Can the Duke Blue Devils Repeat?

Kyle MillerContributor IApril 22, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05:  Nolan Smith of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates after he cut down a piece of the net following their 61-59 win against the Butler Bulldogs during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As you may have recently heard, Kyle Singler will be staying in Durham for one more season. He was the main catalyst in the Blue Devils' national championship last season.

On the other hand, one of his counterparts, Jon Scheyer, will be departing for the NBA since he was a senior this season.

Fortunately for Duke fans, a player many may know due to his family's prior success in basketball will be playing in blue next season.

Yes, I am talking about Seth Curry, son of NBA vet Dell Curry and brother of NBA rookie sharpshooter Stephen Curry, who may win Rookie of the Year, but that's beside the point.

Seth has already played one year of college ball at the small Division I school of Liberty University. As a freshman he averaged 20.2 points per game. Even at a mid-major school, those are amazing numbers for a freshman.

After his first season he decided to transfer to Duke to play with them for the 2010-2011 season, making him ineligible for the 2009-2010 season. Therefore, Seth Curry will be coming into Duke as a sophomore 6'1" guard.    

The only problem Duke may have next year is that they are going to be overloaded with guards. They will have incoming freshman Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, sophomore Andre Dawkins, and Nolan Smith.

Duke is going to lack a true center this upcoming season. They do have Miles and Mason Plumlee, but neither of them would be fitting as a true center. Miles will probably end up being their starting center, but this shouldn't affect them too much. When there is this much talent on one team, it is really tough to beat them, no matter what.

Duke will be competing in the ACC as always, and this year the ACC shouldn't be any stronger than last year other than UNC. UNC should be a good team again next year with arguably the best prospect in the nation in Harrison Barnes as an incoming freshman next season. UNC will have highly regarded sophomore John Henson as well, despite the fact that they will be missing Ed Davis to the NBA.

Another incoming freshman, Reggie Bullock, will be suiting up for the Tar Heels, so if these young guys can really make an immediate impact for UNC, then they could really renew the fierce rivalry again after last season Duke had no contest from a Tar Heel team that finished 16-16. Despite the emerging Tar Heel squad, Duke should be the talk of North Carolina.   

The Blue Devils' lineup next year will definitely be a small lineup. It's hard to make an accurate lineup as of now. There are many players that have the potential to start at many positions. We will have to just wait and see what Coach K does.

Kyrie Irving is the other interesting player coming to Duke. Irving will probably be a one-and-done guy, but in that one year at Duke he can really make an impact. As a 6'1", 165-lb. guard, Irving possesses great speed and the ability to finish at the rim. He is also a very good passer.

Whether he comes off the bench or starts, he will get good minutes, and he may very well be one of the best freshman in the league. His explosiveness and quickness will help him and his small stature to be able to hang as a freshman. Although he does lack a reliable jump shot, many players similar to him have succeeded and progressively improved their jump shot. Some comparisons can be made to Derrick Rose or even Rajon Rondo.

Only time will tell on how he will pan out, but most likely he will have a successful career. With arguably the best coach in college basketball being the mentor for Irving, it should really make the road to success for Irving ultimately much easier than it would have been if he were to have gone to a smaller school with a coach that wasn't as well renowned as Coach K.

At the apogee of Irving's career, he can really be a force to reckoned with. The amount of potential that this kid has is just flat-out preposterous.

Enough talk about Kyrie Irving. The Duke Blue Devils as a whole will come into the 2010-2011 season with arguably the most talented team and the best team on paper. But does that make them a shoo-in for another title?

Last season, teams like Kansas, Texas, and Kentucky were all early favorites, and what happened to them? Kansas was upset in the second round, Texas collapsed midseason after a hot start, came into the tournament as an No. 8 seed, and lost in the first round, and Kentucky came in as a No. 1 seed and lost in the Elite Eight.

With that said, there is a fairly good chance Duke doesn't win the tournament next season, but they sure do have the best résumé coming into the season, and they will be a favorite to win as long as they play strong as expected. NCAA basketball is always going up and down, so it is hard to make any predictions on it.

For example, when March comes and the 64-team field is set for the NCAA Tournament and you're ready to do your bracket, are you expecting to get every pick right? Just go and look up the likelihood of selecting a perfect bracket. My point is that anything can happen.

After the upcoming season, Duke will probably send at least two first round picks to the NBA for the 2011 draft in Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving. Seth Curry and Nolan Smith also could be first round selections, but I feel that both of them will stay in school.