The Duke Blue Devils got blasted 77-54 by Villanova in last night’s East Region Semi-final. In the school’s first return to the round of 16 since 2006, the Blue Devils shot 26 percent from the field, which is a all-time low in the 29 year coach K era. Stars and leading scorers Henderson, Singler and Scheyer shot a combined 9-45 from the field.
The Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski, has won over 830 games, 3 national championships, and led his teams to 10 Final Fours in is tenure at Duke, but in recent years he’s had great but not dominate teams. I can admit, I’ve never been a Duke fan but have always had respect for what coach K has accomplished. Lately it seems as if his once plentiful well of recruiting has run dry. Since 2001, he’s only had 2 dominate players, Sheldon Williams& J.J. Reddick, and all the other recruits have had mediocre careers at the university.
Is it time for Coach K to retire? Maybe. Could another coach revitalize the basketball program? Probably. When its all said and done, coach K will be considered one of or the best college basketball coach in history, but Duke’s basketball program has been stagnated for most of the 21st century. A new perspective and direction may be needed, as they say all good things must come to an end.
The college game has changed, but his recruitment style hasn’t. Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Brian Davis and Danny Ferry were all great recruits during their time, but they would be average players at best if they played today. The thing is, coach K continues to recruit those style of players. Apparently, he doesn’t want ‘Blue Chip’ players anymore, you know the guys that stay one or two years and then go to the NBA.
I believe in team cohesion and building a program with players that stay 3 or 4 years, but it comes at a cost, that cost is winning. All other programs and coaches are recruiting the best available players and don’t care if they leave in a year. Their more concerned about winning today because they’ll be fired tomorrow. Maybe coach K has become complacent with all of his accomplishments. Nevertheless, if his style of recruiting continues we’ll never see him coach another Final Four team.