Duke team features three freshmen who may opt out for the NBA

Duke team features three freshmen who may opt out for the NBA
Duke freshmen (from left) Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor run a three-man drill during practice Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

One school in the Final Four has a four-man freshman class that averages 45.5 points per game, the third-most by a freshman class in the history of that team's conference.

There's a chance three of these stars could opt out for the NBA after this season.


NCAA Final Four: In the April 4 Sports section, a notebook item about the NCAA Final Four said that Duke's Mike Krzyzewski coached in his first Final Four in 1988. The year was 1986. —



It really is a shame how Kentucky continues to exploit the "one-and-done" rule, right?

Actually, the team is Duke.

Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski went nearly 20 years before losing an early entry to the NBA. In 1999, sophomores Elton Brand and William Avery opted out, while freshman Corey Maggette became the first of five "one and done" freshmen to leave during Krzyzewski's tenure.

"If we can find kids that fit our profile we look for, we'll deal with the consequences of whether they're there for one, two, three or four years," Krzyzewski said Friday in advance of Saturday's national semifinal games. "I think to get the right kid is the most important."

Duke's "Fab Three" are forwards Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow and guard Tyus Jones. Another freshman, guard Grayson Allen, has averaged 5.8 points in his last 12 games.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari has been criticized for taking full advantage of the "one-and-done" rule, but his Wildcats start a junior and two sophomores.

"It's not my rule," Calipari reiterated Friday. "It's the NBA and the Players Assn."

Socially unacceptable

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo took more than 140 characters to share his feelings about social media.

"I don't think social media is helpful to any human being on the planet," Izzo said. "How's that? I mean that from the bottom of my heart. If somebody wants to rip me for it, rip me in recruiting for it…. what good is it?"

Izzo said he despises the anonymous nature of social media.

"If you can't go eye-to-eye with somebody, tell them what your problems are, then you don't belong talking to me or my players. So sorry, I'm not a fan."

No foul, no harm

Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, college basketball's player of the year according to the Associated Press, is the rare 7-footer who does not get in foul trouble.

Kaminsky has averaged 1.64 fouls per game this year in 1,235 minutes. Only once, in last week's regional final against Arizona, has Kaminsky had four fouls in a game.

Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan preaches the art of not fouling. Part of that is accomplished by staying grounded.

"I would guarantee you that my teams have had the fewest number of blocked shots than any other team in the country," Ryan said. "We try to keep our feet on the ground, we try to chest up with our hands straight up … That's how we try to play and how we teach in our drills. Frank is an excellent student of the game."

Change for the better

Krzyzewski is coaching in his 12th Final Four, tying him with UCLA's John Wooden for most appearances.

Krzyzewski's first Final Four came in 1988, in Kansas City, Mo., when Duke lost to Kansas in a semifinal.

Things have changed. "The first one you don't know what the heck you're getting into," he said.

Krzyzewski has seen an enormous expansion of the event, and it's more than just arena size. He said recent Final Fours have catered more to the players' needs.

"It wasn't team-sensitive as much as it is now," Krzyzewski said of his earlier experiences. "I think the players are well, well taken care of. They have an amazing experience."