Friday, March 16, 2007

Sports: Coach K needs the extra 2 weeks to recoup

Every Duke fan like me should be utterly embarrassed today. Not because our classy powerhouse basketball program suffered a setback against a mere mid-major. Not because this young Duke team got out-hustled – they actually played their butts off last night.

The embarrassment comes from the fact that Coach K just ended a basketball season in which he did the worst coaching job of his illustrious career. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the guy and think he’s a genius but he did this particular group of players a great disservice. They weren’t disciplined and they were poorly conditioned. VCU was not a better basketball team, they just weren’t as tired after 39 minutes.

These Blue Devils were just not prepared for the NCAA Tournament and as a result got bullied by a mid-major. Everywhere I am hearing to these so called “experts” on TV and radio say that this Duke team is not as talented. Are you kidding me? Josh McRoberts, DeMarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus lead a roster of several McDonald’s All Americans. In fact, all five starters for Duke, played in the McDonald’s game.

McRoberts, who actually had his best game in a Duke uniform last night, is by far a better NBA prospect than UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough, yet Roy Williams has developed Hanbrough into a First Team All American and Player of the Year candidate, while McRoberts has underachieved under Coach K.

Coach K said after the game, “If you're in this tournament long enough, you're going to go down. They just need to learn from this experience and we're proud of them. ...”

I am proud of these players too. As for the Duke coaching staff, well I think they’re really the ones that need to learn from this experience. Hey, if you’re in this tournament long enough, you’re going to eventually beat a well-conditioned, physical, athletic team that’s seeded 3 or more spots below you, like VCU, LSU (in 2006), Michigan State (in 2005), Indiana (in 2002), Florida (in 2000).

Everyone on this team should be back next season. They will be joined by a good recruiting class led by Kyle Singler, a 6’8” stud who has drawn comparisons to Adam Morrison. My plea to Coach K and his coaching staff, please take a long look in the mirror this off-season and have these kids ready for next season.

1 comment:

G.I. Jeff said...

Very nice for your first post--but I wouldn't say that McMuffin is a better player or athlete than "Psycho T" Tyler Hansborough--Even with the face mask--caused by he-who-should not be mentioned--Tyler has banged more boards and fleshed out his ten footer in the last two games than anyone I've seen with such a handicap. But I do think you are correct about keeping the kids fresh for 39 minutes of play. Coach K failed his kids in this department and that is why they are no longer in the tournament.