Tag Archives: Coach K

Nike EYBL Session II Day 2 – The Duke angle

Coaches look on

Day Two of the Nile EYBL Session II is in the books and it was a long one where the coaches were in the gym all day and night. It's hard to figure out where to start tonight in that my head is swimming from information overload. Let's start with Tyler Ennis who is still [private] on the radar and while he is listed as a PG, he shows off more shooting guard skills to me despite being just 6-3. I spoke with him after his game. And then there is Andrew Wiggins who if NBA rules allowed would go straight to the league. Of course Duke has interest but this will not be an easy get, so I would call that interest somewhat luke warm in that they know it would be quite the battle.

I was impressed with Wayne Selden (2014) today and he's going to be a good one, I secured a video chat with him. Duke has a lot of interest in him but it is too early for them to concentrate on that class which includes Theo Pinson. The interest is there for Pinson but they know he is a long ways from making his decision.

Boo Williams continued their slide and will likely not make it to the Peach Jam or the EYBL finals, dropping to 2-7 with a loss to Mokan. Al Freeman has not been impressive in the event which I said from day one and I have yet to see him use his potential in a good way. When his offense struggles he allows it to effect his whole game and while he had a good game tonight shooting the ball, his other stat totals were again, non existent. I don't think Boo uses him right. Anthony Barber is good, but not good enough to earn an offer at this point. He is a PG that cannot really pass that well and the chemistry with Freeman ia average at best. And Try Williams continues to regress with many questioning his work ethic.

Julius Randle improved his stock and that is hard to do when you are ranked 2nd in your class. His handle is nice for a big man and he dominated when he did take it to the paint. He told BDN he had so many triple teams he decided to take his game to the perimeter and it seems to be working. Yes Matt Jones is better and he told BDN he is now 6-5 but the same weight. I have vid interviews with both.

I spoke with ex ACC official Larry Rose for a good long time and what a chat we had. He is head of MEAC officials now. I laughed at him being ragged in Cameron back in the day.

I watched a bit of Jahlil Okafor and his game is about the same as it was a year ago in that he needs to be more aggressive. A ton of folks really pick my brain about Duke now and I found myself giving disinformation to a couple of the more obnoxious types:)

Semilore Ojeleye. Semi is pronounced Shimi. I sat with Coach for part of his game and he like him a lot as do the assistants. I was tipped off they thought he could be offer material on Friday and had a brief chat with him on video. Great kid. His game? Nice. Great stroke from 3, solid, strong finisher on dunks. Listed at 6-7, but said he is 6-6. And guess who he pulled for when he grew up but don't they all;(. Anyhow, love his game and want him in royal blue. Unique player with incredible background, smart, solid student -- the whole package.

Ish Wainright is a defender supreme who can guard almost anyone and wants all challenges. Coach wants to see more offense from him. He was a beast tonight and hit a three point shot at the buzzer and Team Takeover finally won and that meant we got to talk to him, yay. Yes, that was sarcasm in that his coaches are a trip an then some.

Coach was upset about the injury to Derrick Rose and spoke of the challenges in filling the Team USA roster. Of course. Dwight Howard is out too but all the studs are expected to play. He's been on the road non stop and came in late from Arkansas where he saw Austin Nichols score 35 points, grab 15 rebounds and swat 7 shots away in a single game. Yeah, he's good.

Okay, that's all I have got off the top of my head but I have yet to get to my notes. I will close it out tomorrow before taking that four hour ride back, so do not expect a whole lot on Sunday evening. However, the video interviews will balance well with Andrew and the many interviews he still has. [/private]

Who better to lead you into March than Coach K?

Is there anybody you would choose to lead your team onto the battlefield of March Madness other than Coach Mike Krzyzewski?  During today's press conference, Krzyzewski was relaxed and focused on the job at hand, stating, "I don't look at the brackets or look ahead.  Our focus is on Lehigh, they're a good team."

He then stated to any possible disbelievers that it was true and that he doesn't lie and while some from afar still might think, he has taken a look past Greensboro, I can assure you that he hasn't.  It does no good to worry about anything past Lehigh and scout Notre Dame and Xavier for there is simply too much you cannot control.

Krzyzewski holds the highest NCAA winning percentage with a 96-31 record which translates into a .756%, so if he chooses to focus on one game at a time, then so be it for it has worked for him in the past.   A further testament to his prowess is the fact Duke has been a #1 or #2 seed in the tournament 14 of the past 16 years and who can find any fault in that?

With 927 wins, the most of any coach ever to be at the helm in college basketball it can sometimes be overlooked by fans just how lucky they are.  Krzyzewski is a living legend and that is sometimes hard to realize amongst an increasingly spoiled fan base.

In 2010, he guided his team to the National Championship when nobody gave them a chance.  Duke was called to unathletic and a team without a true point guard but they managed to find ways of using their teams strengths and brough hime his 4th national championship.

And that is why I feel confident that Coach Krzyzewski will tweak this team a bit more, one which is certainly battle tested and good, but a team with a smaller margin for error than some of his past teams.

It's not easy adjusting to injuries in the middle of the season and I am of course referring to Ryan Kelly who missed the ACC Tournament and possibly the game this Friday.  While the Duke defense picked it up recently, the offense struggled and the man in charge recognized that and said that his team would get back to what they were doing earlier in the season.

Adjustments have been a huge part of the Duke program, one which takes every teams best shot.  Krzyzewski has been a master at taking his talent and molding them into a team and I am of the opinion that this years edition has been one of his best coaching jobs in Durham.

This years team doesn't have the upperclassmen leadership as some of the recent Duke teams. but who is betting against him pushing the right buttons to get the most out of what he's got?

The Blue Devils are in practice right now and  Coach Krzyzewski is planning his teams way.  You can bet that he will try to push each players buttons to get the most out of them, be they in a slump or just hitting a wall.

Counting the Blue Devils out in March is simply something that should never be done under the man known as Coach K for he has a knack at getting the most out of all his teams.  Duke needs three wins for a fourth straight 30 win season, but the 28th win is all Krzyewski has on his mind at this time.

While March Madness is tense as it can be where teams are one and done with a loss, Duke fans should feel good about having Krzyzewski on their side. History shows us that Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in the NCAA Tournament and that is something no other school in all the brackets can claim.

BDN Post Game – Duke defeats Wake, Coach K post game video

Mason Plumlee and Duke leave Winston Salem with a win. Duke is the fourth ACC team to go 8-0 on the road and first team since 1999-200

Winston Salem, NC -The Duke Blue Devils had little trouble in disposing of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 79-71 in Winston Salem on Tuesday evening. With the win the Blue Devils for to 26-4 overall and 13-2 in the ACC. The win sets up the battle for the regular season title with North Carolina this Saturday.

Once the Blue Devils gained control and held a huge working margin for most of the game but Wake mounted a late comeback to make the game interesting. Duke once held a 65-42 lead and were outscored 43-40 in the second half.

There were times in the game when you could hear only Duke fans chanting "Let's go Duke," and the Duke players all mentioned this in the locker room after the contest.

The Blue Devils were led in scoring by Ryan Kelly with 23 points to go with 8 rebounds. He was followed in scoring by Seth Curry with 15, Mason Plumlee with 12 and Austin Rivers with 10 to round out the double figure scorers.

Once again, the three ball was kind to Duke as they knocked down 10 of 20 which translated into 30 of their 79 points. The Duke bench outscored the Deacons by a 21-10 margin and the Blue Devils held a 39-29 advantage on the boards.

Duke moves to 11-10 in games played in Lawrence Coliseum and Coach K is now 41-23 all time against the Deacons. But the most impressive stat is the fact that Duke is one of four teams to go 8-0 on the road in the ACC this season and that earned the praise of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski in his post game press conference.

Another positive in this game was Mason Plumlee going 8 of 9 from the free throw stripe.  Here are  two BDN Videos for you to hear Coach K's comments -

BDN Monday Musings ponders past and future happenings around Duke Basketball

The Duke Blue Devils coasted past Boston College last evening setting up a huge rematch against Florida State this week and BDN Monday Musings takes a look back and ahead.

Duke too much for Boston College

After a slow start, the Blue Devils waltzed past the Boston College Eagles 75-50 and that kept them in a three way tie for first place.  A tremendous 45-21 rebounding edge and pounding the offensive glass gave Duke the win but this game is less than memorable after the Blue Devils have won a couple high profile and talked about games.  But Duke took care of business and returned to snow dusted Durham healthy and well.  The 25 point margin was the larger in the series for Duke who holds a 14-2 edge in the series.  Duke held the hapless Eagles without a field goal for a 14 minute plus stretch.  Folks point to the Blue Devils defensive numbers being down this season and this game will help those numbers but has anyone taken into consideration the Blue Devils strength of schedule his season and that they haven't played the sisters of the poor?  Just sayin'

Curry-Rivers chemistry

If you've been paying close attention to the last few games, the Blue Devils are getting improved chemistry from it's guard tandem of Seth Curry and Austin Rivers.  This is a good thing for Duke in that the two have become the top two scoring options on the team.  You will continue to see Rivers with the ball in his hands at crunch time and Curry has a constant green light to shoot on the offensive end.  Both will need to show up big against Florida State in Tallahassee this week.

Coach K on the Dan Patrick Show

Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski appeared on the Dan Patrick show today where he addressed "Linsanity," an this seasons team.  When asked which president he'd have a drink with if he could, Krzyzewski responded that he'd like to have a glass of wine with George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, the founding fathers.  Patrick asked, but what if Washington was a UNC fan tongue in cheek.  Krzyzewski responded by saying, "He's not a Carolina fan or he wouldn't be after a few bottles of wine."  Kyrie Irving was also on the show and spoke of keeping up with Josh Hairston and his happiness that Rivers shot beat the aforementioned rival North Carolina.

ESPN GameDay is coming to Durham for UNC-Duke Game

The GameDay crew of Reece Davis, former Duke player Jay Bilas, former coaches Digger Phelps and Bob Knight and former UNC player Hubert Davis will broadcast live from Cameron Indoor Stadium during the North Carolina at Duke game on March 3rd.  Former players and guests will appear.  More details to come from BDN as the event nears.  In the past, some fans just come for the atmosphere and then watch the game locally.  Tickets to a Duke and UNC game are next to impossible to obtain in Cameron without giving away your first born or a large section of your wallet.

Another reminder for Greensboro

The first round of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro will feature Duke and North Carolina and tickets are still available, so go to ticketmaster and get them now and show off your royal blue colors in an effort to move the team on.

Coach K post game comments

Here are a few comments from Coach K on yesterday's game where Terry Rains represented the Nation in these two BDN Vids

A look back at another amazing Duke win – time to give the Devils their due

DURHAM, N.C. - Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski entered a sweltering and packed media room in Cameron Indoor Stadium and he wanted no part of fielding questions about the Blue Devils perceived or real short comings or areas of needed improvement.  And who can blame him?  His team just pulled off an amazing comeback victory over a game N.C. State Wolfpack team that led his Blue Devils by 20 points with 11:33 on the clock in the second half.

Once again, Austin Rivers hit a huge three point shot with 2:26 left giving Duke a 73-71 lead and one they'd hold onto ending the game with a 78-73 victory keeping them in a three way tie atop the conference.  "When we made that run, I could just feel it.  I could just feel it.  I felt confident.  I love those games," said an elated Rivers.

While he may have liked the outcome, he was quick to say as did other Blue Devils that they cannot keep digging holes and expect to comeback.  In a span of eight days, Austin hit two of the biggest shots of  the season with one being  a dagger to the heart buzzer beater over arch rival North Carolina.

To give you an idea of the ferocity of the comeback, it was the largest in the Krzyzewski era, down 14 in the half.   "That was an amazing win," said the Hall of Fame coach who broke the all time NCAA win mark this season.  He continued, "I thought our fans were terrific, they never let us die."

And Cameron did rock and it sounded like jet aircraft taking off the runway when Rivers nailed the three to put Duke ahead for good.  There were times when every fan in the old girl were standing and it has been while since the collective did that. 

While it seemed bleak for much of the game, the first 29 minutes to be exact, Duke kept the faith, their heart and never quit which payed off in a most big way.  "They thoroughly outplayed us for close to 29 minutes but we thoroughly outplayed them for 11," said Krzzyewski.

And those 11 minutes were amazing (37-13 run to end the game) for a Duke team that has set the tone for ACC drama of late.  A quick look at the message boards, showed a lot of fans giving up, just as they had in the North Carolina game, only to all come back and dine on a crow sandwich as they celebrated another incredible and impossible to script win.

"Heroic," was the word Krzyzewski used for Seth Curry in the post game and man was he on the mark.  The junior went to the sidelines with what seemed like a game ending injury and he was escorted to the training room by Duke trainer Jose Fonsesca.    Curry told Fonseca that he didn't know if he could make a go of it according to Krzyzewski, but he was told he had to and he did and in the process had a story book 2nd half.

Curry dropped 21 of his team high 26 points in the second half in what I feel was his best game of the season.  He drew praise from his coach for his strong play with the ball in his hands and he was a match up nightmare for the befuddled Wolfpack team.  "That was a heroic performance by Seth," said Krzyzewski.  Duke will scheduled to take a look at his injury today to see if he is a go for Boston College this Sunday.

Now back to Krzyzewski and that hot media room.  A mildly flustered Krzyzewski when questioned by media said, "No, no, no,"when questioned about his concerns.  "You know what I am concerned with today? A celebration of a great win.  Whatever string of things happened, we are 22-4 and ranked in the top five of the RPI all season long. We're not a perfect team, but we're a good team," stated the long time Duke head coach.

And he is right.  Far too often the media and especially the fan base expect perfection yet overlook the fact of the seasons accomplishments to date.  The bottom line is Duke won and they are winning and they are competing with anyone.  Go back and harp on a loss at Ohio State if you like, but this is a better team now and a resilient one at that.

And keep in mind how tired Duke was after starting the season off in China and Dubai, then to Hawaii, New York and then Columbus where they faced a team that had nine days rest and had not played away from home with the Buckeyes.  Just sayin'

While there is no take charge leader on this years team, there is a perpetual will to get better and win and the Blue Devils continue to find ways of hanging around in the top five ranked teams in the country.  This Blue Devils team is finding ways to win in tough situations and that is the mark of a winner.

Pundits, critics and haters will continue to speak of the short comings of Duke while not recognizing their amazing success and a string of two memorable victories.  The media is just like that, some say doing there job, but the fan base should know better and if you haven't noticed yet, this team is pretty darn good and still learning.

Sit back and enjoy the season as it winds down and leave the nit picking to others.  This team has been amazing and it is time to give the Devils their due.