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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Ex-Duke star thinks Coach K could return for another season

Coach K in blue

Might Mike Krzyzewski pull a Tom Brady and go back on his retirement plans? One former Duke star thinks so.

Jay Williams played at Duke for three seasons from 1999-2002 and was a star point guard for the program. He won a championship with the team and was a former AP Player of the Year.

Williams is now a host at ESPN and was talking on his “Keyshawn, JWill & Max” radio show Tuesday about Duke’s program.

Williams wondered whether Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith leaving for rival ACC program Louisville could lead to some changes with the Blue Devils. Specifically, Smith is a top recruiter, and Williams wondered whether Smith’s departure could impact Duke in a negative enough way to spur Coach K to stick around.

“I don’t know this for a fact — this is sheer speculation on my part — but there’s a lot of moving parts here … But I think it leaves a huge gap at Duke. And the question is, who fills that void from a recruiting perspective? And it leads me to think, which I’ve been thinking a lot about since I heard this news (Monday), does Coach K come back for another season? One more final season,” Williams wondered.

Williams cautioned that he was sharing pure speculation rather than inside information.

“Now, I’m not saying I know this,” he said. “I’m just throwing it out there because these kids are coming in expecting to win a championship. They were recruited [by] and have close relationships with Nolan Smith.”

“Here’s why I give it a legit chance,” Williams said. “If you’re Nolan Smith, and you have a great relationship with all these players, you’re in the (same) conference. You’re at Louisville. You’re picking up the phone and [recruiting the stars from Duke]. It weakens the hold of Duke. If you’re Coach K, how do you strengthen that hold? You’re coming back.”

Is Coach K really just willing to walk away entirely? He’s 75 years old, coached his team to the Final Four, and seems to still have more left to offer. But he did get his full farewell tour, his farewell game at Duke, and the farewell NCAA Tournament. However, his two losses to rival UNC to end his coaching career might not sit well with him.

Coach K reportedly had a big hand in picking Jon Scheyer to replace him. Only time will tell whether Scheyer — and not Coach K — will fully take over and coach the program moving forward.

H/T NY Post
Photo: Mar 18, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts during the first half against the Cal State Fullerton Titans during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


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