HOT SEAT, Coach K
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
After getting bailed out of another disappointing NCAA Tournament appearance, it’s time to turn on Coach K’s seat warmer. The years of final fours and championships are far gone and in the rearview, for Duke fans it is simply time to wake up. Listen, he had a great run, a GREAT run. But he’s clearly lost his fastball. Duke hasn’t made a deep run in March dating back to 2015, a time when Maryland and Rutgers were in the midst of their first season in the Big 10.
If we’re all counting. Because we are. That’s only 1 Final Four appearance in the previous 10 seasons. Duke has been on the wrong side of well publicized upsets against 15th seeded Lehigh in 2012, 14th seeded Mercer in 2014 and the Eric Maynor coming out party in 2007 with VCU. Sensing a trend? Good. Let’s also not forget he forced a back surgery that sidelined him the rest of the year after suffering 2 early losses in the 2016-2017 season with a team that many claimed to be “the best Duke team ever.” That team would go on to lose in the 2nd round. Pressure = Back Surgery? The Coach K way.
Let’s relive one of the unlikelier upsets of Ks’ tenor:
Duke has had an unfathomable amount of Talent come in since 2015 including 18 Top 25 recruits. Let’s name a few of them - Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Marvin Bagley, Trevon Duval, Gary Trent jr, Wendell Carter, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish. I’m sorry I meant to list a few but there’s just simply not a “few.” He has not had ONE Final Four appearance with any of these guys? If you listen closely you can hear Dean Smith cackling from the grave. Marvin Bagley was advertised literally as the next Lebron James. His 2019 team had 3 top 10 picks. I’m not sitting here saying that Coach K is a bad coach, I’m just saying the tribe has spoken and it’s time for him to leave the island. This is a safe space, a place where we can be honest with ourselves. K has turned into that grandpa we all visit during Christmas that has started to show concerning signs of a rapidly declining mental capacity. He literally stormed across the court in a fit of rage to scold the Cameron Crazies after they were chanting “Jeff Capel, sit with us”. There was once a time where wearing the Duke uniform meant something. Teams feared them. Now? Mid majors like S.F. Austin are walking into Cameron Indoor with an expectation of going home happy. It seems as if he’s in cruise control right now, but it’s time for him to hit the gas and drive off into the sunset. You had a great career K. Thanks for the memories.