Coach K is out of the country with USA Basketball but still up to date on recruiting
July 20, 2012 3:52 p.m. - by Gary Parrish
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The games don't end each night here at the Nike Peach Jam until after 10, and, actually, it's usually closer to 11. Most college coaches then exit the Riverview Park Activities Center and gather in a local restaurant or bar for a late meal, and Jeff Capel is typically among them. But the Duke assistant always has an email to file before he puts his head on a pillow. He sends it to his boss who's doubling this summer as Team USA's coach.
"I email him every night, and then he calls me," Capel said. "We communicate constantly."
I was at the Nike Global Challenge in Washington D.C. last week and have been at the Nike Peach Jam here on the South Carolina-Georgia border this week, and I think I've seen every relevant Division I coach at one time or another … except Mike Krzyzewski. Obviously, the Duke coach's absence is excused because he's with Kobe and LeBron in England. But that doesn't mean he's uninformed about what's happening with recruits back here on the summer circuit, and -- with Duke assistants Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski also in England with USA Basketball -- it's mostly Capel's job to keep Krzyzewski up to date on who's playing well, who isn't, and what other schools might be moving in on the Blue Devils' primary targets.
Capel does that nightly.
He and Krzyzewski talk often.
So Duke is hardly suffering on the recruiting trail.
In fact, most believe the Blue Devils are actually benefitting from Krzyzewski's time with USA Basketball because though recruits haven't seen him this month in Indianapolis, Philadelphia or some other city with a major event, K's face has been all over television next to the world's best players, and that has an undeniable impact on the nation's best recruits.
"I think Coach K uses it to his advantage," said one rival ACC coach. "But let's be honest: Duke has always had good players. So it's not like they just started getting great recruits when he started working with Kobe and LeBron. They were getting great recruits way before that."