Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Curry emerges as leading guard for Duke

One of the goals of Duke’s four-game exhibition trip to China and Dubai earlier this month was to figure out which players could establish themselves in leading roles after the departures of Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving.

Junior Seth Curry, a Charlotte Christian graduate who has taken over the point guard duties for Smith and Irving, stepped forward into one of those roles.

Curry averaged 13.5 points per game as Duke won three games against the Chinese Olympic Team and a fourth over the United Arab Emirates National Team.

“Seth’s good,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said this afternoon during his post-tour media briefing. “He’s just really good. I think he’ll be one of the better point guards in the country, especially if he learns to be the leader and not just a scorer. And I think he can do that.”

Junior forward and former Ravenscroft player Ryan Kelly also emerged in a much bigger role, averaging 15 points per game and improving his ability to score as a driver and in the low post. Krzyzewski said Kelly has the ability to make his teammates better.

“Ryan, that’s a good position for us, because that second big, matchup wise, when you can do the things he does, creates some really good situations for us in spacing, in mismatches,” Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski entered the trip uncertain of what to expect from the team because the three leaders from last season – Smith, Singler and No. 1 draft choice Irving – are gone. During the trip, which ended last week, Duke a six-player foundation separated itself from the pack.

Kelly, senior Miles Plumlee and junior Mason Plumlee demonstrated that they can be a strength of the team as they share minutes at the two forward positions. Curry, junior Andre Dawkins and freshman Austin Rivers solidified positions as the top players in the backcourt.

As was the case last season, scoring appears to be a strength of this team, according to Krzyzewski. He said the perimeter shooting ability of those top six players helps spread the floor and leave the big guys open in the post.

“We can really score the ball,” Krzyzewski said. “With the group that was starting, or if Mason’s in there, you can score from all five positions.”

Ken Tysiac

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Championship!

Anonymous said...

Another ACC tourney championship and no worse than 1-1 against the heels(2-1) if you count the ACC tourney and a sweep of the twerps. Duke.....Duke....Duke.... ACC....ACC.....ACC!!

Anonymous said...

Coming from a neutral fan...expect to split with the Heels, go about 12-4 in the ACC (probably good for second) and obviously win the ACC tournament championship. Lose in the Sweet 16, about 28-30 wins total.

Crazy--that's a Duke rebuilding year.

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