Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski posted a video on the program’s social media feeds, giving an update on how Duke basketball’s first month back on campus has gone.
“We’ve been really excited for the last few weeks,” he said. “The players came back on August 2. They were tested. They’d been in in self-quarantine at their homes for14 days before coming. They got here, and everyone was negative. They also get tested for antibodies, and we set up a protocol where we’re tested one time a week, every Friday. Everybody’s been negative. My coaching staff and everyone working with the players is tested once a week. So far, our bubble has been really, really good. As a result, we’ve been able to move along quite well.”
After everyone was cleared, the players went through the usual testing that opens Duke’s preseason routine.
“The first week, we did all our medical testing that we do. It’s really intensive for these guys. We get a baseline where everyone’s at. We also do the combine testing that the NBA does. It really helps us to get to know the player better and helps the player to get to know himself better,” Krzyzewski explained.
The players were kept separate at first, but now, they’re working out in small groups.
“We started one-on-one instruction following medical protocols,” Coach K said. “We used the practice facility. One coach was with one player at one basket. We have four main baskets. Boy, that’s worked out real well to where we transitioned into this week where instead of having three four-man groups, we now have two six-or-seven-man groups. Now, two coaches are working with three or four guys at a basket. The coaches are masked. The players are not. We also have a weight program, three times a week for small groups.”
After two weeks of exclusive basketball work, the players became students again.
“Along with that was the start of school,” Krzyzewski said. “Most of the classes are online, but there are some in-person classes. What we have done is created classrooms for them here in Cameron. We use our Cragg Family Center—our normal meal room—where three or four of them could be, our media room, where we have desks set up, and also our legacy room. Our academic advisor coordinates where guys come in and do their remote classes here. Again, that’s worked out well.”
Obviously, converting all of those different locations to socially distanced classrooms took quite an effort.
“I’m really proud of the jobs everyone has been doing, our entire athletic department,” he said. “My hat goes off to (Associate Director of Athletics/Athletic Facilities, Game Operations and Championships) Bob Weisman and his staff. If Bob was in the military, he would’ve planned out the invasion of Normandy. It’s been a tactical masterpiece that he has put together. As a result, things have really gone well. So we’re going to stay diligent, stay strong, stay safe. We’re looking forward to playing this season. We’ll find out in the middle of September a little bit more about when practice will start. Our goal is to play. Our goal is to have you watch us.”