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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Mike Krzyzewski

Coach K issues cool statement on Roy Williams retirement

Coach K Mike Krzyzewski

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski faced off against Roy Williams many times in one of college basketball’s most heated rivalries. On the day of Williams’ retirement, however, Coach K demonstrated just how much he respects his North Carolina counterpart.

Coach K issued a statement after Williams announced his retirement from coaching on Thursday. The Duke coach paid tribute to Williams’ longevity and success, and praised Williams for what he has done for the sport.

“College basketball is losing one of its greatest coaches and a man who genuinely cares about the game of basketball, and more importantly, the people who play it,” Coach K said. “Roy has led two iconic programs as a head coach and did so in exemplary fashion. I have the utmost respect for Roy and his family, who represented themselves and their institutions with class, grace and humility. While were on opposite sides of college basketball’s greatest rivalry, we both understood how lucky we were to be part of it and always tried to represent it in the way it deserved.”

Williams and Krzyzewski treated fans to plenty of memorable Duke-North Carolina games over the years. Ultimately, Coach K got the better of their personal rivalry, going 22-18 against Williams’ Tar Heel teams.

Coach K admits Duke does not deserve NCAA Tournament bid

Coach K Mike Krzyzewski

The Duke Blue Devils are expected to contend for an NCAA Tournament title every year, but in 2021 they’re facing the real prospect of being excluded from the field entirely.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski admitted that the Blue Devils simply do not deserve a bid as it stands, and knows the team has a lot of work to do in the ACC Tournament.

“You know, for us to even have a dream of getting into the NCAA Tournament, we have to do an amazing job to get into this tournament. Quite frankly, we haven’t earned that right,” Coach K said, via Austin Nivison of 247Sports. “Even if we had beaten North Carolina, I still think we’d need to do more because we lost close games, and you have to reward the teams that do it, not just the fact that we’ve done it as a program. You’ve got to do it.”

It’s a stark departure from coaches who campaign on behalf of their teams to make the field, but Coach K is simply taking a realistic view of things. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has essentially said Duke must win the ACC Tournament to make the field. The Blue Devils are a mediocre 11-11, and their 9-9 mark in the ACC puts them tenth in the conference. They enter the conference tournament having lost three consecutive games, essentially taking themselves off the bubble completely in the process.

Duke last missed the NCAA Tournament in 1995, and have missed the field just once since 1982. Still, they’re far from the only traditional power to be having issues in what has been a very strange season.

Student reporter responds to Coach K controversy

Coach K Mike Krzyzewski

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was criticized for the way he treated a student reporter following Saturday night’s game. As you might expect, the student seemed a bit surprised by the exchange.

Jake Piazza, an economics major who writes for the Duke Chronicle, asked Coach K what seemed like a fairly reasonable question after the Blue Devils’ 70-65 loss to Louisville. Piazza wanted to know where Duke will go from here after falling to 5-5 in what is quickly turning into a disappointing season. Coach K responded by trying to teach the young reporter a life lesson.

Piazza tweeted about the testy exchange and revealed that it was the first question he ever asked Coach K.

Many feel Krzyzewski’s response was inappropriate. The question certainly wasn’t unreasonable, and Coach K knew he was talking to a student reporter. Then again, this is the same Coach K who infamously scolded the Cameron Crazies last year. We’re seeing the Hall of Famer’s more irritable side the past couple of years.

Video: Coach K gets testy with student reporter over postgame question

Coach K Mike Krzyzewski

Coach K got testy with a student reporter after Duke’s 70-65 loss to Louisville on Saturday.

A student reporter asked Mike Krzyzewski during his postgame press conference where the team goes from here. Coach K took issue with the question. Rather than just say his Blue Devils were not prepared to think about what’s next yet, he tried to teach the young reporter a lesson.

Krzyzewski was obviously in a bad mood because his team lost, and he took some of that out on the reporter.

Coach K has been doing a lot of this over the last few years. Last year, he scolded the Cameron Crazies and later apologized. A few years before that, he was seen lecturing Dillon Brooks after a game.

Duke is now 5-5 on the season and has lost three conference games in a row.

Nate Oats apologizes to Coach K for criticism

Nate Oats

Nate Oats on Saturday apologized publicly to Mike Krzyzewski for criticizing the legendary Duke coach.

After Duke lost to Illinois at home on Tuesday, Coach K questioned playing during a pandemic. Duke later announced that they wouldn’t play any more non-conference games.

Oats, who is in his second season as Alabama’s head coach, threw some shade at Coach K, saying he wouldn’t say that if Duke hadn’t lost two non-conference games.

On Saturday, Oats walked it back.

“I want to publicly apologize to Coach K for what I said. … I actually felt terrible about it after the press conference. I reached out to him. He was gracious enough to return my call. I have the utmost respect for him as a coach,” Oats said.

Oats made his remarks after Alabama lost in Atlanta 64-56 to Clemson to fall to 3-2. Oats says he learned from his remark.

“It was unnecessary. It was wrong. I apologized to him. We had a good talk. I understand now a lot better where he’s coming from. What’s best for one program might not be best for another. I learned lessons from it.”

Maybe Oats made his remarks impetuously and once he started seeing how many headlines he made, he felt the need to make peace.

Photo: SneakinDeacon/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

Duke nixes non-conference games after losing two games

Mike Krzyzewski Coach K

Mike Krzyzewski is packing it in on the non-conference schedule this season.

Duke is 2-2 this season and has wins over Coppin State and Bellarmine, but has lost to Michigan State and Illinois. Following the loss to Illinois on Tuesday, Coach K questioned playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, Alabama coach Nate Oats said he felt Krzyzewski’s comments were made because Duke has lost two games.

Later on Thursday, Duke announced they would not be playing any more non-conference games this season. Coach K explained why in a video posted on social media.

Duke had games against Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern that will not be played.

Duke suffered its largest home non-conference loss during the 15-point defeat to Illinois. Coach K just wasn’t having that.

Photo: Mike Strasser, West Point Public Affairs via CC-BY 2.0

Nate Oats calls out Coach K over pandemic comments

Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats strongly disagrees with the comments Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made this week about playing amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Oats does not think it is a coincidence that Coach K shared his opinion after a loss.

After No. 10 Duke lost to Illinois by a score of 83-68 on Tuesday, Coach K called on the NCAA to reconsider whether continuing with the season is a good idea.

“I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of players and staff to assess where we’re at,” Krzyzewski told reporters, via ESPN’s Alex Scarborough.

Coach K cited the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and said he feels the plan the NCAA has in place for the 2020-21 season is sloppy. He accused the organization of “plowing through” the schedule with a goal of playing as many games as possible. The five-time national champion indicated he believes reassessing the situation after a vaccine is distributed might be best.

Oats was asked on Thursday if he agrees with Coach K. He said he thinks Coach K would have a different opinion if 2-2 Duke hadn’t lost two non-conference games already.

“Do you think if Coach K hadn’t lost two non-conference games at home he’d still be saying that?” Oats asked.

Oats then said he thinks there would be “a lot lot more problems if we weren’t playing games.” You can hear his full remarks below:

“I’ve got three daughters. They need to be in school,” Oats continued. “Humans aren’t made to sit alone in isolation for weeks and weeks on end. We’ve gotta be careful with how we do life, but you’ve still gotta do life. A huge part of life for all these guys I’m coaching is being in the gym playing basketball. I think their mental health is in a much better spot playing basketball.”

In addition to losing to Illinois, Duke also lost to No. 8 Michigan State earlier in the year.

The NCAA has given no indication that the season will be canceled or put on hold. As of now, there are plans in place to hold the NCAA Tournament in a central location.

Coach K could be deposed as part of Zion Williamson lawsuit

Coach K

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski could be deposed as part of a lawsuit involving former Blue Devil star Zion Williamson.

Williamson is being sued by Gina Ford, who runs Prime Sports Marketing. Williamson originally signed a marketing deal with Ford’s company but backed out and signed with Creative Artists Agency instead. In order to get out of his contract with Ford’s company, Williamson sued and alleged the deal was void because it violated North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act since Prime Sports Marketing is not a registered agent there.

Well, Ford wasn’t about to accept that outcome without a legal fight. She sued back and is alleging Williamson is not protected by the Uniform Athlete Agents Act under the grounds that he accepted illegal benefits as an NCAA athlete at Duke.

In order to prove her case, Ford’s attorneys want to know where Williamson’s mother and step-father lived while he was at Duke, who owned the home, and how the home was paid for. The implication is they believe the living situation for Williamson’s parents was illegally provided.

Ford’s attorneys are threatening to go after everyone and try to depose even Coach K as they go through the case, according to SI.

Duke issued the following statement in January about the Zion allegations:

“As soon as Duke was made aware of any allegation that might have affected Zion Williamson’s eligibility, we conducted a thorough and objective investigation which was directed by individuals outside the athletics department. We found no evidence to support any allegation. Zion thrived as both a student and an athlete at Duke, and always conducted himself with integrity and purpose.”

Williamson was accused in August of accepting improper benefits from Duke and Nike.

Keeping information like this out of the public is exactly why many parties often settle lawsuits. We expect that outcome to happen here, which would spare Krzyzewski and others from being deposed.

Coach K criticizes fellow college coaches for messaging during pandemic

Coach K

Some college coaches, particularly in football, have been vocal about their desire to get players practicing again as soon as possible despite the coronavirus pandemic. Mike Krzyzewski thinks that’s irresponsible.

The Duke basketball coach told FS1’s Colin Cowherd on Thursday that the lack of unified messaging was a problem, and levied some unspoken criticisms at those who he felt were not thinking of the players first.

“It’s disappointing that we don’t come out with a more unified voice,” Krzyzewski said, via Dan Lyons of The Spun. “As a college coach, we represent the college player, not the college coach. And we should be the voice of the college player in the environment that that college player is in now, not 10 years ago or 20, and we should help streamline the changes that help the college player. And we don’t do that. There’s no way we do that. And that’s a failing. That’s why we’re in the dark ages in some of these things… The NCAA came out with a great decision to hold all the sports, and all that. But really how we run this thing is not good.”

Coach K has been one of the sport’s more progressive and player-oriented voices in recent years. His cautious tone comes as some college football coaches are setting some very ambitious timelines for organized activities. Coach K doesn’t have to worry about his Duke team for a while, but he’s on the money here.

Coach K explains how he gave ‘closure’ to Duke players after canceled tournament

Coach K

College basketball coaches have struggled to console players after the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is trying in his own way.

Coach K said he FaceTimed his players on what would have been the weekend of the Final Four in Atlanta. The Blue Devils would have been a contender to reach the Final Four, and Krzyzewski wanted his players to know that they were “worthy of being there” as a way of granting them “closure.”

For seniors and underclassmen who will go pro, the canceled tournament is a bitter pill to swallow. After all, there’s one Duke freshman who will never even get to experience the tournament. Coach K can’t replicate the experience, but he can do his best to give them a bit of consolation.