Last March 10,when Kyle Singler led South Medford High past Lake Oswego (and top prospectKevin Love) for the Oregon Class¬†6A championship, Singler startedalongside his younger brother, E.J., while two of his cousins, Mitch Singlerand Griffin Boyd, began the game on the bench. The gene pool that producedKyle, a 6' 8" forward and rivals.com's No.¬†5 prospect in the class of2007, is particularly rich. His dad, Ed, was a quarterback at Oregon State; hismother, Kris, played basketball for the Beavers; and four of his uncles and onecousin played Division¬†I football or basketball. In the bustling city ofMedford, Singler is a member of the first family of sports.
This is an article from the Nov. 19, 2007 issue
Kyle left theflock in July to join the Blue Devils' clan in Durham, where he's the mostanticipated member of a blue-chip recruiting class. Following an unremarkable22-10 season and a first-round loss to VCU in the NCAA tournament, no one atDuke is interested in Singler's being deferential to his elders. Sophomoreguard Jon Scheyer, with whom Singler has already bonded over a shared affinityfor Prison Break and The Office, told his new teammate, "Don't act like afreshman, because you don't play like one."
Indeed, on asmall-ball squad with no go-to guy, Singler is both the tallest starter (tiedwith Lance Thomas) and the one with the most versatile skill set, a blend ofinterior grit and perimeter grace. "Our best teams have always had a 6'8" or 6' 9" guy like him, who can create matchup problems," saysassistant coach Chris Collins, citing a list of former Duke stars who fit thebill: Grant Hill, Roshown McLeod, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy, Luol Deng. WhatSingler definitely is not is the next Christian Laettner; he exudes noarrogance, and as assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski says, "Nothing hedoes is for show."
The challenge ofmaking an immediate impact doesn't faze Singler. "There really isn't asuperstar [on the team], so no one has egos, and you can let your game speakfor itself," he says. "There's no pressure on me not to shoot, so whynot do it?"
*HIGH SCHOOL STATS
Nov. 9 NorthCarolina Central (W 121-56)
Nov. 12 NewMexico State
Nov. 19-21 MauiInvitational (vs. Princeton; plus Arizona State, Chaminade, Illinois, LSU,Marquette, Oklahoma State)
Nov. 25 EasternKentucky
(in New YorkCity)
Jan. 9 atTemple
Feb. 23 St.John's
Indiana and Michigan State are tops in the Big¬†Ten; the Blue Devils getWisconsin in the ACC/Big¬†Ten Challenge. Georgetown and Louisville are BigEast powers; Duke will play Pitt and St. John's. There's no must-see TV here,just more fodder for those who believe this It program is slipping.
Coach MikeKrzyzewski (28th yr.)
ACC record 8-8(T-6th)
NCAA tournament1st round
Instant access tothe latest and best Blue Devils stories, stats and fan blogs from across theWeb, selected by SI's editors.