THE EPILOGUE & DOWN TIME
It's really been a crazy summer for me, but I'm finally done. For a lot of guys the pressures of the recruiting process and the amount of games you're playing makes it seem like basketball never ends. It's good in the sense that you love the game, but it's also nice to have a little bit of down time. During this time you're not as out there with the media and things that surround basketball, and it's a nice change. When you get a chance to take a break you can come back rested and that much stronger.
Now that the summer is over I've had some time to sit down and really look back over everything. I know I made the right choice with Duke, and since I've put the decision behind me things have fallen into place. My schedule is a lot less hectic and things are a lot less confusing.
I think I knew Duke was the best choice for me all along, but I wanted to make sure. It got really tough after the three in-home visits. All three schools were so great and even though I loved Duke, having great coaches like Coach Self and Coach Williams making their best pitches was enough to make me think. On top of that things were getting really hectic with the media and all the attention over the recruiting process. There were a couple of nights where I was thinking "what do I do?", but in the end it was Duke for me.
After I made the decision I thought it would be best to end it without a lot of media. I didn't want to do a big press conference like some of the other guys, I just wanted to be old school. It was kind of a random day, just in the morning I called the coaches and that was it. Once it was over, it was kind of a relief, and I think everyone was happy about it.
Since I committed I have had a chance to talk to my future teammates. I think most of them were surprised more with when I committed more than where I committed. The guy who probably knew a little more than anyone was my boy, Kyrie Irving. We're pretty close, but even he was surprised I didn't do the whole ESPN thing.
I've also talked with a lot of the other guys - Nolan Smith, Tyler Thornton, and Josh Hairston. I've also gotten in touch with my future teammates from my class as well as guys we're still recruiting. One guy I'm starting to talk and text with more and more is Quinn Cook. He's one of the best guards in the country and I really enjoyed playing with him at Elite 24. If he decides to come to Duke I think he's going make our team that much better. I'm looking forward to seeing him this weekend.
COUNTDOWN TO CRAZINESS
My official visit is this weekend and I'm excited to get up to Duke for Countdown to Craziness. It's my first time at anything like this and I'm really looking forward to it all. Everyone knows the Duke atmosphere is a lot different than other places and it's going to be crazy.
Aside from the event I'm really looking forward to seeing the guys, eating dinner with the players and coaches, and hopefully getting in the gym and playing a little bit. These guys are going to be my teammates for the next few years and I want to get on campus and just hang out with them all and get to know them all better.
The immediate future is my senior season at Winter Park. I'm looking forward to it. Our team is playing a lot of great competition this year with the different events we're going to be attending. This year I think we are playing Saint Patricks and we'll also be at City of Palms and we're going to play in Milwaukee as well against Adonis Thomas' team. It's going to be a great season and I'm exciting to get to it.
After high school it's going to be time to head to Duke and I'm really excited. I know that number 25 is retired, so I'm going to probably wear number zero. I had wanted to wear number seven, but you can't in the NCAA. So I'm going to pick zero because it represents a new beginning for me. Everyone starts with nothing at the next level.
One question a lot of people ask me is whether or not we're going to see an Irving-Rivers backcourt at Duke. I don't know if that's going to happen or not. If it did I think we'd be really tough to stop. There are a lot of factors that everyone has to consider with the NBA stuff happening, and it is really early. But, if it did happen I think it's fair to say our team would be really tough to defend. Kyrie is one of the best players around and he makes everyone so much better.
As for me I've grown over the last month or so. I measured out the other day at 6-foot-5 without sneakers on and I've been lifting weights like crazy. I think I'll be around 6'5 and a half and around 200 when I get to school next year. That's a pretty big guard and I'm trying to use my size more this year. I can hit from the perimeter, but I also want to get better at posting up, driving, and hitting the midrange shot. It's good to have something to focus on and every time I'm in the gym I'm working hard to get ready for Duke.