Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Krzyzewski: 'I'm so happy'

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s hand in front of his face told the whole story Saturday night.

While seated in front of the microphones at the Greensboro Coliseum, he was trying to hide his ear-to-ear grin as he watched Duke players Jon Scheyer, Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler explain how it felt to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Thursday’s 9:57 p.m. game against Villanova in Boston will be Duke’s first regional semifinal game since 2006. Krzyzewski, who has coached in 10 Final Fours in 28 previous seasons at Duke, is thrilled to see the current team’s joy at reaching a point that’s still two wins short of the Final Four.

“I’m just smiling because I’m so happy for these kids,” Krzyzewski said Monday, explaining his own feelings Saturday night. “Because that’s the first time they’ve been able to do that. And for me, that’s something I’ve gotten over the years watching Johnny Dawkins be able to do that. Or Grant Hill. Everyone thinks it’s, go to Duke, get that free pass. And it doesn’t work that way. It never works that way. And I love my team.”

Krzyzewski said Duke’s players aren’t trying to prove their critics wrong, and they’re not trying to measure up to the accomplishments of past Duke teams. Players on other Duke teams might have felt pressure to reach the Final Four, and they might have been satisfied with nothing less.

A short drive down Route 15/501 in Chapel Hill, Duke’s rivals at North Carolina probably won’t be happy if they don’t reach the Final Four. But these Duke players have been thrilled to get to the Sweet 16, and their coach is savoring their reaction.

“I think it’s a neat thing, because it’s refreshing,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s fun. Our kids were so happy the past two weekends. I mean, true happiness. I love it.” – Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

He's so happy cause there were two ACC refs in that Texas game. It was a tie game with 30 something seconds left and the ball was in the air....the Texas player comes down with it but somehow one of the ACC refs calls a phantom foul and Nolan Smith makes 2 FTs for the lead. If the foul wasn't called Texas would have held the ball for the last shot and had a good chance of winning at the buzzer. Instead Duke ends the game with 6 Free Throws.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The refs also made Damion James miss that 3 at the end and got that rebound of Elliot Williams' missed free throw. I heard the refs gave Scheyer the heads up on where that loose ball was going so he could toss it down the court with 11 seconds left too!

Only losers whine about the officials after a loss. Bwaah.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you had your Carolina glasses on. Seriously, are you Carolina fans going to complain about the refs everytime Duke wins? Have you watched any of the refs in your games? Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. You guys don't have the class to just give Duke credit for a win. By your standards, Duke has never won a game - they've all been given to them by cheating refs. Get a life. You sound immature and ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

That's funny. I remember quite a few Dook fans whining about the officials after Carolina beat Dook. Twice.

Unknown said...

I sure didn't. UNC beat Duke fair and square, and I've moved past it.

The fact that fans of a team whose star player has shot more free throws than anybody in the history of college basketball still complain about the refs is pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Odd, I don't remember complaining. Duke and Carolina both get calls. They always have and they always will. Complaining about it is a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I thought the "Duke gets all the calls" arguement got old about 5 years ago. They're good. Get over it.

If you're really going to point the finger, point it at the NCAA's leader in free throw attempts who gets jump-ball calls when he grabs Va Tech players.

MichaelProcton said...

Pretty surprising, then, given such a Duke-slanted officiating crew, that they fouled out Kyle Singler, one of the team's best two all-around player.