Duke Making Contact With Elite Texas Big

Marques Bolden says he's fielding interest from the national champions and that means something to him.

Houston -- Emerging as a big man to monitor on the national scene is Texas native and Class of 2016 center Marques Bolden. Playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring, Bolden is starting to hear from some heavy hitters, including the Blue Devils. Bolden is currently regarded as a five-star prospect and the No. 14 overall player in Scout.com's rankings.

"Schools showing interest that haven't offered [are] Duke and Indiana," Bolden said to TDD in Houston at the EYBL's third session. The 6-foot-10 center listed scholarship offers from Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and Texas among other schools that he couldn't think of.

The Duke coaching staff has recently picked up activity for Bolden this spring. Pro Skills currently sits tied for second place in Division A in the EYBL at 8-4 as they fight for a spot in Peach Jam in the toughest division in the league.

After a strong start to league play in which he's averaging 14.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, Duke is definitely intrigued by all that Bolden has to offer.

"I've been talking on the phone with them recently a lot. That's pretty much it," Bolden said of Duke's interest.

Coming off of the national championship and producing a future top pick in Jahlil Okafor means the Blue Devils can pitch a lot of unique things to Bolden. He was also impressed by Duke's commitment to the complete school experience.

"They do things differently than everyone else. If you go to Duke, you'll be successful on and off the court," Bolden said. "You won't just be a basketball player like you would at another university."

Getting an education is also important to Bolden in case anything happens to him while playing basketball. Having education as a fallback will definitely be a factor in his future college decision.

"Seeing if I'm comfortable being at that university on and off the court," Bolden said of his factors. "Instead of just being a basketball player, I'm successful in the classroom. If I were to get hurt or something, be a successful man and finish my degree."

When he's not completing his junior year of high school. Bolden was also monitoring the NBA Playoffs. He's monitoring a few big men that he admires and tries to play like.

"As far as NBA bigs, I watch a lot of Lamarcus Aldridge and Anthony Davis. Those are two bigs I really model [my game] after," Bolden said. "There's not really a style of offense I'd like to play, I just like to play."

With Bolden putting up good numbers and shooting 54 percent from the field this spring, he'll be a player to monitor in the All-American race -- and for Duke 2016 recruiting -- going forward.

"He wins on size, length and mobility already, but his continuously developing skill level to go with his approach to the game helps too. He’s got back to the basket moves, but if Bolden doesn’t like his options, he sees the court very well and will kick out to the open man. He’s going in a very good direction as a prospect." - Josh Gershon

"Bolden has a terrific set of hands and has the ability to score consistently with both. On Sunday, Bolden flashed left and right hooks and even showed confidence in facing up and shooting jump shots. At 6-foot-11, Bolden has legit size with wide shoulders and lengthy. He’s learning how to use his body and is starting to play more physical. Bolden was a prospect last year. Now he’s a player and one that looks ready to move up from his current No. 14 ranking." - Evan Daniels

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