In the waning moments of a Sweet 16 win over Duke on Thursday, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, with his team up 11 and the shot clock winding down, attempted a three-pointer from well beyond the arc. The shot hit bottoms and capped a dominating performance in an 82-68 win over the Blue Devils.
Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t happy – not only because his team lost, but also because he felt Brooks’ shot, and subsequent celebration, was unnecessary. In the postgame handshake line, Coach K stopped Brooks and told him he’s too good of a player to showboat at the end of a win like that.
Was it wrong for Krzyzewski to do that?
“Yeah, it’s an unwritten rule of coaches,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Brendan Haywood said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Coach your own team, don’t talk to the other team’s players if you’re the opposing coach. You don’t do that. So when Coach K stepped over the boundaries and was talking to Dillon Brooks about you’re too good of a player to be showboating at the end of the game, well, Dillon Brook’s coach, Dana Altman, told him to shoot the ball. So he’s doing what his coach told him to do, so you’re overstepping your boundaries.”
The three gave Brooks a team-high 22 points and sent the Ducks to their first Elite Eight since 2007.
“Your job isn’t to coach Dillon Brooks,” Haywood said. “Your job is to coach your players. I never saw him come out and publicly say anything about Grayson Allen is too good of a player to be running around here tripping people. So my thing was, hey, take care of your own team before you try to coach somebody else’s. The phrase I made was clean your own porch before you come clean mine. I just didn’t think that was the right time and place for Coach K to do that. This is one of the highlights of Dillon Brook’s career. There’s no need for you to try to come in here and rain on his parade. Focus on your own team.”
Complicating matters further is the fact that Krzyzewski denied saying anything of the sort to Brooks. Only when audio of the exchange was posted online did Krzyzewski apologize for what he said and for reacting “incorrectly” when a reporter asked about it.
And did we mention the Grayson Allen plays?
“Those are plays where people can actually get hurt,” Haywood said. “If I’m running down the court and you stick your leg out on purpose and trip me, I can fall on my face. I can turn my ankle. Those are purposeful plays that can actually hurt somebody. This situation is a kid at the end of a game that’s very, very excited and doing what his coach told him to do. It’s totally different. If you didn’t correct Grayson Allen, don’t come out here and try to correct Dillon Brooks. It comes off wrong, and then you hit it on the head: When you go to the press conference and act the way he did, it comes off really wrong.”