Mike Krzyzewski got USA basketball back where it needed to be: on top of the world.
The Duke head coach lost in the semifinals of his first tournament as the coach of our red, white and blue hoops team — against Greece in the 2006 FIBA World Championships — but that would end up being his only loss while coaching the team.
He won 50 straight games, including a pair of Olympic gold medals (in 2008 and 2012) and the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
And now, he’s stepping down to focus on his job as the coach of the Blue Devils full-time. From CSN Chicago:
“I’ve loved, loved, loved, and it’s been an honor being with the USA Basketball team,” said Krzyzewski, who indicated that a new coach would be named this summer.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.