Last night, Grayson Allen tripped an opponent for the third time. After the game, Mike Krzyzewski essentially hinted that he didn’t have to suspend Allen, which was met with much derision, from multiple parties.
Today, Coach K was scheduled for an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, and he didn’t back out of it. But he also didn’t seem too interested in going along with the line of questioning, either, opening up with a passive-aggressive joke about how Patrick hasn’t always done a great job over the years.
Here’s the entire interview:
Early in the interview, Krzyzewski seemed incredibly defensive, almost to the point of lecturing Patrick in multiple spots. And in response to an opening question, Coach K seems to be making further excuses for Allen’s conduct:
Patrick: “Walk me through last night, at the moment you saw Grayson Allen tripping the player from Elon. What did you think, in the moment?”
Coach K: “Well, first of all you see the whole play. First of all, Grayson wasn’t playing well. It was a very physical game, and there was physical contact. To be quite frank with you I didn’t see the trip, I saw the foul, and when the referee blew the whistle I’m looking at the official, because I’m wondering what the foul will be. And then there’s a reaction, and that’s the second foul. You see what I mean? So I didn’t see that until after the game.
He went on to say he didn’t see Allen’s reaction on the bench. Later, when Patrick asked how Allen explains the tripping, Krzyzewski seems to misunderstand Patrick’s question.
Patrick: “How does he explain the tripping?”
Coach K: “Well how do you explain any mistake you make?”
Patrick: But it’s three times though.
Coach K: Tell me you haven’t made a mistake more than three times. I mean, come on, Dan. You’ve been doing this a long time, these are human things. Human beings do human things.
Patrick: But no, I’m just understanding…it’s three times, we all make mistakes, but-
Coach K: Well you’re being naive about this, then. about anything I mean somebody doesn’t make mistakes more than three times? that doesn’t mean it’s right, he was wrong in each time. but the fact of how does it, well, how does anything happen, Dan?
It goes on from there for a bit, before Patrick is forced to rescue things. It’s a weirdly combative exchange, and Patrick does an admirable job deescalating a situation that he’d had no part in escalating. The interview continued on for another ten minutes or so, and Krzyzewski basically confirms that Allen will be suspended for at least the next game against Virginia Tech.
Based on this interview, it doesn’t look like Coach K views his decision to suspend Allen as any sort of capitulation to outside pressure, or even validation for anyone outside the program who had suggested a suspension was in order.
Credit to Dan Patrick for getting through the early awkwardness and asking the right questions; things could have gone very poorly.