Sports

Coach K will miss the Duke Basketball game at Wake Forest tonight

8 Duke will play an ACC starter game at Wake Forest on Wednesday night without coach Mike Krzyzewski on the bench.

The school has announced that 74-year-old Krzyzewski has a virus other than COVID and will not be making the short trip to Winston-Salem for the 7 p.m. game.

Associate technical director John Scheer will take over the head coaching duties in what will be an early look at the arrangement already planned for next season. Krzyzewski announced last June that he would retire after this season and Scheyer was appointed as his successor.

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Assistant head coach John Scheer talks with Jeremy Roach (3) during the second half of Duke’s 69-57 win over Georgia Tech at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Ethan Heyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

This is the second time in two seasons that Shire has served as head coach due to Krzyzewski’s absence. On January 6, 2021, while Krzyzewski was in home quarantine after his daughter and granddaughter tested positive for COVID-19, Scheyer coached the Blue Devils to a 83-82 victory over Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

On Wednesday night, Duke (12-2, 2-1 ACC) plays his first game since losing 76-74 at home to Miami on Saturday night.

The loss of at least one member of his coaching staff has become a norm for the Blue Devils this season. The Miami game was the first time Duke had a full set of coaches off the bench since a November 30 loss at Ohio State.

Assistant coach Chris Carwell missed three non-conference matches in December after undergoing knee replacement surgery. Assistant coach Nolan Smith missed two games in December, including the ACC’s inaugural 76-65 win over Virginia Tech, while he was in a COVID-19 quarantine.

Director of Player Development, Emile Jefferson, was in COVID-19 isolation when Duke beat Georgia Tech, 69-57, on January 4.

In addition to Scheyer’s only previous game for the head coach’s chair last season, the Blue Devils have played without Krzyzewski more than a few times in the past five years due to a variety of illnesses.

Jeff Capel, now the Pittsburgh coach, coached the Blue Devils for seven games during the 2016-17 season after Krzyzewski underwent back surgery. Duke’s assistant manager at the time, Capel also handled a game during the 2017-18 season when Krzyzewski was ill as well as a game at Georgia Tech during the 2015-16 season when Krzyzewski underwent a set of heart tests at Duke Hospital.

Including last season’s win over Boston College with Scheyer as acting head coach, the Blue Devils are 7-3 during this time without Krzyzewski on the bench.

This story was originally published January 12, 2022 2:45 PM.

Steve Wiseman has covered Duke Athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald Sun and Rally News & Observer. He placed second in both news writing and breaking news in the 2019 National Associated Press Sports Editors Competition. Steve has previously worked for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Daily Record covering tunes including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina Athletics and Supreme Committee General Assembly. He has won several statewide press union awards. Steve graduated from Illinois State University in 1989.

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