Coach K Still Working Hard In 2005

Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski has already locked up two of the best 15 prospects in the class of 2005 with verbal commitments from Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts. Even though he's still got two more prospects waiting in 2004, Coach K stopped over in Missouri Tuesday to check out another top junior prospect.

"Coach K and Coach Wojo were out here on Tuesday watching me workout," said 6-foot-8 Missouri power forward Tyler Hansbrough. "I've had a bunch of coaches out here recently watching me workout."

Indeed the coaching appearances at Poplar Bluff High School have been frequent and very high profile. Coaches from Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan State, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona, Arkansas, and Stanford have joined the Blue Devils in tripping to see Hansbrough in hopes of solidifying a place on the talented forward's list.

Despite being among the schools that are showing interest early on, Duke remains the only program that has yet to offer Hansbrough a scholarship. However the 6-foot-8 forward says he's not ready to eliminate the Blue Devils just yet.

"I actually have talked to Coach K on the phone a few times recently; I actually talked to him for a while earlier tonight. They haven't offered me a scholarship yet, but I expect them to at some point. He has told me that they are extremely interested in me. Right now I think it's important for him and me to get to know one another as a person."

After watching Hansbrough compete over the summer, Krzyzewski has offered a comparison to a former Blue Devil that was well received.

"He told me that I reminded him a lot of Shane Battier," Hansbrough said. "I think we both have a toughness on the court. I've also got a little bit of a mean streak when I play."

While the Duke coaching staff has already begun the recruiting efforts for Hansbrough, they aren't the only Blue Devils who could play a role for him.

"I know Greg [Paulus] pretty well from when we went to Nike Camp together," said Hansbrough. "We had a chance to hang out together and talk while we were there. He's a great player and we got along pretty good."

Though he's only a junior, Hansbrough has already begun to take an active role in the recruiting process in hopes of arriving at a decision before the start of the summer, though not until after his high school season.

"I'm going to visit Illinois this Saturday, and then Missouri on October 11th, and Kansas on October 17th. I already visited Florida, and I am still trying to figure out when I can schedule a visit east to see North Carolina and Duke. Coach K told me whenever I wanted to come by for a visit, they were ready for me."

With so many of the nation's top programs looking to earn his signature, Hansbrough says his decision will come down to simply "finding the best place for me".

"I just want to go somewhere that's got good players I can compete against, good coaches, and a great tradition. That's the best place for me."

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