Coach K won't stump for ACC anymore
Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has unabashedly trumpeted ACC basketball over the last year, from his bold statement last fall that the expanded league could be the best ever to his insistence that more ACC teams were NCAA Tournament-worthy earlier this month.
Those comments earned him ridicule from coaches in other conferences, namely VCU’s Shaka Smart, who took exception to Krzyzewski saying the ACC was tougher than the Atlantic 10 and that should mean more NCAA Tournament bids.
Krzyzewski said Wednesday he’s done with putting himself out there for the league because he doesn’t feel like the league backed him up.
“I won’t be doing that anymore,” Krzyzewski said. “I am not going to do that again because I get all the stuff and nobody has my back. It’s funny to you. But you’re not the ones (hearing) ‘He’s an idiot. I hate him. He’s low level’ The only thing I said is I love my conference and I think this is better. And that’s not happening again unless other people are doing it.”
Krzyzewski then said it was akin to yelling ‘Charge!’ to storm up a hill in battle and then turning around to find nobody charging with him.
“That was a stupid thing to do,” he said. “I thought all of y’all were going to come. That was fun. That was a fun thing to do.”
What Krzyzewski didn’t say Wednesday was the fact that the ACC’s two days of mulling and weighing what to do in reaction to the ACC Tournament championship game left things in a sour place.
Krzyzewski, of course, received a technical foul from referee Jamie Luckie after Krzyzewski tossed a marker to the Duke bench near the end of a timeout in the game against Virginia at the Greensboro Coliseum. Krzyzewski had been upset with the official’s decisions and had been complaining to Luckie and the rest of the crew.
Luckie thought Krzyzewski was showing him up with the pen toss and assessed the technical foul. During his post-game news conference, Krzyzewski called the decision to give him a technical “shameful” and “ridiculous.”
That made him another in a list of ACC coaches, including Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon, who publicly criticized officials this basketball season.
No public reprimands or any other action from the league office resulted from their comments. Sources said the ACC considered action against Krzyzewski but finally decided on March 18, two days after the championship game, not to reprimand him.
In the middle of all that, Krzyzewski received blowback from the Atlantic 10, Smart in particular, for saying teams like N.C. State were more deserving of NCAA Tournament bid than A-10 teams because the ACC was a “meat grinder.”
But Krzyzewski said Wednesday he's done with all that.