Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Duke's Irving to enter NBA draft

Kyrie Irving's career at Duke has ended after 11 games in one injury-shortened season.

Irving, a point guard whose freshman season was interrupted for 3 1/2 months because of an injury to his right big toe, will enter the NBA draft and plans to hire an agent, Duke spokesman Matt Plizga confirmed.

A 6-foot-2 native of West Orange, N.J., Irving is expected to be one of the top picks in the draft. A mock draft on projects him as the No. 2 pick overall, behind only Arizona forward Derrick Williams.

Irving averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game and shot 52.9 percent from the field in 11 games. He played the first eight games of the season before injuring his toe, then returned for Duke's three NCAA tournament games.

In a statement, coach Mike Krzyzewski said he is "overjoyed" that Irving attended Duke and now has a chance to chase his dream of playing in the NBA.

“We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision," Krzyzewski said. "We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player. He is a great young man, a terrific student, and a truly amazing representative for our program and for Duke. We love him and are very happy for him and his family.”

Irving issued a statement through the school thanking the staff and coaches and saying that playing for Krzyzewski was a great experience.

"He taught me a lot about the game," Irving said. "Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

As per Gomer Pyle, "Suprize, suprize, suprize". Austin Rivers will be welcomed. Austin Powers probably would also be welcomed.