It warms my heart to know that Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke basketball coach, believes his team has a chance to win the national championship this year. (Exhale!) All is safe in the world. The first season of his five-year plan is working as well as his charm. It’s also warming to know that K cares more for basketball success than about a full academic life for the players he recruits to Duke. Mike has bought into the one and done concept of recruiting players who will play one year and then head to the professionals. In that sense, he’s no better than Kentucky John Calipari, and, in these parts, that seems to be a pretty low compliment.
The primary difference in the two coaches is that the Wildcats coach recruits and signs more one and done players than Krzyzewski and makes no bones about his motives. Calipari is more upfront about winning the national title and less about academics. Krzyzewski loves to give praise to Duke academics while plucking high school seniors for a season and then tossing them to the professionals without regard for a full Duke education which is supposed to be among the best. Maybe Duke has started awarding one-year degrees: BS in Basketball.
Duke is in the Sweet Sixteen, playing Utah Friday night, and has a pretty clear path to meeting Kentucky in the NCAA finals. According to Duke’s cheerleader-in-chief, Laura Keeley of The News & Observer, this year’s team was well thought out, well-planned by Krzyzewski, and its freshmen class members concur, as written by Keeley in a story posted March 25 and updated March 26 on the newspaper’s website. The words are amazing, wordier than what usually appears in this blog, not to mention grammatically incorrect when the players, Duke students of course, are quoted:
As much as this is a one-year window for the Blue Devils – Quinn Cook will graduate, Krzyzewski reiterated Tuesday that Jahlil Okafor is here for one year and Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones could enter the NBA draft, too – it has been a multiple-year process to put this team together. The Blue Devils’ staff recruited no other point guards besides Jones for three years, and Okafor was the other part of that package deal. Jones and Okafor weren’t coming to Duke just for a nine-month vacation. “Me, Justise, Tyus, Grayson (Allen), the freshmen who are coming in here, we had one big dream of winning the national title,” Okafor said. “That’s what led me to come to Duke was the opportunity to win a national title.”
It’s nice to know that “Me had one big dream” of winning a national title, academics be damned. By the way, “Me, Justise, Tyus and Grayson” am freshmen. Should Duke aspire to higher academics and not just recruit one year players to win the NCAA title? Maybe not since it's turning into a basketball factory with the likes of Kentucky, and there's plenty of disdain for that coach and program. So in the name of "who cares if the players are one-and-done projects, Go Wildcats, or any other team that gets in Duke’s path!
Dictionary.com word of the day
cantillate (verb) [kan-tl-eyt]: to chant; intone