Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Mason “Ma$e” Plumlee commits to Duke

February 28, 2008

Everybody knows that Duke has the horses on the perimeter to challenge any team in the nation.

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But to be honest, Duke fans were more than a little concerned when two years in a row our prime Big Man targets, Patrick Patterson and Greg Monroe, decided to play ball elsewhere.

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It didn’t help either that our rival, Chapel Hill State School of North Cakalina, made a big splash when they landed 5 big man prospects in the span of like 2 weeks.

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Anyway, with the cupboard bare for the class of 2008, Duke is looking to the class of 2009 to right the ship in the post. And I guess that project starts with Mason Plumlee.

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Huh?

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Better….

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Ah Ha! There’s our guy (far right). There’s the Duke swagger and feel you need. At least, it’s much closer than that first picture. Maybe Ma$e just needs to be around the fellas to look right…

Hey, I’m not hating on Mason. After all, the very second anyone becomes a Duke player, they immediately go into the “Us” category while everybody else is relegated to “Them” status. So really, I’m not anti Ma$e. But when you look at the scouting report on the dude he’s more of a Mike Dunleavy, Christian Laetner or Danny Ferry type of cat who prefers to float around the perimeter more than bang in the post. So really, he’s not a big man at all, just a tall guard. Now when you’re 6-11 and don’t really like to take it into the paint, people are bound to make comparison’s to Josh McBoberts errrr call you soft.

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I’m not saying he’s soft, I’m just saying homey needs to weigh more than 210 once he actually gets on campus. I don’t know. I just spoke to some stone cold Dukie bamas about Plumlee’s commitment and this was their reaction.

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Just kidding, no this was really their reaction:

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They didn’t quite get it. In response to criticism from the Duke faithful and haterz alike, Ma$on released this official statement early today:

Yo, check this out right
Plumlee on da rise
And you don’t want no problem with us guys, uh huh
M-A-dollar sign-E
And if you ever out tryin’ to find me
I think I should warn you
I get hard when I want to

Damn, let’s hope so..

– Lake

Duke Basketball Recruits: Class of 2009

January 4, 2008

Any Good Guys fan who has watched Duke this year has to feel pretty good about where we are as a program right now.

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The squad is teaming with ballers and interchangeable parts. Coach K is choosing both defensive and offensive flexibility over Duke hoops dogma of the past. Not only that, but you get a sense that the program can’t be held hostage to any one player due to injury or a defection to the NBA given the balance of talent across 7 or 8 players. Still, there is a sense that Duke is still one post player away. Sadly, it seems that player really was Patrick Patterson who is proving to be a full-on stud, double-double guy for the hapless University of Kentucky Basketball program.

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Don’t worry, the optimist told us, Duke will get Greg Monroe in 2008 so it’s all good and we’ll be poised to make a run at title in 2009.

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Wrong, wrong (Charlie Murphy perpetual line steppers story), Monroe picked Georgetown BEFORE he even took his official Duke visit (embarrassing). So with no big man prospect in sight, save for John Riek (we’ll discuss him later) and with yet another helping of a hot combo guard on the way in the form of Elliot Williams (Ballin’!!!), where does that leave us? Well, it leaves Duke with at least a two year window of small ball heaven or hell depending on how you see it. But it does present a pretty clear mandate for the Duke coaching staff to get some big man help in during this next recruiting cycle.

Here’s what we’ve got so far. To date, Duke has offered scholarships to 5 different players in the class of 2009.

1. Deshawn Painter – HT: 6-9, WT: 195 lbs., Hometown: Norfolk, VA

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Position: Power Forward, Rating: 5/5 stars (scout.com)

Other Schools of interest: Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Ohio State, Virginia, Virginia Tech

2. Greg Echenique – HT: 6-8 WT: 240 lbs., Hometown: Newark, NJ

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Position: Center, Power Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (scout.com)

Other Schools of interest: Maryland, Miami (FL.), Notre Dame, Penn, Rutgers

3. Reeves Nelson – HT: 6-7 WT: 215 lbs., Hometown: Modesto, CA

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Position: Power Forward, Small Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (scout.com)

Other schools of interests: Arizona, California, Georgetown, Florida, LSU, UNC, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Washington

4. Eric Murphy – HT: 6-9, WT: 210 lbs., Hometown: Southborough, MA

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Position: Power Forward, Small Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (scout.com)

Other schools of interest: Boston College, UConn, Florida, Marquette, Ohio State, Virginia

5. John Riek – HT: 7-2, WT: 240 lbs., Hometown: Winchendon MA, via the Sudan, Africa

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Position: Center, Rating: 5/5 stars (scout.com)

Other schools of interest: UConn, Georgetown, Florida

Note: This cat might be going straight to the NBA due to the fact that he’s somewhere between 17-21 years old. Standard shady international birth certificate. Who knows. Duke offered him a scholarship nonetheless.

Players Duke supposedly has on their radar but have yet to offer

1. Kenny Boynton – HT: 6-2 WT: 185 lbs., Hometown: Plantation, FL

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Position: Combo Guard – Rating: 5/5 stars (scout.com)

2. Leslie McDonald – HT: 6-4, WT: 185 lbs., Hometown: Memphis, TN

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Position: Shooting Guard – Rating 5/5 stars (scout.com)

When you consider the position and size players Coach K and staff have decided to offer scholarships to thus far in the class of 2009 versus the guys they’re decided to take a “wait and see” approach with, it sort of makes you scratch your head. First, only one of these guys is a certified 5 star prospect (excepting Riek who is a bit of an unknown). Second, there isn’t one impact guard in the bunch (though Boynton and McDonald would be), something that’s rather atypical of our recruiting approach historically. Is K overcompensating for the current and glaring lack of front-line depth with an eye to the 2009-2010 season when Scheyer, Henderson, King, Smith, Thomas, and Singler will all be veteran players looking to the National Championship? Is he trying to stockpile solid 4 year post guys that he can later add some solid perimeter pieces to? Who knows, I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but it just seems a bit odd when you consider who we offer to and who we have gotten in recent years, meaning guards galore.

One thing that is obvious is that Georgetown is a growing recruiting rival with Duke. I’m not sure how they can afford to offer 10 or so players in every class each year, but it seems to be working AGAINST Duke. Don’t sleep on JT III. He snatched Greg Monroe from us, he took Hollis Thompson off our big board before we could ever really make a run at him and meanwhile, he’s been stockpiling talented player after talented player from all over the country. More later.

– Lake

Elliot Williams is a Duke Blue Devil!

November 1, 2007

Thank goodness. To say we needed Elliot Williams is a gross understatement.

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I’m definitely happy that he choose to lace em up with the Duke Blue Devils in 2008, we needed that. Everything I’ve seen and read about this 6-foot-4 combo guard is great for Duke. First, he’s committed to academics which is important for two reasons: 1. school will be a major priority, not just a tool to keep him eligible and 2. if he is a dominant player he’ll likely stick around a long so he can get that degree.

It’s hard to tell how a prep players skills will translate to the college game, especially early on in his career, but the tape on Williams is pretty sick. Peep it.

The thing you notice immediately from the tape is that this kid has handles, passing ability, hops, athleticism, a jumper, finishing skills and an attitude about his game. He kind of reminds me of Jason Williams, only without the power game (yet). Homey is a shifty lefty with all kinds of ability. I’m definitely looking forward to this. Elliot, welcome to the Duke family.

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Also, you gotta give it up to Coach K and the crew for landing this guy. One thing we can see is that Duke knows how to bring guards in. Now if we can only catch a decent transfer or something to tighten up that post game and we might really have something.

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Picture this in two years though: Two hot combo guards in Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith, G. Henderson at the three, Singler at the 4 and Zoubek or Lance at the 5. Scheyer in off the bench. Now that’s a squad. There may be hope yet.

– Lake

Duke Hoops gets a recruit

September 27, 2007

It was just announced that Duke got a side stone (as opposed to a crown jewel) for their 2008 recruiting class. Olek Czyz, a 6 foot, 7 inch senior power forward from Poland (now balling in Reno, NV) gave his commitment to Coach K and his staff of Wednesday of this week.

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Anybody who knows anything about Duke Basketball knows how crucial it is for Duke to land a hot class for the coming year so they can ran along side Scheyer, Henderson, Thomas, King, Nolan Smith, and Singler to make a run at a National Championship in two years. Olek Czyz, while having no real vowels in his name, might be a good complimentary player for that cause, but let’s be clear: WE NEED ELLIOT WILLIAMS & GREG MONROE!!!

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Gotta like the look and feel of a young El in a Duke uniform.

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With that said, welcome young Olek!!! I trust you’ll do your Polish lineage proud. Word on the street is you’ve got crazy ups (40 inch vertical) and love to dunk it around the cup. I like that.

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(O is looking kinda swole in this shot, I feel you player)

Not since the Polish Power, Ivan Putski came on the scene have I been more supportive of an Ex-Eastern Blocker like yourself.

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I’m sure that Polish connection you have with Michael K didn’t hurt either. At any rate, you are now a part of a movement and we’ll be loyal to you as we are all Duke Basketball players and alums. With that said, do me a favor, prime up homey.

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Please, PRIME UP!!!

OUT

– Lake doing this (or something similar):

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