Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Singler, Smith named Duke captains

Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Tuesday that he has named seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith to captain the team.

Singler considered leaving school early for the NBA draft but ultimately decided to return after being named the most outstanding player of the Final Four.

Smith, the team's third-leading scorer last season at 17.4 points per game, is expected to be a first-team All-ACC candidate along with Singler. Both players are first-time captains.

They will fill a leadership void created by the loss of three senior starters - leading scorer Jon Scheyer, forward Lance Thomas and center Brian Zoubek.

"We're really excited about naming our co-captains so early this year, and the reason is obvious - Nolan and Kyle are our leaders," Krzyzewski said in a statement. "They have big shoes to fill. Losing the three seniors, who were all outstanding leaders, is the biggest gap we have to fill. But we're confident that these two young men can do it."

Singler averaged 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season while leading the Blue Devils to a 35-5 record. He ranks 18th on the school's career scoring list with 1,767 points, and was named the most valuable player of the 2010 ACC tournament.

Although Singler is naturally soft spoken, Krzyzewski said when Singler announced his return that becoming more of a leader is the next step for him.

"Nolan and I have grown so much over the last three years, and now it is time for both of us to step foward and become vocal leaders," Singler said.

Smith averaged 17.4 points per game as a junior, a 9.0 point per game increase over his sophomore season. He was named the most outstanding player of the South Regional in the NCAA tournament after scoring 29 points in a regional final win over Baylor in Houston.

"We have high goals set for this team, and the only way we can accomplish them is through hard work and great leadership," Smith said.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Natty Champs x 2

Anonymous said...

Is this suppose to be big news???
Who else would be capatains???