He'd better adapt quickly... because I'm going to give him the ball. I love him. I think he was the best point guard in high school basketball last year. … He's a marvelous player with wonderful savvy and he plays like a very, very mature guy.
I really was going to punt the ball, and then the offensive line, they're cranking on me about, 'Let's run. Let's go for it,' ... Probably, if it wouldn't have been a quarter change, I would have punted the ball.
When I first got to Kansas, we had no big men that could score. I told one of our big guys the only time he could shoot the ball was if he got an offensive rebound and was facing just one guy. If he was in a crowd, he couldn’t even shoot it then.
"They told me not to do anything physically. But because of that, I have probably done more thought and preparation for this season than any season before. Usually, I'm recruiting like crazy until two days before practice starts, and then we shut down recruiting for the first two weeks of practice. Since I couldn't do that, I've been doing lots of thinking and planning. I've been looking at old practice plans. I've been doing more of that type of thing than I've ever done before a season started."
The issue, Mr. Forde, is that it’s not Krzyzewski promoting the perception that you outlined. It’s you. And Dick Vitale. And countless other members of the basketball media who point to Duke’s spotless image as a reason for their readers to either hate the program or to love it. Are we really that concerned with the back story of Lance Thomas and his apparent issues with managing his personal finances? Or is it more that we’re concerned with the damage of one of the most overused narratives in all of college athletics? It’s certainly reading like it’s more of the latter.
"He’s the first one in the building," North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner says. "I’m like, ‘Sly, man, what are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘Nothing, man. Gotta get better.’ He’s so humble about it."
As Colangelo told this story, he couldn't resist the opportunity to set me straight, "You're from Louisville and you think that the Louisville/Kentucky game is a big deal and a big rivalry. But that's nothing compared to the rivalry when UNC plays Duke. They play for blood. So when Coach Smith told us that no one will connect with and motivate the players like Coach K, the whole crowd was silent. That was a big moment for all of us."
I think a lot of times some of those guys get drafted off of a tournament and some of the scouts don't take in your body of work. And then some of those guys don't stay in school long enough to really learn the fundamentals to stick around on an NBA team. Because it's totally different. It's not like you're choosing to go to that team. That team drafts you and expects you to perform every night.
And I think what happens with a lot of guys, they don't learn, because they were superstars for one or two years when they came. They didn't have to come off the bench, be a role player, take less of a role, and they don't know how to handle it. There are only 60 possessions in an NBA game, and if you're playing with Allen Iverson, he's taking anywhere from 20 to 30 shots a game. So there are other parts of the game that you have to contribute to stick around. Them guys being young, they don't understand that part of the game.