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Coach K’s Critics Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

Which makes it tough to make a coherent criticism

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Duke
Mar 7, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team during the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won 89-76. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen several places now, mostly Twitter, aka the Land That Intelligence Forgot, but also some others, posts saying that Duke mishandled the end of the Louisville game and that Coach K should have had Mark Williams in the game or blah, blah, blah.

We’d just like to mention a couple of things here. First, Mike Krzyzewski has been doing this for close to half a century now. He’s been in every possible situation and made most of his mistakes earlier in his career and has absorbed those lessons.

And second, for everyone who thinks he knows better than one of the two or three greatest coaches in history, consider looking at what you don't know.

You don’t know anything about the players tendencies. We’re entering hypotheticals here, but we don’t know if Williams, for instance, tends to bite on fakes from guards. We don’t know if he tweaked his ankle on Thursday. We don’t know, in other words, anything about what went into the rationale behind that decision.

We can promise you though, that just because something seems obvious doesn’t mean it’s correct. Because if you think for one minute that Krzyzewski ran through the positives and negatives of what to do in that situation, he didn’t the obvious and only answer here is to put Williams in...and then disregard that “obvious” solution.

There was a lot more juggling of the probabilities than simply figuring put the big guy in. He’ll block the shot.

So for critics, it’s wise to know your limitations. You don’t tell your doctors and lawyers how to do their jobs and we’d say trust your coach, too. Or if you truly think you are a better strategist, at least be humble enough to understand that their are a million more moving parts than you realize.