Roy and Krzyzewski in War of Words

Well, Krzyzewski started it.

So here is what happened.  Following Duke’s loss to Wake Forest the “Leader of Men” aka Mike Krzyzewski made the following comment to Bob Harris in the one-on-one postgame interview he does on the Duke Radio Network:

Nolan hyper-extended his knee at Maryland and has been dealing with that since – and unlike other schools we don’t release our injuries – so I thought he played a strong game tonight. It was good to see that. He has been getting healthier although he did tweak it again tonight.

The “other schools” Coach K speaks of is pretty much understood to be North Carolina which on Friday decided, “the heck with it” and tell the media about all the injuries.  Duke on the other hand apparently does not feel the need to inform the world about any injuries they might have, that is until after they lose a game.  Which is odd to even mention them, because the injuries did not really matter.  Last I check Jon Scheyer was perfectly healthy except he could not hit a shot the other night.  Greg Paulus is also in perfect health(or is he?) but went 3-9.  And Nolan Smith?  Yeah, he scored 20 points hurt.  The only player you think is suffering is Gerald Henderson who injured his wrist versus UNC and we can only be thankful K is not still playing the victim card on his behalf.  So I am not sure why talking about his players injuries matters as it relates to losing in Winston-Salem nor can I figure out why he cares UNC discloses their injuries before they play on a regular basis.  At any rate, it was enough to put Roy Williams in a bad mood during his radio show Monday night:

Has the injury report improved since Saturday?
“Well, it’s not, and regardless of what somebody else says about them having injuries too, which is a bunch of bunk, so I don’t give a [flip] what somebody else says. They can coach their own [darn] team and I’ll coach my team – in case anyone had heard some statements about that. But for us, I was surprised that Deon [Thompson] was able to do something, but yet, he couldn’t continue playing so he sat out. It was an injury enough that he did not play in the second half. Ty Lawson is injured enough that he has not played in four games. Bobby Frasor is injured enough that he hasn’t played in how ever many games that is. So [when] somebody talks about us publishing our injuries, they should have enough things to worry about their own selves.

I have heard the original quote and IC has cleaned it up a bit.  Bottom line is Roy did not care for Coach K’s comments.  And in some ways he has a beef.  I think were UNC is concerned, the decision to disclose has to do with the fact UNC has 3-4 guys who have are injured severely enough they are missing time or were clear seen to be injured.  So much of this disclosure is geared towards heading off the media and giving them the information they are clamoring for instead of dealing with it in piecemeal.  It also should be noted that UNC had not been in the business of releasing all the information until before the Virginia Tech game.  For example no one knew anything about Tyler Hansbrough’s infected toe or Quentin Thomas’ back spasms until after the win at Virginia.  In fact the first I heard of the Hansbrough toe problem was from a reader who emailed me reporting a rumor he picked up the day of the Virginia game.  So for UNC I think it simply an desire to fully disclose everything that is happening with the team whereas Duke does not care to be all that forthcoming in that endearing New England Patriots sort of way.

And not that I really care.  If Duke wants to keep the team maladies a secret, then more power to them, that is their right and really nothing new in Durham to do so. That being said, it reeks to then trot those injuries out after a loss in what can be construed as an effort to offer a veiled excuse.   It is also unnecessary to cite the team eight miles down the road and their practices of reporting such injuries as though UNC is doing with ulterior motives in mind.  In essence, I agree with Roy.  Every coach should tend to his own team and quit worrying about how the other guy chooses to deal with similar situations.

Then again, this is UNC-Duke.  Good times to be sure when the coaches start going at it.


32 Responses to Roy and Krzyzewski in War of Words

  1. Will says:

    And don’t forget, Nolan drove in for three quick layups at the end of the Wake game. He looked perfectly fine on those plays. The problem for Duke was they couldn’t stay in front of Wake guards, whick K is obviouly blaming on Nolan’s knee.

    As for our game with Wake, I hope we can adjust to their speed.

  2. Wilson says:

    Everybody say it with me now….


    Oh baby I love me some smack talk.

  3. 52BigGameJames says:

    this is getting Frank McGuire-esque, lol.

  4. Charles says:

    Aren’t you leaving out last week’s comment by Roy? Hmmm….you know the one about Duke having a great marketing department and the notion that they have 8 McDonald All Americans where UNC played 3 (instead of 5 because two were injured)? I’ve always found that notion to be somewhat amusing, by the way. It’s like Duke or UNC annoints these kids as High School All-Americans when in fact it’s recruiting writers such as Gibbons, Konchalski, Oettinger that make those decisions.

    Anyway, it’s obvious that the marketing department comment got under K’s skin as well. That should be referenced in this discussion.

    I’ll say this, It’s getting pretty damn childish. Both coaches need to get over it.

  5. Josh says:

    I think there is some bad blood between the coaches. I wonder if they play golf together in the off season–probably not.

  6. mugley says:

    go get him Roy!!!!!!

  7. william says:

    Honestly, some of that high school All American stuff is driven by scholarships given, rather than reality. Anyone remember Lynwood Robinson or Curtis Hunter? They were supposed to be better than Phil Ford and Michael Jordan. Carolina also had that 7’5″ kid, Neil somebody and he couldn’t play a lick but people figured that he must be great if Carolina is recruiting him. Duke has had a few like that as well. Most of the Duke duds end up transferring, which was ironically something that happened at Carolina under Doherty but which seems to have stopped.

    Nevertheless, Duke has had quite a few players who were nationally touted and who stayed and who have not turned out (not responded to K’s coaching?).

    Just in the last five years, you have Josh McRoberts, Shavlik Randolph, and arguably, Demtrius Nelson, who until this year, has far underperformed his initial touting. The jury is still out on Gerald Henderson, but he appeared to come in with an Eric Gordon type reputation and does not seem to have that type of game.

  8. I love seeing this kind of emotion from Roy.

    FWIW, I don’t give a [flip] what anybody in Durham says about us either.

  9. JAG Heel says:

    With Ferret Face, there is always a veiled condesending passive-agressive smarmy undercurrent to every thing he says. It is as if he wants to be as bold and quick witted as his profane mentor but just can’t bring himself to do it. Roy , on the other hand, obviously does not mince words. He is who he is and says what he thinks. Usually, it is gentlemanly and restrained and shows class and sportsmanship. However, he also can get down and dirty when he feels his team and school have been sullied. I think he was right to defend himself and his team under the circumstances. Roy 1 — Pollcat 0!

  10. william says:

    Despite Duke’s lack of size, there’s plenty of talent: All eight of its top scorers are former McDonald’s All-Americans. That’s staggering. But this is the truth: Duke has just one Duke has just one automatic first-round NBA Draft pick, Singler.

    What happened to all that alleged talent once it got to Durham? Don’t ask me, but there’s not a single thing about Greg Paulus or Jon Scheyer or DeMarcus Nelson or Taylor King or Lance Thomas that screams, NBA player! Sophomore Gerald Henderson has a chance if he improves his miserable jumper. Freshman Nolan Smith also has a chance. But that’s it.

  11. […] Pack will be playing a depleted UNC team, who will be without Lawson. Tyler Hansbrough (infected toe) and Quentin Thomas (back spasms, and apparently the flu?) are also battling nagging […]

  12. Silent Sam says:

    william, the big tall guy was Neil Fingleton. He ended up transferring to Holy Cross and was a little used bench warmer there much like he was at Carolina. Good kid, but he couldn’t play a lick.

    In 2007 Fingleton was recognized by Guinness World Records as the UK’s tallest man – 7’7″ although he probably wasn’t that tall when he matriculated at UNC.

    JAG Heel: Well done; you have a way with words.

  13. spirona says:

    Excellent analysis, THF. I agree completely with your take. Roy may have overreacted and it may be childish, but I like the fire and K needs to keep his trap shut.

  14. Chris says:

    Personally I think we should just ignore K and go about our business….. it just gives him the satisfaction of knowing he got some people irritated. Let’s just give him the attention he deserves…….none.

  15. Josh Bowling says:

    Why take the low road and not say anything Chris? That would almost be arrogant of us not to respond to that, as if we are high & mighty and above it. I say take the high road like Williams did and respond to it like we are mortal and it bothered us. But I admit, Chris, it would be effective not to respond. As a matter of fact, it would be down right cocky for us not to. Like you, I say do that.

  16. Josh Bowling says:

    It reminds me of a book that was written by coach K and some other comments & stuff from former friends, players, & teammates. I forgot what the book was called but it definately illustrated how much Mike hates UNC. I remember one comment from someone in it who said ” Duke was down by 3 with 5 seconds to go and Dean Smith started walking towards Mike to shake his hand and Mike said “Damn Dean, the game ain’t over yet!” I guess Coach K thought we were egotistical maniacs. These days I think likewise to him. Do you know what book that was THF?

  17. John says:

    JB, I don’t quite see how not responding to a provocative remark is an arrogant or cocky way to handle it. The way I see it, Coach K either (1) wanted to get into Coach Williams’ head, or (2) needed to rationalize to himself why his team experienced an upset loss. Whichever the case, not responding would make Coach K doubt that he had accomplished the former, and not done anything to give him comfort about the latter.

    Last fall before the State football game I heard Woody Durham describe State fans as “hating Carolina more than they like themselves,” or something like that. Since college (UNC class of ’92), I’ve always believed that Dukies feel basically the same way–there used to be a bumpersticker sold at/near Duke that read, “Duke – THE University of North Carolina.” They want to be us. They want our tradition, both academically and athletically. I hate Duke, and can’t understand why anyone pulls for them who didn’t attend the school. But, I try to be more a UNC fan than a Duke hater (though I don’t always live up to my ideal). If we as a fanbase ignore Duke as much as possible in every way possible, it’ll PO them a lot more than smack talk. Long live Carolina Envy!

  18. Josh Bowling says:

    I agree John. Not saying anything at all will PTO because we will have exerted a superior attitude towards them, as if they are irrelevant. To me, that would be a low blow. Responding to it would propensiate the fact that we are disturbed by their comments because they are on an equivellance with us, meaning that we are in battle with each other. Not saying anything would be a belittle to them.

  19. william says:

    I don’t know about over-analyzing all this. Most Duke students could attend UNC if they chose. Maybe most of them don’t know that much about UNC until arriving in Durham, since UVa gets more play up North. I might have been able to get into Duke, but honestly I figured that you had to be a sap to go to Duke if you were in-state, either that or have money to burn.

  20. JMOHN says:

    Duke has 8 All Americans, waaaahhhhhhhh
    Duke beat us at home, wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Tyler has a hangnail, waaaaahhhhhhhhhhnnn
    We all have the sniffles, wahhhhhhhhaannnnn

    Stop crying Roy!

    I could give a **** about North Carolina too, Roy.

  21. Triadboy says:

    spirona said:

    “…but I like the fire and K needs to keep his trap shut.”


    Is it known as a “trap” or a “cheese hole”?

  22. Tar Heel Fan says:


    I don’t see Roy as whining or crying over anything. After all he is not the coach who starting citing injuries the moment he found himself on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

  23. C. Michael says:

    Hey, if Duke loses a couple of more games, it might be K who ends up on the injury report… those bad backs can come of nowhere…

  24. 52BigGameJames says:

    Johnny Dawkins: watch out for those bus-wheels!

  25. David says:

    Duke wants to be UNC, athletically and scholastically? What planet do you live on, buddy? The truth is you’ve had a running injury report in the Raleigh and Durham papers for 2 weeks – what other school does this? Do you really think you are the only team in the ACC with injuries? Coach K doesn’t need to shut up – your propaganda machine needs to take a TO. Just play basketball.

  26. C. Michael says:

    “what other school does this?”

    That would be most of them. Thanks for playing, Skippy.

  27. Schwind says:

    “Coach K doesn’t need to shut up – your propaganda machine needs to take a TO. Just play basketball.”

    Are you friggin kidding me, David? UNC’s propaganda machine? Seems to me two years ago Dook was using its propaganda machine — ESPN — to run its own injury report for J.J.’s “emotional fatigue.” Give me a break, you loser. How about the day Coach K stops writing books, and doesn’t sponsor State Farm, American Express, Chevy and the bazillion other companies he shills for, and tells Dook Vitale to shut his piehole and THEN you can talk about how Roy needs to shut down his “propaganda machine” in Raleigh and Durham, which by the way, no one outside the triangle reads?

  28. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Well first of all, the decision to run UNC injury reports in the Raleigh and Durham papers is made by the editors of those respective papers so if you really want to gripe about that run along a send an email to those guys complaining about it. Secondly, do tell us how exactly UNC was supposed to handle the fact the media is asking about the status of UNC players over and over again. Duke opted not to release their injuries because in the case of Smith and Henderson, neither were missing playing time over whatever physical issue they were experiencing. In UNC’s case you had Lawson out, Ginyard missing the end of the Clemson game with two injuries and Deon Thompson hobbled during the UVa game. In addition other players had issues along the way such as Hansbrough and Thomas which WAS NOT disclosed prior to the game in Charlottesville but after the fact. In the end UNC was keeping the media informed so they would stop asking 100 times a day about it and that was it.

  29. John says:


    I live on a planet where we back up our arguments with facts (e.g., the bumpersticker I described). Would you kindly list a few facts that would support your position that Duke doesn’t want to be UNC? I wouldn’t start with the fact that you were trolling a Carolina fan site, if I were you.

  30. Chris says:

    I don’t see the big deal about listing or not listing injury reports. Seems to me it would be coaches preference and doesn’t amount to much either way. The main thing from Carolina’s point in my opinion is to ignore the nonsense that K puts out there and just play ball. Roy doesn’t have to and shouldn’t stoop so low as worry about anything that K says or does. K is neurotic and Roy is not, and Roy should just stay that way.

  31. william says:

    The truth is that very few people follow Duke in North Carolina, except for wannabees and recent transplants….

  32. 52BigGameJames says:

    beg to differ William-my radio station is an affiliate and I know the following–also as a native NCarolinean, I am able to distinguish between the two. In the past that may have been true, but like him or not, K has built a following–a dysfunctional following, but a following nonetheless.

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