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Sources - K To Take Olympic Job Again

It's no great surprise to learn that Mike Krzyzewski is on the verge of accepting the Olympic coaching job again. First of all, it was a tremendous experience for everyone involved, and he, along with Jerry Colangelo, were responsible for completely resetting the environment around U.S. basketball. Remember, not too long ago, NBA stars were not interested in being involved with the Olympics, and after Athens even earned the dread moniker of "ugly Americans."

No more of that. NBA players are lining up to be on the team, and the world is much more receptive to this vision of the American form of the game.

One of Krzyzewski's concerns was that the core of the team return - that core basically being LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Anthony Carmelo, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh and probably Chris Paul.

Jason Kidd almost certainly won't participate as a player although he could have a role in a different capacity. Carlos Boozer might or might not make it again, and Michael Redd might be expendable.

There are a lot of young players coming up who will have to be considered, including Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Blake Griffin, Greg Oden, and others. If he played serious defense, odds are Ty Lawson would get some serious consideration because he gets the ball up and down the court so quickly. Brandon Roy would probably fit in assuming he bought in. We're not saying he wouldn't; we just don't know him well enough to know that he would.

The basic formula is pretty much set: a premium is set on bigger guards to counter the bigger guards internationally, versatility, a core of mid-sized players from guard to forward who can play multiple positions. A successful candidate should also be able to be disruptive defensively.

Among the young players, having Durant, Beasley and Griffin come along at the same time is pretty amazing. Any of the three could develop into a massive star by the time the games roll around. But the potential game changer is Odom.

The guy has been limited by injuries throughout his career, but if he ever gets healthy, then the U.S. has a big-time shotblocker to anchor the defense, and if that happens, it's over before it starts. Once you put guys like James and Wade around that imposing presence, the defense is going to be crushing - and they're big and versatile enough to switch on outside shooting big men as well.

The main question for a lot of people is: what about Duke? Well here's our take. Coach K has been incredibly loyal to Duke, and incredibly good, too. If he wants to take on the Olympics again, we would hope Duke fans would return that loyalty.

Secondly, it may well be that the exposure is helping a great deal in recruiting. Although it didn't help with Kenny Boynton, as Billy Donovan took advantage of K's absence to work on the kid, Andre Dawkins, Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston have all committed, and Harrison Barnes is a possibility. That's a pretty good class, and it was assembled with the Olympics going on.

And it can't hurt to tell a kid, "you know, I was talking to LeBron about you..." or whatever.

If it's a negative, it's also a huge positive. Any day now you can expect fans from other schools to say that it is giving Duke an unfair advantage in recruiting.