Devils Ink Three Prep Stars in 2004

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the signing of three senior high school players to national letters-of-intent during the November early signing period. Shaun Livingston (Peoria, Ill.), David McClure (Stamford, Conn.) and DeMarcus Nelson (Sacramento, Calif.) each signed national letters-of-intent to attend Duke.

A 6-7, 180-pound guard, Livingston was ranked as the nation's top-ranked prep player by the All Star Report and Basketball News and the second-best prep player by many recruiting analysts entering his senior season in 2003-04. Livingston averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists as a junior at Peoria Central. He led his high school team to a 31-1 record and the Illinois 2-A State Championship in 2003 after hitting a game-winning shot with three seconds remaining. He had an outstanding summer in 2003, earning Most Valuable Player honors at the ABCD Camp, the NBA Players' Association Camp and at the Adidas All-Star Game. He also performed well in the U.S. Developmental Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo. (16.7 points, 5.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks). Livingston was a fourth team Parade All-America selection in 2003.

McClure, a 6-7, 205-pounder who verbally committed to Duke in June, is a consensus top 75 player and was ranked as high as No. 47 by The Insiders Hoops prior to the 2003-04 season. The Stamford, Conn., native averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds for Trinity Catholic High School as a junior last season. McClure led Trinity Catholic to a 26-1 record, Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and CIAC Class M titles in 2002-03. He was the Most Valuable Player in the state championship game after registering 15 points and 13 boards in Trinity Catholic's 72-65 victory over Kolbe Cathedral. The last player from the state of Connecticut to attend Duke was All-America and three-time Academic All-America selection Mike Gminski (Monroe, Conn.).

Believed to be the earliest verbal commitment in Duke history by announcing in May of 2002, Nelson is another top 20 signee for the Blue Devils. The 6-3, 195-pound guard earned a No. 14 national ranking by Prep Stars. A three-time California Player of the Year honoree for his age group while attending Vallejo High School, Nelson will play his final season at Sacramento's Sheldon High School. He averaged 32 points, 12 rebounds and nearly 10 assists as a junior in leading Vallejo to a 24-6 record and the state semifinals. Entering his senior season, he has amassed more than 2,400 career points and is 960 points shy of breaking the state scoring record. This past summer, he starred at the ABCD Camp and posted some of the best statistics (a tournament-best 25.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists) at the U.S. Developmental Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo. He joined the two other Blue Devil signees - Livingston and McClure - in that competition.

The Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which combines the player rankings from several well-known recruiting experts including All Star Report, Prep Star, Hoop Scoop,, Hoopmasters and The Insiders Hoops, rated the Duke recruits among the top 60 prep players in the nation with Livingston at No. 2, Nelson at No. 17 and McClure at No. 56.

Blue Devil Digest Top Stories