In his annual summer press conference Tuesday, Mike Krzyzewski offered his first public comments about Duke’s three incoming freshmen, combo guard Elliot Williams and power forwards Olek Czyz and Miles Plumlee. The three will compete for time on a team that Krzyzewski said “should be the most talented as we’ve had in the last four years.”
- ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FIVE-STAR SHOOTING GUARD: “I don’t know who will make the most impact, but he’ll be a really good player. Very versatile. He’s mature. The school he went to (St. George’s in Collierville, Tenn.) was really a good prep for Duke. I don’t think he’ll have an adjustment people-wise or school-wise. I think he’s got a chance to help right away, although we’ll be deep on the perimeter, if we’re all healthy.”
- OLEK CZYZ, FOUR-STAR POWER FORWARD: “Olek is still learning the game, but he’s a tremendous athlete. I hope he ends up being as good as this guy, but he reminds me a lot of Danny Meagher (a 6-foot-7 power forward from 1981-1985). He’s just a really good athlete. Tough.”
- MILES PLUMLEE, FOUR-STAR POWER FORWARD: “Plumlee is 6-foot-10, he can run, he’s 230. He’s going to be a really good player and add depth to what we’re doing.
More on Krzyzewski’s comments to the public and to The Chronicle later today and throughout the next week.
But in the meantime, what do you think about the three freshmen? How will they affect Duke’s play next season? Offer your comments below.
—by Ben Cohen
Miles Plumlee, a 2008 power forward, committed to Duke Thursday, just one week after he was granted a release from his Letter of Intent at Stanford before former Duke associate head coach Johnny Dawkins was hired. Plumlee is the older brother of 2009 Duke recruit, Mason Plumlee.
Miles will join combo guard Elliot Williams and power forward Olek Czyz in Duke’s Class of 2008, which had another scholarship open because of the transfer of Taylor King to Villanova.
As for our analysis of the commitment? Well, it’s always a positive when you can add a 4-star recruit in May, especially when your frontcourt could still use improvement.
–by Ben Cohen
Highly-prized Greg Echenique, a 6-foot-9 center from Danny Hurley‘s St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., spurned Duke and other traditional powerhouses for in-state Rutgers. He announced his decision to verbally commit to Fred Hill‘s program Monday after visiting Rutgers’ campus Thursday. Echenique was in Cameron Indoor Stadium for Duke’s March 8 loss to North Carolina.
Over the years, strangely enough, several coveted New Jersey recruits winded up at Duke instead of Rutgers. Jason Williams famously chose to become a Blue Devil after many had speculated he would remain in the Garden State. Dahntay Jones actually transferred to Duke to join Williams, his pal, after spending two seasons as a Scarlet Knight. Current forward Lance Thomas, another product of St. Benedict’s, prolonged his recruiting search until the final days, ultimately opting to travel down to Durham for his college years.
This does, however, continue a more troubling trend for Duke fans. In the last three recruiting cycles, Mike Krzyzewski swung and missed on perhaps the premier frontcourt players: first Brandan Wright (UNC for one season), then Greg Monroe (attending Georgetown next year) and now Echenique, a 5-star recruit.
Krzyzewski has already shored up one commitment for the class of 2009 in 6-foot-10 North Carolina native Mason Plumlee. Two recruits, Elliot Williams and Olek Czyz, will join the team next season.