Peach Jam: Duke Target Notebook

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – With the Nike Peach Jam now in the books, we've cleaned out our notepad and take a look at guys like Michael Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Andre Dawkins and others.


It could be argued that Michael Gilchrist is the best high school player in America regardless of class. Did we mention he's only 15-years-old?

If you talk to the 6-foot-7 forward from New Jersey, you'd never know that he's one of the elite prospects in the country and a coveted prospect amongst the who's who of college hoops.

"I don't even worry about it to tell you the truth. I let my mom worry about that stuff. I just play my game," Gilchrist said.

There has been speculation that schools that put in the time and effort to recruit Gilchrist would be spinning their wheels. Duke is one of the several elite programs that had a head coach at multiple games to see Gilchrist in action. Many believe that Kentucky and moreover John Calipari are sitting in the driver's seat for a commitment from the young star.

Gilchrist's mother, Cynthia Richardson, says not so much.

"Michael did a story when he was 13-years-old in the Philadelphia Inquirer and he made a statement that if he were to go to a school at that time, who would it be and it would be Memphis. Memphis was doing really good at that time but you have realize he was just 13-years-old," she said. "People have wanted to hold him to that and think that's unfair. But it is what it is.

"We are going to take our time. We're really not into the process right now. We're going to let Michael handle the process at his pace."

"I just want to have fun with it," Gilchrist chimed in.

"It should be fun," mom said. "We aren't there yet (with schools to know who is really serious about recruiting him). To be honest, Michael made a couple of comments about couple of schools but it's not that serious. We don't want to say what schools."

"Me and dad just control things. He's very normal outside of events like this. He's just having a good time being a kid. There's no pressure."

"We don't believe in pressure," Gilchrist, all 15 years of him, said.


Brad Beal won't shy away from it. He was down right giddy. The five-star junior guard from St. Louis played in front of Coach K for the first time of his life. And Beal says he was a little nervous.

"You try really hard not to notice the coaches on the sidelines but when you see someone like him it's exciting," Beal said.

Beal played well in front of the Duke head man, too. The Blue Devils will certainly throw a hat into the race for a commitment now. There are whispers that Florida and Kansas are sitting the prettiest at the moment. Both Billy Donovan and Bill Self put in as much face time as possible this week. A number of other heavy hitters – Duke included – pulled up a chair and lived the "see and be seen" motto of July.

It's easy to see why the big boys are lining up. Beal is one of the most exciting shooting guards in the class of 2011 and knows how to pump in the points on the wing. His scoring touch is a mixture of athleticism and grace.


Sometimes you just can't do it all on your own. But you can come awfully close. Andre Dawkins scored 36 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a tough 101-74 loss to Team Final on Tuesday morning.

The Boo Williams star was outstanding in defeat and closed out the Peach Jam in fine style, tallying the second most points scored in a single game this week.

His perimeter touch, athleticism and understanding of the game will be counted on early at Duke. Dawkins is a star in the class of 2010 and should be primed and ready for action when he gets to Durham.

"It was tough here," a dejected Dawkins said. "We just couldn't win the games we were capable of."

Dawkins did his part though.


  • Harrison Barnes was a popular interview amongst all of the media members at the Peach Jam. Rightfully so. He's one of the best quotes the grassroots circuit has ever seen. However, understand this: the nation's top player was fired up after three tough losses. After he answered the questions, you better believe he was thinking about the losses. Barnes is an uber-competitor.
  • Coach K, Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski all took turns evaluating I-5 Elite forward Terrence Jones. The big man struggled in the game we saw against the Georgia Stars. The Blue Devils spent the week evaluating the top 35 forward.
  • Last year in Las Vegas, Seattle Rotary big man Josh Smith was the talk of the town and earned high praise for his play in the post. He was even ranked the number one player in the nation by some publications. Fast forward to this year's Peach Jam. The big man is, well, big. Smith looked out of shape and disinterested all week. Duke was once in the mix and the Blue Devils even caught a peek or two at Smith. But the big man will have to do some damage control next week in Las Vegas and during his high school season with recruiters.
  • We spoke to Jason Morris but he made no mention of Duke and the Blue Devils did not watch him closely in Augusta. He made a blip on the recruiting radar earlier in the year.

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