Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Responding to harsh criticism that Duke’s big men don’t play well because Duke lacks an assistant coach who either was a “big” or specializes in coaching “bigs,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski hired former player Nate James as an assistant on Tuesday.

James was a 6’6”, 180 lbs. forward as a Blue Devil. Today, he is no taller.

That should solve the problem. (Oh, that's right...Coach K doesn't respond to criticism.)

James, a 2001 Duke graduate, scored 1,116 career points as a member of the program from 1996-2001. He helped the Blue Devils to a 71-9 ACC regular season record and is the only player in ACC history with five straight regular season conference titles (he redshirted in 1998 after playing in six games).

James, a two-time team captain, played on a pair of Final Four teams, including Duke’s 2001 National Championship squad. As a senior, James averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while helping the Blue Devils to a 35-4 record.

James, an All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive team selection in 2001, played professionally in the United States and overseas from 2002-2007. After being named the Carolinas Basketball League Most Valuable Player in 2003, James spent various parts of the next five seasons playing in the Bosnia, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Philippines, and Poland.

Asked what he knew about coaching players in the post, James said, “Absolutely nothing, why do you ask?”

(AP Photo/Bob Jordan, File)

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