The Duke Blue Devils, down 10 points with 08:30 remaining in Sunday afternoon’s game versus the St. John’s Red Storm at Madison Square Garden, went on a 26-7 run down the stretch to bring head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s historic win total to 1,000.
Coach K is the only Division I Men’s Basketball coach to achieve this amazing feat. He has been the head man in Durham for 35-years, reaching eight NCAA Championship games and winning four (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010).
The No. 5 Blue Devils improved to 17-2 on the season, while Steve Lavin’s Red Storm dropped to 13-6. With their talent and athleticism, St. John’s was able to give Duke fits for most of the game. However, the Blue Devils prevailed after falling behind 61-51 with 08:30 left in the contest. Three straight unconventional 3-point plays saw Duke crunch the deficit to 61-60.
With the first of three 3-point plays, senior guard Quinn Cook made a sweet up and under layup, drawing a Red Storm foul. Soon after, freshman guard Tyus Jones chipped in with a gorgeous baseline floater, drawing yet another St. John’s foul. Lastly, 6’11” and 270-pound freshman center Jahlil Okafor bullied his way into the paint, ending the play with what Bill Raftery would call “a little kiss” off the glass while drawing the whistle. Okafor is considered to be the front-runner for Player of the Year, and will most likely be taken No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft this June. Of course, Duke converted all three foul shots at the tail end of these consecutive 3-point plays.
A few minutes later, Cook drilled a huge shot from beyond the arc to give the Blue Devils their first lead of the second half, 63-62. Jones was sensational at the end of the game, helping seal a 77-68 victory for his Blue Devils and Coach K. The freshman guard finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal. St. John’s was led by senior guard Sir’Dominic Pointer, filling up the stat sheet with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
At the end of the afternoon, Coach K made history with his 1,000th win. As the final horn sounded, even the St. John’s fans were chanting, “Coach K, Coach K, Coach K.” Duke players celebrated with Krzyzewski, donning shirts reading “1,000 and Kounting.”
Congratulations Coach K, you are a fantastic coach and will be remembered as such forever.
*Section Photo credit to Streeter Lecka, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Kathy Willen, Associated Press