Irving's Injury: Out Indefinitely

        Kyrie Irving, Duke's star freshman guard could be sidelined for the remainder of the season after he suffered a right toe injury last weekend. The starting point guard missed the Bradley game last night as he is still being evaluated by Duke's medical team, but the early response was one to two weeks. However, Coach Krzyzewski was asked if Irving could be out for the rest of the year and he responded: "He could be, he could be."

        This would be a tremendous blow to the Blue Devils' success this season; Irving was NBA-DRAFT.COM's most recent national player of the week after he scored 31 points last week in a win over Michigan State and 17 second-half points to pull away from last season's runner-up, Butler. Irving's name has also been mentioned in several conversations for the top overall pick in June's NBA Draft with his hot play.

        Irving's absence from the lineup means that Duke will likely start Andre Dawkins, who is more of a shooting guard, with senior Nolan Smith likely shifting over to the point. Seth Curry will backup both backcourt positions. Dawkins earned his first career start against Bradley and responded with a career-high 28 points. However, the Blue Devils looked stagnant at time, often settling for perimeter jumpers without Irving. Smith will be leaned upon as the creator and penetrator to set up shots for Dawkins, Kyle Singler and Curry, but also draw the defense, which led to easy dump-downs for Duke's big men. Irving was also tops on the team at drawing fouls, not only getting his defender in foul trouble but getting to the line as well.

        Nothing definite will be known until at least next week at the earliest, but there is a good chance Kyrie Irving could shut it down for the season.

By Corey Ruff - 12-19-10