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Joey Baker: Coaching Transition "Seamless"

Senior impressed with Banchero, other incoming freshmen

Joey Baker is preparing for his fourth year as a Duke Blue Devil, and it will be coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last on the bench.

Baker said he hasn’t seen any changes in Coach K as he prepares for his last season as Duke coach.

“Nothing that I can think of,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a feeling of excitement going into this season. It’s such a big year for Coach and what he’s accomplished over his time here in 42 years at Duke. Us players understand that and the rest of the coaching staff understands that. There’s definitely a buzz about it, but they’re not changing the way they’re doing anything. Coach has always given everything that he has to all of his teams, so in that respect it’s been completely the same.”

Baker doesn’t think the move from Krzyzewski this year to coach in waiting Jon Scheyer will be difficult for Duke.

“Honestly, I think it will be seamless,” he said. “Coach Scheyer does such a good job building relationships. He was the main recruiter when I was in high school. The relationship that we were able to develop – I’ve trusted him fully. I know that’s similar to how these other players that have committed feel. He’s such a genuine guy. He knows his basketball and he has everyone’s best interest, so it should be a seamless transition.”

As usual, there are plenty of new Blue Devils on hand, as a stellar freshman class, led by Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels and AJ Griffin, arrive in Durham.

“They’ve been amazing,” Baker said. “I was here in June when they arrived. They came in ready to work, ready to learn and they’re all about winning, which is really important. They don’t care about any of the accolades, any of that other stuff. That’s something that I noticed right away when we were playing in competitions – shooting, playing two-on-two, four-on-four, five-on-five – they were all about winning, competing and laying it all out there. I’m really excited. They’re great guys and they worked their butt off this summer. It’s a really good group.”