It’s not earth shattering, but it’s good news if you’re a Duke fan.
Kyrie Irving, the backcourt answer to Duke’s thin group of ball handlers, will visit Duke. No doubt about it, put him down for an official visit. So far, Duke and Indiana are the schools on Irving's travel calendar.
Why these two? Well, Irving alluded to the fact that their staffs were highly visible in his recruitment. Mike Krzyzewski worked overtime in the summer to show Irving the love (BTW, I frown up using “showing the love”). Tom Crean attended the first practice Irving participated in at St. Pat’s last year. Each has his own pitch and both will get to take a swing in a few weeks.
Irving wants to be a journalist. IU’s broadcast alums include ESPN’s Sage Steele, Fox’s Joe Buck and Dick Enberg. Duke counters with John Feinstein, CBS’s Seth Davis, CBS head man Sean McManus and ESPN’s Jay Bilas.
Hey Feinstein, isn’t it time to write another book? I’m done with the caddie stories, call me up and let’s sink our teeth into some meaty recruiting tales! Geez, work a little why don’t you?
Duke In The Lead For Barnes?
If we update you on Irving, we’ve got to give you the scoop on Duke’s other primary target: forward Harrison Barnes. Scout.com’s No. 1 player recently dumped 46 on Serbia in the Global Games. Behind the scenes, though it's far from a concession speech, other head coaches recruiting Barnes told this blog’s author that Duke has a bead on the kid. The author, for the time being, happens to agree. Kansas, North Carolina and Florida (among others) hope it shakes out differently.
CP's Star-Studded Camp
This coming weekend, at Chris Paul’s Backcourt Academy, 21 native North Carolinians including P.J. Hairston, Reggie Bullock, Marquis Rankin and their boys will participate in CP’s second annual camp. What’s unique about this camp is that the guy throwing the party is an active participant. This time around expect to see big-time national names like Barnes, Austin Rivers, Ray McCallum, Phil Pressey, Josh Selby and a horde of others in attendance. ACC and national standouts like Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney and Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas will act as counselors.
It’s been a while since we’ve tossed out a James McAdoo update or even written much about him. Well, to catch you up, McAdoo’s been busy. He tore a muscle in his shoulder while playing with gold medal winning Team USA in June. He’s got four ACC schools – North Carolina, Duke, Clemson and Virginia – on his list and they’re mixed in with national flavor. Bet hard on the ACC here. McAdoo will visit UNC again in early September and we consider UNC the favorites here.
Christmas Won't Come To ACC
A bit of bad news for the league came when 2011 center Rakeem Christmas sliced his list. The Philly center, who happens to be the best shot blocker in America, listed eight schools. Now for the bad: not a single ACC school made the final cut. Bet Villanova here until told otherwise.
Noreen = Curley?
Boston College took a pre-summer commitment from Kevin Noreen, a power forward. A couple of things here are noteworthy. First, Noreen is from Minnesota and Al Skinner loves recruiting kids from that state. BC’s all-time leading scorer Troy Bell was a late bloomer whom the Gophers missed on. Second, Noreen will look like Bill Curley if you stare hard enough.
What Noreen lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with craftiness. At day’s end, he gets things done and nobody (except maybe Maryland) ekes out more from its prospects than BC.
FSU Misses On Fab
Fab Melo had once chance to play in the ACC: Florida State. Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles were the ACC’s entrants into a race that was littered with Big East teams. Syracuse won the prospect over but we heard Hamilton was gracious in defeat. Why be nice? Well, Melo does attend high school in Hamilton's state, so keeping relations up is important. Two, Melo will go to school in the Big East. If he ain’t happy, the transfer door swings wide open to Tallahassee. Just a thought. Probably won’t happen but a thought.
Official Visit 101
As we head into the all-important (hey this is recruiting, isn’t everything important?) fall official visit period, we thought it was important to give you a little refresher in Official Visit 101. If (insert your school here) really wants a prospect, they aren’t scheduling him for a late October/early November visit. Those dates are reserved for back up to the back up targets.
If your school has a guy high up on the list, generally the earlier the visit the better. As long as the trip is slated for inside September, you can assume he’s a primary target. Anything outside of the first week of October is either a backup or special circumstances, like a Midnight Madness visit. However, there’s a rule about Midnight Madness. Most schools use it more for underclassmen or committed players than entertaining “A” list senior targets.
Bennett Rolling In Recruiting
Give it up for the Virginia Cavaliers. When Tony Bennett was hired we liked the fact that the Wahoos now have a brandable product. Bennett is recruiting to the brand and doing well. He’s got reliable inside man Will Regan. He then struck with late-blooming wing Joe Harris. Last week, however, Bennett hooked his biggest recruit. K.T. Harrell, the best player in Alabama, committed to Virginia. Big-time score. The last time the ACC tried to go into Alabama, Eric Bledsoe went to Kentucky (Duke tried) and Richard Hendrix stayed home (UNC had him on campus).
If Georgia Tech is going to land another elite recruit, we’re thinking it would be one of two guys: guard Jelan Kendrick or forward Tobias Harris. Kendrick is a Peach State native and within striking distance of Alabama. He’s got the longest list in America. Harris, a New Yorker, also has a long list but the Wreck, UConn, Syracuse and Kentucky can reasonably be judged stiff competition to land him.
Finally, yours truly won’t be around next week. The wife has me on lockdown. Pray for no rain and temps in the 80s as we shuffle off to a location near the equator. I’m committed to a tour of the rain forest and maybe a horseback ride. If I put in the time out in nature, then I’ll be able to enjoy some manufactured fresh air in a casino. Life’s about tradeoffs!