Winthrop Coach: "You Can't Tiptoe Into the Lion's Den"


Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey suffered from some poor timing, trying to spring an upset on Duke three days after the Blue Devils were knocked off by Stephen F. Austin.

“All my friends and everybody texted me after Stephen F. Austin beat Duke, saying, ‘Man, they didn’t do you any favors.’ What are you gonna do about it? They beat ‘em.”

Kelsey knew he’d see a different Blue Devils team, so he got his team ready for that experience.

“I know how Coach K is. He’s tough as nails,” he said. “I’m sure those practices the last couple days weren’t for the faint of heart. We knew they were gonna throw haymakers early. We knew we had to take ‘em, then we had to counter. I thought we did that. We hung in there.”

Kelsey also told his team they didn’t have to play a perfect game to win.

“We talked about having four B’s,” he said. “We didn’t need to have our A game. The A game would be like raining in 16 threes. We didn’t do that. But we needed four B’s”

The four B’s were:

Backboard: “They (Duke) are ferocious on the backboard. We stood there neck and neck with them,” he said.

Brains: “You have to play with poise,” he said, “because when you drive, their managers and girlfriends are back there taking charges.”

Box: “You have to defend the area around the rim,” he explained.

The fourth B is Bravado: “You have to walk in here with bravado,” he said, quoting former NFL coach Brian Billick. “You can’t tiptoe into the lion’s den. You’ve got to bring your spear, kick the door in and say, ‘Where is he?’”