According to Jeff Goodman, Ryan Kelly is “leaning towards” returning for Saturday’s top-five matchup against No. 5 Miami at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Not 100 percent, but hearing that Duke’s Ryan Kelly is leaning towards returning tomorrow against Miami – source told CBSSports.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) March 2, 2013
So, there are lots of caveats here. He’s not 100 percent sure. And what he’s not 100 percent sure of is that Kelly is “leaning towards” returning, so he could be leaning that way but ultimately decide that it’s not the best decision.
Kelly dressed for No. 3 Duke’s 73-68 loss to Virginia Thursday and warmed up but did not play.
Personally, without any additional sources on this, this strikes me as a lot of gamesmanship on the part of Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Last time it was Jim Larranaga’s move: When the Blue Devils played Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.—and the Hurricane fans stormed the court following the 90-63 win—it appeared a certainty leading into the game that Miami big man Reggie Johnson would not play, dealing with a thumb injury. Johnson had not practiced and there were no reports indicating he would play, until he worked out with the team the morning of the game.
Johnson wasn’t a big factor in the game, scoring two points and grabbing five boards in 16 minutes of action, but it had to throw Duke off. Any last-second surprise could have that effect. Let’s not forget the last time Duke had seen Johnson: When he led the Hurricanes to an overtime win at Cameron Indoor Stadium last season with 27 points and 12 boards.
There’s lots of strategy involved here… first it’s a question of whether or not the team thinks it’s the right decision for Kelly to come back. Second, it’s keeping Miami on the edge of its seat so it doesn’t know whether or not to gameplan for Kelly or not. Maybe the gameplan for Kelly and he doesn’t play, or maybe they assume he’ll be a non-factor and they prepare for Amile Jefferson and Josh Hairston.
We’ll find out tomorrow.
Oh, and there’s this tweet from Duke strength coach Jose Fonseca. Make of it what you will:
“We were in this together, & then u were gone. & now there’s evil rising from where we tried 2 bury it. The white raven has 2 come back.”
— Jose Fonseca (@BestCutManInMBB) March 2, 2013