CBSSports.com’s Kyle Boone looks at Duke’s schedule and while he’s right in some respects, he misses the biggest change of all: the ACC schedule is now 20 games and it’s going to be a meat grinder.
And while Coach K, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Tony Bennett, Chris Mack, Leonard Hamilton, Jim Larranaga, Mike Young, Kevin Keatts, Mike Brey, Jeff Capel and Brad Brownell are not likely to be fired if this coming season goes poorly, the expanded schedule is going to cost a couple of guys their jobs. If you think that Danny Manning, Jim Christian and Josh Pastner are happy about it, think again. Those guys would much rather have the two nearly-certain wins they’d have scheduled otherwise.
More ACC means less appealing non-conference and probably for everyone. Look at Syracuse’s schedule for another example.
Keep in mind also that coaches also have to factor in who they’ll see home and away in conference play. If you get Duke, Virginia and UNC on the road only, that’s three losses and home isn’t certain either.
The other thing that people like to rip Duke about is not making true road trips for non-conference games.
Well, what’s the point in that?
Coach K used to schedule those of course but in the age of social media and Duke hating it’s just counterproductive. We still remember the vile chants LSU fans tried to taunt Christian Laettner with. JJ Redick and Wojo got the business wherever they went. Even in-conference it got to the point where Coach K left his family at home when Duke went to Maryland.
At this point Duke deals with it by having a massive and positive social media presence and attempting to limit the abuse that individual players have to take. Playing on neutral courts is a perfectly rational adjustment to circumstances that no other college team has to face.