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August 9, 2004
2006 Basketball Board: Point Guards
With the class of 2005 all but completed in terms of verbal commitments and targeted prospects, it's time to take a peak into the class of 2006. In today's extended (and free) look, Devils Illustrated editor Justin Young breaks down the field of floor generals.
With Greg Paulus set to be the point guard of the future for the Blue Devils, the point guard position will most likely not be a high priority for the next two years. That doesn't mean the staff won't look at floor generals. There are a large number of points in this class and there are a handful that have an interest in Duke.
D.J. Augustin - The 5-foot-10, 165-pound point guard from New Orleans (La.) blew onto the national scene at Cameron Indoor at the 2003 Tournament of Champions as a rising sophomore. Now, a year later, he might be the best point guard in the nation for the class of 2006. He brings crisp passing, good shooting, super quickness and lead by example qualities to the table.
Wayne Ellington - Not sure if the 6-foot-4 prospect is a point guard or a shooting guard but whatever position he plays, he's great. The Philadelphia product has a knack for scoring the bucket in every way imaginable and his court vision is vastly underrated. He's dedicated to becoming the best player possible and works out with Arizona point guard Mustafa Shakur's trainer. Ellington has listed the Blue Devils, amongst eight to ten others, as a program he is considering.
Derrick Jaspers - Like Ellington, Jaspers is more of a combo guard than a point guard. At 6-foot-5, 180-pounds he has great size. The Paso Robles, Calif., native is a strong player that attacks the basket and isn't afraid to score in traffic. The youngster could spell minutes at the point but his future could be as two-guard. Duke is in the mix for his services. His shot is somewhat unorthodox but it's usually snapping the net for three. Jaspers was one of the key reasons for EBO AAU's great run in Las Vegas in July.
Justin Young's Wishlist: While point guard spot is probably not the highest priority, especially with some gems in the class of 2007, there are several options to go with in this group. A combo guard would suffice since Paulus will most likely log a lot of minutes, a la Chris Duhon, from the get go. A back up plan could be in this class. Enter Eric Hayes. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound prospect from Dumfries, Va., isn't the flashiest or quickest or strongest player in the country but he's incredibly intelligent and runs the show like a seasoned vet. ACC coaches have already called him the next Steve Blake.
One final player to keep tabs on is Tywon Lawson. There is a strong possibility that he could end up in the ACC, particularly Georgia Tech, Maryland or North Carolina. He could even battle Augustin for top PG honors in this class. Lawson is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Fayetteville, Maryland. He has a great future but odds are, it won't be at Duke.
Devils Illustrated's Take: Augustin never mentioned to Duke to us when he listed the schools. When provoked with a "What about Duke?" He'd usually say they have sent letters. Don't be surprised to see him at LSU or Wake Forest Ellington is a strong possibility but we haven't seen the start of how hot his recruitment will be. Don't be surprised to see him in a McDonald's uni either Jaspers has the potential to become one of the big-time guards in the nation. Perhaps Duke's in-roads with the EBO AAU program could help. Remember, DeMarcus Nelson and Carlos Boozer are alums of the program.
Every day this week, we will examine each position for the Blue Devils recruiting class of 2006. In today's report, we offered a free peak at what to expect. In the next four reports, the stories will be only for Devils Illustrated members.
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