Singler’s Return = Duke #1Posted by rtmsf on April 19th, 2010
The SCOOP doctor, Jeff Goodman, is reporting that Duke all-american forward Kyle Singler is returning to Durham for his senior year. A formal announcement from Singler is expected in the next 24 hours, but suffice it to say that good fortune is shining on Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devil program in a big way lately. According to the mock drafts, Singler was projected as a late first-rounder but he has decided that a shot at another national title at Duke is worth more than the guaranteed dollars that he would have received as a new draftee. He and fellow ACC big man Solomon Alabi were the only two underclassmen in this mock draft projected as first rounders who had not yet declared — will Singler be the only legitimate first round returnee in the college game next season?
Regardless of what Alabi decides, Duke is in tremendous position to defend its title next year. The Devils lose three regular seniors from its national championship team — Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek — but their replacements are just as talented if not more so in the forms of Kyrie Irving/Seth Curry and the Miles/Mason Plumlee brothers. The irreplaceable wildcard was always going to be the versatile Singler, but with his return to the Duke lineup Coach K’s team will undoubtedly enter 2010-11 as the #1 team in America with a very good chance at repeating next April. The team will upgrade its athleticism at the guard positions and among the bigs, and so long as Coach K can find ways to feed and channel the intensity of the Plumlees in the same way as it worked with Zoubek this spring, Duke will be once again be on the grand stage for all of America to hate. Maybe if we’re really lucky Singler will all of a sudden start attracting random teenage fangirls, begin referring to himself in the third person and use opportune moments during NCAA Tournament games to step on other players’ chests. If we’re lucky.
Seriously, though, it’s funny how college basketball works sometimes. Two years ago we had major cognitive dissonance believing that Singler had been considered the equal of UCLA’s Kevin Love when the two were doing battle back in the Oregon high school prep ranks throughout the mid-2000s. Yet here we sit in 2010 and it is Singler, not Love, who has the chance to make college basketball history with repeat national titles. We’re certainly not implying that makes him better than Love either then or now, but it’s well beyond what we thought we were getting when the blonde forward came out of Medford three years ago. And it just goes to show that sometimes it’s better in college basketball to have a stable of pretty-darn-good players who stick around three or four years rather than sicknasty players who you can only keep on campus for one.