At the end of his press conference Wednesday, Mike Krzyzewski offered a disclaimer for the reason he insisted on meeting with the media so early in the week: he wants the attention at the end of the week to be devoted to David Cutcliffe’s football program. Cutcliffe stood at the back of Scharf Reception Hall in Duke’s new practice facility to listen to Krzyzewski, and he chatted with the Team USA head coach for five minutes after the question-and-answer session. Cutcliffe also schmoozed with associate head coaches Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski for about 10 minutes before Krzyzewski walked in as the two Team USA scouts relayed their abroad experience.
The era of good feelings between the two programs was capped with a hug between Krzyzewski and Cutcliffe before they started talking, which Chronicle Online Photography Editor Lawson Kurtz captured in some photos. And Krzyzewski made one thing clear: he wants Duke Football to win, and he’ll be there to cheer the Blue Devils on.
“I figured whatever would be in the paper would be in there and out by Thursday and we can get the ball rolling,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re really excited. To come back and not just to see our team, but to see him start his time here at Duke, I know all the preparation that’s been done and the emergence, the start of their program, and that’s what he’s going to do there is develop a program…. Hopefully Saturday night, it’s not going to be an easy game, we’ll support his football program in the way it deserves to be supported. Hopefully they’ll win and play great, and it will be the start of his program. I’m glad that we’ve become friends. I’ll be there cheering—I have a few Chinese words now that I can give him and the officials won’t know what the hell he’s saying.”
—by Ben Cohen