2006 Focus: Duke Crews

Duke Crews ran with the Boo Williams boys last summer. However, Boo's roster was loaded and while Crews didn't go unnoticed, it does look like he's managed to fly a little under the radar to this point in his career.

They finally hung Allen Iverson jerseys on the walls at Bethel High in Hampton, Va. Bethel, of course, was where A.I. balled in high school and the MVP of the all-star game carries some weight in that neck of the woods for sure. But, the best hooper in the Bethel gym these days is 6-foot-7, 225 pound junior Duke Crews.

Who is Duke Crews you say? Well, he's a kid who averages 18 points and 13 boards at a Tidewater Region high school known for producing stellar athletes. He's got a bunch of schools chasing him even though he's not a household name like Vernon Macklin, the top junior in his region.

"I'm really not getting the publicity that a lot of the other people in my class do," Crews said. "You hear about a whole lot of people and read about them in magazines and I know that I'm just as good and I'm not getting the exposure. You type in a name on Yahoo! and you get a million stories about other guys in the Class of 2006."

Well, Crews has his shot this Wednesday when his Bethel boys take on I.C. Norcom and Macklin in a playoff game. The power forward is ready to take his game right at his friend Macklin. "I would say that I'm more aggressive [than Macklin] all the way around," Crews said. "Physically, I'm more aggressive."

Known for his rebounding prowess, Crews has himself an impressive array of pre-spring offers. Xavier, Florida State, Clemson, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech, Virginia, St. John's, Rutgers and Georgetown have bellied up and made overtures.

Last week, Xavier head coach Sean Miller went to see Crews and the Musketeers are firmly in the mix. "I really don't have any leaders as of right now," Crews said. "Who is doing the best job recruiting me? I can tell you that. That would be Xavier. Every opportunity they get they're at our game."

Crews said that he hopes to have his list narrowed down to five schools this spring. Places like North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Illinois, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Tennessee and Kentucky have shown interest and might take a few more looks this spring.

"[Narrowing it down is] going to be a thing that I gear towards what's best for me outside of basketball," Crews said. "You're going to play a whole lot of basketball but you have to look at what a school has to offer outside of basketball. I also don't want to be in the Boonies. I'll take the location of the school into consideration and the overall success of the program in the years leading up to me making my decision. That'll be a major part of it."

Mike and the Big Dog's LLC


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