Ad Spot

August 5, 2021

College basketball: Coach K has sights on win No. 1K

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski is on the verge of yet another coaching milestone.

The Duke coach will become the first men’s coach in Division I history with 1,000 wins on Sunday if his fifth-ranked Blue Devils beat St. John’s.

That milestone could come in the same arena where three seasons ago he became the winningest men’s coach in college basketball’s top tier.

A win at Madison Square Garden would bring his record to 1,000-308 during a career that spans four decades and includes four NCAA tournament titles and 11 Final Fours.

He says the wins that matter most are the ones that bring titles, not milestones, and he calls the forthcoming accomplishment “a heck of a thing … but it’s not a championship.”

“In order to win that many games, it’s taken 40 years — that’s a long time, and so you don’t win like that by being in the moment of a single-game accomplishment,” he said. “You do it in the accomplishment of what you’re trying to do for an entire season.”

For Krzyzewski, it’s the same approach he took three years ago when he drew closer to the record of 902 career wins — a mark held by his college coach and mentor, Bob Knight. He passed Knight in November 2011 by beating Michigan State in the Garden.

Now — after consecutive surprising losses put history on hold for a brief while — Coach K is in position to earn yet another memorable victory there.

He insists it will be just another win. His players know differently.

“When I was trying to decide what university I wanted to attend, being a part of Coach K’s legacy had a big part in me coming here,” said freshman big man Jahlil Okafor, a preseason All-American who was one of the nation’s top recruits. “So I’m excited for it.”

Krzyzewski’s colleagues say the forthcoming milestone is a testament to his longevity, with Miami coach Jim Larranaga joking that “it means we’re old” because “you can’t get 1,000 wins in two years.”

Without question, it took a long time and much patience. Krzyzewski spent five years at his alma mater, Army, where his first victory in 1975 was a 56-29 win over a Lehigh team coached by future NBA coach Brian Hill.

Krzyzewski has lasted 35 years — and counting — at Duke after a famously rocky start in which his first three teams were a combined 38-47.

Then came the 1982 recruiting class of Johnny Dawkins, Jay Bilas and Mark Alarie that helped propel the Blue Devils into seemingly permanent status among the nation’s elite.

Among the schools he’s beaten most often are Maryland (55 wins), Georgia Tech (53), Clemson (52) and North Carolina State (51) — though two weeks ago, the Wolfpack gave this Duke team one of the two losses that put Krzyzewski’s chase for 1,000 wins on hold for a week.

Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, a close friend of Krzyzewski’s who is second to him on the Division I men’s wins list, jokes that Coach K will “coach forever.”

“You’ve got to stay in coaching a long time, you’ve got to have good players and assistant coaches. It’s not that easy,” Boeheim said. “Sounds easy, but it’s not that easy.

“I don’t know how you win 1,000 games. I know when I started out and got to 100, I was happy to get there,” he added. “He’s going to coach for a long time. I have no expectations of ever catching him.”

Reaching four figures is of secondary concern to Krzyzewski, who wants the focus on his freshman-dominated team and its chase for the program’s first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title since 2011 and its first national title and Final Four since 2010.

He figures that finally getting past the distractions that come with pursuing and reaching 1,000 wins will put the attention back on the players.

“When it happens, and if it happens, hopefully it happens sooner than later, I’ll be very proud of it, but I’ll try to get beyond it right away because we’ll have a next game right away and I don’t want it to interfere in the season,” he said. “I don’t want it to be the season — I want it to be the next game. That’s the way I’ve tried to approach things.”

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 vaccination numbers see major improvement after inclusion of new data

News

Top shot: World champion skeet shooter conquers competition, helps grow sport

Business

Local cultural institutions receive funding from Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program

Local

David Freeze: New Mexico brings mostly flat roads

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools teachers reflect on summer institute

Education

Education briefs: Superintendent awards excellence in educational performance

Kannapolis

Mayor Alexander talks infrastructure, growth with Kannapolis, Concord mayors on ‘Charlotte Talks’ radio show

Legion baseball

Baseball: Honeycutt excited, humbled by being drafted

High School

High school football preview: Falcons have experienced offense

Local

Olympics: Livingstone graduate Hayes among final eight in 400

Local

Freeze: Day 9 — What makes the best day

Crime

Salisbury Police talk worsening crime data, initiatives at first Neighborhood Action Group meeting

Local

Spencer’s Park Plaza town hall project still on track, change order coming

Education

RCCC names new foundation director

News

North Carolina experts worry as schools don’t require masks

News

NC sports betting bill gets winning vote from Senate panel

Crime

Salisbury man charged with 79-year-old woman’s murder says cellphone location resulted in charges

Health

Salisbury City Council will return to virtual meetings, require face masks in city buildings

Landis

Landis goes big with two helicopters for National Night Out

Local

Spencer and East Spencer join forces for National Night Out

Local

City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road

Education

In lighter-than-usual year, RSS nutrition staff serve more than 100,000 summer meals

Nation/World

CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3

Nation/World

Pushback challenges vaccination requirements at US colleges