The two words that come to mind when thinking about the key differences between Kyle Singler and Matthew Hurt are awareness and assertiveness. Using the words in the video below from his sophomore year, Singler had the warrior mentality that Hurt needs to adopt for his sophomore year.
On his way to amassing 2,392 points, 1,015 rebounds, 293 assists, 168 steals, 107 blocks, three ACC Tournament crowns, and one NCAA title as a four-year Duke basketball starter, Singler played a myriad of roles. Power forward. Small forward. Defender of centers. Alternate ballhandler. Assassin from 3-point land. All-around reliable bucket-getter. Midrange genius. An orchestrator of offense from the high post. Captain.
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Hurt won’t likely ever reach the collegiate greatness of Singler, who arrived in Durham as the No. 6 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2007 Composite and lived up to the billing from Day One. On the other hand, their styles aren’t all that different.
Just by watching a few minutes of Singler highlights, Hurt should notice some simple things that lifted the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Oregon native’s game: relentlessly following his shot inside the arc, habitually keeping the ball above his head while looking for cutters, continuously paying full attention to all happenings, and regularly showing excitement after poetic Duke basketball possessions.
Finally, while we’re here fantasizing about Hurt’s possible development ahead — while also assuming he doesn’t prove Cassius Stanley wrong by bolting to another school, the G-League, or overseas — let’s go ahead and raise the bar to the retired-jersey level…