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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Mike Krzyzewski

Duke coach gave Coach K the cutest retirement present ever

Coach K looks ahead

Nov 13, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski calls a timeout during the second half against the Campbell Camels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

What do you get for the man who has everything? Jon Scheyer figured out the best answer.

Duke’s basketball team held its banquet at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday to celebrate their squad, which reached the Final Four.

Scheyer, who is replacing the retiring Coach K as Duke’s head coach, surprised the coach with a great gift during the banquet. Scheyer got Coach K a puppy.

As cute as they are, giving someone a puppy is still giving them a big responsibility and lifetime commitment. You have to be sure they want to take care of the dog before giving it. Luckily in this case, Scheyer knew that was something Coach K wanted.

Coach K said last month that his dog Blue died before the season. He wanted to get another dog but didn’t have time to train it during the season.

Guess what? Krzyzewski now will have plenty of time for that!

If his last dog was “Blue,” will Coach K be bold enough to call this one “Devil?”

Coach K addresses speculation about reversing retirement decision

Coach K in blue

Mike Krzyzewski has made clear all season that this would be his final year as Duke head coach. After the team’s NCAA Tournament exit, however, speculation from some corners suggested that Coach K could reverse that decision.

Krzyzewski addressed that himself on Wednesday, telling ESPNU Radio that he was certainly done with coaching.

“I’m done with the coaching part of it,” Krzyzewski said.

Coach K’s choice of words will raise some eyebrows, but he is ultimately fairly definitive here. Perhaps he will still play some role helping out at Duke, but he does not appear to have any desire to return to the daily grind of coaching and recruiting.

One former Duke star speculated that a key change at Duke’s program could lead Krzyzewski to reassess his decision. This certainly makes it sound like that is not happening.

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

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

Coach K had nice message for Armando Bacot after game

Coach K talks to Armando Bacot

Mike Krzyzewski managed to share a nice message to Armando Bacot despite Duke’s disappointing ending on Saturday.

Bacot got injured with just over five minutes left in the close Final Four game between North Carolina and Duke. Bacot is UNC’s leading scorer (16.3 points per game) and rebounder (13.1 rebounds per game), and also averages 1.7 blocks per contest. But he hurt his right ankle and had to be helped off the floor, leaving it to his teammates to finish the job.

That they did.

North Carolina beat Duke 81-77, ending Coach K’s coaching career. Despite the disappointment, Coach K approached Bacot after the game.

“I hope you’re OK,” Coach K said to Bacot.

“You were my player of the year,” the Duke coach generously added.

That’s a nice thing of Coach K to say, and shows some class and sportsmanship.

As for Bacot, he said on Sunday that he will be playing in Monday’s national championship game against Kansas.

Kansas is looking to win its fourth national championship. North Carolina is hoping to capture number seven. And Coach K’s Duke career ends with five national championships for the Blue Devils, as they lost in this year’s tournament before they were hoping to.

Coach K’s final message to Hubert Davis after epic game revealed

Coach K talks to Hubert Davis

North Carolina knocked off Duke on Saturday to end Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke coaching career. Coach K didn’t even seem to be too bitter about it.

The Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils 81-77 in their Final Four matchup at the Superdome in New Orleans to advance to the championship game. This was UNC’s second time spoiling things for Coach K, as they also won at Duke in Krzyzewski’s final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Even still, Coach K wasn’t sulking when he met North Carolina coach Hubert Davis for the postgame handshake. He seemed to say “what a game” to Davis twice as they shook hands in the handshake line.

That’s a pretty accurate acknowledgement by Coach K.

He could have sulked. He could have been bitter. He could have lectured an opposing player as he’s done before.

But not on this night. Instead, Coach K recognized that the teams partook in a game for the ages and said as much to Davis.

We agree. What a game.

Video: Coach K gets cozy with ref during Duke win over Texas Tech

Coach K makes a ref smile

You knew it was over for Texas Tech the moment Coach K was cozying up with a referee on Thursday night.

Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils beat Texas Tech 78-73 in the semifinals of the West Region of the NCAA Tournament. Duke fell behind early and trailed 33-29 at the half. But Paolo Banchero and Jeremy Roach came up big in the second half and helped the Blue Devils get the win.

Duke shot 51.9 percent from the field and they went 15/17 on their free throws to get the win.

And Caoch K sure was buddying up with the refs in the final 10 minutes.

Is it any surprise the Red Raiders only shot nine free throws in the game compared to 17 for Duke? We’re just joking, of course.

The victory was the 100th of Krzyzewski’s NCAA Tournament coaching career. Duke will now face Arkansas in the finals of the West Region.

Coach K had 2 complaints after Duke’s NCAA Tournament win

Coach K in blue

There have been plenty of upsets over the first few days of the men’s NCAA tournament, but Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils were not among those displaced.

In what will be his final final tournament, Krzyzewski’s team got off to a hot start, defeating Cal State Fullerton, 78-61, on Friday night. But that does not necessarily mean the coach is happy. In fact, he’s not. Not at all.

Following Duke’s victory, Krzyzewski vented his frustration over multiple issues.

“There was no crowd when guys were warming up,” Krzyzewski said, via ESPN. “And that damn floor was slippery on both ends.”

The lack of fans was due to the quick turnaround between games. Duke-Cal State Fullerton tipped off at 7:00 p.m. ET, which was roughly 90 minutes after the previous game had concluded. As a result, hordes of fans crowded the entry points causing slowdowns, while the traffic outside the arena clogged the parking lots and garages.

“If there’s some way in the future they can change that because these kids from both teams need to go out on the court and have band, crowd and whatever,” Krzyzewski said. “They shouldn’t have empty seats.”

While on the court, Duke players continued to have issues. Several slipped throughout the game, leaving Krzyzewski concerned about the potential for serious injury.

“Somebody should look at it,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s not good. We’ve got to be concerned about that.”

No. 2 seeded Duke will take on No. 7 seeded Michigan State on Sunday evening, and Krzyzewski hopes both issues will be resolved by then.

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

Fans troll Coach K with hilarious ‘favorite memories’

Mike Krzyzewski in a suit

A good portion of the sports week and weekend was spent honoring Mike Krzyzewski and the legacy he created at Duke. This was done ahead of Duke’s rivalry game against North Carolina on Saturday, which marked Coach K’s final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium as Duke’s coach.

Though Coach K is recognized for his coaching excellence, he and his Duke program are also likely the most hated coach and team in college basketball. That is an honorable distinction (“they don’t boo nobodies”), but also made for some really funny social media posts this weekend.

While many people shared their favorite Coach K memories to honor the longtime coach, some put a twist on their posts to have fun with the situation.

Coach K has impacted plenty of lives in positive ways and received lots of attention for that. One of his former players shared a great story about him that went viral. But these alternative memories sharing lowlights from Krzyzewski’s career sure made for plenty of laughs for Duke’s bountiful haters.

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Coach K getting huge turnout from ex-players for final home game

Mike Krzyzewski Coach K

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is getting a very impressive turnout from players he has coached over the years as he preps for his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Saturday’s game against North Carolina will be Coach K’s last at home, and Duke invited every player who had played under him to attend. A huge number took advantage of that invitation, based on a list released by the school on Saturday afternoon.

Among those set to attend are Duke legends such as Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Shane Battier, and JJ Redick. Most Duke alums currently playing in the NBA had to turn down the chance to come, though Grayson Allen is set to make it.

It speaks to Coach K’s influence over his ex-players that so many would go out of their way to attend his final home game. That is also reflected in this story shared by another former player.

Photo: Nov 13, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski calls a timeout during the second half against the Campbell Camels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Duke G’s tribute to legendary Coach K goes viral

Mike Krzyzewski in a suit

Former Duke guard Marty Clark went viral for his heartfelt tribute to Mike Krzyzewski ahead of Coach K’s final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Clark played four seasons at Duke from 1990-1994, winning consecutive national championships to begin his college career. He was mostly a bench player in his first two years, but he averaged 18.8 minutes per game as a junior and 21.1 minutes per game as a senior, topping out at an average of 8.1 points per game.

Clark praised Coach K in his tribute.

“I loved playing for him. As a player you always knew where you stood, you were always encouraged and played for the love for the game and each other – and never played out of fear. We always, always knew we had a chance to win every game we played,” Clark wrote.

But Clark’s tribute received attention for much more than that.

Clark says he struggled with alcoholism for two decades, and it was a phone call from Coach K that helped him get sober.

“The best coaching I received from him was not on the basketball court. I struggled with alcoholism for 2 decades before I sought help. I had been to treatment, been in and out of the rooms and couldn’t understand what was happening and began to not care at all…Relapsed, after relapse, after relapse I had become estranged from my wife and 2 kids. Life was shitty. Coach called me one day in the summer of 2014. He had known through my wife and his daughter Debbie Krzyzewski Savarino I wasn’t doing well at all. I questioned him as a good alcoholic would “who did you hear that from?” There was a long pause and I knew I needed to make a change right then and there. I hated that it was him to be that guy, I always wanted him to know that I was doing great. I couldn’t imagine disappointing him. Ever.

“This was the one man I could not lie to, and the one man I trusted implicitely (sic). I was embarrassed, angry, heartbroken all in the same moment. He wanted nothing from me but to know that I was loved and that whatever I was struggling with I didn’t have to do it alone. With his support I am closing in on 7 of years sobriety. And to this day I’m convinced this doesn’t happen without his phone call. Love this guy.”

That’s a great tribute from Clark.

Coach K is 75 and in his final season as Duke’s head coach before turning the program over to Jon Scheyer. He has 1,196 career wins and five national championships on his resume. He probably has countless stories like this regarding the impact he has had on the lives of people he has coached during his career. You may not be able to quantify these types of stories, but the impact is undeniable.

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports