The Duke Blue Devils are the consensus sexy pick as the 2010 preseason No. 1 team in college basketball and very few will disagree with the voting (remember, this is not the BCS).
Duke is the defending national champions and they have a Hall-of-Fame coach conducting practice. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski recently told the Associated Press that he doesn’t think it’s fair to say a team is trying to repeat when there have been so many changes since his team topped Butler for their fourth national championship.
“To repeat is a bad word (to use),” said the known as Coach K, “… What you want to do is have the same result, of winning the national championship, but figure out what journey you’re going to be on along the way. And so pursue is a good word for me, and develop. We’re going to be a developing team throughout.”
The Blue Devils reloaded their roster this season with the addition of super freshman Kyrie Irving. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard from West Orange, N.J., is an upgrade from Jon Scheyer, who had a decent career in Durham.
Irving is super quick and a very good ball-handler. If he stays more than a year, he’ll go down as one of the best point guards in school history – and Duke has a long history over outstanding point guards, from Tommy Amaker to Bobby Hurley to Chris Duhon. Irving will most likely pair with senior Nolan Smith in the backcourt.
Final Four MVP Kyle Singler returns for his senior season, and he’ll shoulder the load on offense. Forwards Mason and Miles Plumlee will anchor the frontcourt and transfer Seth Curry – son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry and brother of current Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry – will provide scoring off the bench.
Krzyzewski is trying to temper expectations from this group, but if his core lineup stays healthy and there is no reason why Duke shouldn’t make a return trip to the Final Four and take dead aim at Coach K’s fifth national championship.
Here’s the AP preseason top 10 (first-place votes):
1. Duke (55)
2.Michigan St. (8)
3.Kansas St. (2)