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Duke’s First Practice

In N.C.A.A. Basketball by Brock Bourgase

Mike Krzyzewski talks about building a team culture with the 2014-15 Duke Blue Devils. Concerns for the coach included developing leadership on the court, planning and periodization with only ten scholarship players (which later became eight) and creating a team identity after a summer spent training in smaller groups.

The team is seen working on fundamentals – such as a variety of passes and footwork – and defense, two excellent building blocks for any team. Even on the first day, the team is shown getting after it on double teams in the post and downing and hedging screens. Read and react concepts reinforced in skill workouts are evident as a 1/5 screen and roll sucks in the help and leads to a pass to a corner shooter, although the timing is still imprecise and a high pass precludes the release of a three-point shot. The eventual National Champions remained a work in progress.