Mike Krzyzewski Drawing Unwarranted Criticism over John Wall Recruitment

Mike KlineAnalyst IApril 28, 2009

BOSTON - MARCH 26:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils gives instructions during their game against the Villanova Wildcats during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regionals at TD Banknorth Garden on March 26, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I regularly frequent Duke message boards if for nothing more than sheer entertainment.

I hardly post, as it seems a futile effort, what with all the experts and insiders that log on to them daily.

Recently, I've noticed quite a bit of discussion about Mike Krzyzewski's recruitment of John Wall. What seems to have drawn the ire of many a Duke fan is the recent meeting scheduled between the two that was subsequently canceled.

Many blamed Krzyzewski for valuing his book tour more than a prized recruit and insist that by "his" canceling of the meeting he is somehow weakened in the world of recruiting.

Bottom line is, I don't know who canceled the meeting, and I really don't care. Some people just have nothing better to do than criticize the man.

Krzyzewski has been criticized from the day he was hired at Duke.

First, it was "who is this no-name coach with an unpronounceable name?"

Then, it was "he can't win the big one."

And then, there was the "he quit on his team when he was hurt/sick" argument.

Now, it seems to be that he has lost his grip on recruiting. 

The sad thing about most of these criticisms is that they come from actual Duke fans. You would expect that from outsiders and rivals, but Duke fans?

This whole incident with Wall's recruitment has been interesting, to say the least. Wall's recruitment has become a symbolic microcosm of the business of recruiting as a whole.

He, like many other recruits before him, has taken a painstakingly methodical approach to his recruitment. These kids are wise, sharp, and they know how to play the game, which actually has little to nothing to do with basketball. 

Many Duke fans, including myself, were skeptical at first of Krzyzewski's interest in Wall. And while many still are, it appears that many more feel that Wall is a must-get commodity who will take Duke back to the promised land.

Every move Krzyzewski has made in Wall's recruitment has been analyzed by every armchair basketball coach in the Duke fanbase as if he or she actually knows what is going on and what he should be doing.

Forget the fact the man has won three national titles, a slew of ACC tournament and regular season titles, and now has led the national team to an Olympic gold medal. He now needs John Q. Devil's advice on how to recruit.

Krzyzewski has been criticized on the recruiting front for not casting a big enough net, not seeking elite enough athletes, or—and this is my favorite—not recruiting enough African-American players.

People believe these things cannot and will not be swayed, but their logic and thinking are flawed.

Wall's recruitment should be winding down soon, at least most people think so. He is supposed to narrow his choices down this week, and it is widely believed that Duke, despite the non-meeting, will be among the schools in contention for his services.

My contention is that Krzyzewski knows what he is doing. As a fan, I will trust him to make the decision for his team. I say "his team" because he is the coach and face of the program.

I, on the other hand, am just a fan and have no real knowledge other than what I see on the court and read.

I think it is time some fans learn to relax and let the experts take care of the business of recruiting. Krzyzewski knows a thing or two about business, what with all that work he does with Duke's Fuqua School of Business and all.