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Everybody's Fast Food All-American

Continuing today's theme of things I don't care about, the McDonald's All-American rosters have been released, with one future Wolfpacker and three future Blue Devils. I'm not going to get to worked up over an accolade that includes among its recipients Niel Fingleton and Scooter Sherrill, but it's a good opportunity to republish an old Tar Heel March post from 2005, when Krzyzewski was getting media accolades for somehow getting wins out of a talentless Duke team that included five fast food All-Americans:

Krzyzewski should not be named ACC Coach of the Year.

Of course, that a Carolina fan would adopt this position is shocking to absolutely no one, but I feel the arguement has to be thrown out there anyway. So here's my response to the "He's done more with less" crowd: What crazy definitions of more and less are you using?

Here's a brief summary of the "less" Krzyzewski had to start the year off:

  • Three starters off of a Final Four team.
  • Two Third Team All-Americas (in different votes)
  • The ACC Tournament MVP
  • 5 McDonald's All-Americas, and one honorable mention, none of whom are named Williams.
  • High school Players of the Year for two different states.
Sportswriters and coaches around the country looked at the "less" Duke was bringing to the table, and predicted finishes of 11th and 12th in the country respectively. That they've excelled to 5th says more to me about the parity in the Top 15 than any coaching genius at work.

Now compare that to what's happenned up in Blacksburg. Did anyone beleive Tech would be anywhere but the cellar in ACC play? Could anyone name two players on the team before the season started? Greenberg did an incredible job. Krzyzewski got good play out of good players.

Maybe I'd feel different if I'd seen a lot of commentary after games claiming Duke won on shear coaching, but I never did. Even after they beat UNC, all the press seemed to be on how Redick knew what the play was going to be, as opposed to Krzyzewski outfoxing Williams. In fact, the only coaching move that's attracted any attention was starting the benchfolk against Wake. [1] He didn't start with that much less, and he didn't do that much more. he's not the Coach of the Year.

(And in case you're curious as to what Roy Williams started the season with? take the above list, cross out the ACC Tournament MVP, the Finar Four stuff, and the fast food honorable mention. Now change the two third team AA's to second, and tack on Players of the Year for another two states, and that's the whole package. UNC and Duke both even have a banked-on recruit who ended up elsewhere.)

[1] For the record, I believe benching the starters was purely motivational and not bringing in the goons. Of course Chris Paul was fouled. You put him up against someone that much worse than him, and he's going to draw fouls out of sheer ineptitude. They weren't malicious, they weren't intentional and they weren't part of any master plan. Patrick Davidson's a tuna sandwich.

What I'm still waiting for is the Wake fans to look inward for a moment. They've spent the last two weeks complaining louldly that they've been cheated, that their opponent plays dirty and gets away with, and that there's no justice in the ACC. And now they're shocked that the 19 year-old with a martyr complex that's been listening to this nonstop goes and does something stupid? Why?

Take home lesson from all of this? After a year or so, everyone will have forgotten who was getting the cheap hamburger awards, unless it suits whatever narrative they're currently trying to write. So why should the fans care?

And the ACC Coach of the Year award did go to Greenberg that year, so everything worked out in the end.