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Ryan Craig

Hot-shooting Singler a good sign for Duke

Posted February 5, 2010

After his team’s win over Florida State just more than a week ago, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski answered a postgame question about the luxury of having three players, in Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer, and Kyle Singler, capable of carrying a team on the offensive end of the floor on any given night.

He joked that the team hadn’t felt very luxurious just yet because all three players hadn’t clicked very often on the same night.

Despite Nolan Smith’s modest point total of 14 in Thursday night’s 86-67 win over Georgia Tech, Coach K had to be feeling pretty darn good about things.

That’s because Kyle Singler, the one player out of the triumvirate that hadn’t had a signature night since Duke’s loss to Wisconsin early in the season, officially broke out of whatever shooting slump he might have been in.

Minutes after seemingly re-injuring a wrist that he initially hurt against Wake Forest, Singler began hitting three after three in a performance that brought back memories of former Blue Devil All-American J.J. Redick.

The Oregon-native hit on eight of his ten three-point attempts on his way to a 30-point night – simultaneously quelling all fears of what another whack to the wrist might mean for the 6-foot-8 forward and shooing away all concerns about what had been plaguing the shooting stroke of the preseason ACC Player of the Year.

When Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith play well, Duke is a potential conference champion and a threat to make the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

If Singler is on as well, the Blue Devils become a Final Four contender.

At his best, the versatile swingman is the toughest matchup in the ACC - a rare combination of size, ball-handling, basketball acumen and scoring prowess.

During his first two collegiate campaigns, Singler’s ability to knock down the three forced defenders to play him tight on the perimeter – that opened up driving opportunities, often against players that were taller and slower.

This year, his inaccuracy from beyond the three-point line allowed defenders to sag off of him and cut off the driving lanes he had become so accustomed to exploiting as a freshman and sophomore.

Duke spent much of its practice time since last weekend’s loss to Georgetown working on its motion offense – a scheme the coaching staff felt would create better opportunities for Singler to score.
By the time the clock hit 0:00 Thursday night, Singler had thanked his coaches by giving future opponents eight reasons to respect his shot once again.

26 Comments

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  • packfn321 Feb 6, 2010

    If Singler stays for his senior season they may put his number in the rafters.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    Yes and no. I'm tired of State being bad. Every Carolina loss is fun, sure. But their losses do not become State wins. We're still 14-9. This would have been a great year to do well and get to the dance. How cool would that have been for State to be in and Carolina not. What are the odds of THAT do you think?

  • kickmeoutroy Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    I bet they even found out this year that there T*rds stink when they use the bathroom too........hehehehehehehe.

  • kickmeoutroy Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    I know Stae is bad again (sorry) this year but this has to make you feel a little better to TBK???

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    haha! You're not loving it by any chance, are you? :)

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    Sure, but I think it's fair to say that Duke and UNC usually give NC State THEIR best shot, too. Carolina's ONE good game in their last eight was the one they played in Raleigh.

    But aren't we always supposed to give each other our best shot? If not, then what's the point?

  • kickmeoutroy Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    Theres nothing better in college sports then hearing a UNC fan talk so much about the past because the present is so bad...... its like going to the Dean Dome and listening to 20 thousand s leaving quietly losers again at home, i guess its more around 10 thousand this year since they have quit on their team already. I think thats why i love to see post like this, it just makes me smile and everyone gets to see the true color of every UNC fan out there.....its great!!!! oh yeah.....hehehehehehehe.

  • Sound Tech Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    Finally it is nice to read comments from a story that are related to the story. However I see that one twelve year old person had to get on here and show there maturity by name calling.

  • ahoney67 Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    Nailed it....Nice comment!

  • ahoney67 Feb 5, 2010

    View quoted thread


    You're an idiot! You hang on to that title like a blankie...Duke has won a few too. Yes we got taken to the shed by Gtown but we bounced back...and we have played a number of games on neutral sites...just thought I would mention it since your lack of knowledge is showing! Nice to see you have accepted your teams average play!

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