DURHAM — Fresh off what he called the busiest spring of his Duke career, Mike Krzyzewski is ready for a summer that promises to be just as frenetic.
The Blue Devils basketball coach kicked off the 10th K Academy camp on Wednesday and offered his assessment on what went wrong with his team last season and shared his anxieties concerning the U.S. roster for the Summer Olympics.
A little more than two weeks after saying that he doesnt anticipate coaching the national team after the Summer Games in London, Krzyzewski was frank about the pressure he feels in ensuring the U.S. team wins gold medal.
Right now, at this time of my life, I still enjoy having that type of pressure, Krzyzewski said. But it will be time to move on after that.
Presiding over the Duke program certainly kept Krzyzewski on his toes this spring.
The Blue Devils lost to Lehigh in their first game of the NCAA tournament, a defeat that Krzyzewski has replayed in his mind a number of times.
Sometimes you get beat, he said. We werent playing well. When Ryan (Kelly) went down, we kind of mucked it out in the ACC tournament. We won one; we couldve won another. We couldve lost right away. We could never figure out who we were with Ryan out.
We werent that good.
Krzyzewski also spent some time contemplating what went wrong in the latter part of the season, and while he didnt want to get into the specifics of his analysis, he said the program needs to be tougher in how it practices and how it conditions while paying closer attention to how it bonds as a group.
And while Andre Dawkins status remains uncertain Krzyzewski said a final decision on whether the rising senior will redshirt next season will be made in the fall there was no mistaking the 65-year-old coachs optimism.
Ryan Kelly is now 100 percent, so that turned out well, Krzyzewski said of the Blue Devils rising senior forward from Raleigh. Recruiting turned out well. Mason (Plumlee)coming back is good for everybody, especially him. Its been very busy. Im really happy with where were at right now.
Kelly was on hand to watch the start of K Academy fantasy basketball camp and said that his right foot felt fine.
He said hes a little flattered that the coaches have singled out his absence as a reason the Blue Devils struggled in the postseason. Kelly was averaging 11.8 points per game when he sprained his foot the Tuesday before the ACC tournament.
Whenever you have a big change like that, it just changes things and makes it hard, Kelly said. I think I brought some spacing for us that certainly helped out. I think Im a pretty good player, so that helped us a little bit.
Thats the thing injuries are a part of sports. They stink and the timing was bad, but things like that happen. Its unfortunate, but thats the way it goes.
Krzyzewski touched on a couple of other topics during his availability with the media.
One of the storylines in college athletics this spring has been speculation about additional conference realignments, including the possibility of Florida State leaving the ACC. At the same time, the USA Today also published a story about coaches salaries, revealing that Krzyzewski made $7.2 million in 2010.
Asked if he thought there was a correlation between the inflation in basketball and football coaches salaries and the apparent desire of some schools to pursue more lucrative conference affiliations, Krzyzewski demurred at the suggestion.
I think the realignment stuff is more towards, For your future, can you support all the athletic programs, all the varsity sports that your school wants you to support in a high-level manner? he said.
I dont know if the coaches salaries for the two-revenue producing sports, mens basketball and football, theyre going to be high because thats what the market bears. The coaches of those programs make far more their return on that investment is well taken care of.
Its whether or not the total package of everything can take care of all the sports. Thats why youre looking at what your deal is with ESPN (and) what the ACC just did in getting a better deal. Thats a good thing for sports.
And then there was the topic of the 2012 Olympics, which begin July 27 in London.
The U.S. team has been beset by injuries to stars such as Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard. In a perfect world, Krzyzewski said the team wouldve announced the 12-man roster this week. But they want to wait until the end of the NBA playoffs to see who is still standing.