Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski wins 1,000 game at espense of Maryland
Mike Krzyzewski’s 1,000th game at Duke ended like so many others before it: overwhelmingly in his team’s favor. With results like this, it’s no surprise that he doesn’t plan on slowing down.
Jon Scheyer scored 22 points and No. 7 Duke marked Coach K’s milestone with a 77-56 rout of Maryland on Saturday in a matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top two teams.
Brian Zoubek had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the ACC-leading Blue Devils (21-4, 9-2), who dominated from start to finish and at both ends of the court, shooting 41.5% and holding Maryland 25 points below its season average.
“Obviously, it’s an honor to play” in a game of such significance for Krzyzewski, Scheyer said. “But after that, we’re in first place — that’s the main thing.”
Greivis Vasquez scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and Cliff Tucker added 12 to lead the Terrapins (16-7, 6-3), whose late run couldn’t make up for going 7 early minutes between baskets. They were 2 of 13 from three-point range.
“We weren’t really in sync, and you cannot do that here,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “You have to be really ready to play, and everything has to go your way … and we didn’t play well enough.”
From Art Heyman to J.J. Redick, roughly 100 former players, coaches and staff members returned to Cameron Indoor Stadium to celebrate a double milestone for Krzyzewski. On his 63rd birthday, he became the eighth Division I coach to reach four figures at one school. He’s 781-219 in 30 seasons at Duke with three national titles and 10 Final Fours.
“I could not have had a better place to coach,” Krzyzewski said. Describing its high standards, he added that the school “was more of who I want to be. I’m not saying I’m like Duke, but I want to be like Duke.”
After the final horn sounded, he was presented with a framed Duke No. 1,000 jersey, the players pulled on T-shirts adorned with Krzyzewski’s silhouette and the Cameron Crazies sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
“When you think of Duke basketball, you think of Mike Krzyzewski,” Williams said.
Nolan Smith had 14 points and Kyle Singler finished with 10 for the Blue Devils — who have won four straight, six of seven overall and 40 in a row at home against unranked teams.
They have rarely been tested at Cameron this season — 14-0 with all but one of the victories coming by double digits.
“We really want to protect our home court, and that’s something that, outside of my freshman year (2006-07), is something that we’ve done since I’ve been here,” Scheyer said. “It’s something this year that, as an older, veteran group, you really feel that much more pride in wanting to not lose at home.”
This time, they held off a late charge by Maryland and kept control throughout against the second-place Terrapins, the last visitors not named North Carolina to win here when they did it in 2007 when Vasquez was a freshman.
Duke has won all six meetings since then, though in his final visit to one of college basketball’s most inhospitable arenas, Vasquez recovered from a rocky start and nearly clawed Maryland back into the game.
He scored nine consecutive points during a 10-0 run, hitting a jumper to pull the Terrapins within 54-44 with 9:26 to play. Duke responded with a reverse layup by Singler, two free throws by Smith and a three-point play by Scheyer to stretch the lead to 61-44.
That came after Vasquez was held without a point for the opening 16 minutes, prompting the Crazies to chant “scoreless” at him. By the time he hit his first basket — a floating jumper at the 4-minute mark of the first half — the Blue Devils already were up by double figures for good.
“If you can stay in front of him, make sure he knows you’re in front of him at all times, you can guard him,” Smith said. After halftime, “he just started to attack more. … You can never hold a scorer down for long.”
Duke, which beat the Terps by 41 in last season’s visit, looked well on its way to another easy win by reeling off 15 consecutive points during the early 25-6 run that put them in control.
Zoubek, a 7-foot-1 senior making his first start of the season, was effective in doing the dirty work underneath for the Blue Devils, with Krzyzewski calling him “the difference.” One impressive individual effort pushed him into double figures in two stat categories and gave him his first double-double of the ACC season.
Singler missed a three-pointer 3 minutes into the second half, and Zoubek broke unimpeded down the lane and dunked the rebound to make it 48-26.
After the game, Krzyzewski refuted rumors that the New Jersey Nets were interested in him, first saying the team has not contacted him before cracking a few one-liners.
“The guy’s Russian, right? You think he’d hire a Polish guy?” Krzyzewski quipped in reference to Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire and the Nets’ prospective buyer.
Then, he added with a laugh: “No one’s contacted me, and if they do, I think ‘nyet’ would be easy for me to say.”