Tag: Coach K

Mike Krzyzewski

Coach K earns career win No. 1,000 in No. 5 Duke’s win over St. John’s

source: AP

MORE: Top Ten Players Coach K had at Duke | A list of every one of Coach K’s wins 

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reached a milestone by winning game No. 1,000 as the No. 5 Blue Devils bested St. John’s 77-68 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The legendary head coach already owns four national championships and two Olympic gold medals but now Coach K is the first men’s Division I basketball coach to reach the 1,000 win mark.

The Blue Devils (17-2) led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but trailed 43-39 at the half. Trailing 61-51 with 8:35 remaining, Duke mounted a furious rally as Quinn Cook, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor all made consecutive three-point plays to fuel a 15-1 Blue Devil run.

Jones led Duke by scoring 22 points and dishing out six assists while Okafor (17 points and 10 rebounds) and Cook (17 points) each had good second-half efforts. Junior forward Amile Jefferson chipped in 11 points while junior reserve big man Marshall Plumlee gave valuable minutes off the bench, contributing two points and five rebounds.

St. John’s (13-6) had four players in double figures, led by Sir’Dominic Pointer (21 points) and Rysheed Jordan (18 points), but ultimately ran out of gas in the last 10 minutes as the Red Storm’s lack of depth came back to haunt them.

This wasn’t Coach K’s first milestone win at Madison Square Garden. The Duke head coach passed former mentor Bob Knight on the men’s Division I basketball all-time wins list with victory No. 903 on Nov. 15, 2011 in a game against Michigan State. Krzyzewski is actually the third men’s college basketball head coach at a four-year school to reach 1,000 wins after McKendree University head coach Harry Statham and Oregon Tech head coach Danny Miles.

Former Tennessee women’s head coach Pat Summit still has the most Division I wins of any basketball coach as she registered 1,098 career wins before retiring after the 2011-12 season.

The next Division I men’s basketball coach expected to reach 1,000 wins is Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. Boeheim currently sits at 962 career wins.

The Top Ten Players that Coach K has had at Duke

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1. Jay Williams: I’d make the argument that J-Will — who was still Jason back then — is the best basketball player that’s ever worn a Duke uniform. Maybe this is me being naive, as I was all of seven years old when Laettner finished up his Duke career, but he’s got the college resume to back it up. He won the 2001 national title, National Player of the Year in 2002 and was the No. 2 overall pick that year. If he didn’t destroy his leg in a motorcycles accident, I firmly believe this wouldn’t be a discussion.

2. Christian Laettner: Laettner finished his college career with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, was a two-time All-American, the 1992 National Player of the Year and the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft in 1992. But that’s not the whole story: He not only won national titles in both 1991 and 1992, he’s the only player in college basketball history to start in four straight Final Fours. Oh, and the 6-foot-11 center shot 48.5 percent from three in his career.

3. Johnny Dawkins: There’s an argument to be made that Dawkins is as important to the growth of the Duke program as anyone, including Coach K. He was a two-time All-American point guard that led the school to the 1986 national title game — they lost to Louisville — and a then-record 37 wins in a season. He was the National Player of the Year in 1986 and left the program as the school’s all-time leading scorer. That 1986 season sparked a stretch where Duke made the Final Four in seven of nine seasons, including five straight years and back-to-back national titles.

4. Grant Hill: Hill was on the Duke team that won the 1991 and 1992, but he didn’t come into his own as a player until 1994, when he was named ACC Player of the Year while leading the Blue Devils to the title game. He was the first player in ACC history to collect 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots, but ankle issues plagued him throughout his time in the NBA.

5. Shane Battier: Battier was a three-time Defensive Player of the Year that led Duke to two Final Fours, including the 2001 National Title, and was also named the 2001 National Player of the Year.

6. J.J. Redick: Redick surpassed Dawkins as Duke’s all-time leading scorer in 2006, a season where he and Adam Morrison went head-to-head in one of the most memorable National Player of the Year races in college basketball history.

7. Bobby Hurley: Hurley played in three Final Fours, was the starting point guard for the 1991 and 1992 national titles and is still the NCAA’s all-time assists leader. He was the No. 7 pick in the 1993 draft, but a near-fatal car accident during his rookie season derailed a promising career.

8. Elton Brand: Brand was the consensus National Player of the Year in 1999 playing for a Duke team that included Trajan Langdon, William Avery, Shane Battier, Corey Maggette, Nate James and Chris Carrawell.

9. Danny Ferry: Ferry picked up where Dawkins left off, helping carry Duke to Final Fours in 1986, 1988 and 1989. He was a two-time all-american and eventually taken as the No. 2 pick in the 1989 draft.

10. Jahlil Okafor: I know he’s only midway through his collegiate career and, with the number of incredible college players that don’t get mentioned here — Shelden Williams, Trajan Langdon, Kyle Singler, Mike Dunleavy, Jabari Parker. I can go on and on. — it might seem silly to have Okafor this high. That said, I think Okafor has a shot to be the best player to ever come out of the Duke program. Ever. He’s the centerpiece on a top 10 team this season and the favorite to win the National Player of the Year award and go No. 1 overall in the 2015 draft. In ten years we may look back and be shocked at how low he is.

943. Todd Zafirovski: The 6-foot-11 walk-on played in 20 games in his collegiate career.

944. Jay Bilas: Someone has to be Duke’s Mr. Irrelevant.

Coach K responds to USA Basketball criticism during press conference

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With recent criticism lobbed at him about unfair recruiting advantages because of his time with USA Basketball, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski took his press conference in Durham on Thursday as a chance to respond to the critics.

After Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a column about USA Basketball, and Coach K using his coaching tenure as a platform to help recruit elite high school players thanks to unique access and positive relationships with the best basketball players in the world like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, the veteran Duke head coach spend much of the press conference talking about points made in the column, according to Nicole Auerbach of USA Today.

“Everybody can have an opinion on that,” Krzyzewski said in the press conference on Thursday. “Anybody who wins, or if someone writes a great book or article, somebody wins a championship — they have an advantage. It’s advantage through accomplishment. The notoriety you get from that, there’s a risk to that. In other words, you can lose, and there’s time you give up. The fact that you win and if you gain an advantage from that, then so be it. It’s like if someone wins a national championship. (Connecticut coach) Kevin Ollie has an advantage recruiting because he won.

“I’ve given up 50 days this summer.”

Syracuse head coach and USA Basketball assistant coach Jim Boeheim called the Yahoo story “completely off-base” and defended his ACC coaching mate on Wednesday and Krzyzewski responded to the notion that he had spoken to younger players in the USA Basketball program that he wasn’t coaching.

Wojnarowski cited specific examples of Coach K speaking to a team that wasn’t being coached by him or having younger USA Basketball teams of high school players detour to watch the USA Basketball senior national team practices in Las Vegas

From the Yahoo story:

Well, the trip did something else, too: It gave the Duke coach unfiltered access to two of the best high school players in the nation. Florida’s Billy Donovan was the under-19 head coach. Virginia’s Tony Bennett and VCU’s Shaka Smart were his assistants. They probably didn’t need Krzyzewski’s voice, but he probably didn’t ask their permission, either.

The roster of college stars happened to include two 17-year-old prep phenoms: Chicago’s Jahlil Okafor and Houston’s Justise Winslow. When Krzyzewski makes his triumphant return this week, two freshmen stars will be awaiting him on Duke’s campus: Okafor and Winslow.

Within the college recruiting game, no one ever considered it a coincidence when one of those younger USA Basketball national teams would detour through Vegas to watch Krzyzewski and his Duke assistants on the training camp floor with the biggest basketball stars in the world.

Without the access of USA Basketball, there’s a strong belief within the basketball community that Krzyzewski would’ve never landed Jabari Parker. Only, he had it, used it and signed him.

Krzyzewski responded to those direct allegations in the Yahoo column during Thursday’s press conference. From Auerbach’s story in USA Today Sports:

“Two days in nine years,” Krzyzewski said on Thursday. “There’s a selection committee of college coaches who select these teams. Jim Boeheim has headed that for 10 years. In the 10 years he’s done that, probably every time he’s done a tryout, he’s been there three or four days with other members of the selection committee who are college coaches. … College coaches coach those teams. … If you would do research on it and take the last nine years of every college coach who had access to younger players, you would find an astounding number of days for people on the selection committee. I’m not begrudging them. They give up time to do that. But to pick out and say that I’ve done that once or twice, it’s ridiculous.

“It’s utterly ridiculous. Anybody who comments on it without doing the research is really wanting to take that point of view. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.”

Not that I blame Coach K for responding to these criticisms publicly after putting in so much time to be away from his family and his program to coach with USA Basketball, but I do find it interesting that he took so much time to defend himself in a press conference where he could have spoken instead about his recent World Cup and overcoming the loss of players like Paul George and Kevin Durant.

It’s not that Coach K is selfish for putting his best interests first during his return press conference but this was a chance to shine one final light on a dominant USA Basketball performance during the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain and instead he’s focusing his energy on a Yahoo column where Wojnarowski jumps to unfounded conclusions such as Coach K probably not asking permission from Billy Donovan to speak to his U19 team.

Either way, this whole thing seems silly. USA Basketball is once again the best in the world, Duke is still an elite college basketball program like they have been for over 20 years and McDonald’s All-Americans are still interested in playing for Coach K at Duke.

Nothing has really changed.