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Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  7 responses

Kyrie Irving to Return for NCAA Tournament?

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Your NCAA bracket might need an overhaul if reports that Kyrie Irving will return for Duke’s first round game are true. According to Jay Williams, former Duke point guard and ESPN analyst, Irving likely will return for the team’s game on Friday.

Irving, himself, has been a little more secretive on his status. After news broke on Tuesday night, he tweeted, “There’s still no guarantee…”

Considering Williams’ close ties with Mike Krzyzewski, it’s very likely that he has the inside scoop on this story. Williams later added on Twitter, “I think Coach K will play Kyrie Irving limited minutes but I am sure his presence will be a boost for the #BlueDevils.”

It’s easy to forget how good Irving and the Blue Devils were when he was in the lineup. Irving played in just eight games before injuring his toe. He averaged 17.4 ppg and 5.1 apg and was coming off his two highest scoring totals of the season before being injured. Meanwhile, there was legitimate conversation that Duke could go undefeated with Irving running the show.

Inserting Irving back into a lineup and not messing up the flow of a team that just won an ACC tournament title is a tough task, but Krzyzewski is one of the few coaches in the country that might be able to pull it off.

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  • B

    back to back titles for duke!!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I would be very happy for Kyrie.

  • HAMMER

    Oh I hope he returns. Cuz he wont b 100%. He will b rusty. He could hurt their chemistry. So yeah. Even further reason 2 pick Texas advancing and not the dookies

  • Screwdriver

    @Hammer
    You do realize that he’s already a crucial part of the team chemistry on the bench? Look who most players look too the next time any Duke player comes off the court. Kyrie will fall back in perfectly with less minutes.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @HAMMER, I doubt he’ll be any rusty considering just how much he’s been rehabbing, and the whole ‘he practiced a little’ is, I’m certain, just a little bit of sly subterfuge from Coach K. Anyways, just as seamlessly as this kid stepped on the court from day 1 and dominated, I expect for him to return to this lineup and make an impact. With a healthy Kyrie Irving I really don’t see any team in the nation messing with Duke, and thats coming from a Big East guy

  • HAMMER

    @ The Black Rick Kamla. U really think he’ll b fully healthy? He’s been out practically all season. U don’t think he’ll disrupt their chemistry n any way? Im just not feelin them this yr. Altho I do hate them, I also recognize when they r a Final Four bound team. But I don’t c it happening this yr

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I just hope the kids healthy and doesn’t re-injure himself. I can understand the excitement and wanting to come back for the big dance, but his health and future are more important (whcih can be hard to get through to a kid his age). Interestingly, some people have mentioned in other blogs that he’s intentionally dragging his injury out and not playing because his draft stock is still so high after only 8 games that he shouldn’t risk lowering it.

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