Coach K's recruiting edge with Team USA
November, 8, 2013
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesMike Krzyzewski's role with Jerry Colangelo and Team USA has been crucial in recruiting.Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski turns 67 years old in a few months. This is commonly the time when competitors utilize negative recruiting to gain a significant advantage.
“How much longer will he coach?” they say to high school players. “He won’t even be around to coach you.”
Instead, it’s Coach K who holds the edge.
His résumé obviously speaks for itself: He is the winningest coach in men’s Division I history. He’s closing in on 1,000 career victories and has built Duke into a national power, one that competes for a Final Four just about every season.
And the fact that he can sell USA Basketball doesn’t hurt his ability to sustain excellence as he heads into the twilight of his career.
Coach K has been the head coach of USA Basketball since 2005. That was when he was appointed to the position by chairman Jerry Colangelo. The pair has -- with the help of NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant -- made it cool to play in the Olympics again.
There was a time, not all that long ago, when there was concern whether Duke’s recruiting had begun to take a significant dip, when North Carolina coach Roy Williams appeared to have the upper hand when it came to luring the top recruits.