Coach K had a few things to say after the Indiana game about fan’s expectations and the freshman class.
He’s basically right but no one who watches can deny how much fun it is. We should celebrate and enjoy because watching this team is like Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve in one fun bundle. This team is a blast.
But some of the expectations are out of whack. The idea that they could beat an NBA team? Ridiculous. Go undefeated? That didn't last long and good riddance.
What possibly bothered Coach K the most was the criticism of RJ Barrett following the loss to Gonzaga.
The kid tried, repeatedly, to live up to the moment. He wasn’t able to do it but he’s auditioning for the Laettner role and frankly, anyone who has the nerve to want do to that has our complete respect. Even the iron-willed Christian Laettner found it exhausting.
Krzyzewski is absolutely correct when he reminds that the freshmen are, well, freshmen. Last year this time they were in high school. Twelve months later, they’re in Beatlemania. That can’t be easy.
If Jason Williams and Seth Greenberg want to say stupid things, let them (this is nothing new for EPSN’s answer to Uncle Fester).
As far as we go, we being Duke fans, we should show up and marvel at their gifts even as we’re patient as they grow into them. They are certainly gifted, but they’re 17 and 18. For all we know they may be homesick and miss their mother’s cooking. They may recoil at the level of attention and criticism they’re getting may sting.
With us, they should above all feel safe and at home. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions obviously, but Krzyzewski has always seen the fans as part of the team and he has standards for us as well. Criticism is rare, so listen to it and decide if it’s valid.
If you feel like you’re an organic part of the program, that you can make a difference, then analyze the criticism and apply it.
Let’s give the kids a chance to spread their wings and see what they can do. Our job, the way we can be a great part of the team, is to provide them the emotional support to see how far and fast they can fly.
There’s no need to act like Kentucky, UNC or Maryland fans. That’s not us.
So let’s buck up, help them out by being positive, and let’s see just what this group is capable of.
They’ll figure it out and they’ll do it more quickly if they know we have their backs.