ACC Morning Five: Countdown To 903 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 15th, 2011

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is going for his 903d win to hold the record for D-I men’s college basketball wins outright tonight against Michigan State. We covered the milestone and its implications in our preseason coverage, but the rest of the collective college basketball media will pay tribute to Duke’s legendary coach over the next few days. In preparation for Coach K’s big game at Madison Square Garden, today’s Morning Five is dedicated to the occasion.

  1. New York Times: Krzyzewski may be 64 years old, but you’d never know it from watching him on the sideline. Whether the game is against UNC Greensboro or North Carolina, the fiery coach still expects the best out of his team. He up until the wee hours watching film before a big game only to be “shot out of a cannon” for practice the next day. Will he get to 1,000 wins in the next few years? Former assistant Mike Brey thinks so, and it’s hard to argue with him.
  2. The Sporting News (interviews with Grant Hill and Nolan Smith): Grant Hill might be the best player Krzyzewski has ever coached and Nolan Smith etched his name in Duke history (and probably his jersey in the rafters) after leading the Blue Devils to the 2010 National Championship. The Sporting News caught up with both former players and the interviews give an interesting look at Coach K and the evolution of his coaching style over the years. Hill remembers a speech from his freshman year two decades ago where Coach K guaranteed, “we’re going to win the national championship this season.” Nolan Smith, on Krzyzewski’s strategy: “Make plays, be a player.”
  3. Associated Press: In 1994-95, Coach K offered his resignation after sitting out most of a season with back surgery: “When I did that, I knew I couldn’t lead my team, and I just think that comes from the military,” Krzyzewski said. “If you’re not [able], there should be a different leader.” Luckily, Tom Butters didn’t accept the resignation. He has downplayed the record consistently, pointing out that the game against Michigan State means more to this team than his career. In a sense he’s right. One regular season game of hundreds is insignificant, but 903 wins represents an unprecedented level of continued success among men’s basketball coaches in Division I.
  4. Duke Basketball Report: Duke Basketball Report takes a look at 17 of the most important games of Coach K’s storied career. Not all of the games are wins. In fact three are embarrassing losses: A beat-down at the hands of Ralph Sampson and Virginia in 1983; the worst defeat in the history of the Final Four against UNLV in 1990; and a loss to Clemson in 1995 that punctuated a short season for Krzyzewski. After the 43-point shellacking from the Cavaliers, at dinner “one of the diners raised his glass and said ‘here’s to forgetting tonight.’  Krzyzewski fixed him with a glare and said ‘here’s to never forgetting tonight.'”
  5. Fayetteville Observer: I’ve linked this before and I’ll probably do it again because Dan Wiederer’s three-part profile of Coach K from 2010 is incredible. The piece is one of the rare instances where you get what feels like a three-dimensional perspective on Krzyzewski and his life. He’s simultaneously revered and vilified by college basketball fans, often at a personal level. This profile captures a man far more complex than the saint or sinner portrayed by most fans. It manages to find a touch of gray in the man with the jet-black hair.
mpatton (576 Posts)

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