Duke made its 11th Final Four under Coach K with Sunday’s win over Baylor.
Photo Courtesy: David Bradley, Duke Basketball
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DURHAM, N.C. – Now that Duke has worked its way back to a Final Four for the first time since 2004, don't be surprised to see the Blue Devils make a habit of it again.
Going back to 1986, Mike Krzyzewski's pattern has been one of repetition. His teams got to five straight Final Fours starting in 1988 and then again in 1994, 1999 and 2001.
At 63, Krzyzewski is still relatively young as college coaching careers go these days, and there's no doubt he's still as committed to winning as was the case in the 1980s and 1990s.
Krzyzewski addressed that topic at length during last weekend's South Regional games in Houston.
"I am every bit as passionate about my team today as I was in '86," he said. "There is no question. You can ask anybody. There is no question about it. I love what I do. I love my guys and they deserve that, just like my '86 team did.
"Whenever it is that I stop coaching, it will be because I can't go at that level. It won't be because I can't coach. It will be because I couldn't give my team that. But right now, I can do that and willingly do that. I guess there will be some time where you won't have that, which will be sad. But I'm going to go for it as long as I have it."
The key is getting the right personnel. In Krzyzewski's case, the correct personnel blend doesn't necessarily mean signing the most talented recruits each season. The talent level has to be high, of course. But it's more about work ethic, chemistry and leadership, which the current team has in excess.