DURHAM — Duke junior Kyle Singler said this morning he doesn't know whether another year in school will ultimately raise his NBA draft stock any higher than the mid-to-late first round — where Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski's research predicted the wing would have gone, had he chosen to turn pro this summer.
But in the end, the Most Outstanding Player of this year's Final Four told Krzyzewski he wanted to stay in school for three reasons:
- "He said this to his mom, a little bit more than he did to me,'' Krzyzewski said. "He says, 'I love Duke. I love going to school here; I love the players, I love the people, I love everything about going to Duke."
- He thinks he can improve, particularly as a leader.
- He didn't want to miss out on his senior season.
Singler's decision to stay in school puts the defending national champion Blue Devils in place to open next season as a top-5 team — if not as the preseason No. 1. Asked if trying to win back-to-back championships is another reason he returned, Singler said, "I think for everyone, when you're trying to do something in college, especially here, you set your goals high. A national championship is reasonable for this team. So a goal for us to come back and defend our title is something to be passionate about."
After moving Singler from the post to the wing last season, Krzyzewski said he will use the player in a multitude of ways in 2010-11.
"He'll be in the post some, too; it just depends who we have ... I see using him in a lot of ways. I think Kyle would be very much like how I used Grant [Hill], [Shane] Battier, [Mike] Dunleavy, somewhat [Danny] Ferry — although Ferry was more of a perimeter guy -- where you just use him everywhere,'' Krzyzewski said. "And he can be in there with any lineup, being very versatile."