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Virginia student section nails it with giant cutout making Coach K face (Picture)

Coach-K-face-cutout

Giant heads have become one of the most popular forms of taunting, heckling and praise during sporting events across the country over the past couple of years. Whether it be a blown-up head of your favorite player or a giant cutout of an opponent’s ex girlfriend, fans continue to come up with unique ways to use these things.

On Thursday night, the Virginia student section nailed it with an oversized cutout of Mike Krzyzewski that fans held up during their team’s upset win over Duke. As you can see, the cutout captured Coach K making a famous wincing face that any who have watched him coach are familiar with. At one point, cameras captured Coach K doing the Coach K stinkface while the Coach K stinkface cutout was on display behind him.

Instant classic. It may not be as funny as the cutouts these UTSA students used to distract free throw shooters, but the timing at that moment was perfect. Bravo, Virginia.

Photo via @cjzero

Coach K concerned over player safety after Virginia fans rush court

Virginia-fans-storm-courtDuke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is no stranger to fans storming the court. His No. 3 Blue Devils have lost four games this season. All have been on the road, and the opposing fans have rushed the court each time. Virginia fans did the same following their 73-68 upset over Duke on Thursday night, and Coach K expressed concern over it after the game.

“When we’ve lost in the last 20 years, everybody rushes the court,” Krzyzewski said, according to ESPN.com. “Whatever you’re doing, you need to get the team off first. Celebrate, have fun, obviously you won. That’s cool, but just get our team off the court and our coaching staff before students come on.”

Storming the court is a part of college basketball and adds to the drama, but you can understand why a coach would be concerned for the safety of his players. There’s always the potential that a player or coach can literally be trampled, not to mention the outside chance that a fan would intentionally go after someone.

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Jabari Parker cites Coach K as big reason for choosing Duke

jabari-parker-dukeJabari Parker ended months of intense speculation by announcing on Thursday that he would attend Duke University after high school.

Parker is a consensus top five recruit for the 2013 class. The 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago cited Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as a big reason why he chose the Blue Devils.

“What brought me to the decision is the history. Duke is always going to be a team in the tournament. You can’t go wrong at the program. And most importantly, the long-term investment — I feel like if I go there, I can get a good degree,” Parker said during his Thursday announcement.

“Coach K, that’s one of the best coaches ever. I wanted to be able to experience the things that he has next year.

“[Coach K] has played a key role in my development throughout high school, just telling me basic things and what I need to do,” Parker said, per the News & Observer. “I just felt comfortable.”

When Parker first narrowed the list of schools he was considering for college, 10 made the cut. Those schools included: Kentucky, Stanford, Michigan State, Kansas, Florida, Duke, BYU, Georgetown, DePaul, and North Carolina. Parker then removed Georgetown and Kentucky from the list, and a few months later he dropped Kansas, DePaul, and North Carolina.

According to Sports Illustrated, before his visits to the remaining schools, Parker and his brother made the following list to help analyze his decision.

Coach: Duke
Academics: Duke/Stanford
Basketball: Michigan State
Environment: Duke
Spirituality: Undecided

Duke seemed like the clear favorite months ago, and it’s obvious Coach K was a big reason. It also helped when Coach K arranged to take Parker’s father, who has kidney problems, to a dialysis center on their visit to campus.

Parker has to be thrilled to have the recruiting process over now; even back in June it seemed like he was overwhelmed.

Image via ESPN/YouTube

Coach K rips NCAA for conference realignment, says it is spoiling traditions

Conference realignment is shaking up the entire blueprint of college athletics across the nation, and there’s no telling when it will come to an end. Teams have been bolting from the Big East for years, but the conference has taken a major hit over the last two years with powerhouses like Syracuse, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame (basketball) all leaving. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski does not like it one bit.

In particular, Coach K upset over Maryland moving from the ACC to the Big Ten.

“I hate the fact that we get rid of, in our own conference with Maryland leaving, 60 years of tradition based on a decision right now because you think you’re going to make more money in a certain situation,” Krzyzewski told CBS News. “You give up what really makes college athletics, which is the traditions.”

The driving force behind realignment is obviously money, as conferences like the ACC are seemingly gaining strength and becoming more appealing to major television markets while the Big East wonders how it is going to sell its product.

“I think it’s a long way from ending,” Coach K said. “(Traditions) are priceless and I hate that we’re not looking at those things close enough as we look into future of college athletics.”

Eventually, the dust will settle. But until it does it’s hard not to agree with Coach K. The thought of Maryland and Duke in an out-of-conference match-up with less on the line is not nearly as enticing as the annual ACC showdowns we’re used to seeing between the two powerhouses. New rivalries will certainly crop up before long, but it’s disappointing to see ones that are more than 50 years old disappear.

Coach K didn’t appreciate question about Team USA running up score

Team USA basketball had a record-setting win over Nigeria at the London Olympics on Thursday, but they couldn’t completely enjoy the near-flawless performance.

The US won 156-73 and set records for most points, three-pointers, field goals, and highest field-goal percentage in an Olympic game. But just because the team was extraordinarily hot during the game doesn’t mean they were trying to humiliate their opponent. And if you suggested that to Coach K, he was not happy.

Mike Krzyzewski became defensive when asked in the postgame news conference about the team running up the score.

“We didn’t play LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant] in the second half, and with Carmelo shooting like that, we benched him,” Krzyzewski said, per Yahoo! Sports. “We didn’t take any fast breaks in the fourth quarter, and we played all zone. You have to take a shot every 24 seconds, and the shots we took happened to be hit.

“I take offense to this question because there’s no way in the world that our program in the United States sets out to humiliate anyone.”

Nigeria actually had some decent talent on the team — Al-Farouq Aminu, Ike Diogu, and Tony Skinn — but that’s nothing compared to a squad full of first-team All-NBA players, especially when they were on fire.

Questions about teams running up the score should only come if there are clear signs that a team was acting unsportsmanlike. I don’t believe that was the case here and, man, I wouldn’t want to be the one accusing Coach K of that in the future.

Deron Williams catches Coach K doing yoga before practice (Picture)

Before Twitter came along, US men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski could go through his yoga routine before practice began without being bothered. And if he was bothered, it wasn’t in the form of one of his players tweeting a picture of him doing yoga to more than 200,000 followers.

Deron Williams snapped a picture of Coach K in the child’s pose before practice on Monday and shared it on Twitter.  While Coach K probably would prefer that this part of his day be kept personal, there’s nothing wrong with a middle-aged man doing some yoga. In fact, an organization is even trying to make yoga poses an Olympic event, so perhaps Coach K is practicing and showcasing his skills.

Of the tens of thousands of athletes competing in London, it’s safe to say Team USA is having the most fun with Twitter and social media sites. Kevin Love has tweeted pictures like the one of all of his teammates sleeping during their flight and a few others showcasing how ridiculous everyone looked in their Opening Ceremony outfits. Over the weekend, Kevin Durant got in on the fun by showing us his awkward-looking haircut. And to think the Games are just getting started.

Coach K Says Winning with Duke Harder than Winning with Yankees

As you probably know, Mike Krzyzewski became the winningest coach in Division I basketball history on Tuesday night.  With a Duke win over Michigan State, Coach K secured his 903rd win and passed Bob Knight — who was celebrating in his own way — for the most wins by a single head coach.  Winning 903 games in any sport is a baffling achievement, so for that I tip my hat to Coach K.

However, amidst all the emotion and post-game discussion, Krzyzewski made a comparison that was a bit puzzling.  It seems unusual to compare the Duke men’s basketball program to the New York Yankees, but Coach K decided to go there.

“We don’t have Jeter or Rivera for 15 straight years and you have to do it in intense competition in a great school,” Coach K said. “We never have problems because usually we can develop a team. They want to be one, and I don’t have to fight that which is great.”

Point taken, but not the best metaphor he could have come up with.  The Yankees are built around money.  It is the hope of the NCAA that Duke’s basketball team is not.  Krzyzewski has done an unprecedented job of turning Duke into one of the premier basketball programs in the country, but just because players leave every four years or less doesn’t mean it is terribly difficult to restock the talent pool.  Like free agents with the Yankees, top high school recruits would love a chance to play for the Blue Devils.  I realize Jeter and Rivera were not free agents, but that’s even more reason to give the Yankees credit for drafting and developing them.

This wasn’t the only weird thing Coach K said this week, so we’ll just mark it down as an emotional week for him and do what we always do here at LBS — keep it movin’.