Recruiting Update, February 15th

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Let’s see where we stand on recruiting. There has been some action since our last update ten days ago.

2008 Recruiting

Who’s on board for ’08:

Elliot Williams, 6-4 shooting guard from Memphis – Williams, ranked #16 on Rivals-150 (3rd best SG), is the big catch. The five-star lefty knows how to get to the basket. He has the talent to walk right in and replace Nelson.Olek Czyz, 6-7 power forward from Reno, Nevada – Czyz is ranked #102 (16th best PF). He’s got the body to handle the power forward load (6-7, 235), so he should fit in nicely with a front court rotation of Singler, Thomas, Zoeback and Taylor. Rivals describes him as an “Athletic forward with a great motor.”
Elliot Williams, 6-4 shooting guard from Memphis – Williams, ranked #16 on Rivals-150 (3rd best SG), is the big catch. The five-star lefty knows how to get to the basket. He has the talent to walk right in and replace Nelson.Olek Czyz, 6-7 power forward from Reno, Nevada – Czyz is ranked #102 (16th best PF). He’s got the body to handle the power forward load (6-7, 235), so he should fit in nicely with a front court rotation of Singler, Thomas, Zoeback and Taylor. Rivals describes him as an “Athletic forward with a great motor.” /

Duke is still hoping to bring in at least one more. As of now, Jon Riek, a 7-2 center from Sudan is the only option on the table. Riek is currently doing a post-graduate year, so technically he could go pro. However, he’s on the light side (240) and he could certainly use a couple years of college ball to improve both his size and learn an offensive move or two.

He’s been offered a scholarship by Connecticut, Duke, Florida and Georgetown. While Duke had success with foreign players (Deng) and they’ve had some solid big men in the past; Williams, Brand, Boozer, however, they tend to be more of the power forward mold. If I was a betting man (which I am), I suspect our man Reik will end up in either Connecticut or Georgetown’s lap.

For the record, Duke also offered scholarships to Greg Monroe (6-10 center), the #1 ranked player at his position. He choose Georgetown. They also offered 6-8 Drew Gordon a scholarship, but the 16th ranked forward is headed to UCLA.

2009 Recruiting:

Duke has offered scholarships to (they have four available):

#7 Kenny Boynton, 6-2 G – Duke has offered the guard a scholarship (so has 10 other schools). He recently dropped 40 points with Coach K in attendance. One issue that might come up is the fact that he wants to pay right away and be the man. While he would certainly get plenty of playing time his freshman year, you have to figure the starting backfield for Duke in the ’09-10 season will be junior, Nolan Smith and Sophomore, Elliot Williams, as well as Gerald Henderson.

#17 Leslie McDonald, 6-4 G – Rumors had him leaning towards UNC, but he recently had a visit by the entire Duke coaching staff and he says his options are still wide open. Duke has offered both McDonald and Boyton a scholarship, however, don’t look for both to accept. If one finally commits, I’d be surprised if both did, especially with Duke already having a backfield in ’09-10 of Smith/Williams/Henderson.

#45 Greg Echenique 6-8 C – Another big man, high on Duke’s list. He’s only 6-8 (small for a center), but he comes in as a solid 263. Can you say Elton Brand? Duke has offered him a scholarship, as has Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Pennsylvania. Two things to keep in mind with this kid; First, word on the street is Rutgers is making a big push for the 6’8 man-child. Second, Coach K has been leaning more towards ‘4-year’ players that will be in school until graduation. From what I hear, Greg is big on school and would want to stay until he graduates.

#66 Mason Plumlee, 6-11 F – He’s got skills away from the rim and he’s able to create mismatches. He just received his offer and attended the Duke/Maryland game in Cameron. He left impressed with both the atmosphere in Cameron and Coach K. However, he does have a handful of offers from other schools, including Standford, where his older brother has signed a letter of intent.
#66 Mason Plumlee, 6-11 F – He’s got skills away from the rim and he’s able to create mismatches. He just received his offer and attended the Duke/Maryland game in Cameron. He left impressed with both the atmosphere in Cameron and Coach K. However, he does have a handful of offers from other schools, including Standford, where his older brother has signed a letter of intent. /

Players Duke is interested in:

#4 Lance Stephenson, 6-5 G – He’s suppose to be on the top of Duke’s wish list, but they have yet to offer him a scholarship, so it’s still way too early to tell.

#9 John Wall, 6-3 G – The local speedster (from Raleigh) has received eight offers, but none from Duke yet.

#13 DaShonte Riley, 6-11 – He’s a dark horse, but rumors are flying that Duke is interested in the big man from Michigan. He’s not a big scorer, but he’s a human ball swapper around the rim. At this point though, nothing officially has changed. Justin Young (from Rivals) feels Georgetown and Michigan have the edge at this time.

#18 Terrell Vinson, 6-5, F – There’s been some calls between Wojo and the family, but it’s still too early. Texas is probably the favorite.

#22 DeShawn Painter, 6-8 C – The coaches have had some talks with Painter, but so have a lot of schools. However, Duke is in the market big time for some big men, so Painter will probably get the full court press soon enough.

#33 Jamil Wilson, 6-7 F – Wilson hails from Wisconsin (and no, he’s not white). Shocking, I know. He’s gotten three offers, but none from Duke. He’d be a great fit, but right now he looks like a long shot.

#36 Mfon Udofia, 6-2 G – He’s gotten a handful of offers already, but none from the Blue Devils. He’s on Duke’s radar, but don’t expect much for now, unless Boynton or McDonald decide to go somewhere else.

#38 Elijah Johnson, 6-2 G – He’s a point guard and he’s a slasher. He’s also been a lifelong Jayhawk fan.

#39 Jon Hood, 6-6 G – He’s tall and he can shoot (Singler, anyone?). He’s gotten seven offers already, but none from Duke, although we read he gets excited when you talk about the Blue Devils to him. I get excited too, but I can’t shoot.

#87 Michael Dixon, 6-0 G – He’s a scoring PG who could replace Paulus in ’09. However, he’s got a lot of interests, and don’t be surprised if he remains home in Missouri.

Ryan Kelly, 6-9 PF – He’s just a three-star forward, but Coach K has already watched two games and Dawkins has been to at least one. However, if Plumlee accepts Duke’s scholarship offer, it is unlikely Kelly will ever see one.

Offers Denied:

Duke offered scholarships to 5-star stud power forward, Reeves Nelson, who picked UCLA. They also offered up one up to Erik Murphy, a 6-11 power forward. The Devils had high hopes of landing this kid, but he went to Billy Donovan and Florida instead.

*** Photos from Asheville Citizen-Times & Scout.com