Tuesday, May 6, 2008

James an obvious pick for Duke

If you’re around Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski enough, you’re bound to hear him talk about what a good teammate Nate James was.

James was a two-time captain who gracefully accepted a move out of the starting lineup in 2001 to allow Chris Duhon to add spark to the Blue Devils on offense. James’ willingness to sacrifice his spot as a starter in his senior season helped Duke win an NCAA title.

“Nate's been the guy for five years (including a redshirt year) that just said, ‘What do you want me to do? I'll do it. I love being on this team, and I'll do whatever it takes,’ ” Krzyzewski said the day before Duke defeated Arizona in the NCAA championship game. “It's kind of refreshing. I mean, we need more guys like that.”

That’s why it’s not a surprise that when associate head coach Johnny Dawkins left for Stanford, James joined Duke’s staff. He had been an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Duke before his hiring was announced Tuesday.

Perhaps just as significantly, Krzyzewski announced that both Steve Wojciechowski and Chris Collins will be promoted to associate head coach. This was an expedient move to preserve continuity.

Wojciechowski has assisted Krzyzewski since 1999, one year before Collins joined the staff. But Collins is older and has previous coaching experience elsewhere.

If Krzyzewski had promoted just one, the other could have been disappointed, understandably so. This move will preserve harmony on the staff as Krzyzewski moves forward without the quiet, confidence presence of Dawkins at his side.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

I like how this post appears on the same blog as your article stating Duke should hire outside the family.

Nice fluff piece. You do a great job completely ignoring what you said a few days ago.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, after royally shafting Pete Gaudet a few years ago, no one other than former players will work for K.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right. You are completely insane...there are great deal of coaches outside the Duke family that would jump at the chance to work on his staff.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there wasn't a coach outside of the "family" better than Nate James who wanted the job... that's embarassing.