Disappointing losses like Duke’s home upset at the hands of Stephen F. Austin can often be a turning point for a season, but coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t ready to look for positives after the game.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “I’m going to wallow in my disappointment for a few minutes before figuring out why this is good.”
When asked what his postgame message to his team was, Coach K pulled no punches.
“That we stunk,” he said. “That we weren’t deserving of winning. You just tell them. I told them what I’m telling you. No secrets. What are you going to tell them? ‘It’s okay,’? It’s not okay. It’s not okay to play like that. It’s not okay. It’s not acceptable.”
Krzyzewski blamed Duke’s missed free throws—and the large number of free throw attempts—on a lack of toughness.
“We didn’t finish,” he said. “So Vernon [Carey Jr.] was 8-for-10, but he got fouled a lot. When you miss on a foul, it doesn’t count as a miss. You start adding free throws and your misses, even if we play the way we played, we win. It’s a matter of toughness. That’s toughness too. Going to the line. Their big kid (Gavin Kensmil) is not a good free throw shooter. When we missed, he was fouled. He hit both of his. So ... this is not about one play. This is about how we play, which was not very good.”
Thanks to Carolina Blitz for the assist. Be sure to watch their full video of Coach K postgame.