Mike Krzyzewski, perhaps the greatest coach in the history of college basketball, has also been a major reason why Team USA has regained its stronghold on the international basketball circuit, helping lead the Americans to three consecutive world championships.
Following Team USA's most recent FIBA World Cup title, though, Krzyzewski, thanks mostly to a scathing column written by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, has had to defend his role. The story criticizes Coach K, claiming that Duke's leader has been the one who has benefited most from the United States' ascension back to the top of the international basketball world.
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This, according to Jim Boeheim, has upset Kentucky's John Calipari, who thinks Coach K is getting an unfair recruiting advantage. While Calipari's concerns may be valid, it's important to remember that Calipari coached the Dominican Republic's national team from 2011-12. Calipari then landed Karl Towns, the nation's No. 1 recruit in 2014 and a previous member of the Dominican's squad.
"It's a concern he has raised before," Boeheim told Syracuse.com. "That particular case he has mentioned. He's said he thinks its an advantage. He got the No. 1 recruit in the country. It's a little bit disingenuous of him. I like John. We get along fine. He feels Mike is getting an advantage. You could make that argument. But Duke isn't getting any better players than they ever have."
Krzyzewski doesn't see it like Calipari does, though.
"We recruited a lot of really good guys before I coached the United States team," Krzyzewski told reporters today. "In fact, a lot of them have their jerseys retired. A lot of them have been national players of the year. I don't think anybody I've recruited since I've been the head coach of USA has been national player of the year."
Krzyzewski isn't the only coach involved with Team USA, either. Boeheim, Florida's Billy Donovan, VCU's Shaka Smart, and Virginia's Tony Bennett have all been involved in various levels of the program.
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The only real point here is that college coaches will do anything they can to gain a recruiting advantage and it's not necessarily unfair for them to do it. Krzyzewski would be ignorant to say he hasn't benefited from Team USA's success, but any college coach would jump at the opportunity to replace Coach K as the coach of that team.