We already knew that Coach K won in all different ways, and his final team could be one of his best, but here’s some more stats that prove he really was the best coach in the game. According to his statistics, K’s players had an average combined height of 6’6″ and an average combined weight of 235 pounds, which is well outside the league average of 6’1″ and 195 pounds. In fact, K’s players had the biggest average body mass index (BMI) of any of the finalists, at 29.6, and the shortest average length, at 6’3″. This year’s tournament featured the smallest average body size of any of the Final Four teams. K also got the most points out of his
It was an incredible ride for coach K and his team to reach the gold medal game. The US basketball team was a heavy favorite, but everyone in Canada knew how good Canada could be. Canada absolutely dominated the game, with a clutch 3-pointer from Andrew Wiggins with just 3 minutes left to seal the game, and an ESPN broadcast stating that a Canadian team has never won the gold medal in basketball.
One of the biggest names in basketball, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, is retiring at the end of this season. He’s won the NCAA title 11 times, and he led the U.S. to its only Olympic gold in basketball, in 2008. But he’s also a long-time NBA coach, winning five titles as a player-coach with the 76ers and Celtics, and he’s been named Coach of the Year a dozen times. In a league where it’s not uncommon for longtime coaches to get fired, Coach K is in a class of his own, and this season he is making it 11 in a row.
7:00 A.M. EASTERN TIME John GuswayESPN Insider Close
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When Mike Krzyzewski retires as head coach of Duke after the 2021-22 season, he will have won more than 1,100 games in his career and won at least five national titles. The final results will be unbelievable, and Coach K. will be justly praised for his remarkable and in many cases unparalleled quantitative excellence. 2 Connected But perhaps Krzyzewski’s greatest achievement was that he achieved all of his accomplishments without committing to any particular style of play or system. Duke has had many different looks in the 41 years he has been coaching at Durham. The common denominator is that (almost) all of his various schemes and preferences have led the Blue Devils to national title contention. In fact, it is quite possible that there is not one Coach K style. Duke has won national titles by playing fast and slow, never making three-pointers, and throwing them in often with some very experienced teams and some slightly younger ones. Mike Krzyzewski fired five shots into the nets, with five different lineups. AP Photo/Ed Reinke A quick look at the coach’s national title teams, as well as one or two of his blunders, will give you an idea of the flexibility Krzyzewski has shown throughout his illustrious career. His teams have certainly shown that there is more than one way to the top in college basketball – and his 2021-22 team will have to follow its own path with its special talents.
The beginning of a legendary coaching career is already known. Krzyzewski won 55 percent of his games during his five years in the Army, but finished the season with a 9-17 record when he was selected 18th overall. In March 1980, he was unexpectedly named Duke’s new coach. Coach K struggled during his first three seasons in Durham, but the recruits who arrived in the fall of 1982 gave it their all. Johnny Dawkins, Mark Alary, Jay Bilas and David Henderson won a total of 95 games in their four seasons. It will be a small number compared to the four wins that followed at Durham, but it marks a definitive turning point in Krzyzewski’s career. Conversely, Danny Ferry has spoken in all 117 of his wins in his four-year career with the Blue Devils. His career was a bridge between Dawkins, Alari, Bilas and Henderson on the one hand and Christian Laettner on the other. Christian Laettner knew how to make shots from beyond the arc – and did so in iconic fashion – but his teams played more in the paint. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta Along with teammates Thomas Hill, Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley and Brian Davis, Laettner won two national championships in 1991 and 1992. These teams rarely shot three-pointers, even by the inland standards of the time, but they were still a challenge due to their versatility on offense. Even though Laettner scored most of his points in the paint, the defense struggled as the Duke star and two or more of his teammates were able to make shots from outside the perimeter. The Blue Devils break through this defense with crafty passes, solid finishes near the basket and, if the opponents are to be believed, a foul or two on the other team.
If Laettner’s teams in the early 1990s were experienced and then illustrious, Duke’s version of the rivalry in 1998-99 was nothing short of intimidating. Coach K’s team played at one of the fastest paces in the country, scoring nearly 25 more points per game than its opponents and entering the national championship game with a 37-1 record. Regardless of the metric chosen – KenPom’s custom efficiency margin or sports-reference.com’s simple ranking system – the collection of Elton Brand, Trajan Langdon, William Avery and Corey Maggette is known as one of the strongest D-I teams of the last quarter century. But the Blue Devils didn’t win the title that year, it was Connecticut. Two years later, the veterans of that Duke team, like Avery and Shane Battier, were determined to take their chances. Duke in 2001 was Krzyzewski’s most perimeter-oriented team at the time. Jay Williams and Shane Battier are the biggest perimeter threats this season with 132 and 124 three-point shots, respectively. Even a lower number would be a new program record, and the Blue Devils won it all in April with a 10-point victory in the title game over Arizona. Duke’s famous 2001 team included future pros like Shane Battier and Jay Williams. Brian Bahr/Getty Images In the five seasons since the title in 2001, the Blue Devils have finished first four times, but have reached just one Final Four in that time. When Duke returned to the top spot in 2010, the team was viewed with some skepticism. It was said that Kyle Singler, John Scheyer, Nolan Smith, Miles and Mason Plumlee were not athletic enough. No Blue Devils were selected in the first round of the next 2010 NBA Draft. This team is still Coach K’s slowest team in the KenPom era.
Never underestimate Brian Zubeck – or one and one.
What observers didn’t like about this team, however, was that they were excellent at getting second chances – especially after missed 3-point shots. Brian Zubeck may not have set the hearts of NBA scouts on fire, but he dominated under the basket in high school. In the title match against Butler, Zubeck grabbed six boards. That win, coupled with a famous miss by Gordon Hayward in the final second, was enough for the Bulldogs to win 61-59. A relatively obscure team that included his future successor, 30-year-old John Scheyer, gave Coach K his fourth national title. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images After winning its fourth title with a rotation of juniors and seniors, Duke now wants to win a fifth with three outstanding recruits. Having previously added Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, and Jabari Parker to his team, Coach K was able to assemble so many talented players on his 2014-15 team. Juniors Jahlil Okafor, Justice Winslow and Tyus Jones (along with classmate Grayson Allen) teamed with veterans Quinn Cook and Emil Jefferson for the win. Every year since 2014, Duke has played against Kentucky for the honor of the best or second best recruiting class in the country. That rookie gamble was considered common sense when a spectacular Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils to a Final Four victory in 2019. The fashion in college hockey changes quickly, however, and this bet was called unreasonable when Duke went 13-11 in the 2020-21 season.
Krzyzewski is not done coaching, and no one should be so flippant as to speak of the 74-year-old coach in the past tense. His 2021-22 team will likely be a top-25 preseason team, if not a top-10 team. Wendell Moore Jr. and Jeremy Roach will return, as will Mark Williams. (As a freshman, Williams seemed poised to lead Duke to an incredible tournament until a coronavirus forced his team to withdraw from the ACC tournament.) The veterans are joined by Theo John, a Marquette alum, and Paolo Banchero, the potential first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. We don’t yet know what adjustments Mike Krzyzewski will make to the current Duke team, but his track record already makes one thing clear. The man who has won more national titles than anyone except Wooden has styles for every opponent, every situation and every era. These are styles that will win over 1100 times before he is done with them.What an incredible three-peat for Coach K and his USA Basketball Men’s National Team. After winning gold in the 1998, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games, they repeated as World Champions. The winning streak ranks as the longest in international basketball history by any coach or team.. Read more about duke coaching staff and let us know what you think.
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