Coach K misses Duke’s game against Wake Forest with virus
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski missed Saturday’s 89-71 victory over Wake Forest because of a virus.
Team officials made the announcement about the 70-year-old Hall of Fame coach about 40 minutes before tipoff.
Associate head coach Jeff Capel, who once again ran the team in Coach K’s absence, said Krzyzewski woke up Saturday feeling ill but is feeling better.
”He didn’t want to get our guys sick, didn’t want to put anyone else in jeopardy,” Capel said.
Capel led the team for four weeks midway through last season after the winningest men’s coach in Division I had back surgery.
”We were prepared as a coaching staff, as a team, and obviously all of us would have wanted (Krzyzewski) out there and wish that he could have been there but respect his decision and looking out for us, not wanting to hurt the team,” Capel said. ”Everyone stepped up … and it equated to a really good win for us.”
The coaching staff again left empty Krzyzewski’s customary seat – the third seat from the scorer’s table, between Capel’s and fellow assistant Jon Scheyer’s.
The seventh-ranked Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) are coming off an 87-52 rout at Pittsburgh and face a quick turnaround with a road game Monday night at No. 18 Miami.
Krzyzewski is 1,085-332 in his 43rd season as a college head coach, with 1,012 of those victories coming during his 38 seasons at Duke.
This marks the third straight season in which Krzyzewski – who turns 71 on Feb. 13 – has missed at least one game because of his health.
The Blue Devils went 4-3 last season while Coach K stepped away to have a fragment of a herniated disk removed last January. One of the victories during that span came against Wake Forest.
Capel is a former Duke guard in the 1990s and ex-head coach at Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma. He also filled in for his mentor for one game in 2015-16, a road victory at Georgia Tech after Krzyzewski missed the trip because of high blood pressure and dehydration.
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