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Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski ended his illustrious career with a loss to rival North Carolina in the Final Four this weekend.
It was touted as Coach K’s potential last game and tributes poured in after the Blue Devils narrowly fell to the Tar Heels. But on Tuesday, a theory bubbled up about the possibility of Krzyzewski pulling a Tom Brady and not stepping down to return for one more season.
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The possibility was raised by former Duke star Jay Williams on ESPN Radiosaying he believes there is a “legitimate chance” of it happening.
“It leaves a huge void at Duke. And the question is, who fills that void from a recruiting perspective? And that gets me thinking, which is what I’ve been thinking about a lot since hearing this news (Monday ), is Coach K coming back for another season? One more final season,” Williams said.
Williams focused on the possibility of Duke losing rookies when the keys are handed over to Jon Scheyer, who has been named as Coach K’s successor.
DUKE’S MIKE KRZYZEWSKI ENDS ILLUSTRATED CAREER WITH LOSS TO UNC: ‘THIS TEAM HAS BEEN A JOY FOR ME TO COACH’
The former guard said Nolan Smith’s decision to leave Duke to become an associate head coach at Louisville could be a factor given the potential relationship Smith has established with top rookies Derek Lively II and Tarik Whitehead.
“…It turns into recruiting battles. It weakens Duke’s grip. If you’re Coach K, how do you strengthen that grip? You come back,” he added.
Williams made it clear he was just speculating at this point.
Krzyzewski said after the match that the emotions he was feeling at the time didn’t matter. He felt more for the players who worked hard to get to the Final Four. He wouldn’t exactly reflect on his Hall of Fame career.
“For these guys, they’ve been a joy. We announced that this would be our last year – I said to my wife, Mickie, listen, we’re going. And I’m going to put it all in. And I’ve a group, they are young, but I think they have a chance,” he said.
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“And I was right about that. I was right about that. So every day – we had a few bumps in the road, but they won 32 games. And they turned it around in March where they got been handsome young men to coach. Couldn’t ask for better.