Freshman Frustration: Four Silver Linings For Duke's Loss of Kyrie Irving

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Freshman Frustration: Four Silver Linings For Duke's Loss of Kyrie Irving
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Irving's leadership was unmistakable while on the court.

Freshman sensation Kyrie Irving took the nation by storm when he debuted for the Duke Blue Devils two months ago.  Most experts and knowledgeable fans knew he'd be good, but not this good, and not this soon.  

As Duke's leading scorer at 17.4 points, Irving's play at point guard made Duke seem head and shoulders above the competition in pursuit of back-to-back championships.

The Player of the Year and "one-and-done" discussions revved up rapidly as Irving set Cameron Indoor on fire and put NBA scouts on notice.

Things turned sour for Irving and Duke fans as quickly as they blossomed.  

After Duke's 8th game of the season, a rematch of the National Championship with Butler, Irving was declared out by Coach Mike Krzyzewski for a mysterious toe injury.

After examinations, Coach K said that his freshman star would be out for a long time, and later, indefinitely. This was a huge blow to a team whose only apparent weakness is not having an athletic playmaker at point.  

Well, the doom hasn't rushed in quite as some expected, as the Blue Devils have cruised to a 6-0 record without Irving, and 14-0 overall.  They have looked impressive, and with ACC play beginning this week, I've got four silver linings for Duke to pocket as they navigate the always-rugged conference schedule.  

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