Duke basketball: Answer to program’s looming question is already there

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Duke basketball

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

The eventual replacement for a Duke basketball coaching legend seems clear.

While the questions surrounding the Duke basketball program change from year to year, the one that looms as constant as ever, besides the ETA of natty No. 6, is who should take over the program after Mike Krzyzewski veritably retires…one day…far, far into the future…hopefully.

There is no question that Krzyzewski has built Duke into the bluest of the able-blooded programs that are expected to compete for national championships on a year to year basis. His embrace of the most talented prospects of the one-and-done era and helping to turn them into stars and high NBA draft picks have made Duke more popular than ever.

Coach K has even made the Blue Devil brand into the only global one in college basketball, according to ACC Network commentator and noted Wahoo Cory Alexander.

This makes the eventual successor to Coach K’s throne all the more speculated upon, if not exactly a palatable conversation to have if you are a Duke basketball fan. Although Krzyzewski seems as hungry as ever to bring another title and top-ranked recruiting class into Durham, his 40-plus years at the helm and unparalleled modern-day success across various styles of play and eras leave little else to prove.

The presence of his grandson, Michael Savarino, on the team for another few years would suggest we have at least that many.

Personally, I’m hoping for a solution similar to that seen on the Futurama TV show where he can coach beyond the limits of his body and Duke basketball hires an assistant who can position the mannequin arms of his Hall of Fame head in a jar’s body into his most famous expressions. We will have to accept that the jacket toss will be less meaningful, but if that is the price to be paid, then so be it.

While we could certainly benefit from the preserved genius of his basketball mind to be sure, no matter how he roamed the sidelines, the technology only came about sometime in the 22nd century presumably. That offers Duke basketball fans little console in the short-term future when Mike Krzyzewski does hang it up, whatever his thoughts are on being cryogenically frozen.

The good news is that Coach K gets to groom the rightful successor to Duke basketball’s fortunes with each passing year, although it may only be a matter of time before the apprentice strikes out on his own if the hierarchy is not settled beforehand. He proved it as a player and could hopefully prove it as a coach, he knows what it takes to make Duke basketball the champs…

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