Harry Giles

Duke to close practices to NBA teams

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Outside of two days in October, NBA scouts who want to get a look at Duke prospects will have the same vantage point as anyone who can buy a ticket or a cable package.

In the stands at games or on television.

The Blue Devils will host two pro days next month, but then will bar NBA personnel from attending their practices during the season, according to a report from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

A source confirmed the report to NBCSports.com.

Duke will host NBA teams on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25 as part of pro days that will allow front office personnel a glimpse of an extremely talented Duke roster that features likely lottery picks in true freshmen Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles along with projected first-rounder Grayson Allen, a junior.

After that, though, Duke will be closing practice, allowing front offices to scout players at games, whether it be at Cameron Indoor Stadium or on the road.

Pro days aren’t new to college hoops as they were famously introduced by (who else), Kentucky coach John Calipari in 2014 for his supremely talented team that won its first 38 games of the season before falling in the Final Four. Four Wildcats, including No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns, went in the lottery that spring. Kentucky, which continues to host a pro day, has not closed practices, however.

The decision to close practices is sure to rankle teams that are starved to collect as much information as possible about potential draft picks, especially players under lottery consideration such as Tatum and Giles.

It’ll be interesting to hear what coach Mike Krzyzewski says about the decision when he is inevitably asked about it, but the early betting line is on the goal of “minimizing distractions” throughout a season that will likely see the Blue Devils ranked near the top of the polls and with two players in the No. 1 overall draft pick conversation.

It’ll also be interesting to hear if Coach K’s USA Basketball obligations this summer played any part in the decision as he was away from campus – and his talented freshmen – for most of the summer capturing his third Olympic gold medal.

Duke grabs five-star 2016 forward Harry Giles


Duke reeled in the centerpiece of a monster recruiting class on Friday as five-star power forward Harry Giles announced his commitment to the Blue Devils.

The 6-foot-10 Giles will stay in the state of North Carolina and play in the ACC as the Winston-Salem native picked Duke over his other finalists of Kansas, Kentucky and Wake Forest.

A versatile forward who can rebound and score in a number of different ways, Giles is the fourth commitment in Duke’s 2016 class, joining five-star small forward Jayson Tatum, five-star point guard Frank Jackson and four-star forward Javin DeLaurier.

The addition of Giles means that Duke will likely have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and it makes them an instant national title contender when this group sets foot on campus.

While Giles is a decorated recruit and regarded as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, there are some concerns with his health going forward. In the first game of his senior season this week, Giles partially tore the ACL in his right knee and will miss his entire season at basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Giles previously tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee in 2013 and fully recovered from it recently.

RELATED: Given his injuries, should Giles sit out next season?

Dominant during the spring and summer in the Nike EYBL with Team CP3, a healthy Giles showed why many consider him to be a potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

If Giles returns to his old self — and the past rehab of his left knee shows he’ll at least put in the necessary work to try — Duke could be considered the favorite during the 2016-17 season. Giles and Tatum are close friends and they’ve both won multiple FIBA world championships with USA Basketball and now Coach K hopes that duo can lead Duke to another national championship.

Landing multiple one-and-done players like Giles and Tatum also shows that Coach K and his staff aren’t slowing down when it comes to securing elite talent. Elite college basketball recruiting has increasingly become an arms race between Duke and Kentucky, with everyone else in college basketball lagging behind.

With this class that features Giles, Tatum and Jackson, Coach K has perhaps the most talented trio of players that he’s ever recruited in one class — which is saying something considering Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones just won a title.


Summer mixtape of five-star forward Harry Giles (VIDEO)

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Five-star power forward Harry Giles is a serious contender for the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2016 and the North Carolina native had a strong summer. The 6-foot-10 Giles will take official visits to Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wake Forest this fall.

Here’s a new summer mixtape of Giles from Courtside Films.

Josh Jackson, Harry Giles stay at top of new Rivals150 Class of 2016 national rankings

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Rivals unveiled its new Class of 2016 national rankings in the latest Rivals150 and the top four players are staying the same. Detroit wing Josh Jackson, North Carolina forward Harry Giles, St. Louis wing Jayson Tatum (Duke) and North Carolina point guard Dennis Smith remain the top four players in the class while Texas native De’Angelo Fox moves up to the No. 5 spot.

Jackson and Giles have battled for the No. 1 spot hard the past few months and national analysts seem split on who to put at No. 1. Fox also made a late push to dethrone Smith as the No. 1 point guard. This national Class of 2016 is considered by many to be one of the most talented classes of the last 20 years.

The group has a strong crop of point guards, as noted by Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi. Of the top 60 players in the 2016 class, seventeen players are point guards, which will really help college basketball when those players enter.

You can view the new Rivals150 here.

Harry Giles announces schedule of official visits

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Harry Giles, the top prospect in the Class of 2016 and arguably the top prospect in all of high school basketball, has scheduled dates for all five of his official visits.

The North Carolina native will be at Wake Forest from Sept. 19th-21st and North Carolina from the 25th-27th. In October, he’ll visit Kansas from the 10th-12th, Kentucky from the 16th-18th and, finally, Duke, from Halloween through November 2nd.

The news was first reported by CBSSports.com.

The visit to Kentucky will fall on Big Blue Madness, which is the Midnight Madness celebration for the Wildcats, and he’ll also be at Kansas for Late Night at the Phog. It’s arguably the biggest recruiting for both programs. Duke, where Giles’ close friend Jayson Tatum has already committed, will be hosting the 6-foot-10 forward on his final visit. The Blue Devils are believed to be the leaders at this point in time.

Giles plays the four, but he’s skilled enough to pull bigger, slower defenders onto the perimeter. He’s received comparisons to Chris Webber.

Contender for No. 1 in 2016 class, Harry Giles, cuts list to five


Harry Giles has been tremendous this spring and summer and the Class of 2016 power forward cut his list to five schools after two live evaluation periods. The 6-foot-10 forward helped the USA U19 team to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships this summer and is a major contender for No. 1 in the 2016 class. Giles released his top five on Twitter.

Giles is still considering Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wake Forest in a final group that includes both national powerhouses and close in-state programs. During this spring, Giles was dominant in the Nike EYBL and helped lead Team CP3 to the championship game at the Peach Jam in July.

The addition of Giles to any of these programs means an immediate starter and the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2016. An elite rebounder who is developing his skill level around the basket, Giles is also a tremendous passer and gifted athlete.

In 23 games this spring and summer, Giles averaged 18 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 54 percent from the field.