Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nolan Smith May Be The Most Underrated Player In College Basketball

If you've read any of my previous postings that mention Duke basketball, you'll know that I pretty much despise the program. So when I decided to retire for the night last night and saw North Carolina up on Duke at the half by 14, I thought maybe the Heels will get them at home. I went to bed with a slight smirk on my face.

Much to my surprise, well maybe not, Duke came back for a 79-73 win led by Nolan Smith's 34 points. A great showing in his final home against their blood rival. Another thought came to my mind when I saw the score and highlights. Nolan Smith is underrated. I know Duke gets a lot of publicity and when they get a player that doesn't live up to the hype, that player still gets a ton of hype. But Smith has somehow seemed to be under the radar for sometime now. I feel that if it wasn't for Smith Duke might not have won the national championship last year. let alone compete for it. Sure they had Jon Scheyer for 12 years and Kyle Singler always got the hype, but Smith has been a solid player since he's been there.

When the year began all you heard was how Duke had an improved backcourt with Seth Curry and Kyrie Irving coming in.You hear about the incoming McDonald's All Americans, but not much about Smith. In fact the Irving one and done machine was in full effect until he had a foot injury. If there is no Nolan Smith this might be a team that would have about 5 or 6 losses. I'm not saying they're not good, they wouldn't be as good. You didn't hear Smith's name on many player of the year lists. Now he's getting that kind of recognition. To me he's Duke's most important player, just ask Baylor. He has an insatiable will to win and won't let them lose. As much as I don't like Duke, I do have respect for Nolan Smith and his game. 

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