In this Aug. 4, 2012, file photo, United States coach Mike Krzyzewski signals to players during a preliminary men's basketball game against Lithuania at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. AP photo.
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski believes the new-look Atlantic Coast Conference could be the best basketball league in the country — and should act like it.
The ACC is growing to 15 teams next season when Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame join. National champion Louisville comes aboard the following year to replace Big Ten-bound Maryland.
Krzyzewski said Wednesday that “if you really believe this could be the greatest conference ever, what are all the things that the greatest conference ever would do?”
Speaking during his annual “K Academy” fantasy camp at Duke, he said the league needs to “look at the total package of what we have” and “think outside conventional ways” in everything from its preseason media day to its league schedule and postseason tournament.
The location of future ACC tournaments has been a hot topic of discussion, with commissioner John Swofford raising the possibility that it could be held in New York. It will be played in Greensboro in 2014 and ‘15, but nothing has been decided beyond that.
When asked where he thinks the tournament should be played, Krzyzewski said the ACC “should take a look at the total package of what we have right now and not micromanage it,” adding that he wants the league to think big.
“Look at it as the fact that you might have the best business. And what do you do to make that the best?” he said. “Are we a $1 billion business functioning as a $500 million business? Or are we a $1 billion business that wants to be a $2 billion (business)? In other words, think outside conventional ways.”
Krzyzewski, the dean of ACC coaches with a men’s Division I-best 957 career victories in 38 combined seasons at Army and Duke, said he voiced those opinions at the league’s annual meetings two weeks ago in Amelia Island, Fla.
He said when he came to Duke in 1980 — at roughly the same time Jim Valvano took over at North Carolina State and Bobby Cremins was hired at Georgia Tech — “everybody was still an ACC guy.
“And I think to me that has to happen now,” he added. “That’s what I’m trying to promote. I say it publically all the time. We will all be better if we are all better.”
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