Kyrie Irving to Play Limited Minutes in Opener

After not playing in a game since Dec. 4, Kyrie Irving will return for the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils tomorrow against the 16th-seeded Hampton Pirates.

Duke started the season 8-0 with Irving, who went down with an injured big toe on his right foot in Duke’s win against Butler on Dec. 4. During those games, Irving averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game.

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced at a press conference that Irving will not start but will play “limited minutes.”
The Blue Devils (30-4) went 22-4 in his absence, but were able to win the ACC tournament and receive the top seed in the West bracket.

Even though Irving played in eight games, he finished the regular season second on the team in points per game behind, senior guard, and ACC Player of the Year, Nolan Smith (23.3). The addition of Irving will add much needed depth to the Blue Devils’ bench, as they look to become the first back-to-back champions since the Florida Gators won consecutive titles from 2006 to 2007.