NBPA: Duke Crews Spotlight

RICHMOND, Va. --- In two months, Duke Crews has gone from a mid-major prospect to a player receiving heavy interest from many of the top high major programs. And that's thanks to his relentless style of play, which has continued this week at the NBPA Camp.

Crews' plan of attack is simple – just keep attacking. No matter the opponent, his aggressive play has reaped dividends on both ends of the court.

"I just go out and play hard," Crews explained. "It doesn't matter who I'm playing against."

But simply playing hard wouldn't lead to double-double performances without the combination of strength and athleticism that Crews possesses. Listed at "6-6+" and 230 pounds, the Hampton, Va. native outleaps and outfights opponents for each rebound.

After posting an unofficial total of 17 points and 14 rebounds in Friday night's game – huge numbers considering each camp player is only on the court for half the game – Crews was asked what he thought he needed to improve. His response was almost laughable.

"Being more active on the boards," he said.

No one at the NBPA Camp this week – which includes the majority of the nation's best high schoolers – has been more active on the boards than Crews, yet he sees significant room for improvement in that category.

"Every one of them that comes off the glass I'm trying to get," he said.

Realistically, expanding the offensive arsenal is where Crews has the most room for improvement. He runs the floor exceptionally well and goes straight to the rim for a dunk attempt whenever he's in range, but will benefit greatly by developing a reliable short jumper and becoming more comfortable in handling and passing the ball.

College coaches have made it clear to Crews what aspect of his game they like most.

"Strength and that I'm aggressive," he said.

Crews' impressive play the last couple months on the national stage has resulted in a school list that is constantly swelling.

"It's growing every day," he said. "I just got a call yesterday from Wake Forest. I've recently talked to Georgia Tech, UNC, Florida State, Cincinnati, UConn, St. John's, Xavier," and he trails off, indicating he could go on listing many more schools that have been in touch.

Crews already took his first official visit, a trip to Xavier in April, which was right before the influx of high major interest this spring.

"That's one of my leading schools so I went and visited," he said. "At the time, I really wasn't being recruited as hard as I am now, so I really wanted to go and see what an official visit would be like and then it was also a school I really liked – so I took it and killed two birds with one stone."

Crews noted that while he has a number of scholarship offers already, some schools, like North Carolina, are taking a wait and see approach.

"UNC hasn't offered yet," he said. "Roy Williams came to one of my games in Dallas because he had heard [about me] after the Boo Williams tournament. He said he wanted to see me play a couple more times and see how everything goes. But he said they had serious interest and that [if everything goes well] an offer will come."

But teams like the Tar Heels may only have a couple more months to decide whether or not to offer, because by late summer Crews said he plans to assess who has offered and proceed from there in choosing a list of favorites and planning visits.

"Because I'm gaining so much interest, I'm going to wait until after the AAU circuit is over, take my offers and then narrow it down," he added.

Duke Crews Profile


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