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Coach K learning in London


Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski is looking forward to putting his new look squad through their paces when they arrive in London this weekend for a four-day pre-season tour.

Kinder London Towers welcome the 2001 NCAA champions to Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Sunday and Monday for the International Challenge Series.

The North Carolina college include potential stars like Chris Duhon and Dahntay Jones, both of whom were finalists in the pre-season 2003 Wooden Award for National Player of the Year.

Duke will also be facing Antwerp and Brighton in low-key scrimmages as well as attending an alumni event in the capital on Sunday evening.

But for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, the UK trip is all about building for the season ahead.

"For us, this trip is an opportunity to learn about each other," he said. "With such a young team, the more games we play, the better. We'll get more accustomed to our players and they'll get more familiar with us. 

"We'll get to see which combinations of players work. Since half of our team is new, these games will give us a chance to learn about them and them a chance to learn about each other. 

"[The trip] is not so much about wins and losses. It gives us time on the court against other opponents and
the opportunity to really try to simulate our system, which you can't do completely in practice situations."

The Londoners too are enticed by the prospect of taking on the Blue Devils.

Towers' Head Coach David Lindstrom said: “To have a team of the quality of Duke, led by Coach K, visiting us is a hugely exciting thing. It will be a great experience for our players and a real thrill for our fans.”

This is Duke’s first foreign exhibition tour since a trip to Greece in 1988. Sunday evening's game is already sold out and only a few tickets remain for Monday. 

Those fans who have not yet got their tickets and are available to attend on Monday night should call the Towers’ office on 020 8776 7755. Prices are £12 for an unreserved seat or £20 for a premium reserved seat at the courtside (all prices are subject to a booking fee).

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