Vaughn Now Clear With Duke

Julian Vaughn has been on the recruiting roller coaster over the past year. After being considered one of the top 20 prospects in the nation since the class of 2007 was first charted and ranked, a foot injury and the subsequent recovery time sidelined the Virginia big man. However, he's working himself back into shape and is rekindling much high major attention.

"I'm still not 100 percent, but I'm getting there with every passing game," said Virginia big man Julian Vaughn. "I am still working to get my explosion back, but right now I feel really good and there's no pain. The big thing I am working on is getting my stamina back, but other than that it's just a matter of losing the rust."

The rust was evident in spots, but didn't prevent Vaughn from tallying nine points, 10 boards, and three blocks against a very game Raleigh's Finest squad.

"I thought I played OK tonight. It's just a process to get back to where I was, and then moving past that and becoming an even better player. Right now I still need to get my legs back under me and get my wind back. I'm still not at the point where I can sustain things as long as I need to."

Despite the layoff and subsequent rust, Vaughn continues to gain offers and interest from a number of schools.

"Right now I have offers from Ohio State, Virginia, Florida State, Georgetown, Wake Forest and Illinois at this point. I'm also looking at Duke and North Carolina, and I think Duke will offer down the road. I am not sure about Chapel Hill right now."

The Blue Devils and Tar Heels have long evaluated Vaughn, but neither had come forth with an offer; however a Thursday night unofficial visit to Durham may have started greasing the wheels for the Duke coaching staff to do just that.

"I visited Duke to talk with Coach K before the tournament started. I had a chance to really talk to him, to Coach Wojo, and to Coach Collins about everything. It was really a chance for them to let me know where I stood with them and for me to bring them up to date with where I am with things."

Which is where?

"They wanted to know about my rehab and how healthy I was. Then we talked about what they want to see out of me on the court. Right now they think I need to be more assertive on both ends of the floor. I can see that. I have a bad habit of taking plays off occasionally. I need to stop it, I know. I think it comes from high school where the only other post player is just 6'4. I can score on him without trying. That's why I like AAU so much. You just can't afford to take plays off, especially when you're playing with guys like Mike (Beasley), and Nolan (Smith). They won't let you."

With the unofficial visit now behind him, does Vaughn have a better feel of where he stands with the Blue Devils?

"I watched how Shelden Williams and McRoberts played at Duke and I think I could really do well in that kind of role. I think my game resembles Williams in that I can move around and block a lot of shots on defense. He really improved at Duke on the offensive end of the floor, and everyone knows about his defense. I think I can be a similar type of player. With McRoberts, he goes inside and out, which is something I do well. We talked about how their system would fit my game. I'm a big guy who is versatile and who can knock down shots."

Still, despite all the topics covered on Thursday, there's no offer on the table. Something that Vaughn takes in stride, and isn't discouraged by.

"Duke needs a big guy in my class. They evaluate everyone and then make a decision on who to offer. They can basically pick their players from anyone in the country. They have to be a lot more selective than most programs. I was injured this spring so they they couldn't see me when they would have liked to."

Still, Vaughn expects Krzyzewski to see him in action against top shelf competition sooner than later.

"Coach K is going to Coach Team USA this summer, so he'll have a chance to see me try out for the U-18 team. I should be back to 100 percent when that time comes. It's something I'm looking forward to. Also, the other coaches are going to watch me at some of the other events this summer. I feel confident that if I play at a high level and work, I'll get an offer from Duke."

Vaughn, who is rated as the No. 26 overall prospect in the country in's pre-summer rankings, expects to have a decision before the beginning of his senior season.

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