USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that "all leads point to Coach K coming back," following a report by the Boston Globe that Krzyzewski has agreed to return as U.S. Olympic basketball coach.
The Globe report cited two sources close to the situation.
Interesting move on Krzyzewski's part, especially considering the decline Duke has suffered during the time he was attending to the 2008 Olympic team. As we have discussed here before, the current state of things in Durham cannot be completely laid at the feet of Krzyzewski's Olympic endeavor. The dud-like nature of the 2005 recruiting class and a steady stream of transfers/early NBA entrants has depleted the talent pool at Duke. Where the Olympic commitment becomes an issue is in Krzyzewski's ability to focus on recruiting to shore up his roster amid the rampant attrition that appeared to be going on. At this point the program is possibly in a worse state than it was four years ago when he was named to the Olympic post because at least then Johnny Dawkins was the chief assistant. Dawkins is now at Stanford and that means the Steve Wojociewski and Chris Collins are going to be doing the heavy lifting out on the recruiting trail with some assistance from Nate James. I cannot imagine that is a best case scenario.
However, the one bit of daylight Duke has in regards to this issue is the fact they are poised to bring in a top ranked class for 2010. According to everything I have seen, Harrison Barnes is a Duke lean and if the Blue Devils can land him and maybe even #1 PG Brandon Knight the class would be stacked. That would place less pressure on Krzyzewski recruiting wise during the summer of 2010 when he is coaching Team USA at the World Championships. He then could make a concerted effort in 2010-11 to make a run at a title which may be his last best shot since Barnes and possibly others might bolt for the NBA after that.
Then again, this may also be about legacy as wb3 pointed out in an email to me this morning. Krzyzewski could be aware that he is past his prime and time is a bit short to really build the roster up for another sustained run. If that is the case why not add a 2nd Olympic gold medal to your resume as a coach and head into retirement as the NCAA leader in wins as well as the guy who saved USA basketball?
Whatever the case, on the surface this move appears to hurt Duke and by extension help UNC maintain it's present perch above the ACC as well as in the UNC-Duke rivalry.