Posts Tagged ‘Leslie McDonald’

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.


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.


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.


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


Position: Power Forward, Rating: 5/5 stars (

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

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


Position: Center, Power Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (

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

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


Position: Power Forward, Small Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (

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


Position: Power Forward, Small Forward Rating: 4/5 stars (

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


Position: Center, Rating: 5/5 stars (

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


Position: Combo Guard – Rating: 5/5 stars (

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


Position: Shooting Guard – Rating 5/5 stars (

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