Mike Krzyzewski usually avoids contact with the outside world before a game, a ritual that allows him to prepare mentally for the task ahead. He made an exception yesterday, phoning...
DURHAM, N.C. Mike Krzyzewski usually avoids contact with the outside world before a game, a ritual that allows him to prepare mentally for the task ahead.
He made an exception yesterday, phoning the man who hired him at Duke, former athletic director Tom Butters.
“I did talk to Tom,” Krzyzewski said, “to say thanks.”
Later, on a court that bears his name, Coach K became the sixth active Division I coach to reach 700 victories, watching as Shelden Williams finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds to help the ninth-ranked Blue Devils beat Toledo 82-54.
A rough first three seasons at Duke left Krzyzewski with a 38-47 record, but Butters stuck with him. That support has continued throughout his 25 years at the school, even during two brief musings about leaving for the NBA.
“I wonder, ‘How lucky was I?’ ” Krzyzewski said. “At 38-47, somebody’s got to be there for you. Duke’s always been there for me, and I’ll always be there for Duke.”
During a brief ceremony after the game, Krzyzewski thanked several people within the program, including current and past players, and the Cameron Crazies who pack Cameron Indoor Stadium every game.
He also gave credit to his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, the only one to reach 700 wins faster than Krzyzewski. Both started their careers with successful tenures at Army, where Krzyzewski played for Knight.
“I really thought about coach Knight and Tom Butters,” the 57-year-old Krzyzewski said. “There’s a reason why somebody’s in a place they are all the time. Those two people have been unbelievable for my development. If I didn’t touch them in my life, I would not have touched so many others. I realize that.”
J.J. Redick scored 14 points and Daniel Ewing added 13 for the Blue Devils (6-0).
Krzyzewski, whose record is 700-240, clearly was focused on this game, not the achievement. In the first half, with Duke leading by 11 points, he berated referees Jamie Luckie and Ray Nattili for what he thought was a kicked-ball infraction by the Rockets (1-4).
Dean Smith, retired North Carolina coach, leads the Division I wins list with 879. Seventeen Division I coaches have won at least 700 games. The active ones are Texas Tech’s Knight (837), New Mexico State’s Lou Henson (778), Oklahoma State’s Eddie Sutton (762), Arizona’s Lute Olson (716), Temple’s John Chaney (711) and Krzyzewski.
Other Top 25 games
At No. 8 North Carolina 109, Loyola of Chicago 60
Freshman Marvin Williams of Bremerton scored 16 points to help the Tar Heels (7-1) rout the Ramblers (2-6). Williams made 6 of 9 shots from the field and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds in 24 minutes.
Jawad Williams led North Carolina with 17 points.
Loyola’s Blake Schilb scored 15 points.
At No. 23 Maryland 96, UNC-Asheville 72
John Gilchrist scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the Terrapins (5-2) rolled past the Bulldogs (1-5).
Maryland made all 13 of its free throws.
At Arizona St. 75, UC-Riverside 59
Ike Diogu scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, and junior-college transfer Bryson Krueger scored a season-high 23 points to lead the Sun Devils (7-1) over the Highlanders (3-3).
Diogu, who scored in double figures for the 67th time in as many games, also had nine rebounds. Arizona State is off to its best start since the 1992-93 team was 8-1.