Coach K: Paulus responding well to rehab on foot

Updated: October 23, 2006, 8:38 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said starting point guard Greg Paulus will be sidelined at least a few more weeks while the sophomore recovers from a break in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot.

"He seems to be improving, but it's not like there's a time period. We're hoping it's a few weeks. I don't want to put a date for him. He'll try to beat it."
-- Mike Krzyzewski

Krzyzewski said Paulus is wearing a boot and bone stimulator on his foot and is receiving daily treatment as if the injury were "like it's a sprain."

"It's undetermined how long he'll be out," Krzyzewski said Sunday, at the ACC's Operation Basketball news conference at Grandover Resort. "It's not like we're saying months, but it's weeks. He's responded well to all of his rehab. It's a weird injury because it was a pre-existing injury and he aggravated it."

Paulus, who started 33 games as a freshman last season, was injured during the Blue Devils' second preseason practice on Oct. 14. Krzyzewski said Paulus was injured after landing on guard DeMarcus Nelson's foot during a full-court drill.

"He seems to be improving, but it's not like there's a time period," Krzyzewski said. "We're hoping it's a few weeks. I don't want to put a date for him. He'll try to beat it."

Getting Paulus back soon will be a key for the Blue Devils, who lost All-American guard J.J. Redick and forward Shelden Williams to graduation. Redick and Williams and two other departed seniors, guard Sean Dockery and forward Lee Melchionni, accounted for 72 percent of the scoring and 81 percent of the 3-pointers last season.

The Blue Devils open the season Nov. 12 against Columbia in a CBE Classic first-round game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Without Paulus, freshman Jon Scheyer is doing most of the ball-handling in practice, Krzyzewski said. Scheyer, a 6-foot-5 guard from Northbrook, Ill., was one of the top recruits in the country last year and gained national fame by scoring 21 points in 75 seconds during a game as a high school senior.

"We thought he could be a point guard for us, but not the point," Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski said sophomore forward Josh McRoberts, who averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season, also will handle the basketball more while Paulus is injured.

"We'll look more like we looked in the 1980s with [Quinn] Snyder and [Danny] Ferry," Krzyzewski said. "Danny was very good handling the ball. He was national player of the year. I'm not saying [McRoberts] is better than Danny, but in terms of ball-handling, Josh is better at this point in his career."

Krzyzewski said he is hesitant to have Nelson handle the basketball as much, because the junior guard "can be a dynamic player for us."

"We don't want to mess with him too much," Krzyzewski said. "He's an active player. Once you put the ball in someone's hands, you wear them out because you have to focus so much on handling the ball."

Mark Schlabach covers men's college basketball and college football for ESPN.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

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