Thursday, January 14, 2010

Student newspaper irks Krzyzewski

DURHAM - A bold column by Joe Drews of The Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, got under coach Mike Krzyzewski's skin Wednesday.

In a column titled "It's time to bench Singler," Drews wrote that junior forward Kyle Singler should be removed from the starting lineup and play no more than 20 minutes against Boston College on Wednesday and perhaps against Wake Forest on Sunday.

In a 79-59 win over Boston College, Singler started and scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.

"I thought Kyle played really well," Krzyzewski said. "There were some suggestions in our student newspaper that we shouldn't start him tonight. The first day back (from holiday break) and we read the student newspaper and he's benching our guy. It's welcome back, I guess. Unbelievable."

In Drews' defense, Singler's performance hasn't quite matched the preseason ACC player of the year and Associated Press' All-America accolades he received. Singler's teammate, senior guard Jon Scheyer, has had the better season and appears at this point more likely to gain both of those honors.

But Singler still is one of the best players in the ACC. He entered Wednesday's game ranked 11th in the conference in scoring (15.4 ppg), eighth in free throw percentage (.780), and 14th in rebounding (7.1 rpg).

If a coach is trying to win, he doesn't put that kind of player on the bench for half the game. A coach also is going to back a player who works as hard as Singler at every opportunity.

That's why a bold but flawed argument in the student newspaper didn't pass without a comment Wednesday.

"We're No. 2 in the RPI and the first article is, 'Bench Singler,' " Krzyzewski said. "Happy New Year. Unbelievable."

Ken Tysiac


K's a jerk said...

From The New York Times; January 24, 1990:

"Already irritated by The Chronicle's recent coverage of his program, the coach grew upset after reading a column that gave his team and its members letter grades for their performances through the first half of the season. No player received lower than a C-plus. The team, 12-2 at the time and rated in the top 10 in the news-agency polls, got a B-plus.

Krzyzewski considered the article inappropriate, as well as damaging to the confidence of several players. So last week, he had his secretary call Rodney Peele, sports editor of The Chronicle, to arrange what he regarded as a private meeting between the players and the students who cover them.

The get-together was held Jan. 15 after a late-afternoon practice in the school's 50-year-old arena, Cameron Indoor Stadium. Besides the 12-member basketball squad, several assistant coaches and the team trainer were on hand as Krzyzewski cursed and raised his voice while upbraiding the student-reporters for coverage that 'degrades my basketball team.'

Once he had spoken his mind, in comments that included scatological and anatomical references, and had given the largely mute reporters a chance to reply, the forthright Krzyzewski believed the matter was settled."

He's a jerk... Always has been.

K's methods work said...

I know, right? He should've had those meddling kids escorted out of the game for their opinion!

K's methods work said...

P.S. That was 20 years ago...

Anonymous said...

K is wrong. Singlar is way overrated and averages only 13 points in ACC play. benching him might not be the answer, but a temporary benching might give them juice off the bench. Bottomline: he's just not a great player and K is protecting him.