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ACC Tournament 2011: Kyrie Irving Warms Up But Won't Play For Duke Vs. Maryland

A surprising and somewhat unfamiliar face appeared on the floor during workouts tonight ahead of the ACC Tournament game between the Duke Blue Devils and Maryland Terrapins. It was the face of Kyrie Irving, the highly touted and highly recruited freshman guard.

Irving entered the season as Scout.com's No. 2 rated player in the high school class of 2010, but has only played eight games for the Blue Devils due to a ligament injury. Irving was averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game prior to the injury, but has not played since Dec. 4.

According to Dan Wiederer of the Fast Break, Irving was on the court ahead of the ACC Tournament game working out with the Blue Devils, but he is not expected to play tonight.

Duke sports information director Matt Plizga reports that Irving will not be in uniform for tonight’s game. But just the sight of the talented freshman point guard in uniform has sent quite a buzz through the Greensboro Coliseum. At several points in the last few minutes, Maryland forward Jordan Williams glanced over with wide eyes and a look of curiosity as he watched Irving work out.

Are the Blue Devils just playing mind games with the Terrapins? Do they even need to? Or could this be a sign that Irving is almost ready to return to action.

The freshman star returning just in time for the NCAA Tournament would be a great story. We hope that that story distracts Duke just long enough for them to lose tonight.