These Devils not afraid to ugly it up

March, 27, 2010
3/27/10
2:43
AM ET
Brian ZoubekAP Photo/Eric Gay Purdue never got much of anything going offensively Friday night against Brian Zoubek and Duke.
HOUSTON -- Asked if he liked to play defense, Kyle Singler -- still haggard and exhausted after a brutal game more befitting a gridiron than a hardcourt -- grinned a mischievous grin and crinkled his eyes in joy.

"I love it,'' he said.

Timeout.

That's Kyle Singler.

Of Duke.

As in Duke, the pretty boys of college basketball, the program chronically labeled too soft, too passive, too darned pretty by the basketball aristocracy.

He's not supposed to like defense. He's supposed to view defense as the place to catch your breath before launching another 3-pointer.

"I think it comes from when I played football in high school,'' said the former free safety. "I liked hitting people.''

Time to reassess, people. This is not your Christian Laettner Duke team. Or your J.J. Redick Duke team. Or your Gerald Henderson Duke team. Take every stereotype you've held fast about the Blue Devils and hurl it.

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Dana O'Neil | email

College Basketball

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