Stickdog, whose rep has spread far and wide as one of the most thorough analsysts of recruits on the internet, checks in with some notes on the junior class. Thanks Stick!
Michael Thompson - quick athlete with a nice frame and good shot blocking
and rebounding instincts. He is a fine student and a great kid from a great
family, and he is looking to sign early. He needs to develop strength as
well as a more mature post game. He has the physical potential to become a
true college center, and he has two more years to develop before college. He
has a great work ethic and he takes academics seriously. When I saw last
year, his team did not involve him much offensively and he made his living
on the glass and fighting on the blocks. Unless he has improved a lot in a
few months, he isn't ready today to make an impact at the college level, but
he has good court awareness and instincts as well
as good hands. He already has a fine frame, a long reach, good athleticism
and agility. Plus he isn't allergic to staying close to the basket and
fighting for position.
Other legit Duke targets:
Ousmane Cisse - Ousmane would be just what the doctor ordered to replace
Battier (especially if Boozer leaves after this year). I have no idea where
he will end up, but a guru of suspect accuracy just suggested that he is
down to Duke, Louisville and the NBA. Louisville seems is disarray right
now, although they are taking pleasure in their recent close loss to UK Duke could get a visit for the UNC game (instead of UVA) which could
work in Duke's favor. I just can't see how any team in the NBA could use a
top 15 pick on a 6'7" high school player with no polished offensive skills,
but I guess that's why I'm not a genius NBA GM.
Shavlik Randolph - extremely versatile, talented and hard working player is
probably Duke's number one target in the junior class. JJ may be Duke's best
recruiter here. With the exception of strength, he is already about as good as
Laettner was his freshman year at Duke.
Shelden Williams - A real man underneath, Shelden is a good leaper and a
fine shot blocker. He has good court awareness, nice rebounding fight and
instincts, and he can score or pass out of a high school double or even
triple team. However, the most impressive thing about him is how he can
extend his defense out onto the perimeter even against much smaller players.
This exceptional lateral quickness would serve him very well in Duke's
overplaying, help oriented schemes. He will probably wait till after next
summer to sign and he could stay in the Midwest or go to UNC, but Duke was
the first really big name school to go after him and he seems to like Duke a
lot. I know that I like him a lot.
Torin Francis - post graduate is also a very fine student and another great
physical specimen. He is much like Thompson, except perhaps a bit quicker
and more raw offensively. Of course, he could use more strength, too.
However, he has an attitude that no one can get the better of him in the
post, and he backed it up against Ousmane Cisse and Robert Whaley this
summer. A gamer who needs to learn to focus better against lesser
competition, he is also a serious student and he has top 15 physical
Sani Ibrahim - This fine post player is not a perimeter star. He has the
body and perseverance to match up with almost any college center and he can
run the floor. He never gets frazzled in the lane and has great reaction
time when the ball is loose in the post. Not a great leaper or a perimeter
player, he is older than most high school juniors--18 or 19, I think--and he
plays like it.
Non-post targets include Gerry McNamara, Sean Dockery, Rashad McCants and
Lee turned some heads with his fine all-around play at the Slam Dunk to the
Beach tourney this past weekend. I am a big fan of his game, which reminds
me of Mike Dunleavy and Danny Miller. Lee's dad was a fine player for Duke
and his parents are very active Duke alumni. Lee is a middle class man's Dunleavy
(or an upper class man's Danny Miller), and he would look fine in a Duke
I also am a big fan of Sean Dockery, Rashad McCants and Gerry McNamara. Sean
is a quick, heady guard with the defensive prowess and play making skills to
excel at Duke. His high school is not known for its ability to educate all
its athletes, so he will probably have to work extra hard if he wants to
succeed at Duke. However, I haven't heard any concerns about his grades. Look
for Duke to point to Williams and Duhon as the model for Dockery and Duhon.
(Sounds good to me!) Dockery is very quick
and would fit Duke's defensive philosophy extremely well
Gerry McNamara is a great ball handler and distributor with a very effective
long range stroke. He is also a fierce competitor who will make a big time
college team extremely happy if he continues to work hard to improve his
game and athleticism. He is not a pure point like Dockery, but he could
easily excel as a scoring point in college.
Rashad McCants is quite a talent--think part Thomas Hill, part Jerry
Stackhouse. The fact that he is listing both Duke and Stanford among his
leaders bodes well for his academic priorities. I haven't heard anything
solid about his standing academically or with the Duke staff, but he is
definitely quite a player.
McCants lists Duke as his favorite.
Other Juniors Who Have Listed Duke At This Early Date:
While Bob Knight was still coaching, IU was the strong favorite for 6'8"
PF/C Sean May. However, Sean and his dad Scott said last year that Coach K
would be their second choice.
6'7" WF Evan Burns mentioned that he'd like to play for Duke at the Bob
Gibbons Tournament last year.
6'4" WG Antonio Lawrence had Duke on his long list last summer. Anthony
Roberson also listed Duke among his favorites.
6'6" wing Kelenna Azubuike, an exceptional student and athlete, mentioned
Duke as well. He is a great prospect, both his parents are doctors and he
has amazing grades. Illinois may have wrapped him up by signing his older
I heard second-hand that TaQuan Dean was/is interested in Duke. He will be a
- PG. WG Carmelo Anthony recently listed Duke among his top
schools, as did Cameron Bennerman. Very nice players.
Ted Skuchas unofficially visited Duke's campus. He is top 100 and has good
- Ricky Cornett and Curtis
Withers are reportedly potential Duke targets. Both have great PF bodies,
6'6" Nik-Caner Medley is interested in Duke, and so are wings Marcus Hayden
and DeAngelo Alexander of the fantastic Oklahoma junior class. All are fine
players, but they currently appear to be long shots.