Coach K not happy with NIT and other notes

Nov. 19, 2013 @ 10:44 PM

Notes from Duke-ECU basketball – a tougher-than-expected 83-74 win for the Blue Devils


Seating snafu – Duke’s student section was emptier than usual during Monday and Tuesday night’s games, which were part of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament.

The NIT controlled the ticket allotment for the two nights, which featured four games involving Duke, East Carolina, UNC Asheville and Norfolk State.

Under NIT guidelines, each school is awarded 50 complimentary tickets and has the option to sell 100 tickets to its fans. Many of those 450 seats were in the section that is normally filled with Duke students.

Any of those tickets that go unclaimed are turned back into the host school (Duke) to sell. But that transaction doesn’t occur until 24 hours prior to game time and the tickets are $71.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t happy with the way tickets were handled and wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion.

“I don’t know how they do the seating for the NIT,” Krzyzewski said, “but it stinks. However they did it, it ruins the atmosphere for Cameron, where people want to get in here. It costs so much to com in for this tournament and there should never be an empty seat here. It’s not the fault of our students. We were allocated a certain amount of tickets and that’s what we get.”

Love for a (former) rival – Krzyzewski has known Jeff Lebo for nearly 30 years. When Lebo was a prep All-American guard in Pennsylvania, Krzyzewski tried to lure him to Duke before Lebo picked North Carolina instead.

Lebo played at UNC from 1985-89 and is now in his fourth season as ECU’s head coach. Krzyzewski said Lebo did a great job of taking coaching lessons from his experiences playing for his father and for Dean Smith at UNC that are helping him have success coaching himself.

“We could not have had a better opponent, a classier opponent or a better game to build on than we did tonight,” Krzyzewski said.

Duke’s coach also said the Pirates’ near upset could have impact his summer visits to his beach house on Emerald Isle.

“Some of the greatest people in the world are East Carolina fans,” Krzyzewski said. “I almost gave them a big treat tonight. They would have welcomed me back to the beach and probably given me a few bottles of win.

“East Carolina is a terrific school and those kids are good. They are lucky to have Jeff, who is one of the better coaches.”

Stat stuff – With 21 points against ECU, Duke freshman Jabari Parker has scored 20 points or more in his first five college games. The last NCAA Division I player to do that was Michael Beasley at Kansas State in 2007-08….Rodney Hood made 8 of 10 shots while scoring 30 points against ECU. Hood is averaging 21.8 points per game and has made 34 of 47 field goal attempts for an outstanding 72.3 percent….Hood’s 12-for-12 performance from the free throw line improved his season percentage to 84.6 percent….Duke’s 47.4 percent shooting was the first time in five games this season the Blue Devils shot lower than 50 percent. The Blue Devils are shooting 56.1 percent as a team this season.