Seth Curry's Duke career has taken an infrequently traveled path. He transferred after his highly regarded freshman season at Liberty to a Duke program that had won 3 NCAA tournament games in the previous 3 years and with very little guard depth. During his red-shirt 2009-2010 season, Curry practiced every day against starters Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith without competing for playing time or attention. His efforts contributed to a 2010 National Championship even if he didn't get a ring.
Given his important contributions to a title-winning team, Duke fans had high hopes for Curry these past two years as he transitioned into more of a central role, but his performances have fallen well short of expectations. On an underachieving Duke squad in 2011-12, Curry averaged 13 points, shot 38.3% from 3-point range and had a mediocre assist to turnover ratio of 1.2-1.
Defensively, Curry often looked lost and physically outmatched. Last year, freshman Austin Rivers took over most of the ball handling responsibilities, leaving Curry to play off the ball at the shooting guard position. In the physical ACC, Curry's 6'2" 180 lb frame was not durable enough to handle the season's punishment and his performances dipped late, culminating in a 1-9 shooting, 7 point game in Duke's first round loss to Lehigh.
Curry made news a couple weeks ago, saying that the difference between this year's squad and last year's disappointing team is that this year "we like each other," which many took as a shot at alleged prima donna Rivers. Regardless of any circulating excuses, it is time for Curry to prove his worth and step up as a senior captain. A lack of leadership sunk Duke's chances last year, but Curry now has the opportunity to lead a young and hungry Duke team to some much need postseason success.
Philip is a Duke alum and a lifelong Duke basketball fan
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