DURHAM, N.C. -- With the USA Men's National Basketball Team's all-star coaching cast of NCAA men's all-time wins leader Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and longtime NBA coaching veterans Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan, it's no surprise that the contributions of Duke's own Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski are often overlooked.
The Duke associate head coaches, who have spent a combined 25 years coaching the Blue Devils alongside Krzyzewski since 1999, have played a vital role in Team USA's success since they joined the US National Team's staff in 2008. Collins and Wojo serve as court coaches and are also in charge of scouting opponents. The duo run Team USA through offensive and defensive sets and run drills during practice.
"Wojo and Collins have been huge parts of the development of the USA program," said Krzyzewski, who as head coach is currently leading Team USA in its quest for a second straight gold medal. "They've done marvelous jobs to the point that we need them. We need them."
The two played a key role in Team USA's gold medal run in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then in 2010 - just months after leading the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA Championship - helped guide Team USA to another gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
"Coach Collins is a great coach, and he's going to be a good head coach soon," said three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams who plays the point for Team USA. "I love working with him; I loved working with him in the last Olympics. He's a great coach."
"Wojo is great because he always comes with great energy. He always creates a spark in the gym," said Tyson Chandler, center for the Dallas Mavericks and 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. "He's one of those coaches that's just willing to put in the extra effort and the extra time."
So far, Wojo and Collins have Team USA rolling in London with opening-round wins over France (98-71) and Tunisia (110-63). Team USA leads the field in points per game (104.0), rebounds per game (50.0) and assists per game (27.5). Next up is a contest against Nigeria on Aug. 2 and then a showdown against Lithuania on Aug. 4.
"They help out so much because they've seen us grow from boys to men. They've been outstanding since day one," said Chris Paul, all-star point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. "I love Wojo; I love coach Collins. They're just great guys."