Jefferson Reflects On CTC Experiences

Amile Jefferson spent Friday and Saturday on campus at Duke for the annual season kick off event. So what did the five star combo forward think of the weekend and where do the Blue Devils stand in his recruiting? TDD investigates.

TDD: So now that you are back from Countdown to Craziness, how are things going for you?

Amile Jefferson: I'm doing really great. I actually just spoke tonight with Coach K. He called because he wanted to personally thank me and my father for visiting for their Countdown to Craziness, and making the trip down. He told me they are coming up during the fall to watch me play and they are definitely interested, and want to see how things progress.

Was a scholarship offer extended tonight or during the weekend?

No sir, Duke has not given me an offer as of yet, but I'm ok with waiting. I'm still really wide open with things, and that's because I have not seen enough to really know a whole lot. I try to make it clear that I'm wide open because I can only judge what I've seen. I am open to a lot of different schools and am eager to learn more about schools like Georgetown, Miami, and just any other schools that are recruiting me.

You mentioned Wake Forest and UNC being some of the schools in North Carolina who were recruiting you during the summer, how has the interest progressed?

Well, I have talked with Coach McGrath and Coach Haase during the later summer timeframe, and Wake Forest talks with my dad a lot, and both of them send me a lot of mail.

Touching back on Countdown to Craziness, what were your general impressions?

Oh man, that atmosphere was amazing. It was truly awesome to see how supportive the fans were of Duke. Like even before getting into Cameron Indoor to watch the game, my dad and I had to park over a mile away when we showed up around campus around 6pm. It was already that packed out, everybody was wearing Duke blue, we had to walk up onto campus and we were walking up with a bunch of Duke fans. It was so cool because there were people who were walking with us who knew my name. They were real genuine, and they were even talking with my dad. It was just crazy that they knew who we were, it was something new for us, and it kicked off the visit really well.

After walking up, what were your experiences inside Cameron?

It was full steam ahead when we got into the gym. It was already packed out when we showed up. We went back into the locker room and we got a chance to briefly talk with Coach K and the coaching staff. They welcomed us to the Countdown to Craziness and told us how excited they were that we were there to visit. Then we went out to our seats and the event started. The National Championship Banner went up and it was just going insane in there, then the team and the freshmen were introduced, it was cool getting a chance to see each player's personality with his song that they played during the introductions. Then they got into the scrimmage, which was a lot of fun to watch, it really amazing to watch all the different combinations that Duke has in terms of players.

In relationship to the court, where were you sitting?

I actually got to sit right behind the Duke bench, and I was pretty much right next to Coach K and Quinn Cook the whole time. It was really great sitting next to Coach K because you can just see how great an eye he has for the game. He had this writing pad where he was taking notes all during the game of things the guys were doing that maybe they could improve on. He was talking with me and Quinn about a lot of what Duke does with ball movement, how guys were using up fakes and other moves to get the team in good spots to score. He saw things that I never even saw, and I really got to see his knowledge of the game. It was awesome for me to be able to sit there with him and just soak up that knowledge. You can easily see why he's considered to be one of the best coaches in the business.

How much interaction did you have with other recruits who were there?

There were a lot of guys there, some who were on their official visits, some who were just visiting like I was. But I got to sit down and spend some time with Quinn Cook, he's a good friend of mine from Adidas Nations, and I got to hang out with Rodney Purvis, Nate Britt, TJ Warren. It was real cool hanging out with Quinn Cook, I've known him for awhile and I've known Rodney Purvis for awhile because he's played with CP3 All Stars and I remember playing against him when he was playing for Garner Road AAU Team.

Aside from the event, did you do anything else while you were on campus?

Yes, we had the great opportunity to go watch Duke practice the next morning, and that was simply magnificent to watch. It was really overwhelming to watch just how fast guys were moving. There was no wasted movement. Guys were focused on challenging each other in practice, and I felt really good about the possibility of playing in a system like that. I could really picture myself playing in that system, both offensively and defensively.

I just couldn't get over how fast everything was moving. They were full on engaged in the way they practiced, coaches, players, managers, player assistants, they were just really efficient. Guys were shooting the same shot, you could tell they were working on their form over and over. Repetition is something they really commit to, and they are going hard, 100% in practice, so it seems like it would make the game that much easier by going through those practices on a regular basis.

I was watching everybody, but I was really watching Kyle Singler too because he plays wing forward like I do. It's amazing to watch the way he shoots his shot, he keeps it high in his shooting motion, he's got a really smooth rotation on his shot, just watching him and the way he setup his shot was amazing for me, I learned a lot.

Were there any other things you really paid attention to?

I did notice how they utilized Kyle Singler in a variety of ways. He's very all purpose in what he does. I saw him bring the ball up, handle it, drive and dish, he set some really nice screens, he posted up, and he slashed to the rim. I just loved watching him and how he played, the way he gets his shot off in a variety of ways, I would really like to learn more about how he does that.

So now that you are back, what is the next step for you?

I'm definitely going to Villanova's Midnight Madness this weekend, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm going to be going up with my friend Savon Goodman. I've been going to their Midnight Madness since I was a freshman in high school. I'm going to try and visit some other schools for some games during the season, I really need to see more of schools so I can make an informed decision.

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