Today Could Be The Day

Coach K

After ending the 2003-2004 season on a bitter note, it seemed as though all Blue Devil fans needed some time off. Unfortunately the early defection of Luol Deng, and Shaun Livingston left many wondering how much worse these few months could get. Then the Lakers came calling on Coach K, leaving Monday as the day when this off season turns around or becomes catastrophic.

By now all the information that can or will come out has done so. Everyone knows that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is being tempted by $40 million, and the challenge of coaching the league's most glamorous and dysfunctional collection millionaires on the league's biggest stage.

Also the reasons that Coach K may no longer be fully happy with the college game have also come to light. Early defections, illogical NCAA recruiting guidelines, and unfavorable decisions on every level of college basketball have combined to make this a frustrating few months for the game's best coach.

As of Friday Krzyzewski had not met with the players, nor the coaching staff to discuss or explain the inner workings of what's going on. In fact Krzyzewski and his family had taken the long weekend to head to their Coastal North Carolina house to digest the offer and the family's future.

With the weekend now behind us, speculation suggests that Krzyzewski will meet with his staff on Monday afternoon or early evening to bring them up to date. A decision could be made public around that time.

The Lakers have repeated their desire to have a coach in place by the end of the week, and the July evaluation period begins on Thursday with the launch of the shoe camps, meaning that both Duke and Los Angeles need an answer sooner than later.

While turning down the job in Los Angeles would shock many hopeful rivals, in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't be that big of a deal for the Lakers, who would likely hire former Championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich, though they'd certainly have to up his compensation package after this media circus.

However, should Krzyzewski leave Duke there would be a major uproar over what to do and how to proceed. The Blue Devils would still boast some of the best facilities in the world, but who would be the coach? Would there be wide spread coaching changes with the staffs? How long would it take for Duke to get a new coach in place and to have that coach on the recruiting trail? Finally, who wouldn't be there next year among the current roster and top senior high school prospects?

All those questions would have to be answered in a very short time (not to mention correctly) for the Blue Devils to be able to avoid the kind of collapse that was witnessed eight miles down 15-501.

What a way to kick off the centennial season of Duke basketball.

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