ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas says Duke players will eventually laugh about Mike Krzyzewski banning them from the locker room and wearing team gear.
The Blue Devils Hall of Fame coach, still recovering from back surgery he had on Jan. 6, called a team meeting at his house on Tuesday, according to an ESPN report.
Bilas said Krzyzewski’s actions weren’t outside of normal.
A number of coaches do stuff like this.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas
“Athletic teams run differently than your normal office, so some people don’t process this as no big deal when it’s really no big deal,”said Bilas, who played for Krzyzewski from 1982-86 and was an assistant at Duke from 1990-92. “A number of coaches do stuff like this. (The players aren’t) laughing now, but they’ll laugh later.”
Krzyzewski’s actions, a private locker room matter made public through the ESPN report, came a day after No. 17 Duke (15-5, 3-4) lost 84-82 to N.C. State in Durham for the first time since 1995.
The Blue Devils squandered a 12-point lead late and shot 38 percent in the second half against a Wolfpack team fueled by a career night from freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr.
“I don’t consider the loss to N.C. State embarrassing; they’ve got a lottery pick at point guard,” Bilas said. “It’s more about the way they’re playing. It’s a question of how they’re going about it. They could have won and maybe this happened. I think probably the thing that’s more frustrating for them is that a locker room issue became public.”
Duke has lost three of its last four game. Its lone victory in that stretch was a 70-58 win over Miami that was surged by a second-half spark; Duke has just one assist in the first half of the game.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan