Former Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams and current Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski are probably still close friends, but it's preferable to live in a fantasy world where they maintain a Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz-level feud. It's just more fun that way. Especially when, you know, Williams actually is critical of his former Atlantic Coast Conference rival.
On Friday, Williams came on Washington's 980 AM's "The Drive" to talk about the Terps' loss to Kansas, the team's pro prospects, and the end-of-game weirdness Thursday night between Duke and Oregon. To recap: The Ducks blow out the Blue Devils in the Sweet 16. Oregon's Dillon Brooks hits meaningless, last-minute 3-pointer and celebrates. Krzyzewski lectures Brooks postgame about being better than that, then denies he lectured Brooks.
Williams said the moral calculus of determining the right course of action late in a one-sided win can be difficult for some players. Greivis Vasquez, after all, once hit a just-for-giggles, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in a road win against North Carolina State.
"If you're up 10 with 30 seconds left, the other team doesn't play defense," Williams said. "You just go down to half-court and dribble the basketball, and sometimes you get called for the shot-clock [violation]. You don't know what to do, whether to just hand it to the referee with four seconds left and let the other team bring it inbounds or whatever."
That Krzyzewski would morph into his Leader of Men alter ego and reprimand Brooks for a harmless shot, especially in a season during which he has been seen as lax on punishing serial tripper Grayson Allen, seemed to irk Williams.
"Coach K did say something to the kid about how you're supposed to act at the end of the game," Williams said. "And I'm thinking, 'Didn't that guy Allen trip a couple of guys during the season?' And that bothered me a little bit, because Mike, he's done what no other coach has done. I think, in the modern era, there's no argument who the best coach is. So if I'm on the other team, I'm coaching that team. I don't want any other coach talking to my players about how they should act. That's my job to take care of that."
No doubt spurred to action by Williams, Krzyzewski issued a blanket apology Saturday that in part read: "It is not my place to talk to another team's player and doing so took the focus away from the terrific game that Dillon played."
Good job, good effort, everybody.