The college basketball season runs from early November to April, but for the players and coaches the sport is a year-round endeavor. For the players, the offseason is a chance to improve their bodies as well as refine their games on the court. For the coaching staffs the time off is a chance to devise new schemes to cover up last seasons weaknesses, as well as how to best use their new personnel and make up for the loss of any key players.
This is especially important in college basketball’s one-and-done era in which many teams lose star players and bring in big-time recruits every year.
The Duke Blue Devils are a prime example of a team having to completely make themselves over. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, Duke’s top two scorers are off to the NBA. The Devils also lose three-point gunner Andre Dawkins, defensive ace Tyler Thornton, and back-up forward Josh Hairston.
Despite those losses, Duke could be a better team next season due to incoming freshman Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen. Duke also returns a trio of talented upperclassmen in Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson.
Duke also lost Associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski, who took the head-coaching job at Marquette. Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer have been promoted, but Duke is still short one assistant coach.
All this makes for an extremely busy summer for Coach Krzyzewski. He will have to hire a new assistant, figure out what exactly went wrong last year and how to blend his new talent with the veterans, and coach Team USA all in the span of a couple months.
Here are some of the top adjustments Coach K and his players should make in order to have a successful campaign next year.