Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Krzyzewski prefers 16-game ACC schedule

DURHAM – Mike Krzyzewski knows little about what kind of system Duke will run next basketball season.

Instead, the Blue Devils’ coach will wait until after the team’s trip to play exhibition games in China and Dubai in August to form a rotation and a system of play after losing first-team All-ACC seniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler from last season’s team.

“We have so many new guys,” Krzyzewski said Wednesday during a media opportunity at the beginning of his yearly K Academy fantasy camp.

Krzyzewski has a firm opinion, though, on the ACC’s great scheduling debate. After the ACC got just four of its 12 teams into the NCAA tournament last season, school and conference officials discussed in April the idea of increasing the conference schedule from 16 to 18 games beginning in 2013-14.

The Big East, Big Ten and Pac-10 all play 18-game conference schedules. Krzyzewski doesn’t want the ACC to follow their lead. He would prefer the ACC schedule to remain at 16 games to allow teams to continue playing high-profile opponents from outside the conference without making the schedule too strong.

Krzyzewski would like ACC teams as a group to schedule stronger outside the conference while keeping the 16-game league schedule. According to realtimerpi.com, the ACC had just the sixth-best schedule strength among the nation’s conference last season.

Just two teams in the ACC – Duke and North Carolina – played a top-25 schedule.

“Part of our problem is that as a conference, we have not scheduled nonconference wise hard enough to promote a good enough RPI which would benefit everyone,” Krzyzewski said. “If we could still keep 16 games and each team takes it upon itself to schedule stronger, I think we need that.”

Krzyzewski also is pushing for the ACC and its television partners to develop regular slots for nationally televised games to entice audiences to develop consistent ACC basketball viewing habits.

He suggested slots on Wednesday night and Saturday afternoons.

“Our conference has been built on people turning radios on, in little towns and big cities throughout the mid-Atlantic region,” Krzyzewsk said. “And they knew at a certain time there was going to be an ACC basketball game on, and things like that, where we as a conference need to do that.”

Last week, ACC commissioner John Swofford said he was impressed with the way the basketball coaches conducted themselves with the league’s best interests at heart at the conference’s yearly spring meetings.

Just four of the ACC’s basketball coaches have been working in the conference for more than two seasons. Swofford sounded encouraged with the way the coaches interacted.

“They’re very bright, very engaged, very knowledgeable and appreciative of our conference’s history and tradition in basketball and are proud to be part of it,” Swofford said.

Krzyzewski echoed those comments.

“The group of coaches we have in here are really smart,” he said, “and I think they look at it as a conference. I think for a little, the last few years, I think sometimes we’ve gotten too territorial about individual programs and not looked collectively on what the conference needs to do.”

Regarding his own team, Krzyzewski said it will take time to figure out how to play in 2011-12. Duke has just one senior, Miles Plumlee, next season and loses 52.8 percent of its scoring off a 2010-11 team that finished 32-5.

He will keep things simple on the trip to China and watch to see which players emerge as contributors and leaders before making any decisions.

“We have very good talent, and we’ll have good depth,” Krzyzewski said. “But we don’t have anybody coming back who for a whole year, you knew he was that [key] guy. So the China trip, we’ll keep it simple. We’ll get to know our guys.”

Ken Tysiac

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

>> Krzyzewski knows little about what kind of system Duke will run

So he's giving up the flopping, fouling, swearing, and man-hugs?

Anonymous said...

AWESOME comment above... I tip my hat to you.

Anonymous said...

Cute, guys. Throw tired stones while the greatest living coach of all-time captures Bobby's wins record, splits with UNC, and marches to his 17th consecutive NCAAs.

Love,
Realistic/neutral fan

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