For some reason, Krzyzewski thought Duke’s fans were lobbing an insult at Capel and vehemently told them to knock it off as he walked off the court at halftime.
Afterward, Krzyzewski kind of admitted that he may have misheard what the Crazies were saying.
“I don’t know if I made a mistake on that, but I’ve never heard another coach’s name yelled out in the middle of the first half when we’re in a war with the team,” Krzyzewski told reporters. “I don’t know if they were saying, ‘Come sit with me.’
“We got a different look at what the hell was going on. I thought it was something personal. … I apologize to the students for that.”
Still, Krzyzewski thought it wasn’t the best cheer he has heard from the notoriously prepared Crazies.
“You shouldn't say that. … In the middle of the first half and an ACC game, this isn't some cutesy little thing,” he said.
“I’m not going to go say, ‘Will you please tell me exactly what you’re doing?’ So it’s a mistake on my part, but I’d rather make the mistake and protect my guy. … Let’s think of a different cheer — like ‘Defense!' ”
In 2013, Krzyzewski said he was a “lucky guy” to play in front of fans who come up with such “incredible” chants. But based on the recollections by Duke fans on a Blue Devils message board in November 2018 — after Krzyzewski got upset at the Crazies for chanting “overrated” at Indiana’s Romeo Langford — there have been a few occasions when the longtime Blue Devils coach has thought his team’s most ardent fans have gone too far. In 2003, he became angry at the Crazies for chanting “Fire Mike Jarvis” during a Duke-St. John’s game (Jarvis and Krzyzewski are close friends). Three years earlier, he preemptively told the fans at a pregame rally not to heckle Red Storm player Erick Barkley over allegations that a church had improperly paid his prep-school tuition. He also told fans in 1994 to lay off John Chaney, another friend, over the Temple coach’s infamous postgame run-in with John Calipari, then the coach at Massachusetts.
For his part, Capel said later on Twitter that he was more than fine with the chants.
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