Sunday, August 1, 2010

Duke Has Kyrie Irving But Nolan Smith Is Still The Best Guard

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell 
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
For awhile now, most writers on Collegiate Hoops believe Seth Curry embraces a shot at a starting position.

That will either place Kyrie Irving or Nolan Smith on the bench. But both of those guards are too talented to be coming off the bench.

Last season, with Jon Scheyer and Smith Duke had one of the best backcourt tandems in the league. Scheyer led the team while producing plays on offense as well.

Smith was the all-around guard on the wing. He always stepped up big time for the Blue Devils. I don't think I can recall a game where he didn't show up to play--as you witnessed in the title game.

His stats aren't quite the eye pleaser but if you actually tuned in you know how big he had been to Duke.

He closed the season capturing 17.4 points, three assist, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting almost 40 percent from three.

As we shifted towards the off-season, Irving decided he wanted to play for the Duke program next season and scouts praised him as the next Jason Williams as well as the best guard in the backcourt.

Although I do believe Irving is better than Williams, Smith is still the best player in the backcourt.

Smith last season I don't think he executed to his full ability in the backcourt. The way he has handled himself this summer demonstrates his true ability.

He showcased a lot better ball-handling, a fluid shot and the ability to finish with both hands.

All his newly acquired skills added up to a 43-point game in the NC Pro Am. I understand there is more that meets the eye than stats but Smith has progressed a ton this off-season.

He is the best guard and he will be starting when the season comes around.

"By the way, don't forget to check out his new blog Ndotsmitty. If you follow up on your Blue Devils then, this is the perfect way"
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