Livingston Returns From Duke

After returning from Durham early Sunday afternoon, Peoria High School standout Shaun Livingston found his phone ringing off the hook. Rather than face the constant flow of media requests, the 6-foot-7 floor general grabbed his bag and headed for the gym for a little pick up action with some friends.

With his son officially M.I.A Sunday night, Shauns father Reggie was left to deal with the influx of calls and media requests for his sons time. "We're all pretty tired tonight," said Reggie. "I mean we just got home around 6:00 PM and the phone was ringing so Shaun and I both went out to go play basketball."

It was a far cry from just a few hours earlier when the Livingston family was enjoying their weekend as guests of the Duke program for Shauns official visit.

"We all had a really good time there," said Reggie. "The visit went very well I think. I think Shaun is still straightening things out right now and that's why he's not really talking tonight. He doesn't want to say anything that will be taken out of context or anything that will get him in trouble."

While he wouldn't elaborate further on his son's post travel feelings, Reggie did indicate that the nations top point guard prospect was indeed happy with what he saw at Duke.

"Coach K absolutely loves the kid. You can tell that he genuinely cares about Shaun and his future. I don't think they really tried to impress him, they just were honest with him. That's what was so impressive. He fit in with the players really well, and I think the players like him just as much as the coaching staff does."

One of those players who established a mutual respect was freshman phenom Luol Deng, who played host to Shaun on his visit. The elder Livingston said he saw a lot of similarities between the last recruit rated number two in the nation to commit to play his college ball at Duke, and the latest one who's considering it.

"Deng is going to be really good for them, said Livingston. Hes 6-foot-8 and can really do it all -- He can hit the three, put it on the floor, rebound, and hes got a nice handle. He and Shaun are a lot alike in that respect. I think Shaun had a good time playing with him as well as the other players."

One of the more telling moments in weekend pickup action came after the Livingston camp had met with Krzyzewski to discuss roles and ideas for fitting such a unique player into the Duke system. On a number of different occasions, Livingston floated out to the perimeter, drawing a defender (usually someone 6'8 or taller) with him. The ball would be rotated over to Livingston who would repeatedly use his point guard skills to go right by the bigger player.

"That is something we really talked about in the meetings," said Livingston. "Coach K told Shaun that he has no idea how good he really his because his skills have never been completely used by anyone. He told him that when he watched him this summer other teams could collapse and help on him because he was bringing the ball up the court so much, letting five defenders get between him and the basket. If he starts on the wing he can do things that point guards do, but he'll be more successful because he'll be able to pop out and take bigger defenders off the dribble."

Indeed that vision of Livingston is something the camp really seemed to take to heart.

"I think Shaun was very happy with the presentation. He knows he needs to get in the weight room and needs to work on refining his game, and becoming more of a complete player. He knows he needs a coach who is used to coaching top flight players."

Though the Duke visit went very well, the elder Livingston is cautious when it comes to an accelerated time frame.

"Shaun is going to take his time and make his decision. It's not fair to tell someone that you cant make a life decision in your own time. Tomorrow night we're going to talk to Coach Williams of North Carolina and try to figure out what the situation really is there. We've heard talk of 'first come, first serve' and that's something were wondering about, so well listen to what they have to say tomorrow."

As a junior Livingston led Peoria High to a 31-1 record, hitting the game winner in the championship game. On the season, he averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists per contest.


"They've got a great coaching staff in Durham. Coach K is great, Wojo was the National Defensive Player of the Year; Coach Collins was a good player and his dad is an NBA coach so he knows all about the league; Johnny Dawkins played there and was the All-Time leading scorer. They are all really great people and great coaches."

"I think they [Duke] are going to have a really good team next year."

"Coach K told him: 'Shaun you've got no clue just how good you are.' Thats something coming from him."

Note: TDD was offered the chance to speak with Shaun directly tonight [Monday]. Stay tuned for tonights interview, which will be posted around 12:00 AM EST. We will also have more information from our conversations with both Shaun and his father in Wednesday's War Room feature.

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