DeMarcus Nelson to Duke???

The Cat Tracks staff had the honor of meeting DeMarcus Nelson and his father Ron during the Nike NoCal football camp two weeks ago in Stanford. While talking to Marky proved to be very fruitful and interesting, it was something that Ron said that not only stayed with me but also doubled as foreshadowing for what might have just happened.

I spoke with Ron Nelson this morning on his cell phone after reading a rumor that his son, 6-3 sophomore point guard DeMarcus Nelson, had verbally committed to Duke during his stint at the Bob Gibbons' Tournament of Champions in North Carolina. Ron was very matter of fact with me and had some very poignant things to say.

"We're not making any comments on commitments at this time," Ron said. "But a lot of teams showed Marky some love this weekend. We had a great time."

DeMarcus made the all-tournament team as he led his team to an upset of the Michigan Hurricanes by scoring 39 points in Cameron Indoor Stadium. In fact, Marky was so dominant that he averaged a triple-double during the tournament.

"He played strictly point guard," Ron said. "He's done with the shooting guard spot."

Apparently the Duke Blue Devils' coaching staff came away impressed enough by Nelson's play that they offered him a scholarship on the spot. And, according to a North Carolina paper, Marky accepted.

Though he's only a sophomore, Nelson has been listed as America's premier point guard prospect from the class of 2004. Up until this weekend, it was understood that Arizona was far and away his favorite. He had even stated publicly that he had "always wanted to go to Arizona and play for Lute Olson." Unfortunately, Arizona and its coaching staff hadn't shown enough interest in recent days according to Ron.

"I told you when we were up in Stanford that Arizona was taking a very nonchalant approach in recruiting Marky lately," Ron said. "He still likes Arizona and we haven't signed any papers or anything yet but sometimes when you wait around, people change their minds. But I also said that he liked Duke and he knows how much exposure comes along with playing for Duke.

"I think they need to see that now a lot of other schools are interested in Marky. A lot. For now, though, we're not going to comment on anything until the time is right, but we had a great time in Carolina."

Personally, I got the feeling that the rumors about Marky committing to Duke were completely accurate. Ron Nelson is not one to beat around the bush or not give it to you straight, so if his son hadn't committed, I strongly believe he would have said so right off the bat.

If it is true, expect Arizona to go after class of 2003 point guard targets Ayinde Ubaka (6-3, 180-Oakland) and Mustafa Shakur (6-3, 170-Philadelphia) with a vengeance.

{The Thrill can be reached via e-mail at Bh6677@aol.com}


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