Coach K's limit: four losses in a row

ACC notebook

February 14, 2007|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

It has been widely reported that Duke has lost four straight games for the first time since 1996, but should the Blue Devils drop another one at 9 tonight against league-leading Boston College, the history gets a little hairy.

Technically, Duke has never lost five consecutive games under Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke suffered an even worse slide in 1994-95, though, when Krzyzewski coached the first 12 games before leaving the team after "back surgery and exhaustion." Pete Gaudet coached the final 19 games and went 4-15. Duke actually lost six straight that season, but the last five were under Gaudet and are reflected as such in the coaching records.

Krzyzewski, who technically was 9-3 that season, said he'll take the losses.

"I think I should have been credited with all the losses," he said. "... Overall, the bottom line is I'm responsible even though I'm not there. That's the way I looked at it, but it doesn't make any difference to me. I wouldn't want the wins, let's put it that way. But you can give me the losses."

Maryland handed Duke its most lopsided loss of the season Sunday, a 72-60 defeat at Comcast Center, causing the Blue Devils to drop out of the Associated Press poll for the first time since the 1995-96 season. Duke had been in the media poll for 200 consecutive weeks, the second-longest streak behind UCLA, according to the AP.

Boston College, which entered the week atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings ahead of No. 4 North Carolina, slid back into the rankings at No. 21, its first appearance in the poll since the second week. The Eagles (18-6, 9-2) have won four in a row and 11 of their past 13 games.

Boston College hasn't lost to an ACC opponent at home, and coach Al Skinner said he didn't expect to be hosting such an uncharacteristic Duke team.

"Anything can happen in this league," Skinner said. "The history doesn't dictate that Duke would do that, but the fact of the matter is the quality of play in the league dictates that can happen to anyone's club."

Seminoles setback

First he switched schools. Then he switched positions. Now, just as sophomore Toney Douglas was growing more comfortable as Florida State's point guard, he fractured his right hand in a Feb. 7 loss to Clemson and is doubtful for Saturday's game at Virginia.

The injury was a significant setback to a borderline NCAA tournament team previously on a hot streak in the league.

Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said Douglas, who sat out last season after transferring from Auburn, will upgrade from a hard cast to a splint after a week to allow his wrist mobility. Hamilton said doctors did not give him a time frame for Douglas' return.

Resilient Hurricanes

Yes, Miami coach Frank Haith said, his 3-8 team still has something to play for despite being down to one post player after junior forward Ray Hicks was suspended indefinitely last week.

"That's pride," Haith said, "and continuing to get better as a basketball team."

The Hurricanes have bought into his positive spin, and it showed in last weekend's 80-65 win over N.C. State. It ended Miami's seven-game losing streak and gave the Hurricanes a chance at back-to-back wins as they face Wake Forest (11-13, 2-9) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

"You see so many ballclubs this time of year pack it in," said Haith. "I'm proud of our guys, they haven't done that."

Hicks returned to practice Monday, but Haith said he will not play Saturday.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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