College basketball insider: Coach K, Boeheim made perfect fit
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In his spare time, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski doubles as USA men's basketball coach. When Krzyzewski replaced Larry Brown in 2008, he added Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, joining the two winningest coaches in Division I on the same staff.
“Coach K immediately said, ‘Jerry, the guy I want alongside me is Coach Boeheim,' '' USA men's basketball director Jerry Colangelo said during a teleconference last week. “I had no problem with that because I had a vested interest in Jimmy, since I was the guy who cut him when he tried out for the (Chicago) Bulls many years ago and set him off on his new career that turned out to be pretty good for him, coaching at Syracuse.”
Krzyzewski has the most career victories in Division I. On Saturday, he won his 900th game as Duke's coach. The Blue Devils defeated Pitt, 80-65, Monday night at Petersen Events Center.
Boeheim is second on the Division I career victories list. Boeheim and Krzyzewski are the only Division I coaches with 900 victories at one school.
On Boeheim, Krzyzewski said, “I knew when I was given the opportunity to coach that the guy I had the most respect for in the game and someone who I thought was brilliant and different than me, but a lot of the same things as me, that we would complement each other well.”
The U.S. won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and a FIBA World Championship in 2010 with Krzyzewski as coach and Boeheim as his assistant. They also have combined to win five NCAA titles.
“He's got unbelievable organizational and motivational skills, better than anybody I've seen. It's really helped me,” Boeheim said. “Coaching is a competitive field. You're not going to have a lot of friends in coaching because you're trying to beat each others brains in. But it's good to have a really good friend in coaching.”
His coach, Andy Enfield, left for USC, while the team's best player, Sherwood Brown, ran out of eligibility. However, Florida Gulf Coast junior forward Chase Fieler still plays above the rim, and his Eagles are positioning for a return to the NCAA Tournament.
Fieler — best remembered for his scintillating dunking exhibition against Georgetown during last year's NCAAs — leads FGCU in rebounding and is second in scoring and blocks.
As the second-place team in the Atlantic Sun, Florida Gulf Coast is building for another run to the conference title. Last year, the Eagles secured the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in its second year of full NCAA eligibility and became the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16.
A year ago, Hofstra won seven games during a season in which six different players were arrested — including four for campus burglaries — resulting in the dismissal of third-year coach Mo Cassara.
Under first-year coach Joe Mihalich, Hofstra already has won seven games, despite having a roster with only four scholarship players.
Hofstra's two leading scorers played at different schools last season. Senior Zeke Upshaw played his first three seasons at Illinois State, where he averaged 1.6 points. Taking advantage of the NCAA's transfer rule allowing players to change schools if they graduate early, Upshaw settled at Hofstra, where he averages a team-high 18.8 points. Fellow senior Dion Nesmith, a two-year starter at Monmouth also benefiting from the transfer rule, is second in scoring.
Mihalich, who guided Niagara to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and '07, pulled it all together, Blending some old with a little new, he's uplifted a battered Hofstra program — both on the court and off.
And the best has yet to come. Next season, two scoring leaders from Mihalich's last Niagara team will join their old coach at Hofstra.
Lone star comeback
Texas has a single NCAA Tournament victory since 2009-10. Last year, the Longhorns finished 16-18 and missed the NCAAs for the first time under coach Rick Barnes, who arrived in 1998-99.
Texas' top four scorers departed, including two who transferred, creating an aura of concern entering 2013-14.
So far, no worries for the new-look Longhorns. Ranked No. 25, Texas already has equaled last season's win total and carries a five-game Big 12 winning streak into Saturday's home matchup against No. 6 Kansas.
“It's a great group of guys because of where we were a year ago, and the guys who came back, and the attitude they gave us from the spring to the summer to the fall,” Barnes said. “It's been fun having a group of guys that really care about one another. As coaches, we look forward to going to the gym every day.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Federal appeals court appears divided on Obama’s immigrant deportation shield
- Penguins pushing to sell playoff tickets
- Golf outing bolsters cancer patient fund at Kittanning hospital
- Marte’s bat, Worley’s arm show improvement in Pirates win
- Groups looking to stage Day of Prayer at new school in Manor
- Armstrong’s roads less-traveled get funding for drainage improvements
- Butler County new home sales surge in 2014
- Penguins stars Crosby, Malkin enduring playoff slump
- Armstrong gets fourth officer trained to spot drugged drivers
- Mackey: For Pens’ Winnik, playing with Crosby an ongoing process
- Highmark asks patients to ‘Meet Dr. Right’