Everybody wanted a piece of Kyrie Irving after he led Duke in scoring with 14 points in is first game back. BDN Video takes you into the Duke locker room with three videos.
DURHAM – It wasn’t long after Duke defeated N.C. State 76-52 that Coach Mike Krzyzeswki addressed the situation concerning Kyrie Irving. As all of you know, he is getting almost as much publicity as the league leading Blue Devils are. Everywhere you turn there is a rumor or the latest so called insider telling you, well, a lot of inaccurate statements.
Irving went out with a possible season ending injury in Duke’s win over Butler earlier this season. Despite returning to the court in that game, it was later learned that it was a significant injury and he’s sat out the season ever since.
“The main thing we’re optimistic about is there is more healing. You can only get so much healing in a cast but next week he starts going through therapy,” said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski when questioned after the game.
The Hall of Fame Coach continued, “He’ll have a cat scan or MRI in a couple of weeks to see how it’s healing and it should but we still feel he is not going to play so we have to go forward with that.”
But he made it a point to also say that it would still be a while before Irving returned to the court, “He’s a long way from playing, you gotta be 100% before you come back but he is a ways from that but it’s progressing well for his career and it’s being done the right way.”
One reporter asked if he was anxious to get back on the courts and Krzyzewski responded by saying, “Of course, he’s anxious. He loves his teammates, he loves Duke [pause] a lot of people forget he was the best guard in the country — a lot of people forget about that.”
Coach Krzyzewski made a point to emphasize that Duke isn’t hiding anything. “I don’t tell you [media] everything but we don’t hide an injury. We’ve been straight forward with this from the very beginning and it’s not going to be some miraculous thing where it heals in three weeks. That’s not going to happen, believe me.”
Only time will tell the tale on Irving but one thing Duke fans can hang on to is the fact that nobody from within the team has stated Irving would not return in a firm manner. And what does that mean? It’s simple the glass half full crowd will remain positive while the glass half empty crowd will throw their hands in the air giving up.
As for BDN, we cover Duke Basketball so it is easy to be a glass half full crew around here.
Springfield, Mass - The Blue Devil Nation’s Andrew Slater was on hand to cover the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts this past Monday where Kyrie Irving and company were participating. Irving, of course, is Duke’s point guard of the future and Blue Devil fans anxiously await his arrival in late July when he will be on campus.
The first half was kind of difficult for us, especially for me. It was a big game, you know, national television and..
Cory Joseph had a great first half.
Yeah, but it was a great effort on our part. We had a great second half, but we couldn’t come through.
Can you talk about the end of the game situation? You went coast-to-coast. What were you looking for on that possession?
Oh, I was looking to get to the basket as soon as possible. Yeah, I just wanted to get a bucket because our team needed a bucket. They were up by two and I had a chance to close it out, but I just couldn’t come through.
What is it like to play in this tournament? The Hall of Fame nearby, big crowds, quality teams, and ESPNU televising it?
It’s [private] a great experience to be able to come to Massachusetts. This is where my father went to college. He went to Boston University. I mean playing in Springfield. This is history here. There were great players that came through here and made the NBA. I’m glad I got to experience it with my teammates.
What was it like to make to match-up with Cory Joseph?
It was a great experience. We’re some of the top point guards in the country, if not the top two along with Brandon Knight. It was great to go against him and face the competition and bring me to another level. The first time I ever faced him was at the NBA camp and we developed a little bit of friendship, but it was great going against him.
What’s the best part of his game?
His quickness and his ability to get up and down the floor. I didn’t know he was that quick until today.
In the second half, you really took it to him, but in the first half did his speed make it difficult for you to operate?
Yeah, he definitely did. There were a lot of missteps, um, I mean mismatches, you know, we were going to put our little point guard, Kevin Boyle, Jr., on him, but that didn’t work. Then they put me on him and then just kept switching.
Yeah, I’ve just got one question. It’s about New Jersey basketball. You guys must be proud that there are three teams that are so talented in such a tight area. Is the level rising or has it always been this way? Is this more than usual?
Yeah, I definitely think most of the people being seniors. It definitely raises the level.
Can you talk about how you came to your decision and was there an exact moment when it became clear to you that you’d be a Blue Devil?
It was just basically Coach K and the whole entire coaching staff. They did a great job recruiting me. Even though they came sort of late into the game, I thought it was a great decision on my part. Especially going on my official visit, I fell in love with going there. It was great.
Was there that one moment or epiphany?
That moment where I stepped on the campus. I felt like a student. You know that’s what made me make my decision.
What, if anything, has Coach Krzyzewski asked you to work on or concentrate on this season?
Just work on my physical and..
The added muscle in your arms in noticeable.
Oh, yeah. Just being a little more vocal and a leader on the floor.
Who was recruiting you to Duke?
It was Coach K the whole entire time. It was also Coach Collins. Those were the main two, but it was always Coach K.
Is it daunting at all to go to a program like Duke and all of that history?
It is. Duke is known for, well, maybe not known for that but like people say, when they’ve had great point guards from New Jersey, they’ve won championships.
Do you talk to the other Jersey point guards?
Oh, yeah, I’ve talked to Jason Williams several times, but I haven’t talked to Bobby Hurley.
What are you doing to prepare for next year?
Just getting in the weight room and trying to be a better leader. This year is big for me, you know, it’s historic. If I would’ve made that shot, I think we would’ve won the national championship so I’m kind of hurt, you know. We’ll just take it from here.
Point guard at Duke is really a marquee position. It’s sort of like being quarterback at USC. Was that part of the attraction?
Um, yeah, I’d say it gets me excited, especially the opportunity to play for one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball. So, yeah, it feels great.
I’ve read that “hungry and humble” is kind of your motto. Can you talk about how you use that on the court?
Just being the most aggressive one out there, but knowing that I can always do more.
Do you think you’ve taken your game to yet another level this season, from as relatively recently as the summer?
Oh, yeah, I’ve definitely improved certain aspects of my game. Definitely my consistency and being a floor general out there.
In the fourth quarter, you really made some tough shots and you really sort of drove it to the rim. You took over even more and Michael his ankle was hurting pretty bad. Did you think you needed to do that or did the game come to you?
I think it was both. In the fourth quarter, definitely a little bit is when you start going and I had a difficult first half, but I think I definitely stepped up in the second half.
Talk about this interview on the BDN Premium Message Board . [/private]
This has been a huge week for Duke Basketball Recruiting and it all started when they got a commitment from Kyrie Irving on Thursday evening. Blue Devil fans are still celebrating and holding their breath until Harrison Barnes makes his decision. Barnes of course, is on campus this weekend.
The Barnes family arrived at 9:00 today and will spend 48 hours on campus. In fact, today’s open practice featured Barnes and his mom and sister. BDN was on hand to check out our current players and naturally, take a look at what was going on around Barnes. We have also included a few photo’s from the event below.
Anyhow, here’s what happened – [private] Barnes came into the practice after it started and got a large applause from the many fans on hand. He initially sat with his family, but later moved to the bench area, where he unzipped his navy blue Nike sweat suit to reveal a Duke T-Shirt.
Just before that, a single yell of, “Harrison Barnes come to Duke,” rang out and Barnes immediately smiled and waved in the direction of the fan.
The Barnes family seemed relaxed and likely a little tired after arriving early this morning. Duke Assistant coaches Nate James and Chris Collins each talked with Barnes as the practice went on.
Krzyzewski talked to Barnes on three occasions, but the last twenty five minutes of the practice, he had a one on one discussion with an attentive Barnes.
At the two hour mark much of the crowd had left, but Barnes got another ovation as he left Cameron and headed for the locker room.
For the record, my understanding is that smoke and mirror or speculation articles are out there on other sites. Barnes is not allowed to play pick up games after practice has started per NCAA guidelines. So, be careful who you listen to.
It’s also worth noting, that no web site or media outlet is allowed to contact or talk to Barnes in any way while on campus. These rules apply for boosters too, so please be careful if you see him out and about. A passing comment of encouragement is okay, just don’t engage him in conversation.
Don’t look for too much information to come out on this one other than sightings. Duke has a full schedule for Barnes and he’ll likely take in some of the football game tomorrow, which is a big one for Duke. Hopefully the weather holds up as it did today. With the leaves changing colors on campus, it makes for a nice backdrop. [/private]
Duke got it’s point guard of the future when Kyrie Irving decided to make the Blue Devils his collegiate choice on ESPNU just minutes ago.
“Im pleased to announce I will be attending Duke University,” said Irving.
When asked what the main factor in his decision was. Irving said, “Just my relationship with Coach K and the whole staff. It was a great mix of academics and athletics. On my offcial visit, it just felt like home.”
Irving will join 6-8 forward Josh Hairston and 6-2 point guard Tyler Thornton as true freshman in the class of 2010.
Irving, one of the nations top point guard prospects. picked the Blue Devils over Indiana, Kentucky and Texas A & M.
The New Jersey native is a vital cog in the Blue Devils future plans and he’ll be given the wheel to the ship from day one.
Irving visited the Duke campus with his Dad and Uncle and played pick up with the current players while on his official visit and that successful weekend pretty much sealed the deal. Duke students cheered his name during a football game against N.C. Central where he hung out with rising senior Lance Thomas.
Irving plays his high school basketball for powerful St. Patrick’s and he dressed for the New Jersey Celtics and the New Jersey Roadrunners on the AAU circuit. In Orlando, he led his team to back to back victories over the circuits two best teams, scoring 65 points in the process.
The rising high school senior had some of his best games of the summer circuit during the AAU Nationals where Coach K and his staff watched his every move. For more on his summer exploits, just check out the BDN archives.
It’s worth noting that two other jersey point guards in Bobby Hurley and Jason Williams led Duke to all three of Duke’s National titles under Kyzyzewski.
Coach K bonded well with Irving during the process and the Devils made it clear that he was their point guard of choice. Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins was the lead assistant with Irving.
With Irving in the fold, Duke will now turn their attention to Harrison Barnes and other prospects. More on this on the Blue Devil Nation Premium message board. And more on Kyrie Irving as next week progresses.
Irving’s commitment starts off a huge sports weekend at Duke where they will entertain Harrison Barnes and play Pfeiffer at 6:30 on Saturday. Duke also plays a huge football game at 1:30 versus Maryland. So, if you are local, this is a great time to support the Devils in person.
Andrew Slater’s Scouting Report on Kyrie Irving - Kyrie Irving is a 6’2″ scoring point guard from St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth, New Jersey. He has the prototypical size and demeanor to lead a college program to the highest levels. He is a classic example of a scorer with a shooter’s touch.
Duke basketball prospect Kyrie Irving gives part I of an interview to BDN Premium. Hear Kyrie for yourself [private], but for those who do not like the audio interviews, we will try to find a way to transcribe them. During the second part, Irving spoke of his Uncle wearing an IU shirt recently and that it meant nothing. He seemed to have wanted to emphasize that point.