It’s not that unusual to see Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski screaming at Duke students during a game. It does, however, stand out when those students aren’t players on the basketball team.
Coach K took issue with his own student section during a win over Pitt on Tuesday, to the point of screaming, “Shut up!” repeatedly at the Cameron Crazies.
The students’ offense: chanting “Sit with us” at Pitt coach Jeff Capel, a former assistant coach and four-year starter at Duke.
After Cameron Crazies started yelling "Jeff Capel, sit with us," Coach K could be seen yelling "Shut up" and "He's one of us."— ESPN (@espn) January 29, 2020
Capel played at Duke and coached there for 7 seasons. pic.twitter.com/OdKeJ62MMv
The chastised students collectively had the look of a high-schooler whose parents busted their kegger.
When you're watching 3 Ninjas Kick Back too loud and dad busts in and ruins the sleepover. pic.twitter.com/uPiAE0ZEVr— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) January 29, 2020
It makes sense Krzyzewski would be defensive about Capel, even across enemy lines. In addition to his years playing and coaching under Krzyzewski, Capel is widely seen as a possibility to replace the coach after his retirement.
Krzyzewski more or less apologized for his treatment of the students after the game, saying he thought they were chanting something more personal to Capel. He still took issue with the timing of their chant, which took place in the first half of the game.
Here was Coach K’s response when asked about erupting on his own fans just before half. Said he didn’t like Capel being taunted, suggested Duke fans instead turn to chants of “DEFENSE!” or “LET’S GO!” or “COME ON, DUKE!”— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) January 29, 2020
Having a normal one pic.twitter.com/P5fsWBHLET
“Once I heard his name, 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 in protection of my guy,” Krzyzewski said. “I went at the end of the half and said, ‘Look, he’s our guy. He’s our guy.’ That’s it. So I apologize.”
Krzyzewski then proposed some alternate cheers such as “Defense!” and “Come on, Duke!” We’ll see if those catch on.
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