We were patient with today’s gossip column as we waited for the Duke-St John’s game to conclude. Now that it has, we can start with a great story from one of basketball’s best ever coaches.
COACH K REACHES LANDMARK 1000 WINS
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone, when his side defeated St. John’s 77-68 at Madison Square Garden. Fitting really, as he passed his mentor Bob Knight for 904 win in 2011 at the MSG.
Coach K’s brilliance is evident in the international game as well, as he steered USA to top spot in the FIBA world rankings following a mini slump between 2002-2006. Once he took over, the USA, since 2006, have lost just the once and have won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cups.
When the final horn sounded, Blue Devils players engulfed Krzyzewski in front of their bench, and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Players were given T-shirts that read “1,000 and Kounting.”
“We were so gritty in the last 10 minutes,” Krzyzewski said. “It was tough to get involved with 1,000. I was just trying to survive this game, which is how you get to 1,000.”
A public address announcement offered congratulations to Krzyzewski from St. John’s, and Duke fans at a packed Garden chanted his name and held aloft “K” signs.
“I’m in it right now. I wasn’t in it until now,” he said. “You know, to see the happiness of my players makes it good. We have to keep it in perspective. It makes us 17-2, and we’ve got to go to Notre Dame on Wednesday, but for this moment, for basketball, for the game and for this program, we’ll enjoy this one right now.”
No. 1,000 came about 500 miles from the cramped and cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, but Coach K was hardly on unfamiliar soil.
After all, Madison Square Garden was where he notched win No. 903 against Michigan State in November 2011, breaking the Division I record previously held by his college coach and mentor, Bob Knight.
“It’s a remarkable accomplishment to win as many games as Mike has as a coach,” Knight said in a statement. “However, being able to coach as well as he has for as many years as he has is even more remarkable.”
Krzyzewski improved to 1,000-308 in a 40-year coaching career that began in 1975 at his alma mater, Army. He is 927-249 in 35 seasons at Duke, guiding the Blue Devils to four NCAA titles and 11 trips to the Final Four.
JENNINGS DONE FOR SEASON
Detroit Pistons’ Brandon Jennings is out for the season after an MRI scan showed that he has a torn left Achille tendon.
There is no timetable for his return. Though Jennings himself took to Twitter and predicted that he would be sidelined for 6-9 months.
Via Team Release:
The injury, which will require surgery, was confirmed following an MRI conducted on Sunday by team medical personnel.
Team medical personnel will work with Brandon and his representatives in determining the next course of action and treatment for the injury. No timetable is being placed on Jennings’ return at this time.
The 6-foot-1 guard has appeared in 41 games this season averaging 15.4 points, 6.6 assists and 1.07 steals in 28.6 minutes per game.