Kyle Singler: Where Does He Rank Among Duke's All-Time Best?
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Just after Kyle Singler signed his national letter of intent to become a Blue Devil, recruiting expert Dave Telep noted his "no-nonsense" approach to the game of basketball was one of the things that made him so highly sought after.
No-nonsense is a perfect word to describe one of the most prolific—and successful—players ever to don a Duke uniform.
Wednesday night, Singler will suit up for his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, a building where he has left his literal and figurative mark for future players to emulate. But where exactly does Singler rank among the greats of Duke basketball?
Consider, for a moment, the numbers. If the Blue Devils prevail on Wednesday against Clemson, Singler will have won his 120th game in a Duke uniform. That's an average of 30 wins per season, an astounding number.
While Nolan Smith has captured all the attention this year by leading the ACC in scoring and being in the running for national player of the year, Singler has had a more consistent career over his four years at Duke.
Quietly and efficiently, Singler has crept up the Duke all-time leading scorers list. He currently stands at fifth—in front of the likes of Danny Ferry, Gene Banks, Jason Williams and Shane Battier.
Does Kyle Singler deserve to have his jersey retired?
In a few games, possibly in the middle of the ACC Tournament, he'll move ahead of Mike Gminski into fourth place.
If the Blue Devils make it to the championship game of the ACC Tournament and a return trip to the Final Four and Singler continues his current pace of 17.4 points per game, he could potentially pass Christian Laettner, who scored 2,460 points during his stellar career at Duke.
But it doesn't end there. Singler has already collected more rebounds over the course of his career than several players whose jerseys already hang in the rafters with 951. At his current pace, he'll pass Danny Ferry at sixth place on the all-time rebounding list sometime around the Sweet 16.
Add to that the fact that Singler was instrumental in bringing home Duke's fourth national championship last year, including Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, and it's tough to imagine Singler's jersey not going in the rafters.
As a fan, it's easy to speculate and play the numbers game when it comes to players' careers. In the end, when it comes to the legacy of Duke basketball, one voice stands out above all the others: Mike Krzyzewski. And he had something to say concerning the matter during the weekly ACC basketball coaches' teleconference on Monday.
"He'll be one of the top four or five players to ever play here as far as the credentials," Krzyzewski said. "When you win a national championship during your four years, you already set yourself apart. He's one of the best defenders we've had here. He's been amazing. In my 31 years, he's been one of the really great players that we've had here."
With that glowing endorsement, don't be surprised to see No. 12 hanging in the rafters in the near future.
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