Jun 22, 2012
Durham, N.C. — In two weeks, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will be engulfed in USA basketball as the team prepares to compete for Olympic gold. But Thursday was an open mic of sorts as Krzyzewski held his annual summer press conference.
Coach K's yearly media meeting usually touches on a wide range of subjects and one of them on Thursday was perimeter defense – or lack thereof, from a season ago.
By most standards a 27-win season would be outstanding for a college basketball team, but for Duke, the standards are a bit more demanding than that.
“I didn’t think that we had the internal leadership that we needed to be an outstanding team,” Krzyzewski said.
And leadership’s not the only thing Coach K found lacking on his team. Perimeter defense, normally a trademark for Duke, went missing at times. Duke’s 210 steals last season was their lowest total in 16 years.
“We never defended the ball real well,” Krzyzewski said. “Length on the perimeter and defending the ball were our two biggest weaknesses.”
Krzyzewski hopes to address that issue by using bigger players on the wings next season. Six-foot-eight Alex Murphy, 6-foot-7 recruit Amile Jefferson and 6-foot-4 recruit Rasheed Sulaimon should help Duke clog the passing lanes next year.
“Length on the perimeter always helps, and if you have some athletic ability with it, that’s really good because the court becomes smaller,” Krzyzewski said.
There should be playing time available for the freshmen with Austin Rivers heading for the NBA and Andre Dawkins redshirting this fall. And in the case of the transfer of Michael Gbinije, Coach K hopes the NCAA will tighten up its transfer rules in the future.
“There’s so much recruitment for transfers right now, it’s incredible,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re not as resilient as kids in the past. In other words, they don’t fight through tough times.”
been drinking today?He needs to quit knocking his players, and find a staff that can coach them. Clearly they are lacking in that area.- Posted by bigfella
Austin Rivers was a double-edge sword for Duke last year. He scored points, made a lot of big baskets (including the game winner against UNC), however, it was obvious that he was not a leader, and he seemed to be a wedge in that team. Duke as a team is better off without him.- Posted by 4tarheels
He needs to quit knocking his players, and find a staff that can coach them. Clearly they are lacking in that area.- Posted by bigfella