There are few things in the college basketball coaching world that are guaranteed, but one thing that you can feel quite comfortable betting on is that the successor to Mike Krzyzewski at Duke is going to be one of Coach K’s protégés.
Whether that ends up being Steve Wojciechowski, Chris Collins, Johnny Dawkins, Mike Brey or whoever is up for debate, but when Coach K decides to call it a career, whoever replaces him will already be a part of the Duke family.
But the big question these days isn’t who will replace Coach K but rather when will someone be needed to replace him. In other words, when will Coach K be retiring?
“He’s gonna be around,” [Chris] Carrawell said. “And I don’t mean just another five years or something. I mean, he’s gonna be around.”
Wojciechowski echoed those words.
“Coach is young and vibrant and current, so I can’t see him retiring any time soon,” Wojciechowski said. “I think he loves it, and his family is entrenched in the program, and they’re going to be good year after year. … So I just don’t see him retiring any time soon.”
Coach K is 67 years old. He’s now not only running the Duke program, but he will also be the head coach of Team USA until the 2016 Olympics are over. Common sense would say that, eventually, Coach K will tire of working, but that doesn’t look like it will happen anytime in the near future.
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.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.