BLAIRSTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- One of the great characteristics about Duke University are the leaders who run the basketball program. They are never satisfied with its long term or recent success.
It was only two nights ago when Duke knocked off Virginia in an ACC battle in Durham, North Carolina. So how did Duke celebrate their big ACC win? Send out an assistant to go find more talent! Duke assistant coach Chris Collins was spotted in the state of New Jersey last night. Where do you ask?
Answer: In the sticks of New Jersey, about 12 miles from the Pennsylvania border, there is a campus that features one of the top high school programs in the country. Collins made his way to Blair Academy, a program elevated by the hard work of head coach Joe Mantegna.
Mantegna has two of the top players in the 2003 class -- Luol Deng and Charlie Villanueva. Duke is there to show its love to Deng, who seemed to appreciate Collins taking the time and effort to watch him in last night's big game against the state's number two rated team -- St. Patrick.
Deng put on a solid show. He scored 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked five shots. His effort wasn't enough to help his team overcome a balanced St. Patrick attack.
Deng smiled when he saw Collins after the game and threw his long arm high to say hello. "It's nice that a school like Duke is interested in me," Deng said. "It's always nice to see the coaches come to the games."
Deng can handle, pass and shoot the ball with tremendous efficacy for someone of his size. It's why Collins was there last night. Duke has made Deng a top priority as have the other schools on his list. "I am still open," Deng said. "I have not ruled out any school. I am just focusing on my season. I can think about my recruiting later."