Irving Living Up To The Hype

St. Patrick's junior Kyrie Irving is getting it done these days. Last weekend, Irving put on quite a show at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. Armed with all kinds of recruiting information, Irving is taking his time with the process.

Last year at the LeBron James Skills Academy, St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle was expounding to anyone that would listen. He talked about Kyrie Irving and that he was going to be a special guard.

A few months later, Boyle boldly stated that Irving would be the best guard to ever come out of New Jersey. Ever. New Jersey. Big statement.

So, was Irving fazed by his coach's proclamation. "I wasn't nervous," Irving said. "It was a bold statement. I have a lot to live up to. I don't really pay attention to it. It was his duty to say that as a coach. I'm just trying to live up to it."

So far, Irving's holding up his end of the bargain and Boyle, well, he's more right than wrong with his prognostication. Last weekend, Irving rocked the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. The place was buzzing with his performances. A weekend earlier, he did the same thing on Indiana's campus.

Irving got an up close look at the Hoosiers. "They're up there for right now. I have a great feel with them and great relationship with the coaches. I couldn't ask for more and it was fun out there and I loved it."

Seven days later, he was around Duke's campus and days before dropping 40 points in Durham, he spoke with Coach K. "It's a great program," Irving said. "The name itself stands out."

Currently, he sports a list of 10 schools. He left open the possibility of programs coming and going on his list. "Throughout the summer it's bound to change, my list. New schools coming in and other schools going out. It's bound to change. I'll narrow it to five."

Irving intimated that he's "nowhere close to making a decision." This fall he'll trim to five, take the visits and barring being blown away by a particular school, will tour a handful of campuses before making the decision.

For Irving, the process is nothing too new. His father played in college and Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland is his godfather so he's not coming up short if he needs a question answered.

"My father takes care of all my recruiting. My father and my uncle are my mentors. My dad's been through it before."

Strickland's presence at UK helps, but it's not something that will drive a commitment home anytime soon. "Kentucky is in but I'm not leaning more to Kentucky because he's my godfather. It doesn't really have that big of an impact."

Last weekend, Irving demonstrated an elite level ability to get his own offense. However, at the same time he was remarkably efficient, unselfish and smooth. "I make my teammates better, I have the ability to score and manage the game and take over when I need to."

Indiana, Duke, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Marquette, Seton Hall, Maryland, Florida and Georgia Tech are the 10 schools, we think, are worth listing at this stage.

Irving wants to major in journalism so fans need to hope it's offered at each of these spots. In the meantime, if you see Irving out on the circuit this summer, watch him and remember what his approach to the game is.

"It's AAU we're supposed to have fun, basketball is fun."

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