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Friday, May 31
Nelson is Duke's earliest pledge ever

By Bill Hodge

One of the nation's top sophomores, guard DeMarcus Nelson of Vallejo, Calif., has become the youngest prospect ever to commit to the Duke Blue Devils.

Nelson (6-3, 185), who averaged 29.7 points and 15 rebounds last season, was also heavily considering Arizona.

"The opportunity was there for me to attend one of the best academic and best basketball schools in the country," Nelson said. "I'm comfortable with the school and the staff." He has a 3.65 grade point average.

Duke recently gained a commitment from outstanding Class 2003 forward Kris Humphries of Minnetonka-Hopkins, Minn., over Kansas and Minnesota. Humphries, a Top 100 prospect who averaged 27 points as a junior, also drew interest from Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan State, Louisville, Texas, Michigan, Georgetown, Iowa and North Carolina, among many others. The Blue Devils had the nation's top recruiting class last season.

Class 2003 guard Tim Morris of Mableton-Whitefield Academy, Ga., committed to Stanford over Clemson, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Saint Louis, among others. A top 100 prospect, he averaged 21.6 points and 11 rebounds as a junior.

Ije Nwankwo, a Class 2003 forward from Beverly Hills-Detroit Country Day, Mich., committed to Purdue over an offer from Michigan. Others showing interest were Marquette, Michigan State, Toledo, Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State.

Freshman guard Duane John of Toronto, Ontario/Homestead-Berkshire Academy, Fla., who was dismissed from Missouri, is headed to New Mexico State.

Guard Mohamed Hachad of Montreal/Champlain-St. Lambert, Quebec, is a late addition to Northwestern.

Penn has signed guard Patrick Hadden of Irvine-Woodbine, Calif., and guard/forward Friedrich Ebede of Cameroon/Wilmington-Friends, Pa./Northfield-Mount Hermon Prep, Mass.

Northern Iowa has recent Class 2003 commitments from guards Brooks McKowen of Wapsie Valley, Iowa; Adam Viet of Ackley/Ackley-Geneva, Iowa; and Jared Josten of Webster City, Iowa.

Top Available Players:
Top 100 forward Marcus White of Chicago-Whitney Young, Ill., has decommitted from DePaul. Starting sophomore forward Shane Power of Crown Point, Ind., who is transferring from Iowa State, is considering Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, New Mexico, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. Center Ryan Hollins of Pasadena-John Muir, Calif., has received his requested release from Saint Louis and is expected to sign with Washington or UCLA. Sophomore forward J.C. Mathis of Brooklyn-John F. Kennedy, N.Y., will transfer from Virginia. Sophomore guard Wesley Stokes of Long Beach-Poly, Calif., is transferring from Missouri. Starting sophomore forward Odartey Blankson of Country Club Hills-Hillcrest, Ill., is transferring from Marquette. Guard Antonio Lawrence of Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial, Calif., is still unsigned.

Class 2003:
Search the early list of over 380 Prospects/Commitments. Players will be added and updated daily.

Class 2003 Top 100:
Forward/guard LeBron James and center Kendrick Perkins lead the early list of Top 100 Prospects.

Class 2002:
Duke-bound J.J. Redick led the East past West, 138-107, in the 2002 McDonald's All American Game at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Stories/Rosters for 2002, 2001, 2000).

Thirty-three of the top men's basketball players 18-years-old or younger have accepted invitations to participate in 2002 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Trials (Story).

Class 2002 Top 25 Classes:
Duke led the Top 25 Classes.

Class 2002 Top 100:
Ninety-five prospects verballed or signed from the Class 2002 Top 100 List. Uncommitted Top 100 prospects (5): Forward Leonard Cooke of Old Tappan-Northern Valley Regional, N.J. (NBA); center/forward Amare Stoudemire of Orlando-Cypress Creek, Fla. (NBA); forward/center DeAngelo Collins of Inglewood, Calif. (NBA), forward Marcus White of Chicago-Whitney Young, Ill. (decommitted from DePaul); and center Sani Ibrahim of Oak Hill Academy, Va. (Junior College). Committed Top 100 prospects not signed (1): Forward Marquis Kately of San Francisco-Riordan, Calif. (California/not qualified/will attend prep school).

NBA 2002 Draft:
Five high school/prep school prospects have chosen to enter the draft: Forward Brandon Roy of Seattle-Garfield, Wash., who signed with Washington; forward Leonard Cooke of Old Tappan-Northern Valley Regional, N.J.; center/forward Amare Stoudemire of Orlando-Cypress Creek, Fla.; forward/center DeAngelo Collins of Inglewood, Calif.; and center Giedrius Rinkevicius of Lithuania/Bridgton Academy, Maine, who signed with Missouri, but did not qualify.

Eight junior college players opted for the draft: Forward Rodney Bias of Shelton State CC, Ala., once signed with Alabama; guard Cordell Billups of Pierce CC, Wash.; forward/center Lee Benson of Brown Mackie CC, Kan.; center Rashid Hardwick of Eastern Oklahoma State CC, Okl.a; Kei Madison of Okaloosa-Walton CC, Fla., once linked to Indiana, Alabama and Mississippi State; guard Eddie Shelby of Dixie College, Utah; forward Omar Weaver of Riverside CC, Calif., once signed with Missouri and later committed to Fresno State; and Qyntel Woods of Northeast Mississippi CC, Miss., once signed with Memphis.

Last season, six high school players declared for the draft, with Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry and DeSagana Diop being taken among the first eight picks. The 2002 draft will be held on June 26 and players without agents have until June 19 to withdraw. Stoudemire may be a late lottery pick, while Cooke and Collins are probable second-round choices. Roy and Rinkevicius are not expected to be drafted. Junior college prospects Woods and Benson may go in the first round.

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
FANSonly: Main Recruiting Page.
Class 2003 Men: Database/Top 100.
Class 2002 Men: Database/Top 100/Class Rankings/ Women: Database.
Class 2001 Men: Database/Top 100/Class Rankings/Women: Database.
Class 2000 Men: Database/Top 100/Class Rankings/Women: Database.
Class 1999 Men: Database/Women: Database.
Class 1998 Men: Database/ Class Rankings/Women: Database.


Top News:
West Virginia has signed receiver Aaron Neal of Ventura CC, Calif., for this upcoming season. The Mountaineers recently added receiver Derrick Smith, also from Ventura.

Class 2003:
Seach the early list of over 2275 Prospects/Commitments/By Conference. Players will be added and updated daily.

"Recruiting Power States": Florida, California, Texas, Pa, Ohio.
"Big Ten States": Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Pa, Ohio, Mich, Minn, Wis.
"Big 12 States": Okla, Missouri, Iowa, Neb, Kansas, Colo, Texas.
"SEC States": Florida, Tenn, SoCarol, Kty, Georgia, Ala, Ark, Miss, La.
"ACC States": Florida, NoCarol, SoCarol, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia.
"Pac-10 States": California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington.
"Big East States": Florida, Pa, New Jersey, New York, Mass, Va, WVa.

Class 2002 Commitments/Signings: School/Conference Lists.
Class 2002 Rankings: Top 25 Classes.
Class 2002 Top 150 Prospects: List.

Football Commitments/Signings
FANSonly: Main Recruiting Page.
Class 2003: Database/Commitments/Conference.
Class 2002: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Class Rankings.
Class 2001: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Class Rankings.
Class 2000: Database/Top Prospects/Class Rankings.
Class 1999: Database/Top Prospects/Class Rankings.
Class 1998: Database.
Class 1997: Database.

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.

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