Following Greg Monroe's commitment to Georgetown over the weekend, The Chronicle's Meredith Shiner talked with scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep about the current state of Duke's national recruiting reputation.
Meredith Shiner: Several media outlets are saying that one of Monroe's priorities was finding a program that develops NBA caliber big men. Is there a perception out there that Duke can't do that?
Dave Telep: It doesn't matter what the perception is. The bottom line is that Duke develops NBA-caliber players. When you talk about converting their top-100 guys into NBA Draft picks, Duke does that as well as anybody. I think it's one of the bigger fallacies. Duke lands so many high-profile guys, they all possibly can't become NBA players.
MS: Do you think it's a recruiting disadvantage to not have Midnight Madness?
DT: I think Midnight Madnesses are going to come back because programs are starting to use them nationally to attract underclassmen. I don't think it's necessarily a disadvantage if you don't have a Midnight Madness, but I think it's becoming too much of an advantage when you have one. I think that's something that [Duke will] take a look at going forward.... I'm a proponent of Midnight Madness because I think you can bring young guys into campus and get them excited.
MS: Does Duke need to rethink the way it recruits and start casting a larger net into the pool of talent as opposed to focusing in on one main target?
DT: I think how they're doing it is perfectly fine.
When a program targets a select number of guys, it comes with certain advantages and disadvantages, The advantage is the personal attention that a Hall of Fame and an Olympic basketball coach can give a player is enormous, and it creates a unique bond between that recruit and that head coach. Unfortunately you're not going to get everybody. There's a disadvantage of losing guys. What happens is when you lose a guy at this stage of the game, because the recruiting calendar has been turned up so quickly, five or six years ago, you would have a nice B, C or D option, but because the calendar is so far in advance those options don't exist right now.
MS: Is there anyone Duke will go after specifically now to try to fill in the space in the frontcourt?
DT: That's why they got Olek Czyz.
When you miss on a guy like Greg Monroe, you just can't go after another Greg Monroe now. So you start planning for 2009. You keep your ears to the pavement in case someone pops in '08, but there's no one in the country who commits the No. 1 player and then has a nice fall-back option. It just doesn't work that way like it did 10 years ago. The landscape of the whole thing has changed.
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