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Coach K On The Modern Game

Love it or leave it? Sort of.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Duke
Feb 28, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski smiles from the sidelines in the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

People talk a lot about how Coach K adapts to his personnel every year and that’s true, he certainly does.

But he’s also adapted, and really done so consistently, since college basketball began to change.

Just consider what has happened since he got to Duke. His arrival pretty much coincided with the rest of ESPN and the Big East. The three point shot came in.

He had to deal with the rise of the AAU culture.

Then players started going pro after just one year or, or a while, right out of high school.

Then expansion hit, followed by the rise of the Power Five Conferences, the potential disintegration of the ACC and more.

He’s pretty much rolled with all of it and at the ACC’s spring meetings suggested that “[y]ou know, if you’re constantly talking about, ‘Boy, I wish it was the way it was,’ I think you should be smoking a pipe and … you should be out of this. The fact that this is changing and all that, keeps you young, to keep adapting to the different cultures. So overall it’s great. And we shouldn’t complain about it.”

He also said this: “I love being at Duke, I love being in college basketball, and being in the ACC, and OK, what does that mean right now?” And then it’s up to me to have my program succeed in that environment.

“Competition is not just on the court. It’s off the court, in how you adapt. So I like that, and I think that’s what a CEO should do. Otherwise they should ask you for – right now it wouldn’t be early retirement for me, it would late retirement.”

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