Duke Blue Devils: The Sequel, Starring the Returning Kyle Singler

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Duke Blue Devils: The Sequel, Starring the Returning Kyle Singler
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

April 4th 2011

The Duke Men's basketball team will be bringing the 2011 Men's Basketball championship trophy back to it's fans in Durham, NC with their back-to-back national titles in tow.

...I'm sorry I'm getting ahead of myself.

 

April 20th, 2010

As the news broke in the early evening on Monday, Kyle Singler's long monitored decision to "go or stay," ended with the Duke Nation rejoicing after Singler announced that he would return for his senior season.

Singler's back for the sequel.

With the 6'8" senior MOP deciding to comeback and defend his title, this undoubtedly gives the Blue Devils an edge to repeat as national champions.  Given that this feat has only been done seven times, most recently with Florida, Coach K is no stranger to accomplishing this monumental task.

If you ask the 1991 and 1992 Blue Devil squads, lead by Christian Laettner and Grant Hill, they wouldn't say it was an easy mission.

Now with Singler back in the rotation, the Blue Devils also return starter Nolan Smith. Smith was fueled by the memory of his father and averaged 18 ppg in the NCAA tournament, with a career high of 29 pts against Baylor, to help push the Devils towards the title.

During the 2009-2010 season, Smith seemed to finally realize his talent level and had a breakthrough year.  Seeing more playing time and increased confidence in his game, Nolan lifted his point and assist totals significantly.

This effort propelled him to become the under the radar member of the "Big Three," and boy were they big.  

With recent departures of key players Zoubek, Thomas, and Scheyer, the Blue Devils will be looking to their new recruits for some help.  They won't be short of guards this season that is for sure, retaining red-shirt sophomore shooting guard Seth Curry , as well as three point threat Andre Dawkins .

Kyrie Irving- 6'2" : A five star true point guard out of Elizabeth, NJ with phenomenal speed and basketball IQ.  Irving, the No.6 overall 2010 recruit, has been hailed as the rebirth of Jason Williams, who led the Blue Devils to a national championship in 2001.

Joshua Hairston- 6'8" : A four star power forward that is a perfect compliment to Singler on the wing and the Plumlees in the post. He brings good size and length to the team along with an ability to shoot the jump-shot and post up if needed.

Tyler Thornton- 6'2" : The No. 24 point guard in 2010, Thornton adds more depth as a reserve floor general for the Devils.  Don't expect Thornton to see too much playing time having Irving and Curry in front of him on the depth chart.

Also, late addition Carrick Felix- 6'6" who is an athletic small forward with strong defensive qualities and emotion to fill in for Scheyer's leadership.  No wonder Coach K recruited his first player out of junior college. Felix says, "I just need to stay humble, keep my head straight, keep my focus, keep my drive, and keep going." Carrick will fit in great at Duke.

With the coaching carousel finally coming to an end in the ACC, Duke looks poised to not only be a favorite for the 2011 National Title, but for the ACC title as well.

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