Was the ACC Tourney Kyle Singler’s Conference Swan Song?

March 15th, 2010 by Justin McTeer Leave a reply »

Greensboro, N.C.—Kyle Singler’s game against Georgia Tech in the ACC tournament championship game might best be remembered for his use of Dick Vitale as a landing pad when he dove after a loose ball in press row.

“I know I broke some things, but I guess I’m sorry,” said Singler.  “As long as I didn’t break anything bone-wise or didn’t hurt anyone, I guess that’s all that matters.”

Singler won tournament MVP honors while averaging 22 points per game as Duke won its second straight ACC tournament and ninth in the last 12 years.

The tournament was a fitting finish to Singler’s ACC season, and it was especially fitting that Singler carried his team to a championship against Georgia Tech.

It was against the Yellow Jackets at the beginning of February that Singler broke out of his early season funk with a 30-point performance and started living up to his preseason ACC Player of the Year billing.

After the game, Singler said, “I also had my worst game of the season against Georgia Tech the first time we played them, so it’s great.”

With only the NCAA tournament remaining, some are wondering whether or not Singler has played his last game in the ACC.

There was a lot of talk about this being Singler’s final year in Durham when the season began.

But his play in the early part of his junior season, while solid, wasn’t at the level many expected. 

Perhaps it was due to his adjustment to playing primarily on the perimeter, but regardless of the cause, his early-season performance led to his draft stock dropping and many fans thinking that he was a guarantee to return next for his senior season.

Not so fast.

I spoke with a long time local sports journalist (I don’t have his permission to use his name) who has covered the Blue Devils for some time who told me, “Singler wants to play in the NBA bad.  If he gets a first round guarantee in the draft, he’s gone.”

This particular journalist is one who has reliable sources, so the quote isn’t worth a quick dismissal as mere speculation.

Singler wasn’t willing to comment on the speculation that he may leave early.

“I’m just going to wait until the season is over.  I’m not going to say anything, I don’t think about it at all right now,” said Singler.

Nolan Smith was willing to comment on Kyle’s destination next year.

“Kyle and I will be the only seniors, so we’re going to have to lead next year,” said Smith.

When I bluntly asked Smith if Kyle was returning next year, he said, “Yes sir.  After talking with Kyle, I think he’s going to return.”

When asked to comment on Smith’s prediction, all Singler did was smile and jest, “Nolan likes to talk.”

Singler’s future will be up in the air until after the tournament.  If he blows up and carries Duke past the first three rounds, the likelihood of his return will dwindle.  If he or Duke struggles, his senior year will be much more of a sure thing.

Right now, Singler is focused on the tournament ahead, as he should be.

But whether he thinks about it or not (and, of course, he does), he’ll have a big decision to make in the months to come.

A senior Singler along with Smith and Duke's returning players, and their incoming class highlighted by point guard Kyrie Irving, would make Duke a likely choice for the preseason No. 1 team in America.

Duke would still be a solid team without him next year, especially in the backcourt, but their frontline would have a huge hole to fill in terms of scoring and rebounding.

Regardless of Singler's decision, the only thing fans should worry about is enjoying the rest of this Duke season.

That's what Singler will be doing.

This story was originally syndicated from Bleacher Report - Front Page.
Read the original Article Here

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