Legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is within one win from tying Bob Knight on the Division 1 men’s career win list.
If his Blue Devils can take care of Presbyterian on Saturday then Knight will have company at the No. 1 spot with 901 wins.
Surprisingly, it was a struggle for the Blue Devils on Friday night, squeaking by Belmont with a 77-76 victory. Friday night’s game featured talented freshman guard Austin Rivers who is Duke’s top recruit coming into the new college season. Rivers is the son of NBA coach Doc Rivers. The freshman contributed to Duke’s victory with 16 points in his college debut.
Coach K said of the close game, which included 19 turnovers from his team: “Once the game pressure was on us, we grew up a lot tonight. You can’t practice situations like that. Good teams put you in those situations, and Belmont’s just a really good basketball team,” the Associated Press reported.
This is Krzyzewski’s 37th season as a head coach, and with last night’s victory his career record improved to 901-284. Knight’s career record is 902-371.
Although there’s no doubt Krzyzewski will surpass Knight for the most wins in Div. 1 men’s history, this season will be tough for the sixth ranked Blue Devils who lost two key scorers Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler at the end of the season. Meaning the pressure is on Seth Curry, the Plumlee brothers, Rivers and sharp-shooter Andre Dawkins.
Coach K’s coaching career started in 1976 with Army, where he held that spot for five seasons. He then moved to Duke in 1981 and led the Blue Devils to a 17-13 record and an NIT appearance.
After two consecutive losing seasons, Krzyewski took Duke to the NCAA Tournament in 1984 after going 24-10 on the season.