Halloween costume for Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt…
KYLE SINGLER (2007-11)
Things just seemed off for Matthew Hurt in his freshman campaign. There were times when the young man couldn’t miss, and he had a swagger that bled into every corner of Duke Nation.
But then there were times when Hurt seemed slow and weak. Sometimes, he ceased to exist on the playing floor at all, relegated to the pine. The polar opposites were worrying, to say the least, and it was hard to watch such a fun kid look so lost and hopeless in certain moments.
This year will be different, though. Hurt will be asked, along with Jalen Johnson, to be a premier scoring option immediately. Hurt has the talent, with his Larry Bird-like jumper and attitude, but he just needs to be more assertive.
A similar dilemma existed with former Duke basketball forward Kyle Singler, who went from an awkward-looking freshman to an ultra-consistent, dominant upperclassman. Singler, along with current staff member Nolan Smith, led the Blue Devils to the 2010 National Championship.
Kyle Singler started off like Matthew Hurt as a skinny kid and post-up jump shooter. With time and work, he bulked up and started moving extremely well without the ball, sticking his nose into the paint with the big dogs.
Hurt will need to show he’s not afraid to get that jersey bloody and be a force inside, along with shoring up his long-range consistency, if he is to live up to the expectations that Coach K will have for him this year…