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An Interview with Clint

We had a chance to speak with Clint Jackson of High Major Hoops and get his expert insight into the recruiting scene. Here's the interview:

DBR: Tell us how you see Ewing and the junior commitments fitting in at Duke.

CJ: I can see Daniel Ewing providing some help in the backcourt upon his arrival as a freshman at Duke University. In a lineup of shooters, I think Ewing will give the Devils a solid isolation threat in the man-to-man defense. He is very effective at going by defenders off the bounce and is somewhat of a streaky shooter. He really attacks the basket and can help out some with the ball-handling.

I think he'll need to hit the weights to get stronger, which will help his defense and his finishing around the basket when he's fouled, but nonetheless Ewing will provide another solid back court player in the rotation.

DBR: Why has Duke started taking early commitments?

With the increased attention on younger players, many of the high profile programs are starting to really get after elite prospects in their freshman and sophomore seasons.

CJ: It's going to become more frequent to see players commit while they're sophomores and juniors. Georgetown just received a verbal from an elite sophomore interior player named Darrian Townes. I think that you'll see the battle for these types of kids become really aggressive very early in their high school years.

This may also help out some mid and lower high major programs as they'll have less competition for the late bloomers.

DBR: What can you tell us about Shelden Williams and Sean Dockery?

CJ: Both are reported to be leaning to Duke by recent internet reports. Williams is a really talented low post prospect with excellent scoring ability down low and great agility on the perimeter. He's a big kid, most likely in the 240 range and he has long arms and broad shoulders.

Dockery is a solid lead guard, he knows how to run a team, get the offensive threats the ball in scoring position and he's a good athlete. He's probably close to 6 foot 3 and has a nice college body, and he can take his defender off the dribble or pop the trey when needed also. Don't be shocked if he offers a verbal commitment over Memorial Day weekend.

DBR: Who else do you see down the pike as a recruit who fits Duke's profile?

CJ: There's a few kids in the sophomore class that Duke is showing interest in such as 6'8" power forward Will Sheridan from Delaware and 6'9" Kendrick Perkins from Texas. Both are very talented post players. Perkins could be a high school to the NBA threat because he is just so big and strong. Sheridan is a smaller but similarly skilled interior forward with a solid academic transcript.

Evtimov is a solid shooter. He's not much of an athlete, but can straight drain jumpers from the arc and mid-range. He's pretty strong overall, and can help out some on the boards as well. He was the player who guarded Eddy Curry at last year's TOC.

If he is used the correct way, I think he can contribute at NC State. They do need someone who can connect from the perimeter.

DBR: When you break down Duke's recruiting, and you look at the early commitments, you have to wonder who is doing the legwork? What is making Collins and Wojo so effective?

CJ: I think that certain assistants use their strong contacts in certain areas of the country to their advantage. Chris Collins works the Illinois area very well and thus Duke gained a commitment from 6'10" Michael Thompson and they're very strong with 6'3" Sean Dockery.

Recruiting is maintaining great contacts, selling your program and being fair and honest. It's also about being assertive, aggressive and honest.

I think as far as Wojo and Collins being effective, they're both young, personable and hungry. They have a way of drawing a lot of attention when they enter a venue, which is easily noticed by the AAU coaches, kids and parents, while some other assistants have a way of sneaking in and sitting somewhere where they're not noticed.

DBR: In your opinion, who are the best recruiters in the game today? Specifically assistants.

CJ: In my opinion, the staff at Florida is very good. They really know how to make a prospect feel like their the most important recruit in the nation. When they set their sights on a particular recruit, they don't let anyone else outwork them, as evident with David Lee last summer.

Others that have a great approach and are very aggressive are North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Duke and USC. Those are probably the most popular schools when I ask coaches for school lists for their kids.

DBR: OK, Clint, now for the juicy stuff: Have you heard of any interesting new recruiting scams? No names necessary, of course!

CJ: Yeah, I hear them all the time, and if the NCAA is reading this, it will probably be investigated. (laughs)

I hear things like assistant coaches pretending to be media, while interviewing prospects. And there's stuff that blatently breaks NCAA and moral standards, but I'm not commenting there until Dan Wetzel wants to do another book. (laughs)

DBR: Thanks, Clint!