This time, Duke is sure to appreciate No. 1 ranking

Posted January 26, 2009

— Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has often downplayed the men's basketball rankings.

Krzyzewski has even referenced his Polish heritage by saying he’s “the only Pole that matters.”

The Associated Press poll? So what?

But this season has been different. Krzyzewski has criticized the media for not recognizing his team’s rise to No. 2 in the rankings, especially given the attention that has flowed to North Carolina.

And on Monday, the Blue Devils ascended to No. 1 in both The Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today polls.

Asked why that recognition has been made more of this year, Krzyzewski said, “It’s the first time that those kids have been ranked No. 1.”

Duke rose as high as No. 2 last year before a late-season slide. The Devils reached as high as No. 5 in 2007 and were actually No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for 14 weeks in the 2005-06 season.

Current senior Greg Paulus was a freshman on that team, but Krzyzewski said a freshman doesn’t “realize your legacy” in collegiate athletics.

“Those things mean a lot. They mean even more as kids get older,” Krzyzewski said.

Krzyzewski said this Duke team has veteran players who often weren’t surrounded by veterans in past years. So Krzyzewski wants his club to relish its achievements along the way.

“Any high level of success, even though it’s not permanent with the No. 1 ranking, is a good benchmark,” he said.


"We've been playing pretty well," said Duke sophomore Kyle Singler. "You've got to give the team credit."

In the AP poll, the Blue Devils (18-1) moved up one spot to No. 1, their first appearance there since the final poll of 2005-06.

"It says we're playing pretty good," said Duke sophomore Nolan Smith. "The team feels like it means a lot, but it means a lot more to be number one come April."

Duke received 62 first-place votes and 1,789 points from the 72-member national media panel to easily outdistance Connecticut (18-1), which was No. 1 on six ballots and had 1,694 points, 47 more than Pittsburgh (18-1), which had three first-place votes.

The Demon Deacons lost to Virginia Tech Wednesday and dropped to No. 6.


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  • tlg0022 Jan 27, 2009

    so who is the best team Joey..State? haha

  • Coach K is GREAT Jan 27, 2009

    Agreed deacon. I'm happy for the team, the school, and I know Skip is smiling.
    Good luck tomorrow night friend. It should be a great one.

    The Hills fans are kicking themselves b/c they're not in the spotlight anymore...

    Good luck!!!

  • demondeacon Jan 27, 2009

    Tha main difference is Dino has control and nows how to work with what he has. Plus he helped recriut a lot of these players. Sometimes Lowe acts like he doesnt even know whats going on. Skip was one of Dinos best friends, and I think its a since of honor to complete what Skip started. Hes done a d-mn good job so far.

  • Coach K is GREAT Jan 27, 2009

    So I wonder if anyone has informed Dino if he wins the NC it won't count because he's using Skip's recruits.

    Typical dook logic....what idiots.

    There's a difference between letting players parents run a team, and a coach passing away...

  • joeyjnc Jan 27, 2009

    They better appreciate it, because it will not last long! Duke has won the games needed to be #1 this week, but they are not the best team in the country. We will all realize this when March rolls around.

  • tlg0022 Jan 27, 2009

    "I guess they have a right to enjoy it until they actually play a decent team"..huh?

  • Turheel Jan 27, 2009

    I guess it takes a while for people to digest "good sports" or positive comments. If you look at the 2nd post on this entire blog you'll see that I was very complimentary towards Duke, as I always have been when I post on a Duke blog. No one seems to notice those comments until 80+ smacks are thrown out. Anyway, it's good to read some positive comments from a few members of the area fanbases.

  • demondeacon Jan 27, 2009

    It would be nice to have a strong conference in football like we do in basketball. If we stay the current course we may get there.

  • DookStateSucks Jan 27, 2009


  • LGD Jan 27, 2009

    It is nice to see good sports talk on here. So many schools in the same area makes it fun. Off the topic of b-ball just for a sec.; I noticed that DUKE, WAKE, NCSU and UNC are ranked in the top forty for football recruiting for '09. Some real studs coming to all four schools; finally they seem to be turning things around. Thank God my Bluedevils decided to put some effort into it. Anyway, I can not wait for tomorrow nights game! LJC will definately be loud and should be an awsome matchup!

    GO DUKE!




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