just wants to play his game and not get caught up in that, he told me, "I really don't think about that too much there have really been a lot of great players in Kansas over the years. I am just honored that I am mentioned with them."

The basketball phenom just wants his game to do the talking. "Hope you get a chance to come and watch me play this summer" is good advice from this young superstar. I suggest you listen.

Additional Questions with Perry

How do you feel about Lon Kruger taking over at Oklahoma?
I have not talked to Coach Kruger yet but he did call my AAU coach Steve Young and is planning to contact me.

What are your best characteristics you bring to a team?
I am a team player, versatile, know how to win, and a hard worker.

Who's game do you study?
Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

What are your goals for next season?
To win a 4th State championship.

What do you feel you have to improve?
I just want to keep working hard on all parts of my game. I think my defense can always improve.

How long do you see yourself in college?
I am not sure yet I will just have to see how things go.

Who do you think is the best player in your class?
Rather not answer this question there are so many great players in the 2012 class. It's just loaded with talent.

What are the best camps you have attended?
I think the best camps I had attended were the Vince Carter and Kevin Durant Nike Skills Academies. Both Vince and Kevin worked with us individually and really cared and wanted to help us get better.

How was the All American Championship?
It was a great experience. It was fun to play with all the great talent. It was even better that the West team won too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One on One with N.C State commit Tyler Lewis

By: Kevin Duffy

As a basketball player and people say you have Steve Nash like vision, you know you're something special. 2012 North Carolina State commit, Tyler Lewis, gets that compliment on the regular.

If you just see one of his mixtapes you would be blown away by the indescribable passes he makes. Tyler Lewis is the 8th best point guard in his class according to ESPN.

If you think the North Carolina product is just a distributor you should definitely not be taken lightly especially after he broke Chris Paul’s scoring record in this year’s Frank Spencer Holiday Classic.

I had the opportunity to speak with Tyler for this edition of KD One on One.

KD: What were the reasons why you decided to attend North Carolina State?
TL: I fell in love with North Carolina State ever since I was little growing up down there. They are also a great program with great talent.

KD: What are your best aspects you bring to a team?
TL: My leadership ability, basketball I.Q,being able to get everyone involved and that I'm a winner.

KD:What are your goals for next season, your senior season?
TL:My goals are to win the state championship and to be North Carolina's Mr.Basketball.

KD:Talk about the NC State future and players like Joseph Uchebo and Tyler Harris who you'll be playing with.
TL:It's going to be great, Joe and Tyler are both great athletes and it's going to be fun.

KD:Any player you are trying to convince to go to NC State with you?
TL:Yes, T.J Warren. T.J's a great athlete on the wing and if we have him we'll be at the top of the ACC.

KD:Who's the best player you have ever gone up against?
TL:The best player I have ever gone up against is Myck Kabongo. He's quick and you don't know what he's going to do with the ball.He can both score and pass.

KD:What do you feel you have to improve in your game?
TL:My defense ability to stay in front of quicker guards.

Friday, April 8, 2011

One on One with Virginia Tech commit Robert Brown.

By: Kevin Duffy

The Virginia Tech basketball program hasn't made an NCAA Tournament appearance in four years and there has been only one NBA Draft pick in the last 11 years.

Meet Robert Brown. The 2011 Hokie commit is trying to accomplish both feats in his career. Most Division-1 athletes "try" to accomplish this but in this case Brown and the Hokie's have a serious shot of fulfilling this goal.

Seth Greenberg and his staff have compiled a good group of incoming freshman to add on to his solid team. The class is the 13th best recruiting class according to

I recently had the opportunity to talk to the 79th ranked prospect according to

KD: Why did you decide to attend Virginia Tech?
RB: I like the school. The program really fit my style of play which is going up and down and scoring a lot. Also I looked at the roster and I will be able to come in and play a lot.

KD: Talk about the future of Virginia Tech.
RB: I think the sky is the limit. We have a great recruiting class, we have great seniors who will provide veteran leadership, we have Jarrell and Allen there too. We really want to get to the tournament.

KD: Can you talk about the specific players in your recruiting class:
Dorian Finney-Smith: I've never seen him play but a friend of mine went to a camp with him and he said he has a very good mid range game and he's a very good perimeter defender.

C.J Barksdale: C.J is a very smart low post player. He's an excellent rebounder and he's a good passer. He can kick it out for the open shots.

Marquis Rankin: Marquis is a really dominant defensive point guard and I don't think we have a lot of them in my class, he really likes to get it on D. He can also push the ball and pass the ball well.

KD: How was it to play with two of your future teammates in high school and the chemistry it created?
RB: It's a very big advantage going into our freshman year. We know each others game really well and we're able to play off that.We have formed a bond that is so tight that we are really like brothers.

KD: How would you describe your game?
RB: I am very athletic but if you give me a jump shot I'll knock it down. I like to shoot the 3 but I'm also someone who likes to drive the lane and finish.

KD: What are your goals for next year?
RB: Like every freshman coming in I want to win ACC Freshman of the Year and National Freshman of the Year. As a team which is more important we want to win the ACC and get into the NCAA tournament and win but more importantly to get into the tournament which we haven't been in for four years.

KD: What do you feel you have to improve?
RB: Oh wow the list goes on and on. Mainly my perimeter D, rebounding, my shooting could always be worked on, my pull up jump shot, my passing. If I had to pick one it would definitely be my defense.

KD: How would you describe yourself outside of basketball?
RB: Me without basketball, I don't really have that. My whole life basically revolves around basketball. But when I'm with my friends I'm a jokester and I like to have people around me. Mostly I like to have fun.

KD: What are your plans for the summer?
RB: Well I graduate from Hargrave Academy May 14th. Summer school at VT starts May 23rd so I'm going to have a week at home and then I'm going right to the weight room and working on my game.

KD: How would you describe your game Austin Rivers game as you have played him in high school and you will play him in the future?
RB: I played against Austin about 40 times in my life and played with him in a few tournaments. He could pretty much do anything he wants in the game. He's a very good ball handler, and he can get to the rim on anybody.If he's hitting his jump shot he will knock it down every time. I would say his only weakness is his defense but I know his Dad and his work ethic so he will be working on that.

KD: How long do you see yourself in college?
RB: That's a very good question because I've talked to my friend Shane(Larkin) who's playing at DePaul next year about it. He's my friend so we always talk each other's heads up and he said if I go in there and score a lot of points and play well maybe I'll leave in one year. Realistically probably 2 to 3 years.

KD: Anything you have to say to Virginia Tech fans?
RB: Just watch out for us for next year we're going to make some noise. We're hoping to win the ACC and put Virginia Tech basketball on the map and turn it from a football school to a basketball school.

Nerlens Noel talks recruiting, his game, and more

By: Kevin Duffy

He has the old school flat top. He has a "real good" snapback game. Now the class of 2013 big man, Nerlens Noel, has a scholarship offer from Kentucky.

On each major recruiting website, he is among the top ten players in the country.

"I'm very appreciative and humble about the scholarship and will keep working",says Noel after Coach Calipari came to see him play at open gym and discussed the opportunity to play for him at Kentucky.

“Kentucky is a good school,” he stated. “They have pros that go in and out and are consistently running with a deep team in the tournament.”

The Tilton School(MA) star was originally a member of the 2012 class until an injury made him sit out for a long period of time last year. He is being coveted by several other teams already, including Syracuse, Florida, Pittsburgh, Providence and UConn who have all offered. "I plan to develop in college as long as that is and then be in the NBA and be successful", added Noel.

However he is not all too worried about recruiting at the moment, he will make a list in the fall and schedule some visits by the summer. This summer he will also attend the Amare Stoudemire camp and the LeBron James camp.

Noel is one of the top defensive players in the 2013 class, if not the country. He says his best characteristics that he brings to a team are that he is,"humble, hardworking, respectful, loyal, and a good leader".

Nerlens who compares his game to that of Kevin Garnett is very hardworking and determined like KG because of his "intensity,will to win, and his game.". Many may be shocked that a sophomore dares to compare himself to the Boston Celtics forward but it really isn't out of stretch.

Nevertheless the 6'10 center knows he still has a lot to work on. He says,"I think I have to improve my strength. I'm currently doing that now by hitting the gym a lot. I also have to improve my offensive and outside game"

ESPN says, "He may already be in the best shot-blocker in the country with absolutely uncanny physical gifts and defensive instincts. With a rapidly expanding offensive game, and solid work ethic and good court demeanor, the sky is absolutely the limit" about this shot blocking machine. Keep notice of this outstanding player.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One on One with Isaiah Austin

By: Kevin Duffy

When you see a 7 footer with a 7'5 wingspan who also has perimeter skills you are probably looking at a top prospect. I don't know how many people you will see with those credentials but Baylor University has landed one of them in the class of 2012 with center Isaiah Austin.Grant Jerrett, another top 2012 prospect, says that Isaiah is, "a 7 footer who's lanky and can handle the rock like a point guard".Austin is ranked as the #2 overall player in his class according to Recently I had the chance to talk with Isaiah about various topics including Baylor, his game, and his summer schedule. He attends Grace Preparatory Academy in Texas and is very excited to play under Coach Drew at Baylor.

KD: What were the reasons you decided on Baylor?
IA: The coaching staff. Coach Drew and the staff kept in touch with me every day and it's close to home.

KD: Talk about maybe your future teammates Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello:
IA: Not sure if Quincy will be there when I'm there but I will probably play with Deuce. I've seen him a couple times on the circuit and I'm just excited to play for Coach Drew and to be a Baylor Bear.

KD:Is there any player you're trying to bring to Baylor?
IA: Right now, I'm trying to bring in a nice point guard like Archie Goodwin. I'll try to get L.J Rose. I'm definitely going to be in some people's ears on the circuit this year.

KD: How long do you see yourself in college?
IA: You know, I really don't know. I could stay one year, I could stay four years. It depends on how I play.

KD:What are your best characteristics you bring to a team?
IA: I bring a lot of energy you know if I have a block or a big dunk I scream. I like to get my team hype. I'm also a character, I'm a goof ball and it brings us closer as a team.

KD: Who do you compare your game to and why?
IA: I'd probably say Austin Daye. He's long and athletic. He can handle the rock and he can also play the perimeter well.

KD: Who's game do you study?
IA: Before games, mostly KG(Kevin Garnett) and some of his post moves against stronger defenders and Kevin Durant's moves because he's not the strongest but he uses his quickness to get around bigger defenders.

KD: What do you feel you have to improve?
IA: I got to get stronger, you know. I can get pushed around on the block by stronger defenders. Other than that I'm trying to get my quickness up.

KD: Who do you think is the best player in your class?
IA: Other than myself the best player I've seen is probably Shabazz Muhammad because he just can't be stopped on offense. he does it so easy.

KD:What camps will you be going to this summer?
IA: I'll be at the LeBron(James) and the (Amare) Stoudemire camps. Then I'll be doing Adidas Nations again.

KD: What are your goals for next season?
IA: Definitely repeating as state champions. I want to get another ring. Also I want to play in the McDonald's Game and the Jordan All American Game.

KD: What do you have to say to Baylor Nation?
IA: I'll be rooting for them next year with Deuce and Quincy. We're gonna be doing some big things.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Duke's Kyrie Irving to enter NBA Draft;Henson and Zeller return for UNC

By: Kevin Duffy

Duke freshman Kyrie Irving announced on Wednesday that he has plans to hire an agent and will enter the NBA Draft. He is likely a top-five pick and could go as high as No. 1 in June’s draft.

“Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA,” said Krzyzewski. “We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player. He is a great young man, a terrific student, and a truly amazing representative for our program and for Duke. We love him and are very happy for him and his family.”

Irving, a 6-foot-2 point guard, played in just 11 games this season because of a injured toe on his right foot. He missed 26 games before returning in the NCAA tournament, where Duke lost to Arizona in the Sweet 16.

Irving averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this season, cementing himself as one of the top players in the country.

“I want to thank the entire staff at Duke, especially the coaches,” said Irving. “It was a great experience playing for Coach K. He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined.”

“This was a special year for me. I love everything about Duke and I’m going to miss it,” added Irving. ”Duke has a special place in my heart. Even though I’m leaving this year, Duke will always be in my mind and my heart. I’m going to miss putting on that No. 1 jersey.”

Meanwhile, up the road in Chapel Hill, both John Henson and Tyler Zeller said they would stay with the Tar Heels for the 2011-12 season.

With Henson and Zeller returning, the only questions surround forward Harrison Barnes. UNC coach Roy Williams said Barnes and his family were still looking into information about his potential place in the NBA draft this summer.

"John and Tyler certainly considered their options, but in the end it came down to how much they enjoyed not only college basketball, but being part of the collegiate experience both on and off the court," Williams said in a press release from the school. "I spoke to about 10 NBA teams on their behalf and gave them that information, but their individual decisions are less about the NBA and more about what they wanted to do right now and the experiences they are enjoying at the University of North Carolina."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ohio State better next year than this year?

By: Kevin Duffy

5.0 seconds left in the Sweet 16 match up between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Kentucky Wildcats. Tie game; Wildcats ball. Brandon Knight, star freshman point guard for Kentucky, drives to his right, steps back and knocks down the silky 15 foot jumper in the face of Ohio State's Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes' William Buford throws up the desperation shot...clank! End of Ohio State's season.

The regular season was full of glory for the Buckeyes who rode into the NCAA Tournament with the number one overall seed. They were in the Associated Polls' Top 5 all year, but yet again fell short in the Big Dance.

Under Thad Matta, Ohio State's furthest trip in the Tournament was to the Championship game in 2008 with the help of freshman big man, Greg Oden.

The 2010-11 team had an outstanding center of their own, Jared Sullinger. Unlike Oden who left the Buckeyes after his freshman year, Sullinger who was a projected lottery pick has vowed to return to Columbus for his sophomore season.

I'm definitely coming back next year," Sullinger said. "I need to work on a lot of things. I have to come back.I'm coming back to win."

With Sullinger and William Buford, the teams top two scorers, likely to return along with Big 10 Sixth Man of the Year, Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes will have a lot to build on.

The wild card, as he was for parts of this season, is Deshaun Thomas.

The 6-6 forward was one of the top 25 recruits in the nation last year, but he played only 14 minutes per game, averaging 7.5 points as the Buckeyes' seventh man.

"He's one of the guys that fits the role of being versatile and being a really tough match up," OSU assistant Brandon Miller said. "His overall skill level can continue to improve, like a lot of guys, but you've seen when he gets going, he can really get it going. He's the third all-time leading scorer in Indiana high school history for a reason."

So pencil in Thomas as a starter alongside Sullinger, Buford and Craft. The fifth starter very well could be incoming freshman Shannon Scott, who was named Mr. Basketball in Georgia. He and Craft could work as the point guard and two guard the way Mike Conley and Jamar Butler, two true points, did in 2007.

"With the chemistry we had, we played well on the court, and it's time to rebuild it. We've got five people leaving," Sullinger said, "and we're bringing in another five. We'll see where the ride can take us."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recruiting Rundown

By: Kevin Duffy

High School and college basketball is coming to an end, baseball is beginning, and more importantly AAU ball is starting to take form. As AAU is upon us, that consequently means recruiting is starting to heat up. Coaches from around the country are beginning to start over as a new batch of recruits are taking their best pitch to join their teams. I got a chance to talk to various recruits about which schools are in the mix, favorites, visits planned, etc.

Braeden Anderson(2011 Power Forward)-
-Braeden has not committed to Kentucky yet despite rumors.
-He says a decision will come in "a week or two"
-Schools involved include Kentucky, Kansas,Memphis, Missouri and Arizona- all offered.
-Mississippi St. is no longer in contention for Braeden.

Ricky Ledo(Class of 2012 Forward,#11 in ESPN's Super 60)-
-Has no visits set at this point.
-Texas recently offered.
-Other schools that have offered include, "Kentucky, Uconn,Providence,
UCLA,Pitt,Florida, Baylor,Syracuse among other schools"

Willie Clayton(Class of 2012 Power Forward, Rated an 89 by ESPN)-
-Offers from North Carolina Charlotte, Central Florida, Mid Tennessee, and
Georgia Mercer.

Austin Colbert(Class of 2013 Power Forward,#13 overall by ESPN)-
-Interest from "Seton Hall, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Xavier, Temple,
Boston College,a little bit from Duke, and Villanova."
-Offers from "Pittsburgh and Xavier".
-Took an unofficial visit to Georgetown.
-Probably will commit after his junior year.

Blaise Mbargorba(Class of 2011 Center,Rated an 82 by ESPN)
-Offers from Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Providence, Maryland, West Virginia,
Pittsburgh, St. Joes and Seton Hall.

Martin Dixon- Green(Class of 2013 Shooting Guard)
-Interest from Uconn, Washington, VCU, Virginia, Iowa St., UNC-Charlotte,
Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, and Missouri.
-Offers from Uconn, Washington, VCU, and Oklahoma
-No visits planned yet.
-Will be playing at Vermont Academy
-Plans to decide in late July-early August.

Kyle Anderson(2012 Point Guard,#5 overall in the class of 2012 )
-Interest from Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John's, Miami, DePaul, Rutgers,
Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, UCLA, Arizona,
Syracuse, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Maryland, LaSalle, UMass, Boston College,
Xavier, Pittsburgh, Uconn.
-Offers from all schools listed above except Duke, North Carolina, and Syracuse.
-Will visit Rutgers this week; not sure of the day.

Ishmail Wainright(Class of 2013 Small Forward, Rated a 93 by ESPN)
-Interest from Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Kansas, UCLA, St. John's, Memphis, UNLV,
Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri St., Baylor, Texas, and UMKC.
-Offers from Missouri, Virginia Tech, Baylor,Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma St.,
Nebraska, West Virginia, UCLA, St. John's ,UMKC,"and UNLV said I'm a must".

Katin Reinhardt(Class of 2012 shooting guard)
-Committed to USC; He liked the coaches and thought it was a good fit.
-Is trying to convince Xavier Johnson to go to USC with him.

Richard Peters(Class of 2012 Power Forward, Rated a 91 on ESPN)
-Recently decommited from Oklahoma University.
-Says he decommited because of the coaching change.
-Washington is high on interest but he is not really focused on his list.
-"I'm just goin' into AAU season and play to my best and see who comes my way"

Deonte Burton(Class of 2013 Small Forward, Rated a 95 on ESPN)
-Marquettte, Illinois, Maryland, DePaul, Iowa State all offered.
-Kentucky and Kansas have shown interest.
-Brewster Coach says,"My style of coaching will fit his game more because we go up and down a lot" about coaching Deonte.

Winston Shepard(Class of 2012 Forward, Rated a 95 by ESPN)
-Winston is considering,"Kansas,Kentucky,Louisville,Texas,UCLA,San Diego St.,New
-Every school above has offered except Kentucky.
-He likes Kentucky because they,"Let their freshman play and they have a lot of
freedom in Coach Cal's offense. He's also a great coach."
-"No visits planned right now. I'll wait it out until my senior year and take my
five official visits".
-"I've visited Texas,Kansas,Memphis,UNLV,San Diego State,and UCLA so far."
-"My best characteristics that I bring to a team is my versatility, perimeter and inside scoring, I can guard 1 to 5, and I can pass the ball well."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NCAA Final Four Preview and Predictions

This year's Final Four features two remarkable Cinderella stories, a Danny Manning esque run, and a freshman dominated team with a controversial coach.

For the first time in the history of the tournament, there is not a one or two seed in the final four. Eight seed,Butler, and eleven seed,VCU, are competing for the chance to go to a national title.

Both teams are very defensive minded.Virginia Commonwealth is very athletic and their pressure is very good. They play various differences too. If you start beating the press, they’ll switch up presses on you. One of the things they’ve done a great job of in the NCAA tournament is they’ll use that zone to change momentum a little bit.

Butler is also an excellent defensive team. They can defend at pretty much every position. That’s the quality you have to have at this time of year, and they certainly have it. They have good interior defenders and good perimeter defenders and a great defender on the ball.

On the other side, you have two elite programs with big-name coaches and a constant flow of NBA talent in UConn and Kentucky.

Connecticut is led by point guard Kemba Walker, who has been one of the best players in all of college basketball this year. The Huskies guard is on a tournament run reminiscent of Danny Manning's in 1988. In this UConn nine-game winning streak, Walker is averaging 26.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 38.2 minutes a game.
The Huskies have been arguably the hottest team in college basketball over the last four weeks, winning five straight games in the Big East tournament and now competing in the Final Four.

Kentucky lost seven players to the NBA last year, but head coach John Calipari managed to put together a squad that started slow but won the SEC conference tournament and now has a chance to go to the title game. Led by freshman guard Brandon Knight, the Wildcats have won some close games against some very good teams on their way to the Final Four.


I think the leadership of Calhoun and Walker is going to lead the Connecticut Huskies to the championship. Walker will keep dominating teams both on the perimeter and with his ability to penetrate. As good as Kentucky freshman guard Brandon Knight is, Walker knows how to play and set up his opponents. Freshman Jeremy Lamb has come on of late, and provides a second scorer to complement Walker.

I like Butler’s experience to end VCU’s magical run. Brad Stevens, head coach of Butler, is among the elite coaches in college basketball and he gives his team the edge of experience, an edge that Shaka Smart, head coach of VCU, lacks.