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Olympics

Team USA practices bear Duke imprint

Posted July 16, 2012

— 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?

Steve Wojciechowski Medlin: Duke assistants join boss on Team USA staff

"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.

 

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  • sportznut628 Jul 17, 7:29 a.m.

    Hey UNC fans Larry Brown sure did a great job with Team USA!!! Im not a Duke fan, but its clear... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    sidney lowe could be the coach and this team would win the gold -

  • Toddler10-21 Jul 17, 6:35 a.m.

    Hey UNC fans Larry Brown sure did a great job with Team USA!!! Im not a Duke fan, but its clear that these guys respect K, and why shouldnt they? Perfect coach to coach these guys!! UNC fans just hate this!! GO USA!!

  • sportznut628 Jul 17, 2:43 a.m.

    The only thing that is similar between Dook and the National team is practice - see Dook vs Lehigh 2012

  • 903 G I Rogue Jul 16, 11:44 p.m.

    So, the guards are chucking up all the shots, the bigs are setting moving screens, and everybody... View More

    — Posted by heelman73

    Maybe you should ask Jerry Colangelo, the guy responsible for assembling the national team and entrusting the coach he hand-selected to guide it to another gold medal this summer.

  • heelman73 Jul 16, 9:53 p.m.

    So, the guards are chucking up all the shots, the bigs are setting moving screens, and everybody falls down when an opponent gets within 2 feet of them?

  • Hokies94 Jul 16, 9:03 p.m.

    I understand why Coach K has these two long time assistants with him. This is Coach K's philisophy, and Wo Jo and Collins understand his structure and terminology. This saves time and energy. The players need this structure, and K has surely stressed a bunch on defense too.

    For a few writers that have stated that these guys don't even need a coach...we know that you have never played; much less coached anything in your lives. What a joke.

  • bretttarton Jul 16, 7:38 p.m.

    Champions in college bb and Pro Olympic Gold. Get another Gold for the good guys and thank you for giving your time for your country.

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