Duke will bring freshman guard Kyrie Irving off the bench Thursday night in the Blue Devils' NCAA regional semifinal game against Arizona, coach Mike Krzyzewski said today.
Sidelined since injuring the big toe on his right foot while playing against Butler on Dec. 4, Irving returned to the court Friday and scored a team-high 14 points in the Blue Devils' NCAA tournament opener, an 87-45 rout of Hampton. Preparing this afternoon for his team' departure for Anaheim, Calif., Krzyzewski said he has no plans to reinsert the talented freshman back into the starting lineup.
"We're good with who we're starting," Krzyzewski said. "We should have at least eight people feel like they're starters on this team, with Andre [Dawkins] and Ryan [Kelly]. We've had nine people start on this team, so that's an advantage.
"We can't get caught up in who's starting. Kyrie will play, and he'll play significant minutes against Arizona."
Since the start of the ACC tournament, Duke has gone with a starting lineup of Nolan Smith and Seth Curry in the backcourt and Kyle Singler, Mason Plumlee and his brother Miles Plumlee at forward.