Jake Kite, a 6-foot-1 safety from Roanoke, Va., verbally committed to the Blue Devils this weekend. The hard-hitting defensive back chose Duke over Ohio, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others.
The Blue Devil coaching staff targeted Kite early as one of their top priorities for their secondary. Kite unofficially visited Duke for the North Carolina basketball game Mar. 3 and was back in Durham this past weekend to watch the Spring Game.
“It’s an awesome place,” Kite said in an interview with The Chronicle last week. “You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Kite gives the Blue Devils their fourth pledge of the 2013 recruiting class, joining Quay Chambers, Evrett Edwards and Austin Davis.
Mike Krzyzewski and his staff ramped up their recruiting efforts late in the process with Class of 2012 power forward Mitch McGary, but their late surge was not enough to prevent McGary from choosing to stay closer to home and attend the University of Michigan. McGary announced his decision Thursday afternoon on ESPNU’s Recruiting Nation program.
The Chesterton, Ind. native has seen his stock skyrocket over the past year, ending up at No. 2 overall on ESPN’s Class of 2012 recruiting rankings. McGary’s AAU coach, Wayne Brumm, has favored the Wolverines throughout the power forward’s recruitment, and his influence undoubtedly helped sway the top recruit away from the Blue Devils. Michigan has been involved with McGary longer than either Duke or Florida, the other two schools who he named in his final three. McGary and Brumm have both stated that they are impressed with the Wolverine coaching staff’s handling of big men, and McGary knows he won’t have to fight for playing time in Ann Arbor, where he will step in and immediately be expected to play significant minutes.
With Miles Plumlee graduating and Mason Plumlee a threat to depart a year early for the riches of the NBA, and McGary off the board, Duke could face a dire need for big men on the 2012-13 roster. Now, the last hope to add depth in the post is another Class of 2012 recruit, Tony Parker. The Blue Devil coaching staff has come on hard in recruiting the Lithonia, Ga. product, who is expected to sign a letter of intent during the Nov. 9-16 early signing period. Little is known about Parker’s preferences, but he is believed to be choosing between Duke, Ohio State and UCLA. The Blue Devils also await a decision from talented wing player Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 prospect in the class, though Krzyzewski and Duke are not believed to be in the lead for Muhammad either.
There ain’t no rest for the weary.
Sure, Duke doesn’t play another game until Sunday in Coral Gables, and its next home game isn’t until a week after that, but tomorrow night three of the four members of the Blue Devils’ 2012 recruiting class will play in Cameron Indoor Stadium in the North Carolina Play-by-Play Classic.
At 7:30 p.m. in the opener, Duke recruit Quinn Cook and Oak Hill Academy—ranked 12th nationally by USA Today—will face off against Marshall Plumlee and Christ School. Oak Hill is full of top-rated recruits, including Rivals.com’s No. 4 shooting guard Ben McLemore, and their No. 11 power forward, and Arizona commit, Sidiki Johnson. ESPN.com’s No. 34-ranked power forward Daniel Gomis will also be on the floor. Plumlee’s supporting cast includes Rival’s No. 21-ranked shooting guard Damarcus Harrison, a BYU commit.
At 9 p.m., Michael Gbinije will take the floor with his Benedictine (VA) team against Our Savior (NY).
Here’s a poster with all of the other relevant showcase information: NC2011 Feb 11&12 poster
Students with Duke I.D. can get tickets for $10 at Cameron tomorrow night.
For everyone else, tickets cost $15 at the door, or online at playbyplayclassics.com.
Mike Krzyzewski has been able to get commitments from some of the best high school players in the country over the last few years. Today, he got a commitment from one of the best players in the world at any level—Kobe Bryant. While on Coach K’s SIRIUS XM radio show, Bryant was asked if he would be willing to play on the 2012 Olympic team.
“You guys want me there, I am there and I’m ready to defend. And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board I’ll do that, too.”
With Kobe’s return, several connections exist between Coach K’s international and collegiate coaching positions. Like last year’s Duke team, the United States’ world championship squad wasn’t the most talented the country has ever fielded, but the players came together when needed. And Bryant’s return to the team, like Kyle Singler’s this year, sets up both the U.S. and Duke teams to be among the most talented yet. If Bryant’s announcement encourages the other top players on the team to come back—as Kyle Singler’s choice did for Nolan Smith this summer—then watch out, world.
Quinn Cook will visit Duke tonight.
One major impetus behind Duke’s creation of Countdown to Craziness last season was to awe potential recruits, a strategy that could very well pay dividends tonight.
Point guard Quinn Cook, a five-star prospect according to scout.com, will take his official visit to Duke during Countdown to Craziness tonight. According to Scout.com’s Dave Telep, Cook is Duke’s number one choice for its finally scholarship in class of 2011, and the website has reported that Cook is nearing a decision.
Duke is widely considered to be the leader for Cook, due not only to the point guard’s admiration for head coach Mike Krzyzewski but also thanks to Cook’s close relationship with current Blue Devil Nolan Smith, whom Cook considers an older brother.
After leaving Durham, Cook plans to visit Villanova on October 22, and may try to visit Kansas before his high school season begins on October 29.
Duke commit Michael Gbinije recently got in a heated debate with UNC recruit James McAdoo.
The Duke-UNC rivalry is known as one of the best in collegiate sports, but the animosity that epitomizes Tobacco Road seems to be extending into the realm of high school basketball.
Exhibit A was this gem of a trash-talk session between UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall and Duke’s Kyrie Irving while the trio were still months away from entering college.
Now, a pair of 2011 recruits in Duke’s Michael Gbinije and UNC’s James McAdoo are joining the fray.
In a recent interview with DraftExpress.com, the pair exchanged numerous verbal barbs. Gbinije, predictably so, brought up the Tar Heels’ NIT season last year, while McAdoo shifted the focus to UNC’s recent national titles and prowess sending players to the NBA.
Gbinije also facetiously mentioned his desire to go to the NBA after one season in Durham, but quickly retracted the statement under pressure from McAdoo.
What do you think of the future Dukie, folks?