Monday, January 11, 2010

No denying Singler's struggles in Atlanta

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t try to dance around the issue Monday.

Junior forward Kyle Singler didn’t play well Saturday in Duke’s 71-67 loss at Georgia Tech. He shot 2-for-13 from the field, including 0-for-5 on two-point attempts, and committed four turnovers.

“Obviously you’d like everybody to play well,” Krzyzewski said Monday on the weekly ACC coaches’ teleconference. “But on every team you want your key players to play well every game. And if that doesn’t happen and nobody picks up that slack – sometimes someone off the bench or a fourth or fifth starter can do that. But we didn’t get enough of that.

“I’m not blaming it on Kyle. Kyle’s a terrific player for us, and he’s responsible for many wins. But we’re not immune. Our good players, like every team, the good players have to play well.”

Krzyzewski gave credit to Georgia Tech center Gani Lawal, who scored 21 points, shot 8-for-9 from the field, and grabbed nine rebounds.

“They’re all human beings,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re not going to play great all the time. If Lawal doesn’t play well we win. But obviously he played well.”

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said Singler just missed some shots he usually makes.

“I thought Kyle had some great looks, he just didn’t make them,” Hewitt said. “Let’s put it this way, when we play them again at Cameron, if he has the same kind of looks, I don’t think we’ll be as lucky.”

Next up for Duke (13-2, 1-1 ACC) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium is Boston College (10-6, 1-1), which is off to a disappointing start despite an experienced team.

Krzyzewski complimented the Eagles’ experience and balance, plus the talent of Boston College guard Rakim Sanders and the matchup problems Joe Trapani creates.
But Eagles coach Al Skinner said he’s surprised at his team’s struggles.

“There’s no question I’m a little surprised because of the amount of experience we have,” Skinner said. I thought minimally we’d be a little better prepared than what we are.”

Ken Tysiac