Duke Blue Devils, Krzyzewski focus on chemistry

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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke is getting started a few weeks earlier than usual, and the Blue Devils hope their season ends a bit later than the last one did.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team began practice Friday as a favorite to reach its 12th Final Four under him.

This team is built around two players who have yet to play in a game at Duke – Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood and top freshman Jabari Parker.

Krzyzewski says he isn’t locking anyone into specific spots on a depth chart because this team is built on versatility.

“It’s not like one guy is trying to beat out one guy – basically, you’re trying to blend,” Krzyzewski said. “The two guys you initially want to blend with are Rodney and Jabari because they’re two very talented and versatile players. So that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

MICHIGAN: The season opener is six weeks away, and the Wolverines already have an injury concern.

Mitch McGary, who was so instrumental in the Wolverines’ Final Four run last season, is dealing with an unspecified lower back condition that is limiting him in practice. Coach John Beilein said Friday that McGary is day to day.

The 6-foot-10 McGary averaged only 7.5 points per game last season, but in the NCAA tournament he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds.

CLEMSON: Freshman guard Patrick Rooks will miss the upcoming basketball season after injuring his hip during preseason workouts.

Tigers coach Brad Brownell announced Rooks’ status Friday. Clemson opens basketball practicetomorrow.

Rooks, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard from Charlotte, N.C., played for the Tigers on their trip to Italy in August. Brownell says Rooks will need surgery.

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