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Jayson Tatum On Failing At Duke

And how Mike Krzyzewski responded to a particular loss

South Carolina v Duke
GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 19: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Duke Blue Devils dribbles against Chris Silva #30 of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 19, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum came to Duke in 2016, things didn't quite go as expected. Giles was injured in high school, derailing an immensely promising career. And Tatum’s progress was slowed by injuries as a freshman.

Still, one of Mike Krzyzewski’s principles at Duke was that there were no excuses and no lowering of standards so when Duke lost to NC State in their freshman year, he was livid.

Here’s what Tatum had to say about it:

“This was probably the worst loss I had at Duke cuz North Carolina State hadn’t beat us at Duke in 25 years. And we get a text from the manager like, ‘Be at Coach K house in 30 minutes.’ So I’m like, Oh sh*t.’ So we get to his house and it’s late, it’s gotta be midnight.

“[O]ne by one, he cusses everybody out. He literally tells every player why they not sh*t just one by one. Telling me, he was like, ‘I can’t wait for you to get drafted. You so full of yourself, you just wanna get drafted, you don’t care about anything else.’ One by one, just going through everybody.”

It sounds both hilarious (from the outside) and brutal. Coach K absolutely had a way of getting his point across. And apparently it worked: Duke won the next seven games.