After his team's season ended in the NCAA Tournament Thursday, Mike Krzyzewski conceded that the Blue Devils needed a point guard, in addition to a post player.
Just a few days later, Duke might be closing in on some of the guards it needs.
John Wall, the nation's No. 1 point guard recruit, will visit campus Sunday and meet with Krzyzewski, and the Blue Devils have also requested permission to speak with Seth Curry, the brother of Stephen Curry, who has decided to transfer after his freshman year at Liberty.
Wall, from Raleigh's Word of God Christian Academy, is the best uncommitted player left in the Class of 2009, and he's also considering Baylor, Kansas, Memphis and N.C. State, according to scout.com. Duke has not yet offered him a scholarship, but Wall has attended several Duke games this year.
Curry, on the other hand, has already played a season of college basketball, and he led the nation's freshmen by scoring 20.2 points per game at Liberty. He has announced his intentions to transfer, and five ACC schools have requested permission to speak with him, perhaps trying to do penance for missing him and his brother in high school. Curry has said that he wants to play in the ACC, and on Friday, ACC Sports Journal's David Glenn reported that Curry's wish list consisted of Duke, Wake Forest and Clemson.
Curry's makeup is one of his strengths--Krzyzewski has publicy lauded the Curry family before--but Wall's less stable situation led to an excellent takeout in The (Raleigh) News & Observer last month. One of the subheads of the story, "Questions for Duke," focuses on Wall's relationship with Duke, and how his two advisers, Levi Beckwith and Brian Clifton, are skeptical of Duke:
In Wall, they see a young man who has matured but with a history of challenging authority, who wants to leave college after one year, who wants to play in a less structured, fast-breaking offense.
"It would behoove him to be in a situation that he would be able to play for a coach who has a more free-flowing offense, who is going to afford him the opportunity to be expressive and to do the things that he needs to do [to prepare for the NBA]," Clifton said.
If not for the recent rule that prevents players from jumping straight from high school to the NBA, Clifton said, Wall would have considered skipping college. One draft site, nbadraft.net, projects him as the No. 1 pick in 2010.
Anticipating an eventual meeting with Krzyzewski, Beckwith was already voicing his questions.
"I'm going to say, 'Look, this is what John's going to do. Now, what are you going to do when he does that?' " Beckwith said. "When you're playing Carolina and things aren't going well, when you take him out of the game and he mumbles, 'I shoulda gone to Carolina,' which to you is disrespectful and it's not the right thing to say ... how long are you going to sit him out? If he's going to be done for the year, then don't take him."
The Word of God coach has a tip for Wall as well: "If you're really serious about going to Duke, all this flashy stuff, stop it. And let's see how you like it."
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.