Krzyzewski: IU should 'celebrate' Knight's legacy

October, 20, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. -- Bob Knight hasn't said publicly whether he'll show up at Indiana for his induction into the university's athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 6.

Knight's good friend, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski -- a former player and fellow Naismith Hall of Fame member -- said it's not imperative that Knight attend the ceremony until the university does a bit more to recognize its former coach's achievements.

Krzyzewski said Knight, who currently serves as an ESPN college basketball analyst, should do what he wants, and he said he thinks Knight should still be at Indiana -- as head coach.

"I do think before coach Knight ever goes there, people at Indiana should think about what happened since he left [in 2000] and celebrate him instead of taking down the things he did," Krzyzewski said. "Over three decades he represented that school, won championships and produced great young men. That record is not talked about. You can't just say you're in the Hall of Fame. That's not enough. In order to have a great future, you need to celebrate the greatness of the past. I think Indiana basketball needs to celebrate coach Knight's time."

Krzyzewski said the school should celebrate the long list of players who came through the program and share the stories of what they've accomplished instead of simply putting up banners.

"Do that, and you're not just celebrating the man, but the men who were developed under his leadership," Krzyzewski said. "That should be done before he goes into the Hall of Fame. Coach Knight is one of the great coaches of all time in any sport. He's a brilliant man. He's very loyal and has a lot of pride.

All those qualities turned him into the winningest coach in history in college basketball and a three-time national champ. Don't just say 'Hall of Fame' and that's it. If coach Knight didn't go at this time, it's very understandable. It's not a slight to anyone."

Krzyzewski said that if they were to honor Knight's legacy in the way in which he described, only then should they "bring him into Assembly Hall, and maybe change the [arena's] name."

• The NCAA tournament selection committee will meet in the first week of November. The topic of expanding the field of 65 is always a possible discussion point, especially in the coming years when the current television contract is up.

Krzyzewski said the committee shouldn't change a thing.

"As long as we have the end-of-season conference tournament -- to me the NCAA tournament starts with the conference tournament, and everybody has a chance except the Ivy League, and if they wanted to do that, they could, but they choose to have their regular-season champion," Krzyzewski said. "I believe we're already doing it. If we expand it you would have to get rid of the end-of-season tournament. I'd rather have the end-of-season tournament. It's a celebration of each conference."

Krzyzewski said expanding the field would dilute "what we already have and we have a great product right now."

North Carolina coach Roy Williams was in agreement, saying he didn't want to see the NCAAs go from 65 to 96, which is an idea that has been discussed.

"I want making the tournament to really mean something, and I think it does in college basketball," Williams said, referencing the fact that 6-6 college football teams can earn a bowl bid.

"To me, that's not a great accomplishment, but making the NCAA tournament is a great accomplishment," Williams said.

• Pencil German national team member Elias Harris into Gonzaga's starting lineup. Harris has been a huge hit since he arrived from Europe. A scorer on the wing, he will pair up with Robert Sacre inside with the Zags using Matt Bouldin, Demetri Goodson and Steven Gray on the perimeter. The celebrated arrival of Sudanese/Canadian national Bol Kong should be muted a bit. Kong will be a player, but is coming along slowly. So slow down on the hype.

• Stanford's loss of freshman Andy Brown with a season-ending ACL injury is a hit because the Cardinal lacked post depth. Brown wouldn't have started, but he was expected to play key minutes.

• Oregon State freshman forward Rhys Murphy is out for a month with a fracture in his right foot. Like Brown, Murphy wouldn't have started, but may have logged 10 minutes a game. Murphy, a 6-7 forward from Australia, still has time to get into game shape by late November. How much he plays may depend on fellow freshman Roberto Nelson, who is still awaiting clearance by the NCAA's Eligibility Center.

All the injuries at UCLA (five players were out of practice Monday) emphasize how much the Bruins may have to struggle to win the 76 Classic next month. The Bruins play WCC upstart Portland in the first round of the event at the Anaheim Convention Center. The winner of that game gets the winner of the game between Butler and Minnesota, two teams expected to be in the Top 25.

• Just how deep is the SEC East? Florida was picked fifth. The Gators' shot at avoiding three straight seasons without an NCAA tournament appearance was made more difficult with the shift in power in the SEC. Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina are all projected ahead of the Gators and are likely NCAA tournament teams. Georgia coach Mark Fox has quite a tough road being picked sixth in this lot. The state of Mississippi should have its best year in hoops in quite a while, with Mississippi State and Ole Miss expected to tussle for the SEC West title. Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn finished out the rest of the predicted West standings.

South Carolina's Devan Downey; Ole Miss' Terrico White; Tennessee's Tyler Smith; Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado; and Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, tabbed as the preseason player of the year, were on the first team. Who was missing? Well, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, Kentucky freshman guard John Wall. Wall will likely supplant White on the first team, but it's also easy to see how a preseason list wouldn't have him, since it's hard to project without having seen a player in college. Still, Wall made the second team, along with LSU's Tasmin Mitchell; Vandy's A.J. Ogilvy; Auburn's DeWayne Reed; and Ole Miss' Chris Warren, who is back from an ACL injury.

• As expected, Oakland was predicted to win the Summit League with Oral Roberts, IUPUI and South Dakota State trailing. Last season's darling, North Dakota State, was picked to finish fifth. Oakland's Johnathon Jones was tabbed as the player of the year. Oakland put three players on the preseason first team in center Keith Benson, Jones and forward Derick Nelson.

• Old Dominion was the consensus pick to win the CAA. The Monarchs return the core of their team, led by Gerald Lee, a first-team all-conference member. Northeastern was tabbed second and had Matt Janning selected first-team all-conference. VCU, with all-conference member Larry Sanders, was third in the poll. George Mason, James Madison, Hofstra and Drexel rounded out the top seven in the 12-team league.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer


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