Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski issued an apology to Oregon coach Dana Altman for speaking to the Ducks’ Dillon Brooks after the teams’ Sweet 16 game, the school announced in a statement. Krzyzewski also acknowledged that he reacted incorrectly to a reporter’s question about the incident.
“Today, I spoke with Oregon head coach Dana Altman and apologized to him for my remarks to Dillon Brooks following our game,” Krzyzewski said in the statement. “It is not my place to talk to another team’s player and doing so took the focus away from the terrific game that Dillon played. In the postgame press conference, I reacted incorrectly to a reporter’s question about my comment to Dillon. Clearly, the story that night was about Oregon advancing to the Elite Eight, and the outstanding game they played. I sincerely hope I did not create a distraction for Coach Altman and his team at this critical time of year. Certainly, I have the utmost respect for the Oregon program and their tremendous accomplishments.”
Brooks hit a meaningless, 30-foot 3 pointer with seven seconds left in the Ducks’ 82-68 win over the Blue Devils and celebrated in the direction of the Duke bench. On Friday, Altman said he told Brooks to shoot because the shot clock was going to run out before the game clock. Krzyzewski and Brooks exchanged words in the handshake line after the game.
Brooks said Krzyzewski told him he was “too good of a player to be showing off at the end,” according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel. And Brooks added, “He’s right.”
When presented with Brooks’ version of the events after the game, Krzyzewski cut off the question and denied saying anything beyond “You’re a terrific player.” Friday afternoon, CBS released video of the exchange that confirmed Brooks’ version of the events.
Altman tried (unsuccessfully) to stomp out the controversy Friday as the top-seeded Ducks prepared to play No. 2 Oklahoma for a trip to the Final Four.
“It’s a dead issue as far as we’re concerned,” Altman said. “We’re moving on to Oklahoma. I hope it’s a dead issue with everybody else.”