Names To Know In 2006

TDD analyst, Clint Jackson, runs down some confirmed 2006 targets of the Duke staff. The 2006 class is widely considered to be better than the current crop of rising seniors from the class of 2005. Here are some of the names to become familiar with as the recruiting action picks up.

James Keefe (6-8 PF) Santa Margarita (CA) -- Keefe (pictured top) has earned mixed reviews from those who've evaluated him -- but he looked great when we saw him. He's got inside/outside skills and he knows how to score. Keefe has such a variety of skills, that it's difficult to even know how to defend him. Spin moves, jump shot, passing skills and post skills -- Keefe's got 'em all.

Derrick Caracter (6-9 PF) St. Patricks (NJ) -- Caracter is probably one of the best three players in the class and combines skill with a tremendous amount of size and agility. He scores on anyone and has the bulk and agility to overpower and scoot around. Think a combo of Sean May and Zach Randolph.

Brian Zoubek (7-0 C) Haddonfield Memorial (NJ) -- Zoubek is a big target in the post and a great half court skill guy. He's an above average rebounder and will block some shots. He runs the floor well, but he's by no means fast, in the open floor. He has good hands and doesn't force shots when the double teams come. Alert passer.

Brandan Wright (6-8 PF) Brentwood Academy (TN) -- This long and lanky athlete is probably going to get looks by the NBA folks -- but if he doesn't look towards the draft -- he's definitely the type of long, skilled athlete that would thrive at any big time college. It's a battle of the elite programs here, and that's a fact. The college coaches in this battle might have to look over their shoulders for the NBA GMs as well though. Big time.

Kevin Durant (6-8 WF/PF) -- Durant (pictured right) is one of the skinniest kids on the AAU circuit, but he's also one of the best. Here's a kid with size 21 feet and arms like ropes. He stands outside and drains jumpers, but can also score the ball off the dribble. He's not an elite level athlete, so that may keep the NBA folks away for a little while, but he's good enough to get where he wants to go off the bounce. His length frustrates folks trying to defend him and Duke loves the kid's game.

Lance Thomas (6-8 WF/PF) Scotch Plains-Fanwood (NJ) -- While we're not as high on Thomas as some are -- you can certainly see what's appealing with this kid. First off -- he's really tall for his position (legit 6-8) and he's fast with the ball. He can pass and he can handle with the best wings in this class and he likes to go to the basket. Needs to work on his jumper and his strength, but appears to be a big timer.

Jon Scheyer (6-4 SG) Glenbrook (IL) -- Scheyer is probably going to be a Blue Devil. Let's be honest here. He loves Duke and Duke loves him as well. A slender offensive machine who can shoot and drive to the basket. He's got a good handle and plays the game at a fast pace. As his body begins to fill out -- he'll start finishing plays near the basket as well.

Gerald Henderson (6-5 SG) The Episcopal Academy (PA) -- There may not be a better wing player on the east coast than Henderson. He's the son of a former NBA player and he's already got a ripped basketball body. Checking in at a solid 210 pounds -- Henderson combines athleticism and a soft shooting touch to go with his bull-like strength. He loves the ACC and will have offers from everyone. Watch out for Villanova with this one though.

Wayne Ellington (6-3 SG) The Episcopal Academy (PA) -- Ellington is a smooth and quick scorer who oozes with confidence. He's a lot like Daniel Ewing in terms of hos he can slash and shoot with equal success. This academic standout is a great kid who will be a big time college wing guard down the road. He and Henderson play on the same high school team.

Mike Conley (6-1 PG) North High (IN) -- (pictured left) Nothing flashy about this kid's game, but he just gets it done. He's smooth and responsible with the ball and makes good decisions with the rock. He plays defense and runs the offense and just wins games. He may not be ranked in the top 25 at this time next year because he doesn't score much, but take a look at how many games his squad wins, and then you'll know why he's so highly regarded.

DJ Augustine (5-11 PG) Brother Martin (LA) -- This shorty will lull you to sleep with his dribble and then explode by the defender with an electric first step. He's smallish but can shoot with the best of 'em. He's got plenty of range on his shot and penetrates well against the man to man defense. No one changes speeds better than Augustine.


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