Following Duke's loss to Illinois, Coach K voices concerns over playing during pandemic: 'I don't think it feels right'
Illinois ran Duke off the court, a comprehensive and thorough win in what was an impressive night for the Big Ten on the hardwood.
No. 10 Duke’s 83-68 loss left Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski looking for answers as his team dropped to 2-2. Illinois (4-1), ranked sixth in the nation was just better, quicker and had truly outstanding ball movement in beating one of the ACC’s top teams.
“Happy Wednesday. Hopefully Wednesday is better than Tuesday,” Krzyzewski said after his team’s second loss of the season. “We got beat by a team that is better than we are, and older, more mature. They kind of imposed their will on us. We are not as good as they are. Therefore, you have to be really smart and hit shots. We are not there yet. We have a lot to learn.”
Duke was just 22.7 percent from three-point range and a dismal 56.3 percent at the line.
While he appropriately gave credit to Illinois, where Krzyzewski lost the plot was in using the current pandemic as an excuse for his team’s rough start. Duke has lost two of their last three games, having lost to Michigan State on Dec. 1.
They haven’t looked good in either loss, leading to questions about this team’s ceiling.
Missing in the Hall of Fame coach’s finger-pointing is that Illinois (along with every team on Duke’s schedule this year) is going through the same issues relating to the virus. No team has been immune to its impact.
That didn’t stop Krzyzewski from using COVID-19 as a way to backpedal from his team’s rough start.
“I don’t think it feels right to anybody,” Krzyzewski said, via the News Observer. “I mean, everyone is concerned….I know somebody will take what I’m saying tonight, and make it like I’m making excuses. I don’t make excuses. We need to get a lot better. But for the good of the game, and the good of the safety and mental and physical health of our players and staff and whatever, we need to constantly look at this thing. And I think that’s, I think that’s a smart thing to do.”