Team USA practices bear Duke imprint
Posted July 16, 2012
Washington — Coach Mike Krzyzewski has a team of NBA all-stars to lead to the Summer Olympics later this month, a group of players who may be unfamiliar with his style. But on the bench, he is backed by two long-time Duke University assistants who bring a taste of Durham to Team USA practices.
With Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski running plays, the preparation of the U.S. national team bears an uncanny resemblance to practice at Duke. Both men have either played for Coach K or worked at his side for more than two decades. Who better to translate Krzyzewski's system for the Olympic team?
"We run a lot of the same things offensively at Duke that we do with the USA team," Collins said.
"We can help teach our system and what we want the guys to do out on the floor."
"One of the things that coach wants the main staff to do during practice is observe and really study, so what Chris and I do is provide some young legs and get out there and do drills," Wojciechowski said.
Krzyzewski said the pair easily adapt to running with professional basketball's best. "They do a great job, and the guys love them," he said.
Collins and Wojo also help Team USA with scouting.
"The fact is the international game is more like a college game with the rules than it is an NBA game," Collins said.
The coach had one word for the contribution his college assistants are making. "They're invaluable," he said.