Why do they say the good die young? Why is it said a leopard never changes its spots? Why does one accept defeat if it is not inevitable?
From the moment that Wake Forest defeated No. 1 ranked Duke in the final two seconds several weeks back, the Blue Devils have seemed to be in decline.
Coach Krzyzewski arrested that decline by changing his battle tested starting unit in New York City on Thursday night. The result was a 76-69 victory over Big East entry St. John's in Madison Square Garden.
During the "New York Experiment", the Blue Devils presented an odd but very effective line-up, for a significant period of time.
The line-up was jump started with the addition of 6'4" super-frosh Elliot Williams at guard, to go along with 6'5" workman Jon Scheyer. The effect was not immediately noticeable but, as they game wore on, the twosome became very effective at both ends of the floor.
Another freshman, 6'10" 235-pound Miles Plumlee, played significant minutes at Center, balanced up front by the 6'4" Gerald Henderson and 6'8" Kyle Singler.
Kudos to Coach Krzyzewski for the progressive step of "hopping up" the team with new blood as starters. It demonstrates the forward thinking of the man recognized the world over as the greatest coach in college basketball.
Duke and St. John's have faced each other for many years. The Red Storm are still the last non ACC team to defeat Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium, a feat they accomplished in 2000.
Coach Krzyzewski recognizes the need for the New York City media exposure. The Blue Devils keep their home and home contract with St. John's for that reason. More often than not, fans will find Duke playing at least one other game in the metropolitan area of New York during each season.
It is a philosophy that has worked well to this point.
So, congratulations to the Blue Devils for a fine win, and a hearty "job well done" to Coach Krzyzewski for seeing a problem and moving to correct the situation prior to the all-important ACC and NCAA tournaments.