Luol Deng felt he didn't play great last Friday at the Boys Club Holiday Classic at Basketball City, but he did enough to help Blair Academy advance to Saturday's championship game against Worcester Academy.
After his Friday games, Deng had a chance to speak with Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who began imparting his coaching wisdom on the 6-8 Sudanese native several months early.
"He told me to play more aggressive, which is what I tried to do with my rebounding," Deng said following Blair's 64-53 title game victory over Worcester.
The result? Deng amassed 16 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in the win over the Hilltoppers, as the Bucs improved to 10-0 this season.
"I guess I am a part of the Duke family now, so once you are part of the family, you can't be shy about sitting at the table," Deng said. "Before I committed, it would have been like having dinner with a visitor, but now, it's like having dinner with your family."
Deng added that it wasn't his goal to go out and impress Krzyzewski, who along with Asst. Coach Chris Collins watched Deng all last weekend in New York City.
"I have already developed a relationship with Coach K to the point that when he is watching me, just like my coach, I don't have to show him anything," Deng explained. "I just have to play for my team."
Deng returns in action tonight at the Glaxo Wellcome Tournament in North Carolina, where the Bucs will put their spotless 10-0 ledger on the line against a talented Laurinburg Institute squad.
It will be one of two appearances for Blair in the Triangle over the next few weeks. The Bucs will play a game at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 11 as part of Cardinal Bank Classic Challenge Series.
Rivalshoops.com will keep you posted on Blair's play all season long, so keep it here for the best coverage of prep school hoops on the internet.