Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Duke is skipping dome practice

Ten ACC teams will hold one-hour open practices at the Georgia Dome on Wednesday.

It will be an opportunity for players to get used to an unfamiliar shooting environment in the big arena.

Duke and North Carolina are the only teams whose coaches elected not to participate in the open practices. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has some apprehension about playing in the dome without the benefit of a shootaround there.

“We won’t have a chance to shoot in the dome,” Krzyzewski said. “And then you’re playing that second game so you’re out on the court right away. That’s probably more of a concern than playing late.”

If he’s concerned, why won’t Krzyzewski bring his team to Atlanta a day early to practice there? Especially when it’s spring break and his players wouldn’t miss any class?

Krzyzewski wants to shorten this trip for his players because since Feb. 15 they have made road trips to Boston College, St. John’s, Maryland and Virginia Tech.

If Duke were to practice Wednesday in Atlanta, the Blue Devils would spend all day Thursday and all day Friday there before playing sometime after 9 on Friday night.

“It’s too much,” Krzyzewski said. “It just ruins your routine. We’ll leave on Thursday after practice here. We’ll practice in the morning and then go down. You can be on the road too long, and we’ve been on the road most of February. That’s the only thing I’m a little bit concerned about.” – Ken Tysiac