Death, taxes, and Duke contending for a title. Ever since Mike Krzyzewski took over the basketball program in Durham, the Cameron fans have truly had a lot to go crazy over. This season the expectations are high once again.
“Our goal is to be in the hunt for the national title each year,” said Steve Wojciechowski, Duke’s associate head coach. “It’s a very difficult thing. It’s very elusive. Coach K has done it more than any modern coach. He’s done it four times and he’s been coaching for over 30 years, so it speaks to the difficulty of it. Certainly our goal at the start of every season is to prepare our team to be there at the end and to have a chance to win a national championship.”
Wojciechowski was Duke’s point guard from 1994-1998. He quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his hard-nosed play and suffocating defense. Now, he brings that same intensity to coaching.
One thing Wojciechowski is particularly fired up about nowadays is the addition of Rodney Hood to the active roster. Hood, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Mississippi State, can start playing for the Blue Devils after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Wojciechowski points to Hood’s willingness to do whatever it takes as a major attribute. “He’s a guy that can’t be defined by one position,” he said. “He’s multi-faceted. He’s skilled in a variety of different ways. He’s been a tremendous asset, attitude-wise, to our program, and we’re very lucky to have him.”
Krzyzewski rarely ever brings in transfers. That alone speaks to the program’s confidence in Hood.
Duke will be battling a loaded ACC filled with old foes like North Carolina and new headaches like Syracuse. No matter the opponent though, the Blue Devils expect to be up for the challenge whether it’s a conference opponent or not. They’re not worried about what other teams are doing, unless they are playing them.
Duke lost its top three scorers from a year ago. For most teams that would signal a step back. Thanks to Hood and dynamic freshman Jabari Parker, the Blue Devils plan on improving with a potent offensive attack.
That said, it’s no doubt that Hood and Parker will be a big part of the game plan each and every contest.
Don’t be surprised if as many as ten ACC teams make the NCAA tournament this season and Duke could very well be the best of the bunch. One thing’s for certain if you ask Wojciechowski…it’s a great place to call home.
With the leadership of Krzyzewski, the attitude of coaches like Wojciechowski, and the talent and determination of players like Hood and Parker, Duke has all the components to uphold the program’s spirit and then some.
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