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Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball coach Jon Scheyer says Mike Krzyzewski truly retired, giving him ‘space’

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DURHAM, N.C. — As Duke men’s basketball players prepared for a recent practice, one man’s absence was notable.

Mike Krzyzewski was not on the sideline.

Despite still holding an office on campus, Krzyzewski has not been present since his retirement as Jon Scheyer, his former assistant and a former star player who helped the team win a national title in 2010, prepares to launch a new chapter for the program.

Krzyzewski has been spotted at a few places in the area since he retired after his team’s run to the Final Four in April: a women’s volleyball game and on his favorite walking path near campus — but not at Duke’s practice facility or even his office in the building.

After Krzyzewski announced his decision to retire prior to the start of last season, some wondered if the longtime leader of Duke’s program and the winningest coach of all time would actually retire. It appears that he has.

“He hasn’t really been around too much,” star guard Jeremy Roach told ESPN. “He’s been doing his own thing. I’m happy for him. I’m sure he’s probably celebrating, taking vacations and doing whatever he needs to do.”

Scheyer said Krzyzewski’s absence is proof that he has confidence in the 35-year-old who will lead the program in its first season without “Coach K” since 1980. But it’s also Krzyzewski showing Scheyer that he wants to make sure he feels free to build the team his way.

“I have to go and seek him out,” Scheyer told ESPN. “He’s wanted to give me so much space, probably to a fault, because he understands who he is. Transitions are tough for everybody. But me and him are locked in sync. I’m going to follow my instincts, but I’m also going to bounce stuff off of him. … He’s been to, maybe, one workout in the summer. And by the way, he’s welcome to any of them. And I want him around, but he’s very overly respectful and great about it.”

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