For Mike Krzyzewski, 1,000 wins at Duke was hard to believe.
So much so, that he said he tried not to think about it.
The Cameron Crazies probably didn’t make it easy for him. Many of them wore “1K” painted on their faces for the game. Former players, like Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Gerald Henderson sat in the stands to watch it happen. Everything was there to remind him that he was one win from 1,000.
“We were 38-47 here, during my first three years,” he said Friday night. “I don’t know if you knew that. There are a lot of people here that donate money that didn’t think I’d win 1,000 games. Me being one of them too.”
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But on Saturday night, after Duke’s 99-69 win over Utah Valley at Cameron Indoor Stadium, he did it.
Utah Valley did not make it easy.
After the first seven minutes of the game, Utah Valley led Duke 17-13.
But the Blue Devils forced three turnovers and some missed shots over the next three minutes. They went on an 18-3 run, giving them a double digit lead.
The lead gave Duke enough cushion to control the rest of the game.
Duke was, at times, bothered by Utah Valley’s height, which has four players who are 6-11 or taller, including one 7-footer. Utah Valley had given Kentucky a scare 24 hours before. The Wolverines led Kentucky at halftime by nine points, before the Wildcats went on a big run in the second half.
But whenever the Blue Devils forced turnovers, they didn’t have to worry about ’s height. They had 33 points off turnovers.
The Blue Devils’ starting-five accounted for the first 86 points Duke scored. And senior guard Grayson Allen didn’t score until 2:47 left in the first half.
It didn’t matter however, because the four starting freshmen picked up the slack.
Marvin Bagley III led all scorers with 24 points. Wendell Carter Jr., who was bothered with foul trouble on Friday, had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists and 3 steals. Gary Trent Jr. added 17 points. And Trevon Duval had 15 points and 12 assists.
After the game, Duke showed a video montage of Krzyzewski through the years. The players also wore shirts that read “Coach 1K.”
Krzyzewski has 1,072 wins total, including his time as the head coach at Army.
Krzyzewski is the only Division I men’s coach to have 1,000 wins at one school.
“For him to do that, that just shows his GOATness,” Duval said, referring to Krzyzewski as the “Greatest of all time.”
“For us to be a part of this tradition, his journey, his success, words can’t explain it,” he said. “That picture we just took out there, we was just talking to each other saying, ‘that’s going to be in the history books for the rest of our lives.’ So we were glad to be apart of that moment.”