Livingston: "It's Just Talk"

Some things never change it seems. Despite remaining silent on the issue, the rumors of bypassing college all together still remain for the nation's top point guard. While he can deal with the speculation, many Blue Devil fans have begun to wonder silently "Will he go?" TDD had a chance to get the latest from the future Blue Devil.

"I've heard a lot of talk about it [going to the NBA out of high school]," said 6-foot-7 Peoria standout Shaun Livingston. "But no one's heard me say anything different since I committed."

In fact very few people have heard anything out of Livingston since he chose Duke before his senior season kicked off. Still, that hasn't stopped the rampant speculation from swirling every now and then.

The league is already poised to see the third high school phenom in four years taken with the first pick in June when Dwight Howard shakes hands with David Stern. Fellow prep big man Robert Swift is also thought to be a lock for the lottery. Then there's Al Jefferson and LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom could be first round selections given the right circumstances.

So where does Livingston fit in with the four big men? Could he make it five preps taken in the first round? Not if you listen to what he's saying.

"I said in the recruiting process that the NBA is a life long dream, but that ultimately it is a business decision. I want to not only get there; I want to also be ready to stay there. That means getting prepared at the college level and not skipping any necessary steps."

According to Shaun those steps include playing for head coach Mike Krzyzewski and learning how to become a more complete player, something he and his future coach have discussed privately.

"I have a good relationship with Coach K. He'll guide me as I work toward achieving my goals. It's hard to argue with his success. Right now I am working to get better to go to Duke next year. I know the NBA is interested, but I am playing to get better to get to Duke right now."

So if he's going to be at Duke, the next question that has to follow is: "For how long?" Are we looking at another Carmello Anthony situation of one and done? Or perhaps another Devil earning a degree in three years?

"My dream is playing in the NBA," said Livingston, "but I won't go until I am ready physically and mentally. I believe Duke can prepare me for that. If it takes two years or four, I won't leave until I'm ready."

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