Singler feels good about decision
DURHAM, N.C. -- In the end, Kyle Singler made it sound simple. The Duke star wanted one more year of being a college student more than making an early jump to the NBA.
"I couldn't have gone wrong with either decision," Singler said Tuesday. "With that, the pressure was lighter. Making my decision to come back to school, I feel really good about it."
Singler, the most outstanding player at the Final Four in Duke's run to a fourth national championship, said he tried to be open-minded about the decision, even imagining what life would be like if he left for the NBA.
But the 6-foot-8 junior settled during the weekend on returning to savor the opportunity that comes with being a senior leader on a team aiming to defend its title.
In a news conference, coach Mike Krzyzewski said Singler kept telling him and his parents three things while weighing the decision.
"The No. 1 thing was -- and he said this to his mom more than he did to me -- he said, 'I love Duke. I love going to school here,' " Krzyzewski said. "The second thing was, 'I can get better. I want to be the best player when I do make that step and I think that I can improve here to do that.'
"The third thing ... he said, 'I don't want to miss out on the things that will happen to me as a senior.' "
Krzyzewski said he and his staff reached out to about half of the NBA teams to gauge where Singler might be drafted, learning that Singler would likely have been a middle to late first-round pick.
"Everybody's positive about Kyle," he said. "Kyle will be a pro. He'll be a great player for us next year. My feeling is when he goes to the NBA, he should be an outstanding player and not just be in the NBA."
Singler averaged nearly 18 points and seven rebounds for Duke (35-5), which edged Butler 61-59 in Indianapolis for the national title. As part of the high-scoring "Big Three," along with graduating senior Jon Scheyer and junior Nolan Smith, Singler had 17 games of at least 20 points to go with seven double-doubles.
Singler also was named most valuable player of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, helping Duke win it for the ninth time in 12 seasons.
"Overall, I just had a great time," Singler said. "Just being a part of that team helped me as a basketball player because you're with guys that you enjoy being around it and you find if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen."
Krzyzewski said Singler still will play primarily on the perimeter next season, though his versatility will allow him to play inside as he did more during his first two seasons. With talented freshman point guard Kyrie Irving coming in and Seth Curry -- Stephen's younger brother -- ready to play after sitting out this year as a transfer from Liberty, Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils will have more depth that will allow them to play faster and press more.
"When he decided to come to Duke, one of the things he told me was it was his dream to come to Duke," Krzyzewski said. "I'm not sure he's postponing an [NBA] dream. I think he's continuing one dream before he gets to another one."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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