Mike Krzyzewski has been the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils for 40 years now. He is, by far, the longest tenured coach in college basketball. However, it has to come to an end eventually.
That end will be after this upcoming season. Duke and Coach K have been synonymous with one another. He built this program from the ground up and propelled them to a force within college basketball.
He has made the NCAA Tournament 35 times, Final Four 12 times, and has made nine National Title games. Furthermore, Coach K has won five National Titles with Duke. He is also the all-time winningest coach in men’s collegiate basketball.
Coach K is a legend, who will be missed by the Duke fans. Let’s reflect and go through his history to find the three best teams of his Duke career.
2014-15 Duke Blue Devils
The 2014-15 came into the season with high expectations. They had four top 30 recruits, including the number one player in the class, Jahlil Okafor. However, they were not the favorites due to another great freshmen laden squad.
Kentucky had the best class and deepest roster. They were undefeated all season long until the Final Four, where they lost to Wisconsin. Duke didn’t have to play the best team all year long and instead took on Wisconsin in the National Title game.
Duke won the title and finished with a 35-4 record. The roster and talent was truly unmatched. Years later, we fail to realize the players on that roster.
Eight players from this team ended up making it to the NBA. They were an amazing group that had an inside beast like Okafor to match the guard play from Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones. Then there was Justise Winslow.
This was the last time Coach K had won a championship. Hopefully, he can reclaim the title in his final year.
2000-01 Duke Blue Devils
When you think of the 2000-01 team, the first person that should come to mind is Jay Williams. Williams was one of the best college players of the last 20 years. His time at Duke was phenomenal.
He won the Naismith Award in 2002, but his 2001 year was arguably better. He wasn’t the only All-American either. Coach K had a roster filled with amazing college players.
There was all-around player Shane Battier. He had a sharpshooter in Mike Dunleavy. To round it all out, there were two young studs in Chris Duhon and Carlos Boozer.
Duke won the National Title that year; beating Arizona. They finished 35-4 and produced five future NBA players on this team. However, this team was close to being the best, but there was one Duke team that took the cake.
1991-1992 Duke Blue Devils
One of the best teams ever was the 1991-92 Duke team. They didn’t have the amount of NBA talent as the 2015 squad. However, this is the clear cut choice.
Christan Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill were a dominant trio together. This season was their chance to win back-to-back titles. That was the goal and they easily accomplished it.
Coach K led this team to the National Title game and beat Michigan convincingly. Their record at the end was 34-2. Laettner was the best player in all of college basketball. He was a winner.
Hurley was one of the best point guards in college basketball history. Then, there was Grant Hill, who was a sophomore, but established himself as a star.
This Duke team is one of the best ever. Coach K would love to have a team like this for the upcoming year. Hate him, or love him, but Coach K will be missed.