The Confidential

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Archive for the tag “Coach K”

As Always, Duke Gets Away With It

There is no debate that Coach K is a great coach.  Let’s just put that off to the side.

There is no debate that Duke is a great academic institution.  Let’s put that off to the side also.

There is no debate that Duke has had and continues to have elite basketball athletes.  Let’s put that off to the side.

The question that begs is why it is that Duke can do no wrong in the eyes of the NCAA and the ACC?  The latest example of this is a tripping issue involving Grayson Allen.

First, let’s look at the video:

Oh, wait.  That was a different tripping video involving Grayson Allen.

Here is the video:

As Oliver Wendell Holmes famously remarked: “Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.”  And people have a bit more intuition than dogs…. and “instant replay.”  Quite obviously, whatever academic credentials Allen has, they are not backed up by even a shred of common sense.  Instant replay has been around for a generation (or two) and will show what happened.

Or decency.  You can see him raise in arms trying to convince the referees that he had not done what he actually did.  So not only did he commit the act, he tried to get himself out of the inevitable punishment.  If this were a trial, it would not be hard to find Allen “guilty” of both the act and having the requisite intent.  (And that is not counting the repeated tripping attempts and that tripping is not particularly manly in its own regard).

But why shouldn’t Allen be this way–there is no punishment when it comes to Duke.  Coach K is not about to punish Allen (which should be held against the mantra that Coach K is such a “great guy”).  And the ACC and NCAA are not going to punish Duke or Allen.  The school, coach, and players are, essentially, immune.

Think that this is hyperbole, let’s consider the other instances where Duke was NOT punished for conduct that would have led to a punishment of non-Duke institutions:

  • Duke was allowed to say “we were not aware” with respect to Corey Maggette.  Note how Jim Boeheim did not get away with that same explanation and nor will Rick Pitino.
  • Duke was allowed to get away with Lance Thomas putting $30,000 cash down on jewelry and obtaining $70,000 in credit on a “how were we supposed to know” basis, even though the NCAA had JUST punished Memphis and John Calipari for a similar failure to be omniscient.
  • Actually, this article lists a bunch of similar reasons to question the narrative regarding Duke basketball and Coach K.  Check it out.

In a world where Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, and Jim Boeheim can have wins vacated, it remains perplexing that Coach K has skated despite the above transgressions.  And his refusal to do what the ACC would not with respect to Allen should be yet another black eye on his record.  That is still a very good record, but not the perfect record that the narrative wants you to believe.

Perhaps Coach K will state in 2022 that he should have suspended Allen.  But recognizing your mistake years later–i.e. long after the acknowledgement will change anything material the situation–is no different than Allen crying innocent when the videotape proves otherwise.  Too little, too late.  And the trend also undermines the defense.

The bottom line is that… as always, Duke gets away with it.  And the fact that this is not surprising is disappointing.

Congrats to Duke and Coach K…

As a Syracuse fan and now an ACC fan, I have always had a loyalty to Jim Boeheim and a healthy degree of healthy, spirited dislike for Coach K and Duke.  I am not saying that Duke is not a great program.  I would be hard-pressed to make an argument that any other coach in college basketball is superior to Coach K.  1,000 wins and (now) five championships speak for themselves.  Still, to me, Duke is the New York Yankees of college basketball… when you meet a non-alum fan living outside the region, you cannot help but think “fair weather.”   And it is beyond debate that Duke seemingly “gets the calls” as much as any team in any sport.  Somewhere along the way, Dick Vitale converted from a basketball knowledge savant to a Coach K agent and Duke promoter, which grew intolerable.  So, if any praise for Duke and Coach K comes from this writer, it is a brand new feeling.  But here it goes… props to Coach K and Duke for the national championship this year.

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The College Basketball Active Coaching Mount Rushmore

In the past, the Confidential had some fun with Mount Rushmores for each ACC school.  We picked three spots and let fans pick the 4th spot.  Today, the focus is on college basketball as a whole–specifically, the active coaches.  It should be pretty easy to guess a few of the names, but rounding out the 4th (and eliminating the others in the process) may be difficult.  In any event, here is the list… you can vote on who gets #4.

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The ACC Basketball Coaching Tree: Two Polls!

The ACC basketball coaching community is growing in talent with the addition of Buzz Williams.  There are historical greats with national championships: Coach K, Boeheim, Pitino, and Roy Williams.  There is the next tier of Bennett, Larranaga, Brey, Buzz Williams, Hamilton, Gottfried, and Dixon, all of whom are awaiting their first national championship as a coach.  And all Mark Gottfried has done is go to three straight Big Dances at North Carolina State.

Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory is from the Tom Izzo line, and had great success at Dayton, but has not done much yet for the Yellow Jackets.  Brad Brownell is also doing good things at Clemson.  Boston College and Wake Forest are set to announce new moves soon enough and, in the mean time, remain unknowns.  Still, that is a very proven set of 11 coaches.

You could have an interesting debate ranking the historical greats, 1-2-3-4, based on their all-time cumulative performance.  So let’s do a poll!  Look, Coach K is going to be most people’s #1 all-time, so half of the options have him at #1.  Try not to be a homer.

But here is another great question… you have an elimination game to win and get to pick one coach at his current level of performance–who would YOU take?   Again, try not to be a homer.  And let everyone know why you picked who you picked.

Comments encouraged!

The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Duke FINAL

Duke’s basketball history is not unlike Notre Dame’s football history–so many names.  Only the names are clustered into the past 30 or so years, reflecting the glory days of Duke hoops.  So picking the 4th is a challenge.

With so many names to choose from, it is hard to choose one.  Johnny Dawkins put up incredible points, all before the 3-point shot.  Shane Battier was the ultimate glue guy and winner.  Grant Hill was a dominant small forward.  JJ Reddick was a scorer deluxe, who turned into a great all-around player.

But the Confidential is going to go with Bobby Hurley.  Here is why:

  • Like Hill, won two National Championships
  • Still the all-time NCAA leader in assists, with 1,076
  • Was M.O.P. of the 1992 Final Four.
  • Was First-Team All-American in 1993.
  • Duke retired his jersey in 1993.

Hurley now continues the Duke tradition as a head coach for Buffalo.  He is one of many Coach K products to elevate to that level, joining Dawkins, Tommy Amaker, Mike Brey, and others.

So, with all due respect to the other great players at Duke, the final Duke Mount Rushmore is: Coach K, Christian Laettner, Art Heyman, and Bobby Hurley.


Other Mount Rushmores:



  1. Maryland Preliminary   Maryland Final
  2. Boston College    Boston College Final
  3. Wake Forest   Wake Forest Final
  4. Miami   Miami Final
  5. Virginia Tech   Virginia Tech Final
  6. Syracuse   Syracuse Final
  7. Virginia   Virginia Final
  8. Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh Final
  9. North Carolina State  North Carolina State Final
  10. Clemson   Clemson Final
  11. Georgia Tech  Georgia Tech Final
  12. Louisville  Lousiville Final
  13. Notre Dame  Notre Dame Final
  14. Duke
  15. North Carolina
  16. Florida State


For more on the Duke decisions, see the original discussion…

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The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Duke

The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores.  Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts.  In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now.  And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth.  We will not do polls anymore.  For today, let’s go with a school that helps define the ACC: Duke.

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Thursday Poll: ACC Mt. Rushmore–Basketball Coaches

Yesterday, we shared our opinions regarding the Mount Rushmore of ACC Basketball Coaches.  Today, it is your turn.  Who would YOU put in the 4th spot?

The Mount Rushmore of the ACC: Basketball Coaches

The Confidential was pondering Mount Rushmore recently.  While it is debatable which four Presidents should be featured on Mount Rushmore, has there been a recent President that would make the short list of “should be on its”?  Probably not.  But that got me thinking about who would be on the Mount Rushmore of the ACC.  Of course, it is hard to compare apples and oranges, making the process difficult when dealing with players sticking around for 1-5 years and coaches that are around for 20+.  So we will have to do multiple mountains… starting with the ACC Mount Rushmore of Basketball Coaches.

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Coach K will go for Gold, again

I want to win this many golds!

The news over the weekend was that Coach Blue Devils Head Coach, Mike Kryzewski’s was considering a return as the USA Men’s Basketball coach.

At first, all signs indicated that Coach K was ready to pack-up his 2 gold medals and move on, and that the USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo was planning to name a new coach.

But something changed in recent weeks, and now it is widely being reported that Coach Kryzewski will return as the USA Men’s Head Coach when they travel to Rio in 2016.   Read more…

ACC & The Olympics

You were probably expecting an article about how the ACC teams do in the non-revenue/Olympic sports.  After all, we devoted several posts to performance in the revenue sports.  See here, here, and here.  No, this article is much more simple.

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