Coach K gets win No. 1K
NEW YORK (AP) — Coach 1K. How grand.
Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John’s in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to put Krzyzewski in four figures on his first try.
Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds, combining with Jones and Quinn Cook (17 points) to fuel the decisive spurt after Duke trailed by 10 with 8:15 remaining.
That’s when the Blue Devils finally began to look like a Krzyzewski-coached team, picking up their defense and hustling to loose balls as he urged them on from one knee in front of the bench.
Duke outworked the Red Storm on the glass and held them without a field goal for 6 pivotal minutes.
When the final horn sounded, Duke players engulfed Krzyzewski, and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Players were given T-shirts that read “1,000 Wins And Kounting.”
“We were so gritty in the last 10 minutes,” Krzyzewski said. “It was tough to get involved with 1,000. I was just trying to survive this game, which is how you get to 1,000.”
A public address announcement offered congratulations to Krzyzewski from St. John’s, and Duke fans at a packed Garden chanted his name and held aloft “K” signs.
“I’m in it right now. I wasn’t in it until now,” he said. “You know, to see the happiness of my players makes it good. We have to keep it in perspective. It makes us 17-2 and we’ve got to go to Notre Dame on Wednesday, but for this moment, for basketball, for the game and for this program, we’ll enjoy this one right now.”
Sir’ Dominic Pointer had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Storm (13-6), who were looking for a huge win to put on their NCAA tournament resume. They were in position to get it, but got worn down late by Duke and let this one slip away.
No. 1,000 came about 500 miles from the cramped and cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, but Coach K was hardly on unfamiliar soil.
After all, Madison Square Garden was where he notched victory No. 903 against Michigan State in November 2011, breaking the Division I record previously held by his college coach and mentor, Bob Knight.
The 67-year-old Krzyzewski improved to 1,000-308 in a 40-year coaching career that began in 1975 at his alma mater, Army. He is 927-249 in 35 seasons at Duke, guiding the Blue Devils to four NCAA titles and 11 trips to the Final Four.
The lively crowd of 19,812, mixed with fans of both schools, included about 15-20 former Duke players as well as Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson from the New York Knicks; St. John’s greats Chris Mullin, Lou Carnesecca and Felipe Lopez; and Nike boss Phil Knight.
Around 30 minutes before the opening tip, rising ticket prices ranged from $225 to $888 on stubhub.com — which also covered admission to the Iona-Niagara doubleheader finale.
By midway through an entertaining first half, Krzyzewski was on his feet as St. John’s erased an 11-point deficit.
Wearing a blue suit and white sneakers to support Coaches vs. Cancer, Krzyzewski stalked after the officials at the end of the half to argue that D’Angelo Harrison’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer came after the shot clock expired.
Coach K didn’t get the call, and the Red Storm went into the locker room leading 43-39.