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  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL

    Singler takes first steps toward key decision

    Duke star, parents gain advice on NBA options from coach Krzyzewski and his staff
  • There are folks in the world with tougher decisions than what's occupying Kyle Singler's mind these days, but that's not to say his predicament is a no-brainer.
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  • There are folks in the world with tougher decisions than what's occupying Kyle Singler's mind these days, but that's not to say his predicament is a no-brainer.
    After leading Duke to its fourth national championship and earning Most Outstanding Player accolades in the Final Four, Singler finds himself in a position of strength as he balances the pros and cons of applying for the NBA draft or returning to the Blue Devils for his senior season.
    "This decision is not as easy as one might think," Ed Singler, Kyle's father, said Tuesday. "There are a lot of different factors involved he might weigh that are meaningful to him, and that's what he's trying to do now."
    "There's truly an argument for making a decision either way, and it's a good argument," he added. "That's what Kyle's trying to understand because when you look at the NBA, it becomes more of a business decision. Is it a good decision this year or a better decision to wait until next year because he could possibly better his value? That's kind of the challenge he's trying to figure out."
    The 6-foot-8, 230-pound standout took an important step toward formulating his decision on Tuesday when he gathered with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant coaches Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins in Coach K's office for a conference call with his parents, Ed and Kris Singler, in Medford.
    That meeting served as an opportunity to get everything out on the table, from the feedback the coaches had gleaned from NBA sources on Kyle Singler's draft prospects to reasons why returning to Duke would be beneficial.
    "It was a great conversation," said Ed Singler. "They did their homework and Coach K and his staff were well-prepared for the meeting. We certainly heard things from a different perspective and learned some things. It was a very frank and honest discussion, which was very much appreciated."
    Kyle Singler couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.
    Without getting into specifics, a lot of what the Singlers heard were things they've heard before.
    "What we heard and understand the NBA is saying about Kyle is that teams like Kyle a lot," said Ed Singler. "They're not even questioning his heart or character or work ethic and skill level, those are pretty evident when seeing Kyle play. I think what they're concerned about is his overall athleticism and consistency shooting the basketball."
    On the flip side, his high basketball intelligence and competitive fire are appealing.
    Those factors could also be vital in leading Duke to a potential second straight NCAA title. The Blue Devils are considered a favorite should Singler return next season.
    Singler entered the Final Four projected as a late first- or early second-round selection and has only seen his stock rise after his all-around efforts in wins over West Virginia and Butler. He averaged 20 points and nine rebounds in the Final Four, and also shined defensively in limiting the likes of Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia) and Gordon Hayward (Butler).
    For the season, Singler averaged 17.7 points, seven rebounds and 2.4 assists. He shot 42 percent from the field (228-for-550) and 40 percent from 3-point range (85-for-213).
    Duke has won 84 percent of its games (93-18) since he stepped on campus, including a pair of ACC championships and one ACC regular-season title.
    Singler has until April 25 to submit his name for the NBA draft, set June 24 in New York. Should he not hire an agent, he has until May 8 to withdraw from the draft and return to Duke. Early entrants used to be able to pull their names from the draft up until 10 days prior, but that rule was changed for this year.
    "It seems to me that it makes it a lot more difficult for kids to really make a good decision," said Ed Singler. "It's not like Kyle's the No. 1 or 2 pick. If that was the case, I think the decision would be a lot easier. Since he's not, that's what's making the decision tougher because you have to weigh what makes the most sense ... and you don't have much time to do that in."
    Ed Singler said recent projections have his son being drafted from Nos. 18-30, depending on who else enters the draft and if any early entrants opt to withdraw. That would be key, since only first-round contracts (top 30) are guaranteed in the NBA.
    In an Oregonian article on Monday, Kyle Singler hinted that he would only be inclined to put his name into the draft if he was assured of a first-round selection.
    "Really, if there was any chance of going in the second round, why would you even go?" Singler said to Oregonian reporter Mike Tokito.
    In that article, Singler also was quoted that he likely wouldn't be interested in simply testing the NBA waters; he'd "probably declare or not," potentially by the end of this week.
    Ed Singler said he hasn't discussed a time frame for a final decision with Kyle, but he can see his son making a decision and moving full steam ahead, regardless of the choice.
    "It's going to be a hard decision but also a good decision to make," said Ed Singler, "and once he moves forward, he wouldn't look back."
    Singler will likely reach out to former players he's familiar with, be it from Duke or wherever, who have made the leap to the NBA and seek their advice. Ed Singler said he's also advised his son to talk with a few select agents to hear their take on the matter.
    "Once that happens, we'll kinda circle the wagons again and sift through what we heard people say and go from there," said Ed Singler.
    Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com
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