Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kyle Singler’s a Badass

But even I didn’t understand to what degree that was true until I read SI’s College Basketball Power Rankings and their entry on Duke

"Kyle Singler is the Blue Devils' leading rebounder and, far more impressively, their leading stitch recipient: according to the Winston-Salem Journal, the freshman forward has already had 23 stitches this season. A UNC student who was standing near my press-row seat at the Feb. 6 game told Singler -- amid a string of expletives -- to "go play hockey" instead of hoops. I had interviewed a pre-stitches Singler for SI's preview issue back in October in Durham, and when I saw him in the locker room following that win over the Tar Heels, he looked incredibly different. Among the changes were a sewed-up chin, cuts above and under his eyes, and welts all over. Duke has earned a rep for flopping, but there's plenty of physical evidence that Singler is absorbing ungodly amounts of real contact."

Here are some other juicy bits in praise of "our Fair and Handsome Kyle" from that Journal article
"Kyle Singler will turn 20 on May 4, and his best competitive birthdays are almost certainly ahead. He’s a 6-8 freshman on the roster, but years beyond that in basketball wisdom.

As the season expands, so does the range of Singler’s game.
“Right now I’m more comfortable on the court,” Singler said. “I’m seeing more things. Whether it’s through practice or whatever, the game’s slowing down and I’m picking up my reads a lot quicker.”

Singler doesn’t look venomous, even with the dab of red chin hair covering another site of surgical stitches. He leads the Blue Devils with 23 stitches since arriving from Oregon last summer, mainly because he’ll stick his chin anywhere.

Freshmen are supposed to hit the wall earlier than veterans. Singler has begun scaling the wall instead, making him a leading contender for the ACC’s rookie award.

[Coach K] recently compared Singler to freshman Shane Battier, except that Battier played with superb scorers and concentrated on other matters. When Coach K reconsidered, he portrayed Singler as a mix between Battier and Mike Dunleavy, a fine outside shooter as a fuzzy-chinned freshman.

“Kyle, the last three weeks, has gone to another level,” Krzyzewski said. “Forget about freshman of the week. He’s one of the better players in the league now. He brings tremendous versatility, competitiveness and toughness. He can shoot, defend, pass - and he’s a winner. He’s got it all, and it’s just a matter of physical maturity now. He’s a young body, but he doesn’t have a young heart.”

Yeah he's pretty fly for a(n incredibly) white guy. Oh Kyle, you had me at "Maui Invitational MVP"

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