Posted on: February 24, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:47 pm

Terrapins get coveted big man

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Maryland needed a big man to complete its 2011 recruiting class, and Gary Williams got his man on Thursday, as Martin Breunig committed to the Terrapins.

Breunig is a 6-foot-9 forward from Germany who came over to the United States before the season and has been attending St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Wisc.).

“We talked yesterday, and it was just a thing where he felt so comfortable about it,” SJNMA assistant Martin Esters said. “When he got back from his visit, I asked him if there was anything he didn’t like about it. And he said, ‘I liked everything about it.’”

Maryland was the only official visit Breunig took, although Virginia, Saint Louis, Arizona State, Oregon State, UAB and others were all involved.

“It was kind of hard for him to get recognized by a lot of high-major schools because we’re a first-year program and he came over from Germany,” Esters said. “But he played some high-caliber games, especially in Rhode Island at the National Prep School Invitational.”

Breunig is a versatile forward who can play all three frontcourt positions. He uses his aggressiveness and athleticism to create match-up problems at the offensive end of the floor.

Esters said Breunig will likely play the four at the next level.

“They have some openings at the four,” he said. “They didn’t tell Martin that he’s going to play there for sure or anything like that, they didn’t make any promises. But he’s got a good shot at it. He’s going to really compete for the four spot, with Dino Gregory graduating.”

With two other international players on the team, Haukur Palsson from Iceland and Berend Weijs from the Netherlands, Breunig immediately felt a connection with the Terrapins’ roster.

“When he got here, he didn’t know the difference between Duke and Wisconsin-Green Bay,” Esters said. “So even the fact Maryland won the championship in 2002, that didn’t play into his decision at all. Having a legendary coach, that wasn’t what he was looking for. He just thought it was a good place where he could develop.”

Maryland loses three seniors for next season, meaning Williams will have a young team at his disposal. Still, the Terrapins have double-double machine Jordan Williams down low and a host of talented perimeter players, namely freshmen Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard, as well as incoming recruits Nick Faust and Sterling Gibbs.

Breunig can certainly be an impact player in the ACC once he develops and gets some playing time under his belt.

“He is really skilled for his size and a big-time athlete,” SJNMA assistant Bryan Clayton said. “He could be a steal.”

Photo: St. John's Northwestern Military Academy

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 7, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:47 pm

Duke keeps rolling with Murphy get for 2012

Posted by Jeff Borzello

After racking up one of nation's top recruiting classes for next season, Duke is already off to a great start in 2012.

Alex Murphy, Scout.com's No. 2 small forward, committed to the Blue Devils earlier today. The news comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed his recruiting, although he also considered North Carolina, Kansas, Florida, West Virginia, Boston College and Arizona.

Murphy, a 6-foot-7 prospect from St. Mark's (Mass.), is an extremely versatile player who will fit in perfectly with Duke's system. He can handle the ball very well, keeping his head up in transition and finding people on the run or in the half-court. At times, he seems like a pretty solid point-forward. Murphy has greatly improved his athleticism over the past few years, showing off an ability to finish over bigger defenders around the basket.

He can knock down outside shots and mid-range jumpers, and will excel in Duke's attack and kick-out style. Defensively, Murphy uses his size and athleticism to rebound well for his position, while also defending most of his counterparts.

The biggest question with Murphy remains his ability to be a go-to-guy and take over a game offensively. He doesn't have a great off-the-dribble skill set and rarely attacks the rim after beating a defender. He's not overly explosive and generates most of his offense in the flow of the game.

By the time Murphy gets to Duke, there is little doubt that Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers will no longer be in Durham. Future point guard Quinn Cook is a playmaker and facilitates the offense, and Michael Gbinije can score in the mid-range as well as anyone, but the Blue Devils are still lacking an explosive player who can string off 30-point games.

Ever since Irving went down earlier this season, we have seen what happens to Duke's offense without multiple players that can create their own shot. The Blue Devils have relied far too much on 3-pointers and offensive boards -- they need go-to-guys.

So, while Murphy's commitment to Duke seemed predestined, it will not solve all the Blue Devils' problems.

With that said, Mike Krzyzewski pinpointing another player who is perfect for his system and getting an early commitment is a great start to Duke's 2012 recruiting class.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 7, 2011 3:22 pm
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Posted on: December 24, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 11:42 am

Roy Williams fights off a nap while recruiting

Posted by Matt Norlander

I don't think the video below's all that funny. Really, it's sort of creepy — but also revealing.

While on a recent recruiting trip, UNC head coach Roy Williams was deftly videotaped, dozing off as he fought the fight we all eventually lose: the one with our eyelids. Duke Hoop Blog ran the clip on its site yesterday (and a hat tip for the post title; sometimes they just write themselves).

It's an interesting peek. This is the life of most college basketball coaches. There's so much more time spent in echoey, mostly empty gyms, where glamour and fanfare are far, far away.

This is the view of a man trying to keep up with a rival. Said rival happens to be in attendance, too, and remains alert, focused, conversating with his spry assistant, Chris Collins. They are sitting in the bleachers, just a chest pass away.

The recruiting trip took place in Fort Myers, Fla. (I do not know who was being recruited.) While Duke is bringing in terrific prospects by the truckload, Williams and North Carolina staff are suddenly sprinting to keep up, despite the fact they brought in the No. 1-rated player of 2010. After all, Mike Krzyzewski just won his fourth national title in April, Duke remains the country's best team ... while the Heels failed to even make The Tournament last year and are struggling again so far this season. You can bet Ol' Roy's shirt collars have plenty of sweat stains on them.

One last thing: If anyone brings this video to Williams' attention, you can bet he's going to be upset with the voyeuristic nature of the video. Who wouldn't be?
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