Coach K: "It's a Long Season"
Duke fell nine spots in the AP Top 25 after losing to Stephen F. Austin at home last week.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski acknowledged that the Blue Devils have some work to do, but there is plenty of time to get it done.
After the win over Winthrop on Friday, Krzyzewski pointed out that it was the 39-year anniversary of his first win at Duke, and that the win over Stetson nearly four decades ago was the season opener. This year, it was Duke's eighth game.
“It will be December next time we play, and we’ve already played eight games,” he said. “People want to judge. It’s a long season. It’s a very long season.”
Krzyzewski said that he’s not focusing on the rest of the basketball world, just pulling his attention inward toward his own team’s development.
“What I’m trying to do is not look at anybody else,” he said. "Any tournament, any teams except the one we’re going to play and us. Just not compare or do anything. In some years, I would look who are the lead horses out there. We just want to be good enough to be in a horse race at the end and see where we are at the end. It’s going to be that kind of year for us. That’s okay. That’s what I mean about it being old-fashioned [as he’s described this year’s team multiple times].”
Krzyzewski used Matthew Hurt as an example of how the team needs to respond to adversity.
“I’m proud of him, because he was not good in New York [the week before Thanksgiving],” Coach K said. “He took to responding. We met. He’s worked harder. They’re developing. He responded well. He responded real well. I’m proud of him. We’ve just got to keep moving on.”