Irving Looking To Click With A Coach

Continuing the theme of high level point guards visiting Durham this weekend for the annual Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, the focus now turns to the nation's No.2 rated floor general and five star prospect, Kyrie Irving.

Throughout the Spring, Blue Devil faithful have been following the progress of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick High standout Kyrie Irving.

It's easy to see why.

At 6'1, Irving possesses the kind of elite speed and explosive scoring ability that has been lacking at the lead guard position in the royal and white for several seasons. With Duke looking to add another top notch floor general in the rising senior class, the coaching staff has made serious overtures towards Irving.

"[The Duke coaching staff] has talked to me about a lot of things," said Irving. "They've talked about Coach K and the experience with Team USA. They've talked with me about Duke in general - the history of the program; the guys they have coming in; etc. They are honest in their approach - I don't want coaches to tell me what I want to hear."

As with any high major recruit, the Blue Devil coaching staff has several opponents in this race. Chief amongst them, lately, appears to be Indiana where Irving recently visited.

"Indiana is a lot bigger than Duke. It looks like their gym holds a lot more people than Duke's. That's not a real factor in my decision - I mean they are both really nice in their own ways."

Of course, what Cameron Indoor lacks in size may have been made up for with the new Duke practice facility next door in Irving's eyes.

"We got to practice over there before [the event]. It's really, really nice over there. The weight room is just terrific. I know it's only for the team - and that's really neat to have that exclusively for the team."

Another familiar foe entering the Irving sweepstakes appears to be the Kentucky Wildcats led by head coach John Calapari. On the heels of landing two top notch point guards in 2009, what's the pitch from Lexington?

"They are recruiting me as just another guard, really. Coach Calapari doesn't really recruit point guards - he just recruits guards. That Dribble-Drive style offense works for anybody, you know?"

Speaking of offenses, a number of schools on the unofficial list (made up of Indiana, Notre Dame, Duke, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Florida, Marquette, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh) have different approaches on the offensive end of the floor. Being such an explosive scorer, does Irving have a preference of systems?

"I guess if there was a style or system where the ball wasn't in my hands...that may be an issue. I mean, I don't need the ball 50 times a game, but [as a point guard] I do need to feel comfortable. I want to be able to make my teammates better, and as a point guard I need to be able breathe and create in it."

And, when it comes to separating the ten programs in contention from one another, what will it take for Irving to start making the various cuts?

"The most important thing for me is having a coach who is an extension of my dad. I am looking for a family atmosphere and a coach I can talk to - about personal needs; academic needs; etc. That's why it's so important for me, if I go away to school, to have a close relationship with the head coach."

Interview conducted by Steve Clark

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