Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Love Drops Duke, Singler Has Visits

By Joe Freeman
The Oregonian

The Oregon high school basketball season ended nearly two months ago, but the offseason is just starting to intensify for two of the most sought-after recruits in Oregon history.

Kevin Love and Kyle Singler, who are in the midst of the AAU basketball season, are entering the recruiting stretch run, and colleges are jockeying to land commitments from the two elite prospects.

Love, a 6-foot-10 senior-to-be at Lake Oswego, trimmed his list of potential colleges to two last week by removing national power Duke from what had been a three-team race that also included North Carolina and UCLA. Love says the Blue Devils' recruitment of him seemed to cool recently, so he thought it was time to establish a final two.

"(Duke) hadn't been calling me and showing as much interest, so I just decided that if they weren't going to put the time in, I wasn't going to worry about it," Love said Sunday.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski didn't help the Blue Devils' chances when he stopped in Medford on April 19 to visit Singler and failed to make a trip north to see Love.

"I really didn't understand why Coach K would come all the way across the country and not stop by," Love said. "I mean, I understand why he would visit Kyle; he's a consensus top-five player in the country in our class. But I was surprised he didn't stop by while he was in the area."

Krzyzewski's visit was the first of many the past few days for Singler, a 6-8 senior-to-be at South Medford, who still has several schools on his list of finalists. During a four-day stretch last week, Arizona coach Lute Olson, UCLA coach Ben Howland, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar and Kansas coach Bill Self made stops in Medford.

The amplified attention came after Singler and Love excelled in two prominent April AAU tournaments in Las Vegas (Easter Classic) and Houston (Kingwood Classic). Love, who is playing for the SoCal All-Stars during the AAU season, led his loaded team to the championship in both tournaments. He was named most valuable player of the Las Vegas Easter Classic and scored 21 points in the Kingwood Classic championship game.

Love and Singler, who is playing for the Portland Legends, each drew glowing reviews from internet recruiting analysts after the tournaments, only furthering the hype surrounding the duo.


(photo credit: Oregonian)


At May 2, 2006, 1:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Duke was still in the mix at the point of Coach K's visit. I got the impression that Love's feelings were hurt by the lack of attention. "I reall didn't understand" - that says disappointment to me.

Note to Howland: If you so much as look north, go vist Kevin Love!

At May 2, 2006, 2:35:00 PM, Blogger BBR said...

Krzyzewski was late to the recruitment process of Love to begin with, but then almost out of the blue, earlier this year, Krzyzewski contacted Love and told him that Duke was going to "recruit him hard".

Love was obviously flattered by Krzyzewski - only to have him completely ignore Love during the April visit to Oregon.

I could see how Love is confused with the about-face by the Duke coach, and it actually reflects negatively upon how Krzyzewski recruits.

At May 3, 2006, 11:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting read from Hoppy from the BRO message board: I just found this post on Oregonlive. A great perspective on Kevin Love's purging of Duke. A great read:

4730.1.1. Setting The Facts Straight
by TRLBoost, 5/3/06 14:33 ET
Re: Kevin Love by duckman12, 5/3/06
I have to say that you people are wacky washerwomen. Did you read the article? Do you know the details?

Nike told Coach K to stop recruiting Kevin Love this summer after Kevin stated that Duke was his dream school, in an interview during the ABCD Camp. Then Duke must have done some soul-searching and realized that Nike shouldn't be making their basketball decisions.

So they started recruiting him again in November through assistant coach Wojo. In December Coach K called and told Kevin that Duke was going to aggressively recruit him. What they did was send a couple of e-mails and a Duke book.

What Coach K and staff didn't do was what every other major coach did...come to games and watch him practice. That's what every coach worth anything does. Up to Oregon came Roy Williams, Bill Self, Thad Matta, Bruce Weber, Ben Howland, Lorenzo Romar, and Jim Calhoun. They came in and watched K-Love workout. What it also showed was interest.

Duke also sent a fax to Love wishing him good luck in their playoff game against Benson. They were playing Redmond.

Then Love goes out and dominates the Las Vegas Easter Classic, and the biggest AAU tournament of them all, the Kingwood. He wins the MVP award at both tournaments. His team wins both tournaments, including 4 tough games in 6 hours on Sunday at the Kingwood...playing a total of 9 games in 3 days.

Coach K was at both tournaments, yet never made any form of contact with Love. College coaches are at least allowed to say hi and shake a recruits hand. He did that with Taylor King and Kyle Singler.

A few days later, Duke assistant Chris Collins sends Love a note telling him how much they are looking forward to Kevin's upcoming trip to the AAU TOC Tournament over Memorial Day, and his unofficial visit to Duke. He went on to say how much they were looking to showing him around campus, and presenting Duke life to him. Collins also talked about how good Duke could be with Love in their lineup.

Then Coach K comes to Oregon to see Kyle Singler, and doesn't have the decency--or the smarts--to take his private jet from Medford to Portland to see Love. Now don't you think that's a slap in the face? If you don't, you're simply fooling yourself.

Kevin Love has emerged this spring as the #1 HS player in America. That's not from me, it's from the experts. I'm sure that the kid is wondering why he was dissed by Coach K. I am too. I'm sure that Roy Williams and Ben Howland are too...but are also delighted by Coach K's ineptitude.

Some background: Coach K is known as a distant person who expects recruits to come to him. They have had many transfers through the years, by many McDonald's All-Americans. Most expected Josh McRoberts to declare for the draft after being miserable at Duke all year. Coach K must have come in there and given him a real snow-job for him to stay.

So do yourself a favor and read Kevin Love's quotes to Joe Freeman.

"(Duke) hadn't been calling me and showing as much interest, so I just decided that if they weren't going to put the time in, I wasn't going to worry about it," Love said Sunday.

What's wrong with that? I find it refreshing that he was asked a question, and answered it eloquently. I'm sure Love doesn't care about a ton of phone calls and letters, but when you are in the area, give the best player in the country--and one that you claim (to him) that you will be aggressively recruiting the respect of a visit.

And you're not talking about Clint Chapman or Andy Poling here. You are talking about the #1 HS player in the country...and a big man who many claim in among the best passing big's ever, and perhaps the best outlet passer ever.

Don't call Kevin Love names. He is one of our own. Look outward at how Duke has bungled Kevin Love's recruitment. www.oregonlive.com/forums/ducksbball/index.ssf

At May 8, 2006, 7:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...It's really hard to detect any sort of bias comments left on this site. Let's go guys, do you really think, I mean actually believe that Coach K is so interested in your boy "K-Love", that he flew all the way to the west coast and then you believe Coach K didn't contact him because why...He didn't care? He's a poor recruiter? He's plain stupid? .... Come on, that's "redick-ulous"! What if...oh my gosh...Coach K wasn't after Love at all. What if, oh no!...what if all he wanted was Singler and appearing to pick Singler over Love might give Duke the edge it needs while recruiting SINGLER, and not Love. In fact, there never was a love between Duke and the "other recruit," he just played a part in a larger recruiting plan for Singler...the reason Coach K took his private jet to Medford, and then back to Durham.


Post a Comment

<< Back To Bruin Basketball Report Home