Surveying The Class of 2009

A quick search of our message boards will reveal that most Blue Devil fans are interested in see the Duke coaching staff cast a wider net when it comes to recruiting in the class of 2009. Currently there are 12 confirmed players on the Blue Devil recruiting board - find out who with TDD's survey of the current crop of rising senior prospects.

The major question with every recruiting board is "what's the priority?". The answer in 2009 is crystal clear: Improving the athleticism on the perimeter and in the painted area. To that end, the following 12 prospects have been identified and are being recruited at some level by the Blue Devils.

Current thinking has the Duke coaching staff looking to bring in at least four players in the class of 2009, though that number could swell with the potential NBA defections of players such as Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler. And, as freshman Taylor King proved, sometimes there can be unexpected transfers.

After reading the various breakdowns and capsules of each player below, be sure to check out or supplementary overview that is posted on our Premium Message Boards.


COMMITTED PLAYERS

Mason Plumlee
6'11, 215lbs, PF
Rank: 39 / 4*
Breakdown: Plumlee became the first Duke commitment from the class of 2009 on February 27th. For a guy that stands 6-foot-11, Plumlee can do a lot of things. The future Duke player runs the floor well, is very skilled and is also capable of stepping out and knocking down jumpers. The best move he made on Saturday was a drive from the wing where he cupped the ball and glided through the lane. He gets better every time out and he is making a conscience effort to hit the glass and improve his rebounding.



OFFERED PLAYERS

Kenny Boynton
6'3, 175lbs, SG
Rank: 9 / 5*
Breakdown: Boynton has long been identified as the top prospect on the Duke recruiting radar. He earned an offer more than a year ago, and is scheduled to visit Duke unofficially in May for the annual Tournament of Champions. To say the Blue Devil staff hold the Florida prospect in high regard is an understatement. Coach K has already visited Boynton several times - both for workouts and during his regular season. Boynton reports Krzyzewski has compared him to former Duke great Jason Williams and has indicated he believes Boynton can have a similar career path should he choose Duke. Scoring comes easy for Boynton. He's one of the more prolific point makers on the circuit, who has been working to improve his skills as a point guard.

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Leslie McDonald
6'4, 185lbs, SG
Rank: 18 / 5*
Breakdown: For a while it seemed as though Duke's recruitment of McDonald was at an end after 2008 SG Elliot Williams committed to the Blue Devils. However, after Williams consulted with the Duke staff and made it clear that not only could he and McDonald play together - they were both interested in doing so. Following that meeting, Duke jumped back into the race for the 6-foot-4 Memphis product. Described as a versatile player who excels on the defensive end of the floor, McDonald has a number of high major suitors chasing him. This past season Duke, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Memphis, Tennessee, and many others including North Carolina all dropped his school for a look.

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Derrick Favors
6'9, 230lbs, SG
Rank: 1 / 5*
Breakdown: When looking for a 'can't miss' All-Star big man the discussion begins with Favors. The Atlanta based product could be a potential franchise college player and beyond. Few have the ability to finish with strength and efficiency that he brings. Every time out Favors seems to produce video game type numbers, as he averaged a triple double – 25 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocks - as a junior. Favors already has a developed skill set and his arsenal of moves is impressive. He's capable of using either hand around the basket, has great footwork and shoots jump shots with ease. The Blue Devils have been recruiting Favors for a while, and continue to do so. However, there's not a program in the country that isn't recruiting the 6'9 prospect. College coaches have become regulars at South Atlanta High School. He's received so much attention that he doesn't even list schools anymore. The last time he did, he named 26. Despite the attention, he's put recruiting on hold for now.



ON THE RECRUITING RADAR

Nick Russell
6'5, 180lbs, PG
Rank: NR / NR
Breakdown: A relatively unknown (and unevaluated) prospect hailing from Grace Prep in Arlington (Tex.), Russell has been evaluated by the Duke coaching staff in recent weeks, but had not yet been offered. At a true 6-foot-5, he is described as a true point guard who hopes to improve his overall game so he can transform into more of a combo guard. Currently Russell is being heavily recruited by most of the programs in the Big 12, however he has contacted and begun the process with the Blue Devils.

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Terrell Vinson
6'7, 200lbs, PG
Rank: 60 / 4*
Breakdown: Duke has begun upping their interest in the Montrose Christian product in recent months - inviting him to Cameron for the game against North Carolina and recently making an in-school visit. For his part, Vinson says he has not yet been offered by the Blue Devils, but that it's safe to say Duke remains among his list of favorite schools - a list that will begin to solidify over the summer. Scout's Dave Telep believes Vinson is a "very good athlete who can play either forward spot. His game resembles that of [North Carolina junior] Danny Green in that he's versatile enough to fill a number of niches on the floor." Vinson claims a top five list of Duke, Georgetown, Villanova, Maryland, and Memphis.

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Jon Hood
6'6, 180lbs, SF
Rank: NR / 3*
Breakdown: Hood has long been thought to harbor a soft-spot for the Blue Devils, and he's certainly gotten his share of interest from the big time programs - sporting offers from Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee while entertaining overtures from Duke, Kansas, and Texas. At 6'6 and 180lbs, Hood can play either on the wing or the point-forward position. He's a big time athlete, who finished third in the state in the high jump, clearing six feet, four inches in the championship meet. On the court he shot nearly 40 percent from the perimeter as a junior. Hood's plan is to take visits in the spring and summer and come to a decision before the start of his senior year.

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Kammeon Holsey
6'8, 200lbs, PF
Rank: NR / 3*
Breakdown: Another new name for many Duke fans, Holsey's name has continued to rise up the rankings as an athletic, hard working post prospect. As a junior he tallied 20 points and 13 rebounds per game for Hancock Central High in Sparta (Ga.). He earned offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Florida State and Nebraska. Right now the Georgia product claims a top three of Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Xavier. The Blue Devils' level of recruiting involvement to this point has been to the evaluation level with the likeliness of future scouting.

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Deshawn Painter
6'9, 200lbs, PF
Rank: 8 / 5*
Breakdown: A supremely talented prospect who is still learning the game, Painter has gone through some adversity after falling short in some big time individual matchups. Through standout play with Boo Williams and at various camps last summer, Painter's star rose. Scout.com tabbed him No. 8 in the Class of 2009. Expectations were through the roof. All of the sudden, when things were slow from the start of the season, Painter lost his passion. Maybe it wasn't so much his love for the game, but his fire was doused a little. That fire is back and he's surging back up various recruiting boards, including Duke's. The Blue Devils got a glimpse of Painter in the beginning of the season when Coach K dropped in for a game. Though Duke has yet to offer Painter, the coaches have continued to recruit the Virginia product and look to jump into a race that seems to have Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida and Louisville near the top.

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Daniel Orton
6'10, 260lbs, PF
Rank: 14 / 5*
Breakdown: Orton averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, and nine blocks a game his junior season despite battling a knee injury he suffered early in the year. He's considered a dual threat big man who will work hard in the paint and can score with his back to the basket, and then step out and knock down the three-pointer when the opportunity arises. While Duke has previously been in contact with Orton, it is believed the Blue Devils need to further evaluate and speak with the big man. Meanwhile Orton has established a quartet of pre-summer favorites lead by National Champion Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M.

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DaShonte Riley
6'11, 220lbs, PF
Rank: 16 / 5*
Breakdown: The Michigan native is another player that has been on the Duke recruiting radar for a while, and another player Blue Devil coaching staff has made inroads with via mail and other contact. After transferring to Shane Battier's alma mater, Detroit Country Day, Riley had an impressive junior season averaging 10 points, 12 rebounds, and seven blocks per game. He's considered a better prospect on the defensive end at this time, and sports a ridiculous 88 inch wing span that allows him to be a very good rebounder and shot-blocker. On the recruiting front, Riley, the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2009 class, already claims scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Georgetown, Minnesota, USC, UCLA and Florida. Indiana and Boston College are also keeping tabs. Riley is not expecting to make a decision until the end of the summer AAU scene.

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Marshawn Powell
6'7, 230lbs, PF
Rank: 31 / 4*
Breakdown: At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Marshawn Powell has all the makings of a big time college player. Add in what many analysts refer to as a blue collar attitude in the paint and it's easy to see why this talented Virginia product has several schools scurrying to catch a glimpse. Including the Blue Devils who have begun recruiting Powell in the last six weeks, though no offer has been currently made. Powell averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Miller School after transferring in from Menchville High School in hopes of finding more structure in the classroom and on the court. Despite being a tad undersized to play against traditional centers, Powell is considered to have a strong back to the basket game complete with the kind of soft hands that don't drop passes and don't allow rebounds to escape. On the recruiting front a decision from Powell will likely go into the fall, giving Duke plenty of time to get a lay of the recruiting land.


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