Four star PG appreciates Duke's approach

By now it's common knowledge that the Duke coaching staff has prioritized Tyus Jones in the class of 2014. But what happens if Jones decides to follow a path that doesn't include a career in Durham? TDD spoke with four star point guard Josh Perkins about the Blue Devils' interest in him, and his interest in Duke.

Before we touch on recruiting and basketball, can you tell us a bit about yourself off the court?

Josh Perkins: I used to do choir back when I was younger, but once I got to high school, I started playing a lot  more basketball than that. I stopped doing choir probably around 8th grade or so. I was in the Rocky Mountain Children's Choir, it was something in the community I did.

What got you interested in singing?

Well, it was my dad. He plays piano and he sings, and it was something that I liked. He didn't play professionally or anything like that, though.

Your dad is playing a pretty big role in things, isn't he?

Yes, he raised me. My biological mom and my dad, they had me when my dad was going overseas to play professionally, so, he didn't sign that contract, and instead he came back to raise me. He owns his own business and he started the first club team I played on, built it around me.

What's it like being coached by your dad when he's also a good player?

He knows what it takes to get there, and that's tough because he's never satisfied. But, I'm never satisfied either. He was a combo guard. I kinda play similar in that I try to counter what the defense is doing, I can play either way.

Are teams recruiting you to run point or play combo?

I'm being recruited to run the point.

Who was your favorite players or teams growing up?

Ray Allen by far was my favorite. His last year at UCONN is when I started watching him and then when he went to the Bucks and the SuperSonics, now, he's getting old though. I watch guys like Chris Paul too.

What was it about his game that caught your eye?

I really liked how he played and how good a teammate he was. He drew his teammates to him and together and he could really shoot the ball. It's fun seeing people put up points.

He's also widely regarded for his work ethic, right?

Definitely, and that just makes you want to play like him, you know? He's getting recognition for playing the game the right way.

Growing up--did you write down goals as you started getting serious about playing basketball?

Yep I sure did. I wrote them and put them up in my room and I looked at them coming out of my room everyday. They are still there.

Can you share what they were?

Starting from high school, I wanted to make varsity as a freshman, and then I wanted to be number one at my position by the time I graduated. I wanted to win a state championship, play in the McDonald's All American game, and earn a Division One Scholarship. Of course, I want to make the NBA. I've knocked off three of those, I'm hoping to knock off the rest of them.

I understand you visited New Mexico recently, can you share your impressions of that trip?

Oh, it was amazing. It really seemed like a basketball town, and I really liked them and they had great facilities. Their weight room was great, and their team trainer and coaches…they didn't have to switch off to other sports. Their weight guy is strictly basketball, so he knows you as a player and it seemed like he had different workouts for each of the players because he knows who they are being he had time to just spend with them.

What did they share about how they felt you could develop there?

Yeah, they told me they could help me and that I should continue to work hard and keep progressing as a player. They focused on me primarily, but they brought up guys like Danny Granger, and J.R. Giddens in passing, but the whole visit was geared around me and talking to me about how they can help me.

Who is helping you with the recruiting process?

My dad mainly, but my high school coaches are also helping a little bit.

What's the next set of visits?

I don't have any yet. Arizona wants me to potentially come out for the Arizona State game in early March I think, but that's potentially on hold because my team might be doing state playoffs then, we'll have to see.

Will you try to do visits during the spring or summer?

Yeah, I kinda have to since I only have a few weeks left in this season. Seeing a game helps, but it's not the only thing you need to see. You also need to see other schools' campuses, their weight rooms, how the coaches interact with their players, stuff like that.

I wanted to ask you about Duke's interest--i see they are on the list, can you share how the interest started and has evolved?

Well, a lot of people think I'm underrated because a lot of people probably don't know who I am. Now that i've moved up in the rankings nationally, people are starting to take notice of who I am as a player and I think that's what happened with them coming in late.  

They are being honest and straightforward with me. Tyus Jones and that other guy are the main guys that they want, but if they don't choose Duke, then I may have a scholarship opportunity with them. They are being completely honest with me, and that's why they are on my list. I mean, you just can't take a school like Duke off of your list, especially since they asked me to keep them on my list.

How do you feel about their approach to this situation?

Honestly, that's what I prefer to receive from coaches. I want them to be honest with me and be truthful rather than not be upfront and tell me a lie. With that being said, I would think they would have to make a decision on me sometime soon, because you can't let a school hold all the strings forever.

So is that what kept them on your list to this point?

It is mainly them being honest from the get go. I feel like I could trust what they were saying and maybe an opportunity could come my way.

Who have you had conversations with from the Duke staff?

I actually haven't had any, they've talked with my dad primarily. He's with me, he appreciates and has a respect for their honesty with us.

Have they indicated a desire for you to come visit sometime?

I'm really not sure, my dad would know better, as he's the one who is keeping track on all of this stuff more than me.

Which leads me to ask how you see the process moving forward from here.

I'm not sure at the moment. Really, there's no set time when I'm going to decide. If I feel like it's the right time, then I'll make a decision.

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