Coach K: Scheduling important with ACC expansion
Posted February 28
The addition of new teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference brings even more high-caliber opponents for the ‘old ACC teams’ to play each season.
It’s difficult to schedule a twice yearly opponent like Syracuse without undo strain on players and everybody surrounding a basketball program.
Adam Gold and Joe Ovies spoke with Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on 99.9FM The Fan about scheduling these conference games in the future.
“We try to figure out what we should do with games with so much attention. It’s important for everybody, but we had the same thing with Duke vs. North Carolina,” said Krzyzewski. “We figured that out and now it’s a no-brainer. Now that we have these new teams, we really need to study harder to keep it as accruable as possible, because it’s still going to be skewed scheduling.
“Certain years, teams are going to have an advantage over someone else, but nobody has an easy schedule. You also don’t have the same team each year. Certain years you can bury a team, but you don’t have to compete for 20 straight years.
“We really have to analyze the schedule and make some quick decisions with our TV-partners,” says Krzyzewski. “We have a lot of TV-partners, but we should still have the upper hand!”
Duke is one of the teams that are constantly in the limelight. More than 4 million people watched the Duke vs. Syracuse game and Coach K says he likes the attention.
“All a sudden, things can go the other way,” Krzyzewski says. “If you are fortuned enough to be one of the teams in that position, you have to except the responsibility and play at different times.”
But everybody knows teams have to cooperate to change the schedule.
“Nobody wants to be in the position that Jim Boeheim and Syracuse were put in,” says Krzyzewski. “Play us on Saturday and Maryland on Monday, with Maryland having days off, are two difficult straight road games.
“When I first got here in the eighties, with Jim and Bobby and all the established guys, everybody cooperated and they were willing to move games around.”
But things change and the TV-partners made schedule changes more difficult.
“We need to go back to that level of cooperation and commitment. We need to work as one to establish this new conference,” Krzyzewski says. “This is a new conference, still called the ACC, but it’s a new business.”
Krzyzewski did not like the way the Big East conference handled their schedule, a TV-schedule that highlighted the predicted top 5 of the conference.
“The thing with predictions is that they don’t always go the way you want them to go,” said Coach K. “There should be something in between our system and their system, but I don’t know how we are going to get there.
“Obviously the TV brings in the money. We have to be big boys and figure out together how we want to schedule the conference.”
Everybody had an idea how Duke was going to run back in October, but with March fast approaching the Blue Devils have really been clicking.
“We are getting better, we are a really good offensive team and we are starting to play better defense,” said Krzyzewski. “Competition makes us better and we got a lot of great games in the ACC this season.”
Krzyzewski even said he was impressed by the NC State-North Carolina game Wednesday.
“It was a fantastic game, but one of the teams had to lose,” said Krzyzewski. “Both teams played winning basketball and everybody enjoyed the performances from TJ Warren and Marcus Paige.
“Paige’s shooting was absolutely spectacular and there is nobody in college basketball that scores in more innovated ways than Warren. Those games and those two kids are great for our conference.”