It’s a world of cheating. A world of agents. One filled with boosters who love to pay players, coaches who always are after recruits, and athletic directors who simply look the other way.
In this world of shadiness, one coach has stood above the rest. He’s never been accused of recruiting violations, never given in to peer pressure, yet always come out on top.
That is Mike Krzyzewski
Coach K, who just reached his 20th Sweet 16, won his 900th game, and sports a 76% win percentage. He’s learned from the best, Bob Knight, and is closing in on Knight’s all-time wins record for men’s Division I basketball.
Yet, he’s never been accused of illegal or even “shady” recruiting. He doesn’t recruit “one-and-doners” and still wins. It’s something that doesn’t get enough attention as it should. What people focus on is how much they hate Duke and many times don’t give Duke the respect they are due.
When looking at K’s recruiting classes based by ranking, it’s never too impressive…(all rankings from Rivals.com)
As you can see, he never brings in John Calipari-like recruiting classes. However, what if I told you only 1 of those listed numbers left before 4 years of school? What if we put some names with those numbers
2006 – Gerald Henderson, Brian Zoubek, Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas
2007 – Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler
2008 - Miles Plumlee
2009 - Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee
2010 - Kyrie Irving, Tyler Thorton, Josh Hairston
The 2006 class minus Henderson (the one player who left early) won a title last year in their senior year. Of the remaining 8 players, 7 have started for Duke at some point this year. Singler won Final Four Most Outstanding Player last season and Nolan Smith is in the running for National Player of the Year this year.
The players Coach K recruits are committed to Duke. They are committed for numerous years to a team. That’s why there’s reasoning for the belief that Kyrie Irving won’t leave early. In fact, since 2000, only one Duke player has been “one-and-done” (Luol Deng). Is it because K leans toward recruiting those who aren’t “one-and-done”? It’s hard to say.
Something that has helped K as of late, quite surprisingly, is coaching Team USA. When he first committed to coaching the team, I was skeptical on the effect it would have on recruiting. However, after a couple years, you can see the effect it has had. In successive classes, Duke got the #4 player (Irving), #1 next year (Austin Rivers), and #11 in 2012 (Alex Murphy).
And, like I said, he’s doing it all the right way. You never hear even the slightest inkling that Coach K might be illegally recruiting players. He’s always had a clean ship and always won.
He’s won 4 titles, tied for 2nd all-time.
He has 900 career wins, just 2 behind Bob Knight for most in men’s Division I basketball history.
He has 11 Final Fours, 8 NCAA title games
He’s won 13 ACC tourneys and 12 ACC regular season titles
Coach K is the best in the business today. He’s done everything the right way, his way, and a successful way. Kudos to Coach K.