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K Copies Cal?

It’s a bit of the kettle calling the pot blue we’d say

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Kansas vs Duke
Mar 23, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals of the Midwest regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center. 
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s an annoying piece from Kentucky Sports Radio which accuses Duke’s Coach K of “copying” UK’s John Calipari by having a player reclassify and come a year early.

It’s a fundamental misreading of the situation. We talked about it the other day so lets review.

First, the player in question, Fayetteville’s Joey Baker, has already talked about redshirting and says that his primary motivation is a higher level of competition. He doesn’t expect to start and is willing to sit out a year to improve.

Second, although RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson and Tre Jones are more highly rated, Baker is a better perimeter shooter than all of them. Given that that could be a weakness on this team, he has an obvious niche (assuming of course that he doesn’t redshirt).

Finally, the idea that Coach K is slavishly copying Calipari is frankly silly. Who was it who went off to coach the Dominican team when he realized that Krzyzewski, after taking on the national team job that no one really wanted, had turned it into a powerful advantage?

If Calipari really wants to copy Coach K, a good place to do it would be winning (and keeping) championship banners.

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