I know this will be an opinion not shared by many of those who follow Duke, but to me, this was one of the worst coaching jobs K has ever done (apologies for the Bleacher Report quality intro but I’m still upset over the loss). I know people will point out how we beat many great teams during the course of the year and how we had a chance to win the ACC regular season title as proof of K’s genius, but to me those early successes simply mask the overall poor job he did this year. A poor job that by and large was the result of the stubbornness – which admittedly has over the last 32 years generally served him better than worse – that led to a highly uncharacteristic lack of experimentation that ultimately doomed the team.
K ultimately failed this team and potentially future ones in 3 ways: 1) not recognizing that our lack of perimeter defense was not something that could be fixed with simple willpower (why was this ever seemingly considered an option I will never understand), and the unwillingness to give 2) Cook and 3) Gbinije more run at the PG and SF spots, respectively. On the defensive front, I would’ve hoped following the Temple game, that K would realize that forcing our guards to pressure out on the perimeter was only leading them to get beaten off the dribble and forcing Mason, Miles and Kelly to constantly have to help which led to offensive rebound situations and increased fouls accumulated by the bigs challenging shots. It seemed to me at least that going to the 2010 sag defense ( as depicted by Luke Winn) could solve so many of our perimeter defensive problems.