Duke basketball: Father of elite recruit talks Blue Devil fandom, more

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Duke basketball

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Ball Durham interviewed the dad of a potential 2022 Duke basketball target.

Up until about seven months ago, Grand Island (Neb.) standout Isaac Traudt was largely an undiscovered talent. Now, at No. 49 on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, the thriving four-star has landed on the radar of many top programs. Yes, Duke basketball is certainly on that list, though the staff in Durham has still yet to extend an offer to any 2022 prospects.

Over the weekend, the recruit’s father, Brandon Traudt, spoke in-depth with Ball Durham about his 16-year-old son’s recent growth spurt, development, and recruitment.

This three-part chat — starting below and continuing through the next two slides — also includes mentions of a Duke basketball one-and-done who is now one of Isaac Traudt’s favorite NBA players, a former Blue Devil under Mike Krzyzewski who also hails from Nebraska, plus a deep appreciation from afar for the greatest hoops rivalry on the planet…

Ball Durham: You have mentioned Isaac had a growth spurt, so when did that happen?

Brandon Traudt: “I’ve been his youth coach…he was always taller. But he was fairly skilled, so we always had him as a point guard or shooting guard. I won’t say he was undersized, but he was a late-developing kid. At the beginning of his freshman year, he was about 6-foot-1, so he was the point guard on his junior varsity team. From then to the beginning of his sophomore year, he grew to 6-8.”

Does he still consider himself a guard?

“So he grew about seven inches in that year, and then they transitioned him more to a shooting guard — a two or a three. Although this year, he will play point guard again for our high school. He’s grown another inch, inch and a half or so. So he’s about 6-9, 6-9 and a half now.”

Is he still growing?

“Well, we’ve talked about there being life beyond basketball. He’d like to be as tall as he can be for basketball. But we’ve explained, for the rest of his life, he has to fit into airplanes and cars — and buy pants. I think he could get to 6-10 or so.”

Where did he get his height from?

“I’m 6-3. My wife is 6-1, and on her mother’s side, all of her uncles and cousins are 6-5, minimum…And on my side, there’s always been late-developers. I grew about seven inches in about seven months when I was a sophomore in high school. So we always joked when he was tall early on that we hoped he got her end of the gene pool early and then my end late. So far, it seems like that has kind of happened.”

When did you notice his recruitment take off?

“Playing for Lincoln Supreme, it’s not on the Nike EYBL or Adidas circuit…so nobody really knew his name. Mike Sautter, a local prep recruiting specialist from Ohama, put him on the map in our state. Then nationally, Eric Bossi first got wind of him, saw some film, and went ahead and ranked him when he was at Rivals. That was in April. Then from there, right away, he started getting communications from schools. Throughout the summer, luckily being in central Nebraska, we were able to play in some tournaments. So coaches were able to see his film, and that’s when he started getting an avalanche of offers.”

What type of competition does his AAU team face?

“They play on the Prep Hoops Circuit, so they just don’t have a lot of affiliation, although we are usually lucky during the non-live periods. We’ll usually enter tournaments then, and we’ll see a lot of Nike and Adidas teams in those. And we’ve been very competitive. We usually win about 75 percent of our games, even against those teams. It’s just that those circuits are so hard to get on that it’s been tough for Isaac to get his name out there.”

And now?

“Now, a lot of those teams have reached out and want him to play for them next year, but he’s going to continue to play on his Lincoln team. He loves the kids, loves the coaches and staff. He’d just rather play one more year with his buddies than jump ship. He’s a loyal kid. He loves his hometown where he plays and loves his home AAU program.”

Might he still be ranked too low?

“Of course, people probably tell you what you want to hear. But a lot of the people we have talked to said that they have heard when ESPN comes out with theirs that he will be anywhere from 20th to 30th, and obviously that will really bump up his composite then probably to the top 30 or so. And that’s probably a realistic number. I mean, obviously, we feel like he has been under-ranked, but I’ve seen him forever and seen him play well against kids who were ranked quite a bit higher.”

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