Duke Gets To Sweet 16 For First Time In 3 Years

It’s usually taken for granted that Duke and North Carolina will make the Sweet 16 every year.  Well, Duke ended a two year run of not making it out of the first weekend by beating Texas 74-69 on Saturday and now face an athletic and rough Villanova team.

The season turned around for Duke when they benched Nolan Smith (after benching Greg Paulus) after losing 4 of 6 and inserted shooting guard Jon Scheyer at the point.  The Blue Devils have won 10 of 11 with Scheyer at the point including the ACC Tournament.Once again Coack K manages to get great white college basketball players that end up being busts in the NBA.  I’m pretty sure Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler will follow in the huge footsteps of Mark Alarie, Danny Ferry, Bobby Hurley, Cherokee Parks, and JJ Redick. Only Christian Laettner had a decent career in the NBA of the white superstars at Duke.  Not sure if Coach K should get credit for winning with these guys or blame for them being such awful pros.Coach K joined Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio to discuss the Dukies and their upcoming game against Villanova.

On what he likes best of what he’s team has shown thus far in the tournament:

“They’ve shown togetherness and a toughness that they really displayed the last two weeks of the regular season, and in winning the ACC Championship in Atlanta. We have a very close and together group and we’re healthy, because we have Nolan Smith back. He was gone with a concussion, but he was back for the ACC Tournament. I like my team a lot. We have great kids and we’re so together. I think that’s why we’ve won.”

Coach K’s initial scouting report on Villanova and he’ll tell his players:

“They’re playing their best basketball of the season. We’re actually pretty similar. We’re perimeter oriented, both of our teams. Neither team has a real strong low post presence, although (Dante) Cunningham. Their perimeter is outstanding, (Scottie) Reynolds being the key guy. He can put up 30 points on you.”

On his preparation this week with a possible Elite Eight match up against Pittsburgh or Xavier:

“I have my staff get ready for all the (possible) teams, just like we did last weekend. We show our kids a bracket of four teams and we did that last week. We say ‘in order to play the next game, here’s what happens and you win this and you’re a Regional Champion.’ Time-wise, we play the last game on Thursday night and if we win I think we play an early game on Saturday and that’s a real quick turnaround.”

Coach K talking about adjustments that needed to be made in season to better his team:

“We needed to make a change a few weeks ago because we just could not defend the point (guard) of another team well. We were turning the ball over a little too much and not getting into our offense. Moving (Jon) Scheyer to the being the ball handler and Elliot Williams as the guy pressuring the ball, its like a double change to really alleviate a problem at the point of our attack.”

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