Might there be a surprise newcomer arriving to the 2011 ACC Tournament party? Maybe not, but there is still a lot of buzz that Kyrie Irving, Duke's injured freshman phenom, is in uniform and going through warmups prior to the Blue Devils' ACC quarterfinal game against Maryland.
It doesn't look like Irving is actually going to play, but the sight of him practicing inevitably leads to speculation about whether he will return at some point this season. Irving has missed the last 23 games after suffering a right toe injury, and previously, it didn't look like he would return this season. But why else would one work out before a game?
Duke sports information director Matt Plizga reports that Irving will not be in uniform for tonight's game. But just the sight of the talented freshman point guard in uniform has sent quite a buzz through the Greensboro Coliseum. At several points in the last few minutes, Maryland forward Jordan Williams glanced over with wide eyes and a look of curiosity as he watched Irving work out.
Duke was the clear No. 1 team in the nation before Irving went down in December, so they become even more dangerous if he is able to return.