Archive for Sunday, July 9, 2000

Krzyzewski says Duke-UNC rivalry will remain intact

July 9, 2000


Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski wants one thing made perfectly clear: He does not dislike Kansas' Roy Williams.

Williams and Krzyzewski exchanged heated words during an NCAA regional game last spring in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"There's no bad blood between the two of us," Krzyzewski said last week from Durham, N.C., during the "Roy Watch."

"Roy and I have worked together on the Board of Directors of the NABC for the last eight years. I have nothing but the highest respect for him."

Krzyzewski said no matter who coaches at Carolina, the Blue Devil-Tar Heel rivalry will remain one of the greatest in college basketball. Duke has won five straight in the series, including a thrilling overtime win last winter at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill.

"I feel in my 20 years (at Duke), the excellence each exhibits helps the other," Krzyzewski said. "It helps the league and helps college basketball."

He acknowledges Duke has had the upper hand lately.

"There are always cycles," Krzyzewski said. "When I first came here, we were down and again when I had back problems. Look at Duke and North Carolina in 20 years and I think we'll both be even."

Krzyzewski is familiar with KU aide Neil Dougherty, who actually played for him one year at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

"I've known Neil since he was a high school kid," Krzyzewski said of Dougherty, a former Leavenworth High standout. "He was a great kid. He's a great guy now. He had a sweet jump shot."

Gillen likes Roy: Virginia coach Pete Gillen on Williams: "I know him very well. We were both assistants seven or eight years ago for the United States team that went to England for the World University Games team. He is certainly a great coach and a class guy. He is the type of coach who has a chance to join Dean Smith in the Hall of Fame one day."

Wolfpack AD Not Surprised: North Carolina State athletics director Les Robinson was not shocked Williams chose KU over his alma mater.

"You get attached to places," Robinson said. "That's why Bobby Cremins agonized so much. He loved Georgia Tech and loved South Carolina."

A few years ago, Cremins decided to leave Georgia Tech for the Gamecocks' position. Cremins accepted the job, had a press conference at South Carolina, then changed his mind and returned to Tech.

Cremins currently is unemployed after resigning his Tech post late last season.

"The longer you've been somewhere, it's tougher to move. That's the human part," Robinson said. "It's the part fans, sportscasters and administrators don't think about. He's been at Kansas over a decade."

Wildcat Response: Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge, speaking to a Manhattan group about the outpouring of support for Williams in Lawrence: "I want to have that here. Don't you?"

Turgeon Supporter: Wichita State coach and ex-Jayhawk Mark Turgeon on Williams' staying: "It's great for this state. I've spent eight years in states where basketball isn't very important. (Williams) influence is one of the reasons it's so important here."

McMichael Speaks: Scott McMichael, head of KU's Williams Fund, was in his office Friday, a day after Williams' press conference at Memorial Stadium, talking to contributors.

Donors give more than $4 million annually to the athletics department through the Williams Fund, and it's no secret the success of the men's basketball program under Williams has had an impact on contributions.

"A lot of people give because they love KU, not because of Roy Williams or Bob Frederick or John Hadl," McMichael said, "but that's not to say that winning doesn't affect things."

Personally, McMichael is delighted by Williams' decision because he knows change usually leads to some doubt.

"Fear of the unknown is something that takes everybody aback," McMichael said. "If Roy would have left, we would have attracted a number of good candidates, yet this business is success-driven."

White May Look at KU: James White, a 6-7 senior-to-be from York, Pa., is at this week's adidas camp in New Jersey. The Charlotte Observer quoted White's father as saying James would now add KU to his list of schools that includes Maryland, North Carolina and Florida. He has been heavily leaning toward UNC. White told he was unaware his father had added KU to his list.

Fans talk: UNC grad Robert Lord commenting on Williams' decision to the Charlotte Observer: "I really appreciate the reasons he's not coming. He's honoring the commitment he made to his players."

UNC grad Brendan Irwin told the paper: "I respect his decision. It's the right decision."

Sports editor Chuck Woodling contributed information for this story.

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