Kyrie Irving's career at Duke lasted 11 games and 303 minutes before he announced he would leave for the NBA draft, the star guard depriving college basketball fans of a full season due to his toe injury.
During that short time, his quickness and creativity on the floor enabled him during to average 17.5 points and 4.3 assists. In the Sweet 16 loss to Arizona, he came back to score 28.
Overlooked in Irving's impact was his megawatt smile and playful personality that were on display even as his toe healed too slowly for him to play for more than three months. Watching him in street clothes on the bench, he was as demonstrative as any celebrating walk-on.
Can anyone remember a moment during that time in which the one-and-done talent sulked? Asked what he would miss most about Duke, Irving said, "That gives me butterflies just thinking about it."
"This was a special year for me," Irving said in a statement. "I love everything about Duke and I'm going to miss it. Duke has a special place in my heart. Even though I'm leaving this year, Duke will always be in my mind and my heart. I'm going to miss putting on that No. 1 jersey."
Duke loses Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, but the Blue Devils shouldn't be hurting too much with the arrivals of top recruits Austin Rivers and Quinn Cook to help form a future backcourt. Irving serves as a fine example for the incoming players.
For a talented teenager who didn't see everything go as planned for him, Irving made the best of it.
"Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA," coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement.