Monday, February 12, 2007

Coach K & Duke Baseketball [J. Mark English]

Yoni Cohen asks if Coach Mike Krzyzewski best days are behind him:

The Blue Devils' fourth consecutive conference loss raises an unpleasant question: Are Coach K's best days behind him?

Between 1988 and 1992, the Hall of Fame coach guided the Blue Devils to five consecutive Final Fours and two national titles. But in the nine seasons that followed, he managed only three Final Fours and one national championship. In the five years since, Mike Krzyzewski's record has been less than overwhelming: one final four and no national championships.

Most programs would rightly consider even Duke's recent run a tremendous accomplishment. March troubles aside, the Blue Devils have won a higher percentage of their games this decade than any other. But after Sunday's loss at Maryland, Duke finds itself in uncharted territory.

It remains to be seen whether Duke, which started three sophomores and two freshmen against Maryland, can bounce back in ACC play. After the game, the Hall of Fame coach readily admitted his young team was more likely to internalize the losses than were some of his more veteran squads. Yet he emphasized the importance of staying positive as the season winds down....

Comments -

Its silly to think that his best days are behind him. Duke, like Notre Dame football, based on merit, has no business competing on the National level with the likes of heavy weight programs like UNC & Maryland. The players who receive scholarships to play at Duke must be excellent students. The fact that Mike Krzyzewski wins with these players is miraculous. Maybe every now reality catches up to them. That sometimes pure talent from other teams beats out the smarts of Duke. But for more or less, Duke finds away to hold on, and create magic by the time March rolls along.

There is not way Mike Krzyzewski best days are behind him. He's still relatively young, and has many more years to go in the great game of college basketball. Maybe these setbacks that Duke is having will toughen his team. And when March Madness is set to begin play, his team will be ready to dance all the way to the Final Four.

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