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Pick-Up News!

Clint Jackson of swung by Cameron and was nice enough to send us this report. Thanks Clint!

I stopped by the campus at Duke this past Friday afternoon to check out the
pick-up games and see how all of the guys have progressed this year and too
see Dahntay Jones, Chris Duhon and Daniel Ewing. Ewing was on his official
visit and decided to participate in the games with his future teammates.

Upon entering the Card Gym, we heard a swish, and saw Chris
Duhon with his hands still in the air at the top of the key, as he stroked a
22 foot trey. Duhon is now a legit 6'3 and his weight training all summer
has got his body ready for the grinds of college basketball. He is much
stronger looking than last year in the McDonalds All-American game.

Jones, stands at about 6'5 and is very muscular, his upper body
forms a V shape down to his small waist. Jones is going to bring a good
quality to the team when he plays next year. He is very vocal, intimidating
and aggressive. He brings the ball to the rack off the dribble with
authority, almost daring anyone to stop him. He has a good jump shot from
the perimeter and has skills off the bounce. His handle is average for a
shooting guard, and above average for a wing forward. He got the best of
Andre Sweet in two games. His personality on the court is going to be a
welcomed addition to the Devils and it's one that the Cameron Crazies will
take an immediate liking to.

Daniel Ewing is a sleek guard who definitely looked like a high
school kid against the physically mature college players. Ewing matched up
against Jason Williams who used his physical strength to back Ewing down low
on a few occasions. Ewing had the highlight of the night, however, catching
a half court alley-oop pass from Chris Duhon and slammed it home with two
hands. It ignited the 8 observers in attendance. Ewing can certainly
contribute for the Devils next year with his quickness, scoring ability and
ability to handle the point in a pinch. He looked really excited to play
with his future teammates.

Andre Sweet, is also built good for the college level, as his
physique is almost identical to Jones. He doesn't have the polished skills
of Jones, but seems to have a nose for offensive rebounds and stick backs.
He hit a baseline jumper from about 14 feet and had one nice leaner in the
lane, past Jones.

Matt Christiansen was also in action and "Uncle Matty" scored a few
down low, mostly on rebounds and had one loud block that echoed in the gym.
His body looks about the same as it did last year, which is strong and
solid. He still has a little trouble catching the ball in traffic, but
nonetheless his physical strength down low will be a major need for the

Jason Williams is leaner, quicker and his stroke from the outside is
much improved. He beat everyone off the dribble that tried to guard him and
showed range to about 23 feet. He hit about 60 percent of the trey's that he
shot in the four pick up games that I watched. His recently reported loss of
weight has increased his stamina and his seems much less likely to force a
pass that isn't there. I didn't see a turnover throughout all four games by
the quick sophomore.

Chris Duhon was the biggest surprise of the night, canning seemingly
any and all three pointers and showing range to Chris Collins territory. We
saw him hit 7 straight three pointers before clanking one off the back of
the rim to end the streak. His is very fast at running the floor, has a form
on his shot that might make people forget Trajan Langdon and beat the
smaller, but slightly quicker Williams off the dribble on a handful of
occasions. Expect Duhon to contribute big time this year, it's going to be
tough to keep Mr. Duhon out of the starting line-up this year, in my
opinion. Awesome!

Michael Dunleavy has to be 6'10 by now, he seems to look an inch
taller every time I see him. He started off very cold from outside while
being guarded by Ewing. He still seems almost too much perimeter oriented,
but showed a nice back down move on the smaller Ewing and a turn-around jump
shot. As the night went on, Dunleavy heated up and began to show the smooth
flashes of greatness that everyone is used to seeing. He had some awesome
passes, one jump-hook and heated up from behind the arc as well.

Casey Sanders- it seems every team has one player that gets to be
the target of team abuse or ribbing. On Duke it's Casey. Everyone gets after
him and seems to poke a little fun or tease the thin 7 footer to push him to
play hard and get more aggressive. He got fouled pretty hard by both
Dunleavy and Jones while trying to convert an offensive rebound. JW also
jumped in with some teasing to get Casey more motivated. He responds well to
the ribbing, sometimes, and at other times just seems to mumble something
back. He was his usual self, running the floor very fast, catching a couple
alley-oops and blocking a few shots that were 2 feet above the rim.

Nick Horvath was shooting some money balls from the top of the key
in the offensive set. He did show an increased desire to post up and bang
with Casey down low on occasions, but his game is still more perimeter
oriented at this point. His arms look a little bigger and his body language
seems to be a bit more confident than last year. His skills around the
basket have improved.

Ryan Caldbeck played a little, but was the comedian from the
sideline for the most part. He yelled words of encouragement to Casey on
occasions (we'll just call it encouragement, but I think you can read
between the lines there) and had the rest of the team bending over with
laughter a couple of instances.

JD Simpson didn't play but shot some three pointers on the side
courts for about 30 minutes. The guy has a great stroke and has let his hair
grow out a bit, sporting a new California surfer look.
Carlos Boozer didn't participate and Shane Battier only played one short
game before heading out.