In-Home Visit Relaxing For Boateng

Everything has settled down for England native Eric Boateng since the 6-foot-11 center committed to Duke in August. Since that time he's had a chance to get comfortable with his new coach, including a recent in-home visit.

To put it mildly, life has settled down for Eric Boateng since he made the decision to attend Duke.

The 6-11 (with shoes), 235-pound St. Andrews (Del.) senior big man admits the pressure has been lifted since he committed to the Blue Devils nearly a month ago.

``Everything's less confusing," Boateng said. "My head's clearer now and life is good."

Now that life wasn't good prior to the decision, but admittedly it was a difficult process as Boateng struggled during July.

``I think it was the lowest point," Boateng said of his performance in July. "Everything wasn't going right and I don't know why. It was weird that the most important time I needed things to go right, they didn't."

St. Andrews coach Robert Rue has an idea why his star pupil struggled.

``He was traveling a lot, he wasn't with his family and he had the whole decision weighing on him," Rue said.

Boateng recently had an in-home visit with Mike Krzyzewski and the pair spoke at length as to what Boateng needs to do before the big man sets foot on campus next year.

``He's looking forward to me having a full year playing," said Boateng, who missed much of last season with a foot injury. "We also talked about me getting stronger and putting on some weight. I just have to play as much as possible and have a good senior season."

Boateng said he was seriously contemplating taking other school visits upon his return from England in August, but after talking it over with his parents and one key person, he ended his recruitment.

``I spoke to Loul (Deng)," Boateng said. "He was in England for a week and he really helped me. He played at that level and his advice was very good and was neutral. I had a lot of time to think about it because coming home, I had a lot on my mind."

For now, Boateng is working hard – both on the court and in the classroom. In fact, he was in the midst of reading William Shakespeare's King Lear.

``I'm just focused on doing well in school and trying to get stronger," Boateng said. "I'm lifting and putting on some weight and muscle because I want to go in as an impact player from this point on."

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