Beyond the Lottery: Kyle Singler

Kyle Singler started for legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski all four of his years at national power Duke University. In his junior year, the 6’9” 230-pound small forward was named Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four after leading the Blue Devils to their fourth national title.

The fact that Duke occupies a glamorous and envied position in the realm of college hoops motivates their opponents throw it into overdrive and battle with added intensity. Playing in the ferociously competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, Singler was tested night in and night out by elite athletes, including many with professional potential and aspirations. He participated in 148 games in this collegiate pressure cooker and averaged more than 17 ppg and 7 rpg in his final three seasons in Durham. Singler accepted whatever role Coach K asked him to occupy, and this translated into his being on the court 87 percent of the time during his junior and senior years.

Singler had season highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds and played all 40 minutes six different times this past year. An unselfish player with good hoops instincts, Singler can pass the ball, rebound the ball and play in transition. At 23 years old, the Oregon native possesses the maturity on and off the court to make his transition to the NBA more easily than a more talented, but less experienced underclassman.

There are a number of reasons a player like Singler will not be selected in the lottery. He tends to play below the rim due to his average athleticism and can be a liability on the defensive end where he lacks the lateral quickness necessary to stay in front of sleek, explosive perimeter players. However, on the flip side Singler’s experience, basketball-IQ, good size for a number 3 and willingness to accept his role on the court and then execute with a high-energy motor will make him a solid addition to an NBA team.