ANAHEIM, Calif. - Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving said late Thursday night that he doesn’t know whether he will return to the Blue Devils next season.
Irving is projected as one of the top picks in the NBA draft after a season that was interrupted for 3 ½ months because of an injury to his right big toe.
“Right now, I’m thinking about next year,” he said shortly after the game. “I’m not definitely guaranteeing I’m coming back. I’ll sit down with the coaching staff after the NCAA tournament and go from there.”
Irving said the deciding factor will be what’s best for him and his family.
“I’m not really thinking about whether this was my last game or not,” he said. “I would love to wear the Duke uniform again. At this point, I don’t want to take it off. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t comment on Irving’s future when asked after the game.
“You think I just grabbed him and talked to him about that?” Krzyzewski said. “I just hugged him because he’s crying. I’m not talking to him about going pro. Those things will happen in due time.”
Irving led Duke with 28 points in its season-ending, 93-77 loss to Arizona late Thursday night. In three games after returning from the toe injury, he totaled 53 points.
David Scott has been with the Observer for 28 years and has written about ACC, SEC and other college sports in the Charlotte region. He covers Wake Forest, South Carolina and college soccer for the Observer and (Raleigh) News & Observer.
J.P. Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997, and the Observer.
Andrew Carter covers the North Carolina Tar Heels for the Observer and News & Observer.
Laura Keeley covers the Duke Blue Devils for the Observer and News & Observer. Follow her on Twitter.
Chip Alexander covers the Carolina Hurricanes and college football for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1979, and the Observer.
Luke DeCock has worked for The News & Observer since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist for the Observer and News & Observer in August 2008.
Tim Crothers is an author and former senior writer at Sports Illustrated who is joining the sports staff to write a regular column during the rest of the college basketball season.