Thursday, June 2, 2011

Duke Hot on the Recruiting Trail

In the past week, there has been plenty for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski to get excited about. First, 2014 #1 overall prospect Theo Pinson made his way to Durham for a second unofficial visit (his first was at Duke's Countdown to Craziness before the 2010-2011 season). While Pinson's recruiting journey is still in its infancy, the talented youngster has been in regular contact with Duke's staff of late and has gone on record numerous times in stating that he grew up a Duke fan and has a "very good" relationship with the program.

This morning, top ten 2012 recruit Rodney Purvis made his way to Duke's campus as well. After decommitting from Louisville earlier this summer, Purvis has cut his schools of interest to five (Duke, Memphis, NC State, Kentucky, and Louisville). Numerous sources have indicated that this will be a two horse race between local schools Duke and NC State. Purvis has spent ample time this summer playing pick-up ball with CJ Leslie and other State players. However, Purvis has made no effort to hide that the coach with which he has the best relationship is Coach Krzyzewski.

Pinson and Purvis have not had your typical summer unofficial campus visits as Duke has been running their annual K Academy this week (a fantasy camp for Duke fans). Each summer between 20-40 former Duke players make their way back to Durham to coach, network, and reminisce. Frequent participants include Elton Brand, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Jay Bilas, and others. The camp didn't fail to leave an impression on Pinson who was reportedly "blown away" by how many former players and NBA stars were involved with the yearly ritual.

Of  course, unofficial visits weren't the only reason for optimism in Durham this week. The coaching staff received news that 2013 #2 overall recruit Jabari Parker narrowed his list down to 5 schools, including Duke (Illinois, Kansas, Michigan St., Duke, Washington). Furthermore, one source at the EYBL in California this weekend stated quite simply, "at this rate, Duke is going to win the Parker race," while another stated, "well, he has at least one family member waving the Duke banner every day and that can be a powerful influence." There is a long way to go here, but Duke appears to be well positioned for now.

To top things off, Duke has recently been getting very positive feedback regarding their chances with 2013 #1 overall recruit Julius Randle. Randle views new Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel "like a big brother" and already had shown some interest in being recruited by the Blue Devils before Capel jumped on board. For more reading material, see Randle's recent journal entry for ESPN RISE.

Also of note-- Coach K and assistants have spoken to Randle, Parker, Alex Poythress (2012), and Jarnell Stokes (2012) on the phone this week.

More News and Notes from the AAU Circuit

- Northern California Prospect Richard Longrus is expected to narrow his list of schools later this summer, but rumor is that UCLA is pretty much guaranteed to be near the top of whatever list he comes up with

- Memphis commit Damien Wilson is rumored to be in a number of guys' ear about joining him at Memphis.

- Despite rumors to the contrary, Mitch McGary will not be reclassifying to the 2011 class and UConn is not in the lead for his services.

- New Schools in on the Deandre Daniels saga? Yes, of course. UConn, Oregon, and Oklahoma State. Decision has been pushed back again.