KRZYZEWSKI HEADING BACK TO OLYMPICS? Shortly after leading the USA basketball team to gold at the 2012 Olympic games in London, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski confirmed that he would not return as head coach of Team USA. The announcement spurred many “Who should replace Krzyzewski as USA Basketball head coach?” debates, but it appears that search could be put on hold. According to USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo, there has been “movement” toward bringing Krzyzewski back as Team USA’s head coach for the 2016 Olympics. That is a drastic shift from recent months in which Coach K has insisted that his retirement from the USA Basketball head coaching position is permanent and that his replacement – whoever that may be – would get “all the support of all of us and of me.”
Krzyzewski was named head coach of the USA Men’s National Team in 2006 and led Team USA to gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics while amassing a 62-1 record. During that time, Duke went 174-41 while winning three ACC Championships and the 2010 NCAA Championship.
OJELEYE NAMED PARADE NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR Duke signee Semi Ojeleye – one of three incoming freshmen for Duke in 2013-14 alongside Matt Jones and Jabari Parker – was named by Parade Magazine as the 2012-13 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. Ojeleye, a native of Ottawa, Kan., averaged more than 38 points per game at Ottawa High School while leading his squad to a perfect 25-0 record and the Kansas 4A state championship. Ojeleye also posted a 4.0 grade point average and was named to the Parade All-America Team along with Parker. In leading Ottawa to the state title, Ojeleye set single-season (952 points) and career (2,763) scoring records, breaking marks that stood for 17 years.
DUKE STARS BACK ON CAMPUS Duke fans may have seen some familiar faces on campus over the past month as several Blue Devils have returned to campus. Gerald Henderson, he of the career-best 15.5 points per game with the Charlotte Bobcats last season, is back in school this summer taking classes to wrap up his degree in psychology. Nolan Smith, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and is now a free agent, is training on his old stomping grounds, and NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving was on campus last week training, as well. Even more Duke greats will return next week for K Academy.
PLUMLEE SHINES AT NBA COMBINE Mason Plumlee was the lone Blue Devil participating in drills at the 2013 NBA Draft Combine, though his fellow seniors Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly appeared for measurements. Plumlee checked in at 6-11.5 and 238.2 pounds, ranking as the second tallest and heaviest center/power forward at the combine. His hands measured 9.75”, which tied Indiana center – and fellow Indiana native – Cody Zeller as the largest hands of the big men. Plumlee showed off his athleticism in the drills, logging a 30.5” standing vertical jump, 36” max vertical jump, 3.29 seconds in the full-court sprint and 10.89 in the lane agility time. All of those numbers ranked second among the bigs who participated.
Curry, who is coming off of surgery to correct an issue in his right leg that hampered him during the entirety of his senior season, measured 6-1 and 179.2 pounds. Kelly, who also had surgery to correct an injury to his right foot which caused him to miss 13 games as a senior, measured 6-9.75 and 228 pounds.
GoDUKE EXCLUSIVE WITH ANDRE DAWKINS Next week, GoDuke will have an exclusive feature story on senior guard Andre Dawkins, who announced after the conclusion of the 2012-13 season that he would return to the Blue Devils for his senior season. Dawkins missed the entire 2012-13 season – which would have been his senior year alongside classmates Curry, Kelly and Plumlee – to devote his time to academics and personal issues stemming from the death of his sister during his freshman year at Duke. Dawkins has not spoken to the media since the announcement but said through Twitter, “Excited to say that I will be a part of the 2013-2014 Duke Men's Basketball Team. Thanks to everyone for the support throughout the year.” He added, “I want to get a fresh start and be a different player than I was. In October you will see a different Andre Dawkins.” The GoDuke story will also appear in GoDuke The Magazine.
OFFSEASON SURGERIES Several Blue Devils have undergone surgery since the completion of the 2012-13 season to address injuries they dealt with at different points during the season. Among that group are Seth Curry (leg), Josh Hairston (thumb), Ryan Kelly (foot) and Marshall Plumlee (foot). All four Blue Devils are recovering and on schedule for their projected return dates. For Curry and Kelly, that means the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, although both were unable to participate in the drill portion of the NBA Combine. Hairston and Plumlee are on track to be ready for the start of the 2013-14 college basketball season.