NEW ORLEANS — The most illuminating version of Mike Krzyzewski is the one only a few people ever get to see: Coach K wide-eyed at 3:24 in the morning. Wounded pizza crusts on the plate, a Diet Coke in arm’s reach, the Duke head coach with his assistants poring through game after game after game. Tedious work. But, for Krzyzewski, necessary. The process repeats itself. It must.
“I’ve always looked at a game wasn’t over until you analyze that,” Krzyzewski said Thursday, his Duke team in preparation for a mammoth showdown vs. blood rival North Carolina in the Final Four on Saturday. “And we’re able to put a tape together, feedback for your team the next day. And then once that was given, that game was put on the shelf and you move forward, and it’s just a routine of what a game is and then how do you prepare for the for the next one.”
That august image of Coach K flares in contrast with the gritty, quiet reality of what built that image in the first place. At his core, Krzyzewski is a wicked competitor, someone hellbent on dismantling his opponents, a man who has processes, habits and routines that might seem to border on psychopathic for anyone in search of standard work/life balance — or a normal sleep schedule.
“At 75, he still wants to fight everyone this week,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, a former Duke assistant, told CBS Sports.
It’s this reason, beyond all others, that Krzyzewski has successfully coached to the age of 75, built up arguably the greatest career in basketball coaching — ever, at any level — and has Duke back in the Final Four. It’s Krzyzewski’s 13th time bringing his program to the biggest stage in college basketball. That’s a record. His record. There’s a healthy chance it’s never broken.
“He’s relentless,” Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer told CBS Sports. “Like, he’s a machine.”
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Author : Matt Norlander
Publish date : 2022-03-31 22:57:50
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