It seems like every year, a player takes events like the Tournament of Champions as a place to make a statement about the future. Gerald Wallace and Tracy McGrady both exploded onto the scene in such events. This year was no different, but would Duke be interested in the rising star?
The true wunderkind, by all accounts, is LeBron James. But when we were at Reynolds watching the 15-and-under, we got to talking to a chatty agent and his sidekick, and when we asked about LeBron, they said they'd give us Kobe and take LeBron and wouldn't complain. Then we asked about Shawn Livingston.
"We wouldn't take him over LeBron now," they said. "But we wouldn't complain." They went on to rave about Livingston, and just about everyone else has.
The raves center around his grasp of the game, which is, according to everyone, quite sophisticated. Most 6-6 guys in high school don't play point - most don't in college, either - but Livingston is very comfortable there. His savvy and court awareness are universally acclaimed.
He told one observer at the TOC that only Illinois had been aggressive so far, but that Iowa had maintained a lesser level of contact as well.
Needless to say after his performance, the inquiries will come very rapidly, and certainly from ACC schools as well, most of whom were likely represented. It's true that the coaches can't attend, but other people can attend, and do, and the coaches talk to them to get their feedback. We can go to any TOC games and spot several of these types.
There's no indication that Duke has begun recruiting Livingston, but with his offensive savvy and his defensive ability to disrupt traffic, Duke would, you think be interested. We haven't heard enough about his grades to know whether he's academically at Duke's level. If Duke does decide to pursue him, we'll let you know.