Q&A: 2010 PF Commit Josh Hairston

Josh Hairston says the recent commitment of Kyrie Irving may be a sign of things to come in Durham. See what else the four star prospect had to say in this one on one interview with TDD's Steve Clark.

TDD: What was your reaction to the Kyrie Irving to Duke news?

Josh Hairston: Man, I'm really happy for him, we were just all waiting for him to commit, we kind of had a really good feeling that things were going to happen and he was going to come into the family. Now that Kyrie's a part of our class, we're just excited to get down to Durham and start making plays together.

As a big forward, what are you looking forward to the most about playing with a guard like Kyrie?

I think it's a good thing, he brings a lot to the table, he's looking to pass 1st, get the ball up the court quick off the outlet, he's just a complete guard. Having only played against him once, he just looks and plays like an all star player, he takes smart shots, and he keeps his guys involved.

With all the negative publicity surrounding Duke in recent years, what does landing top rated talent do for the Duke perception amongst recruits??

I think it impacts Duke in a positive way, schools are realizing that Duke's not playing around when it comes to recruiting, they've been bringing in top flight talent, and we're just another part of that lineage. Me and Tyler were just talking the other day about how awesome it is to be a part of the Duke family, and all the great players that have come through this program. We kind of feel that with adding Kyrie, and hopefully Harrison [Barnes] committing in the future, we feel like we're that next step to bringing another championship to Duke.

You and Tyler and Andre Dawkins seemed to have played an active role with other recruits after you guys committed. Did you guys reach out to Kyrie during the process?

We were just all at Top 100 camp together, and we were all talking, dreaming of the kind of class we could have if Kyrie and Harrison joined us. We tried to make sure that Kyrie and Harrison knew how much we wanted them to be a part of the family, and now that Kyrie is a part of it, we're just excited to get started.

You were down in Durham recently for the Countdown to Craziness for your official visit, can you talk about how this experience was different from your other visits to Duke?

?I've been down to Duke multiple times, and this was by far the most fun I've ever had. I came in, got to have breakfast with Coach K and the staff, which was a great way to start off the day. After breakfast we got to watch the open practice, which was crazy, I mean, to have 100s of people there just to watch Duke practice – man it was just special to be a part of that. We checked out the campus on a nice tour, and I just remember telling myself over and over, this feels like home, I'm so glad I'm here.

Now that Andre is at Duke, do you guys have much chance to stay in touch?

Yeah, we still talk the same amount with Andre, to be honest, seeing him out there in practice, its weird but good seeing him out there because we are year behind him now.

I'm so proud and happy for him to be at Duke. He just keeps telling us how much fun he's having, and he loves how much they are competing in practice each day, that's the thing about me, Tyler and Andre, we just love competing, Duke's the perfect fit for us.

Now that you're at Montrose, talk about adjusting to life there versus being back in Spotsylvania?

?Everybody is real good with my move to Montrose, they know and I know that it's preparing me to go to Duke. I'm excited for the opportunity to be here learning under a great coaching staff. I feel like it's preparing me each and everyday on and off the court.

What's a typical day like in the life of a Montrose player?

It's basically like being in college, there's optional workouts in the morning that I try to make each day, we practice and go to school 99% of the time, it's just a real focused, driven to succeed type environment. I'm getting challenged each day that I'm here, and I love that.

How do you think the coaching staff is preparing you for the staff at Duke?

Coach Vetter stresses defense just like Coach K, and on offense, we do a lot of cutting and motion. We don't do a lot of NBA screening type sets, and I'm ok with that because I know at Duke they do a little bit of everything. I feel like this is helping me round out all the areas of my game. I don't want to be a big that can only post up, or can only work with the pick and roll, and Montrose is really helping me develop that versatility that I'm going to be using at Duke.

Seems like you're a different kind of big man prospect. Is that fair?

?Yeah, I'm a big man who doesn't need to stay in the post the whole game, I can work with a pick and roll, and with having Kyrie and Tyler, they like to push the ball. I'm more than willing to run the floor, get the rebound, get the ball to a guard, post up, or give you a drop step or a jump hook. I'm coming to play each and every possession -- that's for sure. I'm going to make a contribution in some way every time down the court. That's my goal.

How's Tyler reacting to having Kyrie in the backcourt with him?

?Yeah, Tyler is very excited about playing with Kyrie. They can switch out 1, 2 or 3, those two on the floor along with Seth and Andre and Nolan as guards. They are interchangeable. Tyler's real excited to get to play with some great players like them, and having Kyrie just makes things easier for everybody because of how great a player he is.

I know you guys have a big-time rivalry and friendship going on with Kendall Marshall, Reggie Bullock, and PJ Hairston down the road at UNC. Has the war of words gone up a notch with the commitment of Kyrie?

?Yeah, you better believe we're going to be saying something to those guys now that Kyrie's a part of the team. Carolina's been having some success over the past couple of years, but we're letting them know that things are going to change around here.

Which naturally brings up the recruitment of Harrison Barnes. Seems like it's one of the most intense recruiting battles ever between Duke and UNC.

?Yeah, it has been kind of crazy reading all the different rumors about things. Tyler and I think most of it is pretty funny. For instance everybody was going crazy because he wore a UNC shirt to the Carolina Alumni Game, but people forget that he wore a Duke shirt to the Duke UNC game right in front of Roy Williams. We just do our part and hope that he wants to come to Duke with us and be part of a really special class.

What's something that a recruit may see about Barnes that the average fan doesn't? Do you find any similarities in his approach to the game with you?

?Harrison is a workaholic. I've heard he gets in the gym early and I remember at NBA Camp he was always showing up for the extra sessions in the morning before the camp got going. It's just like I do. I try to stay in the weight room, always working on my game, and he's the same way. If you want to the best, you have to train to be the best. Nobody's going to hand anything to you, and that's my mindset when I step out on the court.


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