Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Duke Offer Makes Sense For Little

Duke is the latest program to offer multi-positional threat Nassir Little. The explosive 6-foot-7, 210-pound Class of 2018 wing may be the nation's top unsigned prospect.  It's been quite the progression for a kid regarded as unsung and undervalued back in February.

A highly efficient wing player who many liken to Kawhi Leonard, Little's all-around skill set has catapulted him to must-have status. Little is the multi-tooled type of recruit fully capable of altering the culture of a program in instant fashion.

 After shooting a thread under 60 percent from the field and over 50 percent beyond the arc in leading Orlando Christian Prep to a 2017 state championship, Little has become the country's most heavily pursued recruit.

"Having Duke offer is an awesome feeling to see this happen to a kid, but it has special meaning because four years ago Nas just wanted one Division-1 offer," said Brad Augustine of 1 Family Hoops.

"Being offered by Duke, it's a great acknowledgement of the level Nassir has reached based off his work. I think all this does for the kid is solidify the effectiveness of the process."

 Augustine cites Little as the hardest working kid he's seen in recent memory. He referred to Little's support system as vital ingredients in his eruption of success.

Coach Daryl Hardin, Little's 17U coach  (who Augustine described as one of the nation's premiere grass-roots coaches), cultivated a hyper-efficient and crafty wing presence in Little.

 Hardin kept Little engaged, holding him to a high-standard.

Randy Hadley of RH Fit Pro, instrumental in transforming Little's body and readying him for the wear and tear of a summer on massive stages, also deserves credit.

Duke assistant Nate James, a key backcourt piece in the memorable Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy-led teams of the early 2000s, was the leading man in the process.

"Coach K and coach James see Nas as an impact guy on the wing, a more efficient Justice Winslow and an ultra-athletic caliber player," Augustine said.

"We're very happy. Truth be told I don't think it does anything more for his situation at this point. With Nas, the main focus is going to be on continuing to train, continuing to get better, the summer is over and he's going to start locking in some visits."

While Duke and North Carolina have cemented Little's status as a prized recruit, he has piled together quite the variety of options.

"Sean Miller has done a phenomenal job recruiting Nas, selling him on being a dominant wing player at Arizona," Augustine said.

"It cannot be overstated how well Jim Larranaga at Miami has been recruiting him to be an efficiency guy, a high-level wing filling in the shoes of a Bruce Brown. Chris Mullin at St.John's, he continues to be a big presence in helping Nas understand he can be the savior of the program, which has gotten tremendously better this off-season. Of course there is the opportunity of playing in Madison Square Garden. Now with Coach K and Roy, they are who they are. You don't need to sell much with those two."

Little, who holds a 4.6 GPA, will return for his senior season at OCP a marked man.

He'll return as the go-to guy for the defending state champs, a versatile scorer and menacing shot blocker who possesses prodigious vertical leaping and finishing ability.

The OCP program is anticipating higher profile events and perhaps some televised events.

While his coaches congratulated Little on the Duke offer, they reminded him the road ahead does not get much easier.

Little is slated for a matchup against beast amongst boys Zion Williamson and Spartanburg (SC) in the annual City of Palms tournament next winter.