Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Duke's national allure lands top scorers

BOSTON - If nothing else, Wednesday's media session reinforced the notion of Duke's ability to wrestle top players throughout the nation away from their home-state schools in recruiting.

The four teams in the East regional held interviews and open practices in preparation for Thursday night’s Sweet 16 games. Duke meets Villanova, whose coach, Jay Wright, spoke fondly of Gerald Henderson.

When Henderson was 9 or 10 years old, his father introduced him to Wright and told him that some day Wright would coach Gerald at Hofstra. Wright’s children went to high school at the Episcopal Academy near Philadelphia with Henderson, and Henderson’s sister attended Villanova.

“Duke just ended up being the right place,” Henderson said Wednesday. “Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski and his vision for me as a player was something that was really intriguing to me.”

Guard Jon Scheyer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and was coached at Glenbrook North High by Dave Weber – the brother of Illinois coach Bruce Weber. Scheyer said he felt a lot of pressure at home once Krzyzewski started recruiting him.

He had always liked Duke, and grew up idolizing former Glenbrook North standout Chris Collins – who played at Duke and recruited Scheyer as an assistant for the Blue Devils.

“Obviously my coach being the brother, that was something where there’s really a unique situation,” Scheyer said. “But luckily my high school coach was a great guy, he was really understanding and just wanted to do what was best for me. And so in the end I was going to Duke.”

Throw in the fact that forward Kyle Singler’s father and mother played football and basketball, respectively, at Oregon State, and Krzyzewski broke a lot of significant ties to land the three best players on this team.

“Because we’re a national school, our school plucks good people in different parts of the country,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s what a national school does.”


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, this is newsworthy because ... ?? I guess it must be a slow news day.

Anonymous said...

I would be curious to know on a percentage level how many duke players are from NC

Anonymous said...

The only NC natives I can think of are Kevin Strickland and Robert Brickey from back in the mid 80s.