Kyrie Irving to Duke?Posted by rtmsf on October 21st, 2009
Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog is reporting tonight that Kyrie Irving, the #9 rated player in the class of 2010 and considered a player with huge upside in the mold of Chris Paul or Deron Williams, has committed to Duke. The 6’2, 175-lb scoring point guard from Elizabeth (NJ) St. Patrick just returned from a recent weekend at Kentucky for its Big Blue Madness event, but he has reportedly been leaning toward Duke for some time.
Irving tonight denied this report, as he stated below on Twitter:
We know Zagoria doesn’t go around making things up, though, and he cited three separate confirmations from assistant coaches at rival schools who claim that Irving’s recruitment is over because Duke has locked him up. We’ll go with Zagoria on this one, as it’s more fun to speculate anyway, but we’ve been saying for a while that if Duke has plans on becoming Duke again, players like Irving and forward Harrison Barnes are must-gets.
Since Luol Deng arrived on campus as the #2 player (Rivals.com) in the class of 2003, the top ten players that Duke has signed are Kyle Singler (#5 in 2007), Josh McRoberts (#2 in 2005) and Shaun Livingston (#2 in 2004, but went NBA), while Greg Paulus (#11 in 2005) and Gerald Henderson (#11 in 2006) were near-misses. Of that group, none have had the game-changing NBA-quality ability that earlier-era Dookies such as Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Jason Williams shared, and not coincidentally, Duke hasn’t sniffed the Final Four since Deng left campus.
Assuming Irving has already committed to Coach K and he manages to lure Barnes to Durham as well (Barnes is expected there this weekend), the 2010-11 Blue Devils could be shaping up as a nasty team, with the following starting lineup:
- PG – Kyrie Irving, Fr.
- SG – Seth Curry, So.
- SF – Kyle Singler, Sr.
- PF – Harrison Barnes, Fr.
- C – Ryan Kelly, So./Mason or Miles Plumlee, So./Jr.
The weak spot is at the center position, but we’re assuming one of the three-headed monster of Kelly/Plumlee/Plumlee will have stepped up by then. Still, that’s a very powerful projected lineup, and one that with tonight’s news should be sending shivers up and down the Atlantic seaboard for fear that Duke is one step closer to becoming a powerhouse again.