Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said his players earned some time away from campus even if they hadn't been unbeaten.
His top-ranked Blue Devils are back at school and will play for the first time in nine days Saturday at home against a Santa Clara team that has won six straight and hasn't lost in regulation all season.
Following back-to-back home wins Dec. 19-20, Krzyzewski sent his team home for the holidays. Duke (11-0) did not return to practice until Wednesday.
"That's the way to do it and they've earned it, even if we were 6-5 they would have earned it, you know what I mean?" he said. "They deserve to have that going for them."
The Hall of Fame coach said he would exclusively work on conditioning in the Blue Devils' return to practice going into a stretch that includes Wednesday's trip to Davidson before the start of ACC play next Saturday against Wake Forest.
"Hopefully our guys have been staying in decent shape and then we gotta get going real quick because the team we have ...