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Tarheel Blog: “It’s time someone called out Coach K”


In their most recent recruiting class, Duke snagged commitments from Kentucky targets Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, among other elite prospects. Over the last few years, that trend has slowly shifted to the norm, with top talent opting for Duke over the Wildcats.

The national media has always adored Duke and Coach K, but their recent spike in recruiting success has only magnified that love fest. And it makes me want to vomit.

Luckily for us, another fanbase shares that same hatred for the Duke program and its leader, and UNC writer Chad Floyd wrote an article calling them out for their nonsense.

Let me preface by saying I am by no means a UNC supporter, and their program certainly has their own demons to deal with, but the piece criticizing the ridiculous Coach K love affair is spot on.

To start the article, Floyd asks the most important question of the day:

Why is Duke’s coach so bulletproof in the public eye?

He follows it up by giving credit to Krzyzewski from a pure Xs and Os standpoint, but beyond that, his schtick is pure garbage.

He’s a really, REALLY good basketball coach, a marketing genius, and a perpetual, overwhelming threat to win a sixth NCAA title. But…K is a self-serving, media manipulating egomaniac, and here is my proof.

When Williamson and Barrett committed to Duke, they mentioned the “brotherhood” within the program as a key reason for their decision. It’s the dominant aspect of Duke’s pitch to recruits.

The second you get on campus, however, that narrative changes if things don’t go Krzyzewski’s way.

Rarely is there mention of his treatment of William Avery— a lottery pick, for what its worth— who was told by K that he was “f**king his program” upon his declaration of intent to leave after his sophomore season. Pat Forde wrote this piece back in 1999 about K’s treatment of Avery, Chris Burgess, and their parents.

Apparently the brotherhood only has room to initiate a few new members each year. A quick list of outgoing transfers from Duke since Burgess left for Utah:

  • Michael Thompson
  • Eric Boateng
  • Jamal Boykin
  • Taylor King
  • Elliot Williams
  • Olek Czyz
  • Michael Gbinije
  • Alex Murphy
  • Semi Ojeleye
  • Rasheed Sulaimon
  • Derryck Thornton
  • Chase Jeter
  • Sean Obi
  • Jordan Tucker

In the cases of Burgess, Thompson, King, Czyz, Murphy, Ojeleye, Jeter, and Obi, there is an indication of promised increased roles if they stayed on campus. Ojeleye was last year’s AAC player of the year. Gbinije was an All-ACC performer at Syracuse. Williams was a first-round draft pick in 2010.

From what I’ve seen (and an extensive search of Instagram feeds), the ‘Brotherhood’ is a trope— there are no degrees being finished at Duke, no summer pickup games among alumni — just an empty hashtag to keep their recruiting content in one convenient hyperlink.

If you’re elite, you’ll be the face of the program until the next talented prospect comes through. When is the last time Jahlil Okafor was in the spotlight? Jabari Parker? Harry Giles? Justice Winslow? Jayson Tatum is having a stellar rookie season, Brandon Ingram is looking impressive, and Kyrie Irving is one of the top point guards in the NBA, and Duke still highlights them as reasons the system “works.”

If you struggle, you’re slowly eased out of the rotation and eventually asked to leave. (Which will then be denied ever happening by Coach K.)

At Kentucky, #LaFamila actually means something.

Despite establishing themselves as elite NBA players, they still go out to dinner together.

And come back to support the current program.

And most importantly, they always come back to support the man that helped them achieve their dreams.

We criticize Calipari for, despite on-court struggles, continuing to play players like Hamidou Diallo and Nick Richards out of sheer loyalty.

For Coach K, he’s ready to throw his own players under the bus the second things don’t go his way.

And despite the recruiting success, media attention, and all of the resources imaginable, the final results… leave much to be desired.

2002: 1; Sweet Sixteen
2003: 3; Sweet Sixteen
2004: 1; Final Four
2005: 1; Sweet Sixteen
2006: 1; Sweet Sixteen
2007: 6; 1st Round
2008: 2; 2nd Round
2009: 2; Sweet Sixteen
2010: 1; National Champion
2011: 1; Sweet Sixteen
2012: 2; 1st Round
2013: 2; Elite Eight
2014: 3; 1st Round
2015: 1; National Champion
2016: 4; Sweet Sixteen
2017: 2; 2nd Round

In sixteen years, Duke has reached a round in the tournament commensurate with its seed a grand total of four times. Duke has been a top-4 seed in each of those seasons, which is admittedly impressive, but that’s…not a good return on investment.

In case you don’t remember some of those early exits, they include 11-seed VCU, 15-seed Lehigh, and 14-seed Mercer in the first round. A near-miss by #15 Belmont portended a second-round exit vs. West Virginia in 2008.

To read the entire article hounding Coach K and Duke, take a look here. It is well worth your time.

Shoutout to @Rideordiewildcat from the Rivals.com Rupp Rafters message board for finding the article.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

86 responses to “Tarheel Blog: “It’s time someone called out Coach K””

  1. Parker_UKFanNC

    “But Cal doesn’t win championships” Coach is heralded as the greatest active coach in the game and yet has only 1 more championship. I rather enjoy making it to the elite 8 and final 4 rather than losing to Lehigh and Mercer. If you want a “better” coach than Cal by all means please go cheer for coach K.

    1. BigBlueNationDude

      1 title. Atleast duke is winning them consistently

    2. catsarerunnin

      Your buddy Ricky P only won one title at UL…oh wait a minute…

    3. 4everUKblue

      You’ve just topped your own stupidity once again. You and Code should be dating.

    4. 4everUKblue

      And how did dUKe do last season with the top recruiting class in the country? Didn’t they lose in the round of 32 to an SEC team? That’s consistency alright. You are retarded Slater.

    5. syrin23

      Because Duke is a private school, they are shielded from some FoIA requests regarding recruiting. Dude is flat out paying these player to go there. Number one recruit three years in a row and numbers 1-3 next season. If Cal had a stretch like that the FBI and NCAA would be ALL OVER him. He still can’t win with young talent. Doesn’t develop them like Cal does. Next year will expose Coach K to death.

    6. ballplayerstu

      I’ve never seen a coach look like their mascot

  2. 502CodeRed

    Good grief, Jack. You might want to take a pilgrimage away from this story.
    Coach K is simply explaining why his players had an off night in the video. Like Calipari has never explained in a presser that his players aren’t playing up to their potential. Only like every week. smh

    1. UK BigBoardUpdate

      Neither Cal nor K ever allowed hookers in the dorms, or had national titles vacated, so there’s that…

      90-61

    2. 502CodeRed

      Off topic but expected towards your Super Bowl rival.
      Anyhow, I notice Jack never mentioned Kyle Wiltjer and how he was pushed out of “LaFamila”.
      Hypocrisy is an ugly thing.

    3. abobicesaevior

      By all accounts, Wiltjer praises Calipari. Your ignorance is monumental, Red.

    4. 4everUKblue

      You’ve never been our super bowl and never will be, you’re not competitive enough. Your super bowl is the NCAA and the FBI. and you’re losing to them too.

    5. henderblue

      That’s a classic line right there 4everUK

    6. 4everUKblue

      8 SEC teams ranked above your dumpster fire of a program. And by the way I thought you said you didn’t care about UL and had moved on. Is this what don’t care about UL and moved on looks like?

    7. 502CodeRed

      “I thought you said you didn’t care about UL and had moved on..”
      I never said that but you make up whatever you want. You can tell when someone is reaching when they start lying. Totally expected.

    8. 4everUKblue

      502CodeRed March 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      Eazy – “We couldn’t care less about Louisville”.
      So why do UK sites write about Louisville so often and yet UofL sites rarely write about UK? Because we are your Super Bowl. Dont be mad,accept it me amigo. UofL moved on….you guys didn’t. It’s all good.

    9. BigBlueNationDude

      Wow. 4 ever blue is like big board but 2x worse. He is the new ksr sheriff

    10. 4everUKblue

      8 SEC teams ranked higher than Little Bro. FBI NCAA, you guys make the entire commonwealth look bad but then again you always have.

    11. 502CodeRed

      A quote from Eazy when he said UK fans couldn’t care less about Louisville.
      LMAO. Do you even know how to read, 4ever?

    12. catsarerunnin

      The banner packed safely away?

    13. Booby Petrino

      Don’t waste your time arguing with someone whose team hasn’t won a championship since 1986. I wasn’t even born the last time Louisville won a NC lolol

    14. 4everUKblue

      Good point Booby. Cats the banner is down but was last seen hanging from the second floor of a brothel. Heard it came down in 15 seconds.

  3. UK BigBoardUpdate

    Some of our fans really want(ed) Shaka Smart (49-48 record in three years at Texas), Gregg Marshall (lost to Cal twice in tournament), and Sean Miller (no Final Fours with top 2-3 classes, 100k adidas)…..

    1. BigBlueNationDude

      Cal is overrated and a very bad in game coach. His consistent yelling and scaring of players for missing shots isnt exactly coaching. His success comes from talent in which he cheated to create. As long as you bafoons accept mediocre coaching and 10+ loss seasons as so called “blue blood program” we will continue to not win titles. Everyone on the outside continues to bash cal for his underachieved success at uk.

    2. abobicesaevior

      Why did Cal have such a good record against Pitino, Dude?

    3. 4everUKblue

      Well Slater you just topped own stupidity yet again and I thought you had reached the limit to your own stupidity but you surprised me again.

    4. Smyrna_Cat

      Hey BBND … banned yet?

    5. 4everUKblue

      Still haven’t answered my question Slater. Have you ever shot a basketball without using a joystick?

    6. 502CodeRed

      4ever – You never answered my question from last night. If you aren’t willing to answer questions yourself than dont expect someone else to.

    7. 4everUKblue

      And you haven’t answered any of mine. Considering you’ve moved on and don’t care about Little Bro you sure are obsessed with the basketball program that owns yours.

    8. 4everUKblue

      So Code you and Slater ARE an item then…..two peas in a crazy pod….lol

    9. 502CodeRed

      yawn. Another 4ever deflection.

    10. catsarerunnin

      Yawn another Code Dead everything.

    11. 4everUKblue

      No need to deflect, you have no argument. The fact you’re on this site as often as die hard UK fans is pathetic so say the least. You really should get a hobby, go on a date or something. Such a sad life.

    12. 502CodeRed

      I like this site because it has lots of UofL content.
      Your turn. If UofL isn’t your Super Bowl than why so much coverage? I’ll wait.

    13. Wildcat3110

      *then

    14. 4everUKblue

      Code if you’re paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, I sincerely apologize. That must be the real reason, you’re bored and your program hasn’t won a title since 1986. I get it, you’re the Cleveland of KY.

    15. 4everUKblue

      Oh wait, even Cleveland finally won one. My bad.

    16. 4everUKblue

      Code I’m surprised you need me to explain it to you but here you go oh challenged one. You have two TV shows, we are Ozzie and Harriet and you guys are The Ball family Meet the Kardashians. Now which do you think people are going to watch? People want to watch a dumpster fire and that’s what your program is, that’s why there is so much Little Bro content on here. Not too hard to figure out why your cardchronicles doesn’t want to talk about UK.

  4. BigBlueNationDude

    Hey 4 ever quit putting links on here. Most of us not 50+ use the app and it doesnt work on app. Stay on your desktop

    1. 4everUKblue
    2. 4everUKblue

      How about you stay on card chronicles and we will both be happy.

    3. 4everUKblue
    4. 4everUKblue
    5. 4everUKblue
    6. 4everUKblue
    7. cats646

      I’m 22 and I don’t use the app. Link on 4ever.

    8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      ?

    9. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      Haha 4ever!

    10. 4everUKblue
    11. CATandMONKEY

      Some of us don’t use the app because it isn’t very good.

      Keep’em coming, 4ever.

    12. 4everUKblue

      Thanks CATandMONKEY and cats646.

  5. Smyrna_Cat

    This blurb makes no sense at all. I can’t tell what you plagiarized and what are your ideas. Regardless, it is a poorly articulated. I hate Duke, and they flame out an awful lot, but you have to give the credit for doing some things right. If you want to call them out, there are a lot of examples to point to … the ones in this blurb are just silly.

    1. Rembrandt

      In my heart of hearts, I sincerely suspect that Jeff Capel cheats. But the eevidence is circumstantial at best, and I am willing to leave that to the FBI. It’s possible that Duke isn’t cheating. Either way, we should be focused on our own basketball program, not somebody else’s. The overblown Duke envy on this board is an embarrassment. UK fans should be jealous of no one else.

    2. BigBlueNationDude

      Hey smyrna go create your own blog then. Its free material. Stfu please!!!!

    3. catsarerunnin

      Hey Dude create your own life.

    4. 4everUKblue

      I dont envy duke for anything other than their ability to get away with all the things any program other than UNC would be punished for and it’s been going on for years. That and everyone treats K like a god or something.

    5. 4everUKblue

      cats, Slater is like Code, they has no life outside of this site.

    6. Rembrandt

      4everukblue, it took you only two sentences to contradict yourself. It is embarrassing to watch UK fans like you behaving with jealousy toward Duke. We should be jealous of no one. Like I said earlier the evidence that Duke cheats is circumstantial at best. It’s possible that they don’t, but I am happy to leave that to the FBI. Let’s focus on our own team. This is not the first time in history that a top program has had a rough season. That has happened at Duke before too. So suck it up and show some dignity.

    7. 4everUKblue

      Rembrandt perhaps you should look at the evidence instead of calling me a conspiracy theorist. However surely you don’t think it’s impossible for refs to intentionally influence games for whatever reason, after all it happened in the NBA. That could never happen in the NCAA could it. I am embarrassed by your naivety, Vegas is way more powerful than you and your perfect world can imagine, so you suck it up and show some dignity.

  6. NcredibleH

    Don’t forget how EVERY YEAR Duke clearly gets gifted the easiest path no matter what their seed.

    1. 4everUKblue

      That and last night they shot 20 free throws to UNCheat’s 5. Is that an advantage?

    2. a21CATSfan

      dUKe had 1 foul through the first 12+ minutes of the 2nd Half last night. UNC had 7. Easy to erase a 13-point deficit like that. While UK cuts a 23 point deficit to 9 and is called for 2 straight “offensive” fouls to slow down the run. Having to watch UK play the other team and the refs and witness the blatant bias of the selection committee every year is sickening. In ‘14-‘15, Kentucky was 34-0 and dUKe was awarded with an easier path.

    3. Rembrandt

      The suggestion that NCAA referees conspire to protect Duke is the epitome of ignorance. In the first place, it’s classic paranoia. Besides that, have you figured out how a conspiracy of this magnitude involving all NCAA officials could be kept secret? None of you complain when UK gets a break. Morons.

    4. 4everUKblue

      21 dUKe had 20 free throws to 5, I bet even you can figure that out, you probably didnt know this but not all fouls lead to free throws. I am not saying it’s a conspiracy but I am saying it was an advantage, much like the WV game. And Rembrandt if you can’t see that is an advantage you are the moron. And if you don’t acknowledge that for whatever reason dUKe has the easy bracket every year. Did we get a break when were the 8 seed? Idiots.

    5. Rembrandt

      Sometimes free throw attempts get lopsided in certain games. That isn’t particilarly unusual. But you are using this as fabricated evidence of a conspiracy by NCAA officials to protect Duke. That is paranoid and ignorant. The nonsense about the “clearest path” conspiracy is subjective. If you conspiracy theorists are correct, then we would have to believe the entire NCAA and all of its officials are colluding in your conspiracy. It’s completely ridiculous. Suck it up and deal with reality.

    6. 4everUKblue

      Suck it up and show some dignity/deal with reality? Are those your go to lines? Maybe you should open your eyes and look at the evidence, it’s not a theory when it happens on a regular basis. Even you should be able to figure it out if you look.

  7. jaws2

    I am as UK blue as it gets, but I find NOTHING in Kyscheivvskiiky’s comments after the SJ game off putting in any way. Cal does this frequently when it’s apparent young players don’t respond. As for everything else, I agree. He’s been on a pedestal by the media for far to long. Remember when Puke was doing it the ‘right’ way by NOT recruiting one and dones? Now he’s a genius! It makes me sick.

  8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    Oh who cares? I’m not giving that guy a click when UNCheat just got away with 20 years of blatant academic fraud. Tell that writer to look in the mirror and do a piece on Ol’ Roy.

    1. 4everUKblue

      I agree CG, I only give a crap when anyone is playing duke.

  9. 4everUKblue

    So Slater have you ever shot a basketball that in real life, not using a joystick?

    1. 4everUKblue

      Guessing the answer is no. PS2 and Xbox don’t count Slater.

  10. Kozmo

    Why didn’t the guy post this on a Duke blog? Because people want to shred you every time you have an unpopular opinion. And in that same regard are most KY fans with Cal. Just because Matt backs him up and he is the current coach he can do no wrong. We’ve gotten accustomed to settling. Yes for final fours and runner ups, but how many people legitimately brag about how many final fours they have. UK, KU, UCLA, Duke, Indiana talk about how many championships they have. Michigan states, Louisville’s, Ohio states, Florida’s talk about final fours.

    Calipari is not a very good coach, it took four first round picks for him to beat Kansas in 2012, and if there had been 4 more minutes to that game we lose.

    2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015 should have all been national championships, but instead we get to brag about final fours and elite eights.

    Matt even backed me up on the Donovan thing with Friday’s show saying if you could have your pick who would it be after Calipari.

    I know this will get everyone’s panties in a complete wad, but if you objectively look at this as a basketball fan and not a Kentucky fan, you would be obligated to say he has massively underachieved with the talent and teams he has been given.

    1. 4everUKblue

      Slater is that you or just another idiot?

    2. Rembrandt

      Of couse, you don’t have to support Cal if you don’t want to. He is UK’s coach. He has been more successful than any UK coach since Rupp. He recruits top classes, and he has won a national championship. He is a Hall of Fame coach. If all that isn’t good enough for you, that makes you a fair weather fan. But, by all means, make an idiot of yourself if you want.

    3. Kozmo

      Doesn’t at all make me a fair weather fan. Makes me a rational Kentucky fan who does not thing Calipari is a very good coach.

      If you want to hang your hat on final fours and elite eights at the end of the day then be my guest.

    4. 4everUKblue

      I happen to agree with Rembrandt on this one. Maybe if you know so much about coaching and have even a shred of experience you should submit your resume.

    5. Kozmo

      You could say that about anything. You know how to drive, you’re probably not a truck driver though. You know how to read (hopefully), you’re not an elementary school teacher though.

      John Short could’ve won the title in 2015.

    6. justaguyinthebackrow

      It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to go on KSR and post a stupid opinion like Cal can’t coach and remove all doubt. Odd that a man that can’t coach would have the most wins in college basketball from the start of the 2009-2010 season (when he started at UK) to the start of this season (the end of my data set, I think we’re tied with KU now, but even second wouldn’t be bad). He also has the most tournament wins over that period, the most final fours, and only 1 coach has more championships (K). Heck of a resume for someone who can’t coach. Maybe you’re just one of those idiots that thinks every 5-star HIGH SCHOOL players come into college fully ready to win every game against experienced college players, just like every lottery pick totally dominates the NBA. SMDH.

    7. Kozmo

      The argument about him having the most wins is pretty quickly devalued when you bring up the players he’s had. The fact that he has the most wins and all these disappointing tournament results has to bring up some questioning of what is happening. Say something to a duke fan about how many games he has won since 2009 and tell me how that argument goes when they play the 2 championship trump card.

      They don’t hang banners for having the most wins in a 9 year stretch. If you want to brag about final fours and elite 8s trying to compare them to NCs be my guest. NCs are the only thing that matters, wins will fall into place when those happen.

    8. Kozmo

      And answer me this: if Kentucky doesn’t win a national championship again under Calipari is he still a “great coach” in your eyes? If the answer is yes you might should go to your optometrist and have your blue cataracts removed.

  11. spincr4hire72

    Duke to charlotte in first rounds of NCAA per usual :-/

  12. closjr

    Jack, why are you referencing an article that was written one month ago?

  13. futrelljr

    I think coach Cal is a very good coach. Does that mean I am not a “rational uk fan”?