Coach K protects players from more than court rushers
Posted March 1, 2013
Mike Krzyzewski is absolutely right.
Security has to be better protecting teams when overzealous fans storm the floor after a big win.
Hard to think of another coach that has had a front row seat for the inevitable rush the court; in fact, it has happened to Duke four times this year. And after the Blue Devils 73-68 loss at Virginia, Mike Krzyzewski did something that great coaches can do – he made us look at an issue other than his team getting beat.
He's right. What would happen if he or one of his players or coaches got into a confrontation with a fan storming the floor? The story would be about how he or his team acted inappropriately. If you are human, can you take someone shoving you or getting in your face and shouting expletives before you act?
Addressing that topic in the postgame also points away from the fact that Duke came out flat against the Cavaliers, trailing 9-0 at the under-16 timeout, and did not have the lead for even a second at John Paul Jones arena. Coach K did give a ton of credit to the Cavaliers and how his team was outworked, but that is not the issue we are talking about today.
Mike Krzyzewski is absolutely right. Celebrating a big win is a huge part of college basketball, he even said it is “cool," but celebrating and berating the opponent are two different things. So instead of college hoops fans wondering how Joe Harris dropped 36 on the Blue Devils last night, we will be wondering what measures should be taken to ramp up safety measures for visiting teams.
No wondering today how ACC player of the year candidate Mason Plumlee only had five shots, or how Duke had 50 points from two players and only 18 from the other six who played.
Mike Krzyzewski is absolutely right. Everything he pointed out in his postgame was spot on. He also proved why he is one of the greatest of all time at his craft.
Coaches have to get their players to pay attention to the message and today every major talk show and columnist will be doing just that today. Debates will rage about how to better handle the storming of college basketball courts across this country, and nobody will wonder how Duke has lost four games in ACC play this year and might finish as low as fourth in the conference.
The (Blue) devil is in the details, and the number one detail that we aren’t talking about today is how Duke was beaten by Virginia. By bringing up a concern that really only affects a handful of teams playing college basketball, he has taken the focus off his team losing.
By calling attention to the events in Charlottesville he might have protected his team from dealing with that mess in the future. What he did, for right now, takes the heat off of his players before playing Miami this weekend in what is Duke's biggest game this ACC season.
By doing that, intentional or not, Mike Krzyzewski is absolutely right.