• 68°

ACC Hoops: Coach K begins 30th season in Durham

Associated Press
DURHAM ó The highlight of Duke’s first preseason practice came when Nolan Smith pulled off his baggy uniform to reveal a skintight tank top and short shorts.
Wearing that vintage uniform, he looked like Johnny Dawkins. And Mike Krzyzewski wouldn’t mind if the guard played like Dawkins, too.
The Hall of Fame coach’s 30th season leading the Blue Devils promises to be one full of throwbacks and nostalgic reminders of those three national titles and 10 trips to the Final Four for the man who arrived from Army with a hard-to-say last name and fought through some rough early years to evolve into Coach K.
“There was never a 30-year plan. Early on, there was not a five-year plan ó there was a weekly plan, a daily plan,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve loved being here for this time, and I think I’ll be here for a while. I don’t have a 32-year plan or a 34-year plan.
“I don’t think I’ll catch (Joe) Paterno or (Bobby) Bowden, but that’s a whole different horse to ride,” he added, referring to the octogenarian football coaches at Penn State and Florida State. “The excitement of starting here, the energy, is really good. It gets you going.”
Especially with this roster.
If the Atlantic Coast Conference’s co-favorites can find some answers in the backcourt to complement the bulkiest team of Krzyzewski’s tenure, it could make a run at the same kinds of accomplishments achieved by Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and all the other stars of the coach’s three decades on the Duke bench.
A program that for years was defined by its backcourt ó think Bobby Hurley and J.J. Redick ó has changed its philosophy somewhat because only two guards return who were in last year’s rotation, Smith and Jon Scheyer.
The 3-point shot will remain an important part of the Blue Devils’ game, especially now that Krzyzewski plans to keep ACC preseason player of the year Kyle Singler exclusively on the perimeter.
But with 6-foot-10 brothers Mason and Miles Plumlee, senior sixth-man Lance Thomas and 7-1 backup Brian Zoubek in the paint, Duke hopes to be able to dump the ball inside and beat teams that way, too.
“We’re a very tall team … our biggest team since I’ve been here,” Krzyzewski said. “But I think we’re very athletic, and I would hope that we’ll be a very good rebounding team. It’ll be a very different team than we’ve had here for a while, in the fact that we’re changing how we do our offense and some of the things we do defensively to kind of match the talents of who we have.”
Last year marked a revival of the Duke program that got back to doing so many of the things that became commonplace during Krzyzewski’s three decades. The Blue Devils briefly returned to No. 1 nationally, won the ACC tournament for the eighth time in 11 years and made it to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament ó the first time for any of those things since Redick’s senior season in 2005-06.

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

BREAKING NEWS

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily