Monday, February 23, 2009

Why didn't Duke start Williams sooner?

Now that freshman wing Elliot Williams is proving his worth, Duke fans are asking why coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t playing him sooner.

On the ACC coaches’ teleconference Monday, Krzyzewski explained why.

“He’s a freshman so he’s had to learn,” Krzyzewski said. “In probably in our first dozen games he was averaging 14, 15 minutes a game, but that’s not conference play.

“I think he’s really grown as a result of practice and has had a great attitude. If he was at the level of play he is now, early, then you would have seen it. What he’s done, is he’s worked really hard, and now he’s at that level of play.

“Because we made a change he was given the opportunity to now use the skill he has. He didn’t have that, early, and the knowledge of how to play. He’s done a great job. He’s given us a huge lift.”

In two games since entering the starting lineup, Williams has played 31 and 32 minutes.

He has scored 11 points in each game and provided strong ball pressure in the Blue Devils’ man-to-man defense. In a 101-91 defeat of Wake Forest on Sunday, Williams had three steals in the first 130 seconds to establish Duke as an aggressor in its full-court press.

Krzyzewski said a steady progression of improvement in practice, rather than one event, convinced him Williams was ready.

“In order for me to make that change, I’d have to see something for a period of time which gives me the confidence he is going to contribute in that role,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s a very big role he has. He’s going to guard the ball.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coach K is a liar. He's acting like Elliot was some scrub and that K taught him how to play in practice. Elliot could have gone to any school and played well from Day 1. Duke has tons of talent hidden on that bench. Coach K doesn't know how to develop anyone...that's the problem.

The fact is that Elliot Williams was seriously thinking about transferring so Coach K played him. Also, Nolan Smith, another 5 star recruit would be an elite player on any other ACC team, including Carolina.

Anonymous said...

You don't have as long of a career and as many national championships as he does if you can't develop players off the bench.

Must be another Carowina fan still sore from the loss to the Terps.

Michael said...

Also, Smith was only considered a 4-star player by both Rivals and Scout, and is an SG, not a pure point, where he's clearly behind Jon Scheyer, but hey, don't let facts get in the way of your argument.

Anonymous said...

"Coach K is a liar. He's acting like Elliot was some scrub and that K taught him how to play in practice. Elliot could have gone to any school and played well from Day 1."

Newsflash, genius: he did play from day 1, and he underperformed. That's why his minutes decreased as the competition level increased.

Stupid is no way to go through life.

Tarheel Paul said...

The talent difference between Duke and Carolina is obvious. There is not a Duke player who would replace a Carolina starter and with next years recruiting class it only gets better. Mr. ANON Y Mous must be a State fan.
PS. Nolan Smith could be a starter at NC State.