Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts to a call at the end of the first half of a quarterfinal NCAA college basketball game against Clemson at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Bob Leverone

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts to a call at the end of the first half of a quarterfinal NCAA college basketball game against Clemson at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Coach K endures busy spring

By Joedy Mccreary

Associated Press

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DURHAM – This has been one of Mike Krzyzewski’s busier springs in recent years at Duke.

In the two months since the Blue Devils’ surprising NCAA Tournament loss to Mercer, Krzyzewski helped one longtime assistant earn his first head coaching job and filled two vacancies on his staff.

He sent two underclassmen to the NBA Draft, brought in a transfer from Rice and prepared for his latest run leading the U.S. national team in a few months at the World Cup of 
Basketball.

And he immersed himself in a top-to-bottom evaluation of the program he has spent 3½ decades building.

Krzyzewski said Thursday that “it (has) been my busiest spring of the last decade, but a good one.”

Among those no longer around at Duke: Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, who entered next month’s NBA Draft; four role-playing seniors, including guards Andre Dawkins and Tyler Thornton; and 
assistant Steve Wojciechowski, who took over at Marquette. Krzyzewski promoted Jon Scheyer to assistant coach after one season as a special assistant, and made recruiting coordinator Dave Bradley his director of basketball operations. Another highly regarded recruiting class is preparing to arrive on 
campus to replace Parker and Hood. Duke also landed Rice transfer Sean Obi.

Obi was the top rebounder in Conference USA last season.

“Now you bring in four new guys and a transfer, it’s kind of like starting over,” Krzyzewski said. “And so what we’ve done is kind of look over our whole 
program and see where we are at this time, every part of our program, to see where we can improve. ... We see improvements coming, and there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Obi, who is 6-foot-9 and 265 pounds and averaged 9.3 rebounds as a 
freshman with the Owls, will give Duke the wide body and interior post presence it might have lacked in recent years. But that won’t come until 2015-16 because he must sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

“Our feeling is that, I’m not saying he’ll be this 
amazing player – I think he’ll be a good one – but I think he’ll be a steady player for us for the entire time that he’s at Duke,” Krzyzewski said.

Wojciechowski became the second Krzyzewski assistant in two years to land a head coaching job, following Chris Collins’ hiring by Northwestern in 2013.

Krzyzewski said Scheyer – a guard and key leader of the Blue Devils’ most recent national title-winning team in 2010 – brings “a new energy, a new way of working with the perimeter guys.

“I think a program needs that every once in a while,” Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski spoke as part of the “Getting Back to Giving Back” campaign, which encourages people who have undergone joint replacement surgery to give back to their communities.

Krzyzewski, who dealt with pain from osteoarthritis, said that had he not had his hips replaced in 1999 and 2002, he wouldn’t still be coaching.

“The very first thing is, you get back your movement, and then you get back your energy,” he said. “And then you get back your career. Then you feel like, ‘Let’s get more meaning in our lives.’”


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