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The N&O On The K And Post-K World

Things will be different for sure but

Winston-Salem State v Duke
DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils directs his team against the Winston-Salem State Rams at Cameron Indoor Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 106-38.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

With the season set to start Tuesday, the News & Observer has a look back at Mike Krzyzewski’s career, influence and impact.

As Ned Barnett rightly points out, things have changed a lot. When Coach K started, he had four-year players for four years and only an occasional transfer and some of those due to academics.

Then there was the dawn of early entry guys like Elton Brand, Will Avery and Corey Maggette and, later, starting with Kyrie Irving, the one-and-done era.

Now we’re heading into the NIL era and Barnett suggests that it will be more individualistic and difficult.

We’re not so sure about that.

First, we’re just at the dawn of NIL and no one understands just what it means. But one thing that seems likely is that a lot of guys will stick around longer than they might have. And it appears that a lot of guys will get opportunities. For instance, Joey Baker isn’t a star player but he now has a deal with Bojangles. It may not cause the divisions that a lot of people are expecting.

And this coincides with the new transfer era. The two of them may combine to allow a different way to build and retain teams.

But he is right that an era is ending and it’s not just the Coach K era. It’s going to be a lot harder for coaches to develop into what Barnett calls king coaches.

But this is also clear: the game will go on and people will figure out ways to make it better.