Team USA, trying to win the first gold medal in team history after capturing silver in Beijing in 2008, will continue training for the London Olympics before leaving on July 22. First comes that time with "Coach K." Krikorian is looking forward to it.
"Similar to us, just like they were in '08, [U.S. men's basketball is] the favorites or one of the favorites," Krikorian said. "There's probably a lot of pressure on them. I know they pride themselves on the way they play defense, just like we do ... I've always been a big admirer of 'Coach K.' I grew up kind of idolizing John Wooden. Obviously with my history, and my connections [as UCLA coach], I got to know him fairly well.
"I know 'Coach K' would be the first to say there will never be another Coach Wooden, but he's almost a miniature Coach Wooden, or a younger Coach Wooden. A lot of their values are the same, as coaches. I think for me, even if I get to spend two minutes with him, it will be a special time. We both have last names that start with 'K' and are hard to pronounce."
Many fans root against Krzyzewski's Duke teams. The reception has been much better for Team USA on this four-game California series against Hungary.
Rulon, a veteran who will be playing in her second Olympics, said she is confident the team can accomplish big things in England.
"I'm happy with where we are now," she said. "We have, what, two weeks before we head off, so we have a little fine-tuning to do. But if it was tomorrow, I wouldn't have any doubts. If it was a month from tomorrow, I still wouldn't have any doubts. This team brings it."