Vegas Notebook - Wednesday

LAS VEGAS – Coach K and staff are in Sin City along with the rest of the college basketball world. On the first day of action The Devil's Den pulled up a chair at the GBOA Challenge of Champions and took in the action for a number of players on the Duke radar as well as a pair of commitments.


There are very few rewards in the month of July for college coaches. The travel is daunting. Figuring out the schedules for five tournaments in one city is almost as complex as a Dan Brown thriller. And the sheer volume of places to be and people to see is sometimes overwhelming. So when two targets play against each other, it's a gold mine.

That is what happened on Wednesday afternoon when I-5 Elite's Terrence Jones and D-One Sport's Quincy Miller matched up in the GBOA Challenge of Champions.

Jones played well on the defensive end against Miller. And to Miller's credit, he scored on some impressive baskets. Great players find ways to score. However, in this match-up, Jones was the better of two greats.

After a sub-par showing at the Nike Peach Jam last week, Jones looked much better in his own time zone. The 6-foot-8 hybrid forward was the clear cut star of the game in this match-up. Jones scored 25 points and did his best work when attacking the basket and powering through smaller and weaker defenders.

Jones said Duke continues to watch and evaluate him this summer but hasn't gotten the impression that the Blue Devils are turning up the heat with him.

Coach K and Wojo watched the Jones-Miller match-up from start to finish.

After suffering a 60-point defeat, it's easy to understand why Miller wasn't ready to dive into a discussion regarding recruiting. Who could blame him? His coach Brian Clifton said the Blue Devils are very high on Miller's list.

"He likes them a lot," Clifton said. "He's been to the school five or six times. He's played with their guys a couple of times. He's into them."

The versatile 6-foot-8 forward scored a modest 10 points in the loss.


"Duke is kind of confusing to me. They are recruiting Joe Jackson, Brandon Knight, Kyrie Irving and I think one other guy and me. And they have Tyler already committed. So I'm not sure where they are at. I think I may be the guy that if they don't get one of those guys then they will look to me."

"I saw them at LeBron a lot. But they weren't there when we played in Milwaukee. I don't know what to think. I get the feeling that they aren't too interested in me right now."

What if Duke were to turn up the heat?

"Oh yeah, I'd listen. It's Duke. They are always in the tournament. It's Duke."


If Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston seem a little bummed, forgive them. They just lost a classmate after all. After scoring 27 points in a physical and heated loss to California Supreme, Hairston chimed in on the news of Andre Dawkins early departure from high school to join the Duke team in the fall.

"I think it's great for him and for Duke," Hairston said. "He's a great player and while I was a little surprised I knew it was good for both of them. Duke only had two guards so it makes sense. And if he can do it, then go for it…I'm a little bummed but we'll play together when I get there so it's alright."

On the court, Hairston was great in defeat. The 6-foot-7 forward showed off a nice inside-outside game from the power forward position. He faced his man up and consistently knocked down midrange jumpers and even connected on a couple of three-pointers.

Hairston said the news of Dawkins joining Duke early is a great motivating factor to stay in the gym and prepare himself for his freshman season in Durham.

"I'm going to Montrose my senior year just for skill development so I can be ready to play when I get to Duke," Hairston said.

Thornton scored 10 points in the defeat.


Class of 2011 prospect Duce Bello collapsed during a timeout in the huddle and remained on the floor motionless. It was a scary moment and the paramedics were called to the scene to evaluate him. Bello was not taken to the hospital and remained on the end of the D-One bench on Wednesday.

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