Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/9/11
Durham, NC --- Last December, Duke basketball coachMike Krzyzewski gave Seth Curry an opportunity to win the point guard job. The move was driven by the Blue Devils need following an injury to starfreshman point man Kyrie Irving, who played the first eight games of theseason, but was sidelined until the NCAA Tournament. With Duke down to essentially two scorers Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith theHall of Fame coach wanted to continue running plays to get the seniors openlooks. But Currys trial run didnt work out, and Smith ended up taking overfor the remainder of the season. It was a setback for Curry, who came to Duke after a season at Liberty with areputation similar to his older brother Steph, who starred at Davidson and iscurrently in the NBA. The book on the Charlotte native was that he was ashooter. Curry, who averaged nine points and two assists per game last season,eventually found his niche with the Devils and played fairly well over the lastsix weeks of the season. But with Irving and Smith gone and no other optionsKrzyzewski yet trusts, Curry has once again been asked to run the show, andhes embracing the opportunity. Im definitely confident, the 6-foot-2 junior said. Last year, I was tryingto figure out my role. Having guys like Nolan and Kyle out there and Kyriehaving the ball a lot was a different role. But going to China helped me getsome games under my belt playing this different role. It makes me appreciatethe few games I had over there to make the adjustment. Perhaps complicating Currys job is that Duke doesnt have a Singler or Smithto rely on for offense. One might say the duo enabled a few easy assists forwhoever was running the point. But at the same time, Duke has plenty of playerscapable of putting the ball in the basket, especially if they are working insync as a unit, so the variety of options may make the adjustment easier. Currys teammates have no doubt hes ready to run this thing. Hes certainly improved his ball-handling and decision making skills, saidjunior forward Ryan Kelly, a starter for most of last season. Its certainly atransition for any player making the leap he is and the responsibility hestaking on. But hes improved a ton over the summer and during the fall. We havea lot of confidence in him. Point guards at Duke arent just about dribbling and distributing the ball. Muchof the job is about ownership. Krzyzewski wants point guards to own the floorand corral their moments. They need to be leaders, but they need to communicate. If teammates cant hearor locate the point guard, possessions can get off to rocky and undisciplinedstarts. I need to be a vocal leader, to get my team in set plays, and kind of telleverybody where to go and have control of the system, said Curry, who has ahint of shyness to persona. Ive been off the ball a lot and just worriedabout the scoring. Now Im handling the ball and having everyone rely on me toget into the offense. Duke spent more than a week in China and Dubai in late August playing fourexhibition games. The trip was valuable for Curry because it gave him a chanceto acclimate himself, not to just playing on the ball more, but getting used toplaying without Singler and Smith. Krzyzewski insists that his team really doesnt have a point guard, that oncethe ball gets in motion on offense the players just play. The Devils run a motionoffense, do a lot of read and reacting, which stems from the motion, andsometimes run set plays, which often require the point guard to get it going. Krzyzewski still refers to Curry as his point guard, and the legendary coach ismore than confident in Currys abilities. Seths good. Hes just really good, Krzyzewski said. I think hell be one ofthe better point guards in the country, especially if he learns to be a leaderand not just a scorer. I think he can do that. And if Currys stint at the top is far more successful this time around, Dukeschances at making an extended run in March is raised significantly.
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