You are currently viewing Duke basketball takes a step back with a thud

Duke basketball takes a step back with a thud


Duke is Mike Krzyzewski winning five NCAA titles and 1,091 games. Duke is annual 5-star and 4-star talent stocking the roster.

That usually doesn’t add up to the Blue Devils impressively winning two in a row followed by a sudden thud. But that was Duke in Monday night’s 77-75 loss at Miami.

And this was Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who didn’t like what he saw in Sunday’s practice:

“I thought we were soft and I saw it in practice yesterday,” he said. “I tried to take steps to change that and we were not able to change it. I’m really disappointed in our team.”

Then, Coach K, a West Point grad and retired U.S. Army captain, gave a view of his philosophy of teaching his team about leadershp and more than basketball’s X’s and O’s. The education of a young team continues.

“I told them if you come down to Miami to play, we will lose. If you come down to Miami to compete, we will win. The game of basketball is a great game and I love it passionately, but the game that I’m talking about is the game, like tonight is the game.

“That single game is the most selfish thing in our game and it’s selfish because it does not care what you did in the previous game. It doesn’t care what you’re going to do in a future game and if you don’t come completely immersed in it, it will not reward you.

“That’s what I’ve talked to them about. You have to handle this game and the game will hold you accountable and obviously your opponent will, too. Unless they don’t do it, too, then you might win. I believe in all that stuff. That’s what I try to teach each one of our teams and we’ll still continue to try and teach this team.”

Sunday’s practice, apparently, was figuratively the classroom staring out the window as their teacher tried to impart wisdom.

In addition to a single loss, Duke’s NCAA Tournament bid hopes to a major hit for more than dropping to 7-6 overall and 5-4 in ACC play. It was what selection committee considers a bad loss. Miami is only 3-9, with the win, in league play and 7-10 overall.

The Hurricanes entered the game ranked last in the ACC and 323rd in the NCAA in three-point shooting at 28 percent, but the Hurricanes hit 7-of-13. Miami also converted 14 points out of Duke turnovers, some of the scores were easy breakaways.

“They did not play like a Duke basketball team tonight and obviously I’m responsible for that,” Krzyzewski said. “The last two games we won and were deserving to win; we were not tonight. We threw the ball to them about five times and threw it right to them and they got layups and we were very soft. We were very soft and just extremely disappointed, extremely disappointed.”

Duke had scoring with Matthew Hurt hitting 21 points, Wendell Moore 18, D.J. Steward 14 and Jalen Johnson 13, but Miami kept matching Duke runs.

Miami guards Elijah Olaniyi and Isaiah Wong scored 21 and 17 points and forward Anthony Walker 16.

Moore spoke as if the team had accepted Coach K’s post-game I-told-you-so critique.

“His message was really that we didn’t listen to him, and he was right,” Moore said. “As a team, we didn’t listen to the scouting report that they came in for us. Not just from a personnel standpoint, but from a standpoint where we needed to be hungry.”


I invite you to follow me on Twitter @shanny4055

Leave a Reply