Some of you will remember the Duke-Wake Forest game when Mike Krzyzewski started some walk-ons vs. Wake Forest and Chris Paul. The myth was that Duke started walk-ons to “rough up” Paul.
That was always moronic and not the way Krzyzewski thinks.
He was trying to rough someone up though - his starters. He’s done various things over the years to get his point across when they’re not playing hard. On occasion he's thrown his team out of the locker room. In his younger days, he would show them how to stand in and take a charge. He famously breaks down video and shows bad habits.
What he has also done over the years is to bench starters and, on rare occasions, he has gone to the end of the bench.
He knows that those guys will come in and play hard as hell. The starters, who don’t want to be on the bench, will match their intensity when they get back in.
The message to his team?
I don’t care if we lose. The only guys who are playing are the guys who play hard. We’re won't win playing the way we’ve been playing and I don't want to win the way we’ve been playing.
As we said above, it’s not the first time. If memory serves, Duke was down about 20 to Clemson in 1992, in Littlejohn, and Coach K pulled his starters. By the time they got back in, Duke was back on track.
It was never about getting physical with Paul. The biggest joke there is that Paul has always been a dirty player. We saw it in the ACC when he got caught on video slugging NC State’s Julius Hodge in the produce section and he’s done it in the NBA too.
Those guys, as expected, gave it their all. They were just not in Paul’s class and couldn't keep up with him.