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Posted at 08:25 AM ET, 03/23/2011

Duke’s Kyrie Irving to play ‘significant minutes’


Kyrie Irving played 21 minutes against Michigan. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving will play “significant minutes against Arizona” in an NCAA tournament sweet 16 game Thursday night.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Irving would not start but is ahead of schedule in his return from a toe injury he suffered in a game against Butler on Dec. 4. On Friday, he led the Blue Devils in scoring with 14 points in 20 minutes against Hampton; he had 11 points in 21 minutes against Michigan.

“We're good with who we're starting,” Krzyzewski told the Charlotte Observer. “We should have at least eight people feel like they're starters on this team, with Andre [Dawkins] and Ryan [Kelly]. We've had nine people start on this team, so that's an advantage.

“We can't get caught up in who's starting. Kyrie will play, and he'll play significant minutes against Arizona.”

So, basically, he’s a go — after the tipoff.

"We're in a period of adjusting to Kyrie coming back, so we got better as the week went along," Krzyzewski said. "We now know that Kyrie will play and he can play extended minutes, which we didn't know coming in."

By  |  08:25 AM ET, 03/23/2011

 
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