Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Duke star back from December toe injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyrie Irving zipped down the floor toward an empty frontcourt and fired a pass to a teammate for an easy basket.

Even during a simple drill with the reserves, the electrifying point guard again had Duke off and running.

Now the Blue Devils will find out how well he'll have them rolling in a game, and on college basketball's biggest stage, no less.

No. 1 seed Duke's NCAA Tournament opener against No. 16 seed Hampton today in the West Region will mark Irving's return to the court. The flashy freshman has been out since Dec. 4 with an injured big toe on his right foot, and coach Mike Krzyzewski plans to bring him off the bench and play him limited minutes.

"He hasn't played in a long, long time, but he's the type (of) player, you give him the ball, he's going to get out there and he'll help us if he gets on the court," guard Nolan Smith said. "He's that good a player."

With Irving's return, the reigning national champions are reintroducing an elite talent to a club that includes the most outstanding player of last year's Final Four, Kyle Singler, and Smith, the ACC player of the year.

"We want to play the way we've been playing and integrate him into what we're doing," Krzyzewski said.

Still, Duke clearly doesn't want to expect too much too soon, and Irving admits his current conditioning isn't where he wants it.

LOUISVILLE'S LEADER: Louisville was without its floor leader, guard Preston Knowles, for the last 8:51 of its 62-61 loss to Morehead State after he sprained a foot. Knowles, the team's captain and an All-Big East second-team selection, scored nine on 3-of-10 shooting from the field before being sidelined. "It was hard to play without him. He's been our leader the whole season," teammate Kyle Kuric said.

ARIZONA STAR HEALING: Arizona assists leader Kyle Fogg hopes to be healthy again for today's NCAA Tournament opener after being limited by a left quadriceps strain during the Pac-10 tournament. Fogg said he's "feeling really good right now" and "should be at 90 or 100 percent" when the fifth-seeded Wildcats play Memphis.

WRIGHT RETURN: Georgetown point guard Chris Wright, who watched the Hoyas' four-game skid from the bench because of a broken left hand, will play tonight in Chicago as the sixth-seeded Hoyas (21-10) play 11th-seeded VCU. "Having him back in our lineup is really good," leading scorer Austin Freeman said. "Just to have his ability to penetrate, get to the basket, create his own shot and also be able to create shots for his teammates."

CALL FOR REFORM: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is backing a call from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to toughen the academic requirements and revenue distribution system for postseason basketball. The commission believes only teams on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players should qualify for tournament play.

OBAMA BRACKET: President Barack Obama lost one of his round of 16 teams when Louisville lost to Morehead State. Obama correctly predicted another upset, tabbing 12th-seeded Richmond to topple fifth-seeded Vanderbilt.

A

A

C

N

2

0

1

1

Duke star back from December toe injury 03/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Thursday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.

    1. AVOIDING BIG PLAYS ON DEFENSE

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. We knew Aguayo was a goner, and 'Hard Knocks' still delivers

    Bucs

    Tuesday night's second installment of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is going behind the scenes at training camp with the Bucs, had plenty of interesting tidbits, revelations and insights.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. For starters: Rays at Jays, with a different look to lineup

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:40: Former Rays reliever LHP J.P. Howell was DFA'd today by the Blue Jays; he had a 7.36 ERA in 16 games.

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.
  4. What you might have missed in the second episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  5. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move, and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence (57) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times