His freshmen had just combined for 75 points in a 90-69 rout of Indiana, but Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski felt the need to flash back to his team’s upset loss to Gonzaga last week.
R.J. Barrett and Jack White missed shots at the rim with 32 seconds left as Gonzaga won by two points and replaced Duke as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. Coach K lamented uncalled fouls in that game, but added that those might not have changed the outcome. He saved his anger for fans.
“Duke fans,” Krzyzewski said after Tuesday night’s win over Indiana, “just cut it out, man. These kids aren’t perfect. My kid wasn’t playing hero ball. He was playing winner’s ball. If you don’t like following him, then don’t follow us. I’ll go to war with my guys.”
Krzyzewski praised both Barrett and White for showing “heart” in the Gonzaga loss, which dropped Duke to third nationally.
“We lose. I’ll lose with them. Let’s get real about this whole thing,” he said, “let’s not get spoiled. We’ve got four 19-year-old kids trying to bust their a-- to learn how to play and have a lot of pressure on them. Let them grow.”
Against Indiana, Barrett had 22 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes before fouling out. White, who is a junior, had eight points and six rebounds in 30 minutes. Zion Williamson, another freshman, led the Blue Devils with 25 points.
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