Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kyrie is in -- and that changes a lot

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made official Thursday afternoon what had been long suspected -- Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving will play in the NCAA tournament.

Irving hasn't played since December, when he injured his toe against Butler. Coach K said he would come off the bench and play a limited number of minutes.

Still, I can easily see this becoming one of the biggest storylines of the NCAA tournament. Without Irving, Duke still grabbed a No.1 seed. With a healthy Irving? Well, if he plays like he did in December, let's just say I'd like to rethink my pick of an Ohio State-Kansas final.

Too late now on that, but it was good to see Irving running with the other Blue Devils in Thursday's open practice and it will be good to see him play in Charlotte this weekend. He was a good soldier by all accounts during his absence, and so now we all get to see what he's got.

"To have Kyrie back will be a huge lift," said Nolan Smith, who now won't have to constantly pressure the opposing team's point guard on defense since Irving can do that whenever he's in the game.

Said Coach K of Irving: "This kid will be a great player. He won't be a great player tomorrow (against Hampton, 3:10 p.m. tipoff Friday)."

That's probably true, but by next week? Irving may well be a great player once again, and he may make Duke a very serious contender for its second straight national title.


Anonymous said...

Coach K is the best...however this would be dumb and irresponsible on his part. As a former athlete at the D1 level, a toe injury is very serious and requires lots of rehab and rest. Just think about what would happen if someone stepped on it. Long term NBA Career vs. a spot at playing in the NCAA tournament? Big risk!

doggonit said...

Anon, you're an idiot! He is 100% healthy (although not in game shape) and risks no further damage by playing! Coach K would not risk his health if he wasn't 100% ready, and from all doctors accounts, he's clear (and was probably ready a week ago)!

Duke is puke said...

This is all about Kyrie. He is only doing it to raise his NBA stock which has taken a bit of a hit lately. Mark my words, this is not good news for Dook. He will play for his headline, not the teams. Possible ouster in CLT this weekend!! GO HEELS!!

shrimpy said...

He'd be top 5 pick without playing another minute this year. Coach K's brilliant, this can only help his stock. He plays well, even remotely well after so much time off, it only helps him. So stop being a nancy Tarhole fan and try to broaden that narrow mind of yours and maybe think of something more clever than duke's puke, I've heard that since I was in 1st grade and that was 20 years ago.

Freaky Ty said...

I agree with Shrimpy. All the mock drafts have him going Top 5. So, him playing a little in the tournament isn't showing off at all. They said it would be about 3-4 months and it has been. If he's healthy enough to play, why sit on the bench and scouts question his will or commitment to the team? The only people that have something negative to say are the Duke haters and those afraid the Devils will repeat. GO DUKE!

Anonymous said...

One day before tha games begin and the down Charlotte arena still has almost 3,000 unsold seats. Where are all these so called ACC fans? The sports editor spent years telling local fans he refused to cover the Charlotte 49ers (regular NCAA participants from '91 to 2005) because Duke OR "Carolina" would sell out Charlotte's arenas in less than an hour.

Anonymous said...

There is word that former UNCC coach Bobby Lutz is on Yows NCSU Wolfpack short list.

That dosent mean he will be hired since even you make the top 2 you still only a 50% chance but thats good to hear. Lutz would def be an excellent hire as HC for the Pack.

viagra online said...

This guy will be a great revelation in NCAA tournament, please give us an update about his performance!