What Landing Irving Means For Duke

Duke finally got their point guard. On Thursday Kyrie Irving announced on ESPNU that he would be running the point in Durham for the next few seasons. Shortly after the announcement, TDD spoke with Scout.com's Dave Telep to get an idea of just how big this commitment is for the Blue Devils.

Seven Questions For Dave Telep on Kyrie Irving Committing to Duke

Relative to the recent point guards in Durham, what kind of guard is Kyrie Irving.

Dave Telep: This is a different level point than they've had. Irving's impact would be closest to that of Chris Duhon. I think this guy can go get his shot but become a leader for the Devils.

As a talent evaluator, what are his greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

He does so many things well. For starters, he can drive or left and finish at the rim. Scoring and passing are natural for him and he's excellent at both. He's got a unique burst in his game.

As far as what he needs to work on: Overall, I think he needs to tighten up his deep jumper and continue evolving with his confidence. He's the kind of leader who is becoming more vocal each year and that's a good sign.

How do you see Irving's freshman season progressing? What kind of impact do you see him making at the collegiate and ACC levels?

A major league impact. Irving immediately gives Duke one of the top 3 point guards in the league. Bottom line is this: there will be few nationally as good as him.

Does that mean he's the kind of guard that will force the program to return to a more up-tempo style?

I don't know if he changes the tempo as much as gives Duke a piece in the transition game they don't have. He enables Duke to play the way it wants to plus with the front court pieces they have in place he's more deadly.

Irving seems to be extremely motivated by what he calls "being overlooked" early on in his career. Is that a case of him developing late, or was it a case of him just looking for a catalyst?

I would disagree with his assessment that he was overlooked. I think what's happened is that he's developed on his own time and that's the best way to do it. He's been a consistent developer once his strength began to come in. I'd much rather be Kyrie Irving who is on the upswing than a guy who had the hype early. I don't think he's a product of a lack of promotion, rather he's a guy that has evolved into the player he currently is.

What are some of your most memorable Kyrie Irving moments or favorites from the proverbial highlight reel over the last few years?

Probably the way he erupted at the 2009 Tournament of Champions is right there. However, for me, his NBA Camp sticks out the most. Brandon Knight had gotten the best of him on opening night. Irving's back was against the wall. He could either let it affect his entire camp or get back on the horse. I think its says a lot about Irving that he picked himself up, finished strong and used it as a learning experience. He always says he's hungry and humble and his ability to bounce back from adversity showed me he means it.

In your opinion, how does the addition of Irving help the Duke sales pitch with Harrison Barnes? What kind of, if any, relationship do the two have?

I've heard Harrison call him his little brother. What does that mean in the end? Well, it can't hurt. I think Irving's pledge gives Barnes something to really ponder.

I know you don't like these, but.... who would you compare Irving to as a high school senior?

I think he borrows from the Chris Duhon and DJ Augustin school of point guards. He's not as big as Duhon but has a similar floor game and he's a good finishing guard like DJ.


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