Duke says so long to Irving

Mike Kelly, Editor-in-Chief

After only one season in college, a season in which he played in less than half the games due to injury, Duke’s Kyrie Irving is leaving early and declaring for the NBA draft.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement issued Wednesday by the school that Irving plans to hire an agent, ending his college career.

“Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA,” Krzyzewski said. “We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player.”

Irving played only 11 games and missed roughly two-thirds of the season with an injured big toe on his right foot. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Duke. And while he may have only been on the court for 11 games, when he was healthy he was dominant. He was the fourth freshman in school history to score 30 points in a game when he did so against then-ranked number 6 Michigan State.

“It was a great experience playing for Coach K,” Irving said. “He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot.”

Irving is likely to be a top 5 pick in the NBA draft; some scouts are even saying number one. ESPN’s Andy Katz says he is one of the few players who played in college this year that can put on an NBA jersey and play right away next season.

While it is a shame seeing such a talented player have his collegiate career cut short, the decision was almost a no-brainer for Irving. Why risk injury in coming back to Duke when you could possibly be the number one pick in the NBA draft. Many applaud his decision, including myself as I believe it was the right one, assuming there is no NBA-lock out next season.