The Duke Blue Devils bounced out of their recent slump on Monday night, but just barely as they held off a late run in the second half to defeat the Virginia Cavaliers, 69-65, after dominating for most of the game.
Although a victory, it still was another sign of recent struggles for this former Top 10 group. Recent losses to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Clemson Tigers to start their year in the Atlantic Coast Conference have made 2014 miserable so far.
After last night’s victory, though, head coach Mike Krzyzewksi alluded to something that Jay Bilas mentioned on last night’s ESPN broadcast that could shed some light on the recent downfalls, and it had to do with he himself not being all there as he recently lost his brother.
“We haven’t been at our best since the start of conference, and I haven’t been at my best since Christmas. That’s my responsibility,” Coach K told reporters after the game. His brother passed away on December 26th. “We were there tonight, and we were collectively together tonight for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was my responsibility that we weren’t as much as we should have. But today we were.”
It takes a strong human being to admit something like that in public, but that’s what makes Coach K who he is.