Duke Coaches Visit JP Tokoto

Highly rated class of 2012 wing forward JP Tokoto held an open gym session on Tuesday night. Duke coaches attended the session, as did UNC’s Roy Williams, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, and Illinois’ Bruce Weber.

News on Austin Rivers, Amir Williams, & Michael Gbinije

Austin Rivers will take an unofficial visit to Durham and will attend Duke’s annual team banquet on Thursday, April 22nd.  Rivers had been expected to attend the Duke-UNC game at Cameron Indoor earlier this year but was unable to make it when his high school team’s state title game ended up being scheduled for the same day.  Thursday’s visit is the make-up for the missed game.

 Amir Williams, a 6-9 220lb 4-star rated recruited by both Rivals.com and Scout.com may also attend the Duke team banquet as well.  Duke has been in contact with Williams for a few months now.

 Finally, recent Duke commit Michael Gbinije has confirmed that he will in attendance Thursday night.

News & Notes – Tyler Adams, Austin Rivers, Justin Anderson

The AAU basketball season is underway and this typically leads to a pickup in recruiting information.  Here are a few newsworthy items from this weekends Boo Williams Invitational.

Justin Anderson – When asked about his dream school Anderson replied “Duke”.  Anderson is a highly ranked SF from the class of 2012.  The Duke staff will be checking in on him this summer.

Tyler Adams – Adams has been openly talking about his feelings for Duke at Boo Williams and everything he says has been very positive.  We expect Tyler to visit Duke later this spring (likely in June).  There is a very strong chance that Adams commits either during or in the weeks following the visit.

Austin Rivers – Rivers has also spoken very highly of Duke while at the Boo Williams tourney.  He mentioned to BDI that he called the Duke coaching staff both before and after Duke’s national championship game on Monday.  Rivers is still not saying what his official timeframe is for a decision, but there are strong rumors going around at Boo Williams that it will occur in late summer or early fall.

Stay tuned to BDI for more Duke recruiting news.

Austin Rivers Officially De-Commits From Florida

Last week, Blue Devil Insider reported that Austin Rivers would de-commit from the University of Florida in the very near future.  Today, the news is official – Austin Rivers has reopened his recruitment.  Despite the de-commitment, Florida is not out of the running.  Rivers is currently considering Duke, UNC, and Florida, but the highly ranked shooting guard is also open to other schools potentially recruiting him.  For more information on where Duke currently stands with Austin Rivers please click here.

2011 Recruiting Update – Rivers, Adams, Miller, Plumlee

Yesterday, Blue Devil Insider reviewed Duke Basketball recruiting activities for 2010.  Today, we will take a look at class of 2011 prospects.  Recently, Duke scored its first commitment for 2011 when 5-star wing forward Michael Gbinije verbally committed to the Blue Devils.  While this was a great start to the class, Duke is far from done.   For 2011, several major prospects are on Duke’s “wish list”.

Tyler Adams – Duke began recruiting the 6’9 260 pound Adams early this winter and their relationship with the rising power forward has been growing ever since.  Recently, this culminated in a scholarship offer to Adams and Tyler has since gone on record as saying Duke is his leader.  Right now, the staff is hoping to get Adams to Durham for a campus visit in June.  Duke definitely likes where they stand with Adams and if all goes according to plan he could officially be a member of the Blue Devils sometime this spring or early summer.  The coaches are impressed with Tyler’s work ethic, low post skills, toughness in the paint, and his strong family upbringing.  There is another bright spot for Duke in this recruitment as well, his father is reportedly a longtime fan of Duke Basketball.  Stay tuned to BDI, as more good news on Adams could be on the way in the coming weeks.

Austin Rivers – As you have probably heard by now, UNC is jumping into the race for Austin Rivers.  While Duke fans will not be thrilled about North Carolina’s participation in this recruitment, sources close to Duke tell BDI that the Blue Devils are still in excellent shape with the 5-star guard.  With that said though, Rivers is very likely to consider a few other teams besides Duke and Florida before he makes an official college choice.  The Rivers family is very serious about this process and they want to make sure that Austin finds the right school to play his college ball at. 

Overall, Duke’s relationship with Rivers continues to show signs of strength.  In his online diary with High School Hoop, Rivers acknowledged that he emailed the Duke coaches to congratulate them on reaching the Final 4.  Additionally, Rivers called the Duke staff after the team made both the Sweet 16 and the Final 4 to congratulate the coaches & players.   Needless to say, the actions of both sides in this recruitment remain very positive.

It is likely that activity in the Rivers recruitment will pick up very soon.  BDI has learned that Rivers is very likely to de-commit from Florida in the coming weeks.  Rivers will play in the ESPN Rise tournament this weekend which is basically the end of his high school basketball season.  With high school basketball out of the way look for Rivers to have a renewed focus on his recruitment.

 There are a few final points to note on the Rivers recruitment.  If/when he does de-commit do not be surprised if other major basketball powers get involved.  UCLA, UCONN, and Kentucky would be the likely contenders here as they are programs his father has talked about in the past.  Finally, Duke will be very active with Rivers during the upcoming AAU season.  Expect the Duke coaching staff to follow Rivers very closely at summer tournaments and camps.  The staff would also like to have Rivers back on campus for another visit sometime this spring/summer.  Although no official timeline has been given for a decision, we expect Rivers to finalize his college choice in late summer or this fall.

Quincy Miller – The Miller recruitment continues to get more complicated as time passes.  At this point, many of the major national basketball powers have thrown their name into the hat for his services including: Kansas, Georgetown, Kentucky, Syracuse, Texas, and others.  Brian Clifton is now heavily involved in his recruitment and this may or may not be a good thing for Duke.  Rumors continue to swirl that World Wide Wes may try to steer Miller to one school or another as well.  One thing BDI can say for sure is that some of the family members that were very pro Duke and initially involved in Miller’s recruitment are no longer providing advice with regard to his college choice.

Duke realizes that this is going to be a very public, media oriented, and national recruitment in nature.  They are going to run the race with Quincy, but there is no guarantee they will land him given all the factors involved in his recruitment.  The good news for Duke is that this recruitment will likely go well into 2011.  By that time Duke hopes to have locked in commitments from Tyler Adams and Austin Rivers.  Thus Miller would be the icing on the cake of Duke’s 2011 class if things were to play out the way coaches hope.

Marshall Plumlee – The relationship between Duke and Plumlee seems to have cooled a bit in recent months.  There has been less contact between the two sides and the Plumlee family is aware that Tyler Adams is a major target for Duke in 2011.  While Plumlee has been to many recent Duke games this has mainly occurred so that he could support his brothers.   The situation with Plumlee remains complicated, but I would not expect Duke to completely break off the relationship given the family’s ties to the school.

Duke Recruiting Update – Haynes, Zeigler, & Leslie

Although the majority of the Duke coaching staff’s time has recently been devoted to the NCAA tournament, the Blue Devils continue to be active of the recruiting front as well.  Here is an update on where Duke’s efforts to wrap up the class of 2010 stands.  Tomorrow, we will provide an update on class of 2011 Duke prospects.

Michael Haynes – Duke remains very interested in this 6’6” 230 pound forward.  The coaching staff is high on the toughness that Haynes exerts on the basketball court and feels that his skill set would be a nice addition to the 2010-2011 team.  Haynes still has few academic issues to work out though.  He is expected to take his college board exams in the first half of April.  If things go well on these tests and he qualifies for Duke then the coaching staff will very likely make him the final member of the class of 2010.

Trey Zeigler – The relationship between Duke and Zeigler cooled some time ago after not much interest was shown in the Blue Devils.  Duke has contacted Zeigler here and there in recent weeks, mainly on a casual basis though.  The latest rumor on Zeigler is that he and his father Ernie (a college basketball coach) will both end up at UCLA.  Ernie could take the UCLA assistant coaching position that recently opened up when Donny Daniels left.

CJ Leslie – Rumors arose from the McDonalds High School All-American games that Duke had contacted 6’9” power forward CJ Leslie.  However, these rumors are 100% not true.  This story mainly came from the throngs of media the event.  Duke coaches do not see Leslie as a good fit for the team.

Austin Rivers Considering Kentucky & Texas?

Austin Rivers, Duke’s top recruiting target for the class of 2011 recently stated that he would be open to more schools recruiting him in an article with Buddy Collings of the Orlando Sentinel.  Here are a few interesting quotes from the article:

“That’s my goal,” Rivers said last week. “I definitely want to take my official visits to Duke and Florida, and maybe some more schools that I get interested in.”

“I’ve been following Duke really closely in the [ NCAA] tournament and I love the way they set screens and give so much freedom to [Kyle] Singler and [Jon] Scheyer,” Rivers said. “I’ve always loved the way Florida plays. I’ve been watching Kentucky and the way [coach John] Calipari let his guys go, which is great. Texas really lets their guards play.”

“I’m not going to be as busy with basketball as I’ve been in the past. I’m going to take the time to make my body bigger and stronger and to make this decision. By the time school starts back [in August], I think I’ll know where I want to go.”

Full Credit to the Orlando Sentinel for the above quotes.