Coach K all class after loss, visits Mercer locker room


Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski did not expect to be heading back to North Carolina before the first weekend of the tournament. The Blue Devils ran into an experienced and hungry Mercer team, and the end result was what could very well go down as the most shocking upset of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Say what you will about Coach K, but he loses with class.

Immediately after his team’s 78-71 loss, Coach K visited the Mercer locker room to congratulate the Bears on a hard-fought victory.

“If we got beaten, at least we got beaten by a hell of a basketball team,” Coach K told the Bears, per USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach.

Krzyzewski had more high praise for Mercer during his postgame press conference.

“I want to wish Mercer the very best,” he said. “I love the game, and when the game’s played really well — I hope it’s us that’s playing it — but when it’s the other team, you applaud it. I applaud Mercer. They were absolutely terrific today.”

The Blue Devils relied on 3-pointers all game long and knocked down 15 of them, but they couldn’t make enough down the stretch to get the job done. Coach K had to be incredibly disappointed and watching the opposition dance like fools probably didn’t help, but we applaud him for losing with dignity.

Photo: Twitter/Nicole Auerbach

Coach K: Duke getting all the calls is ‘old stuff’

Coach K technicalMike Krzyzewski says the notion that Duke gets all the calls is “old stuff” and an old narrative from the fans and media that really isn’t true.

Coach K joined “The John Feinstein Show” for an interview on Monday and was asked about the controversial final plays against Clemson on Friday night in the ACC Tournament. Duke got a 1-point win in the game after receiving a favorable call. Despite the call, Coach K says the Blue Devils don’t get all the calls the way many think.

“It’s like old stuff,” Krzyzewski told Feinstein. “I think when you win a long time – and we’re not a state school, so you don’t have a press corps protecting you a little bit – you’re out there. That goes with the territory. And not only that, but announcers and talk show hosts and whatever – they will not say anything about yesterday’s game.”

Krzyzewski then began to talk about the free throw disparity between them and Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship game.

“And again, Virginia played better than we did. But obviously there were 38 free throws to 11. There were things that if you’re trying to homer for somebody, you could homer. And we don’t get that at all. Ever.

“So that does get old. But you know what? I’m not going to start losing – or try to start losing – to get away from that.”

That’s funny. Coach K suggesting he start losing to martyr himself for the cause.

Duke was called for 28 fouls compared to 15 for Virginia and went to the line 3.5 times less, as he mentioned. But Duke still gets favorable calls. Come on, Coach K, don’t even try to play that game. And I have no idea what he’s talking about when he says they don’t have a press corps protecting them. They have Jay Bilas, Jay Williams and Dookie V among others playing the favorites game with them at all times. I really don’t know what Coach K was trying to do with that example.

H/T Eye on College Basketball

Coach K got a technical foul for throwing his marker (Video)

Coach K technicalDuke coach Mike Krzyzewski is generally pretty well behaved as a coach, but he got a technical foul during the ACC Tournament championship game on Sunday for tossing a marker. Seriously.

The tech was called late in the first half and Coach K couldn’t believe it. Exasperated, he asked the officials what the tech was for and was told it was for throwing his marker at the end of a timeout.

The tech allowed Virginia to go to the free throw line, where they made both shots to go up 25-19.

Virginia won the game 72-63, giving them a split with Duke this season.

Coach K was pretty perplexed about the technical:

He called the technical foul “ridiculous” and “shameful,” according to the AP.

Coach K: Bulls will decide if Derrick Rose plays for Team USA

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose has had an incredibly difficult time remaining healthy over the past two years, so you would think international play would be out of the question for the Chicago Bulls superstar. Rose played in just 39 games during the 2011-2012 season, missed all of the 2012-2013 season and appeared in only 10 games this season. Despite that, Rose may play for Team USA.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters on Thursday that it will ultimately be up to the Bulls if Rose competes in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer.

“We get information from all the clubs and we know that the most important thing for these guys is their health and what they’re doing with their parent teams,” Coach K said, via ESPNChicago.com. “And so our communication with the Bulls, or any organization, is straightforward and we’ll follow their guidelines.”

Rose tore his meniscus on Nov. 22 and has been ruled out for the season. Coach K is hopeful that playing in Spain will be part of the rehabilitation process for the 25-year-old.

“We’re all hoping that he’ll be part of the group that comes in there,” he said. “And then just because we haven’t seen him play to see how he’s doing. We’d never try to put him in harm’s way for his career. But if he’s ready, we’d welcome Derrick. Derrick’s one of the great guys, in addition to being an outstanding player. He’s a great team guy. And that’s why we want him part of USA Basketball.”

Rose said back in February that he is “all in” for Team USA if his leg is feeling healthy. He credits playing for Team USA as part of the reason he was able to win the NBA MVP award in 2011.

On one hand, the Bulls would like to see Rose get some live competition in given how little he has played over the past three years. On the other, they know how prone he is to serious injuries. Another knee injury could be devastating to his career.

Coach K does not dye his hair

Coach K hair

Mike Krzyzewski broke out of his typical serious mode to address an important subject after Duke’s win over North Carolina on Saturday and put an end to an urban myth.

Sorry to disappoint you all, but the 67-year-old head coach does not dye his hair.

Obviously you’re wondering how the heck this even camp up as a subject, and that’s a great question.

Coach K had a medical scare after Wednesday’s loss at Wake Forest and skipped the media session after the game because of dizziness. He was put through a bunch of tests the next day to check his health, and he came out clean. Actually, he received better than expected reports.

According to numerous reporters at the postgame press conference, Krzyzewski shared that doctors told him he had the brain and heart of a 20-year-old. That led him to address his hair color, which is pretty impressive for a 67-year-old.

“I do not color my hair. I don’t. That’s a myth,” he said.

And those are definitely words you probably never thought you’d hear Coach K speak.

Coach K has a huge crush on Beyonce, told a great story about meeting her

Coach K has the image of a tight ass who runs a pretty strict program. The man is 66 and, while he can still recruit the top players in the country, he represents more of the old guard of college basketball. But one story he told over the weekend is about to change your entire perception of him.

According to the description of a video uploaded to YouTube, Coach K spoke at the Duke annual basketball campout over the weekend, which is an event where students camp out to get tickets for the upcoming basketball season. Coach K decided to tell the students about his time at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year dinner last year where he introduced LeBron James, who received the honor.

The audio in the video is of poor quality, and the entire story isn’t shared, so we’ll relate what the YouTube uploader says.

Apparently Coach K was sitting at the dinner and couldn’t believe that two seats remained open. He was wondering who could possibly be late to an event like this, and sure enough Jay-Z and Beyonce walked in.

Jay-Z apparently introduced himself to Krzyzewski as “Jay,” leaving Coach K wanting to respond that he was “K.” That line got a lot of laughs, but Krzyzewski says he was too embarrassed to say the line to the rap mogul.

And that’s when Coach K revealed that he has a massive, massive crush on Beyonce and shares the story. Full transcription of his words is below, courtesy of Eye on College Basketball:

[Read more...]

Rick Pitino calls Coach K the modern-day John Wooden

Rick Pitino Coach KRick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski may be in competition with each other, but they are also friends who have immense respect for one another.

The friendship between Pitino and Coach K began after their teams competed in the 1992 East Region finals of the NCAA tournament. Krzyzewski’s Duke squad beat Pitino’s Kentucky team 104-103 on Christian Laettner’s famous shot. The game is considered to be one of the best in college basketball history.

On Sunday their teams met in the regional finals, marking the first time the coaches have faced each other in the NCAA tournament since that game. Pitino’s Louisville squad got the best of Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils 85-63 to even things out between them.

Pitino and Krzyzewski had nothing but praise for each other before the game. Pitino, now the coach at Louisville, even called Coach K “the modern-day John Wooden.”

“He’s the modern-day John Wooden. He’s a true winner on and off the court,” Pitino said of Krzyzewski in an interview with CBS before the game.

“What I love about him, too, is that when he loses, he’s a gracious loser. He doesn’t give you the blow by handshake. He’ll stay there, he’ll congratulate you, he’ll praise you in the press conference. So he has it all together.”

Pitino expounded on their friendship while meeting with the media Saturday.

“We’ve been friends from that point on,” Pitino said, via The Lexington Herald-Leader. “Both of us looked at the game a lot different than the Kentucky fans or, for that matter, the Duke fans. Both of us just sat back and coached and watched an incredible offensive display.

“Any time you write a whole book about one game, it’s kind of special.”

Comparing someone to Wooden is about as strong of praise as you can get. Wooden won 10 national championships at UCLA and was considered to have character as strong as his coaching ability. But Coach K isn’t too far off from Wooden. He has reached eight championship games, won four national titles, and his 11 Final Four appearances are one shy of tying Wooden’s record 12. He’ll have to wait another year before having a chance to match Wooden.