One on One with Leslie McDonald

TDD sat down with guard prospect Leslie McDonald over the weekend at the Boo Williams' AAU Tournament in Virginia. McDonald is one of two offered backcourt players in the class of 2009 for the Blue Devils.

TDD: It seems like there are more eyes on you this year. How does that impact you heading into the summer?

Leslie McDonald: To be honest with you, it doesn't faze me all that much. I've played in front of some big time crowds and college coaches, and I feel like I've put in the work to be successful. I just try to concentrate on going out, playing my game, and helping my team win, the rest will take care of itself.

What were your impressions of the schools on your list's performances in the NCAAs?

I thought all my schools played really well, some just left earlier than others. I liked how competitive they all were, and watching some of the games was really neat, it was big time college basketball at it's best.

Earlier in the season, you were at the Memphis/Tennessee game. What were thoughts on the game and atmosphere?

Yeah, my dad and I went up for it, it was a real great game to watch. Some of the fans were chanting my name, saying I should come to their school, but I just tried to keep it cool and enjoy the game. I didn't get a chance to speak with any of the coaches before or after the game, the staffs just wanted me to come in and watch a good game.

Can you compare and contrast the different recruiting approaches you are seeing>

All the teams are pretty much doing the same amount of stuff, they all call when they are allowed to, they all send me a lot of mail, and I've seen them at a lot of my games. Head Coaches wise, I remember seeing Coach Williams and Coach K at some of my games, which was pretty neat. I would say that I feel the most pressure coming from alot of people in state for me to go to Tennessee or Memphis. UNC has also showed me they have a strong desire that I commit to them soon, but I don't let that stuff bother me, I'm going to make my own decision, I refuse to be pressured into my decision.

What type of input are you getting from your family/coaches/advisors in terms of your recruitment?

They are just telling me to take my time and make sure I get all the info. All the schools have different things that they can offer me, both basketball wise and academically, so, they're just telling me to make sure I look at things from all angles.

You haven't visited Duke or UNC as of yet, but you have gone to Memphis and Tennessee. Do you feel like you need more info and/or an official visit to Duke and UNC before you make your final decision?

It is very important to me that I visit Duke and UNC before I make my decision, I really only have part of the information that I need on those schools because I haven't had a chance to see the campus and see how I would fit in there. I do not want to make a decision until I visit those schools, it's very important to me. I'm going to hopefully try and schedule some time at both those schools in either May or June, I am really hoping to get down there to see them.

What have you seen from the different schools on your list so far?

Well, I have tried to watch a lot of the schools on my list during their seasons to get an idea of their style of play. Thankfully, ESPN makes it easy on me, I got to see Duke and UNC and Georgetown quite a bit on TV this year, so, I got a chance to see how they use their guards. Fit wise also, I just have to examine the whole picture of the different schools.

What kind of backcourt situation and style of play are you looking for?

You know, I kinda what a system kinda like what we do with my AAU team. I get to play off the ball some, but then I can play on the ball too to help the team out and set my guys up with some buckets. College wise, I've noticed the Princeton style offense that Memphis and Georgetown play, and I like that kind of concept, having structure but freedom within in it. Duke also seems to do the same thing with their guards, which I like, it's just different from the Princeton offense in terms of how their guards move around.

Do you have a Pros and Cons List in terms of the schools you are looking at?

No, not really, I haven't really sat down and made one out, all my schools have good things going for them, and they are all very different in terms of how they play basketball and how they go about their program.

Do you feel like the friendships that you have with some players at some of the schools you're interested in will play a major role in your decision?

You're talking about Elliot Williams right? Yeah, he's my boy, him and Nolan Smith are talking to me all the time about coming to Duke, I hear them quite a bit about that. I won't lie, it does have some impact on me, but I'm not going to base my college decision solely on if I have friends there, there's a lot more that goes into the decision.


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