Chris Spatola: K’s Philosophy Has Changed With The One-And-Dones.
Former Duke assistant coach and current CBS Sports analyst, Chris Spatola, joined Mac and Jim to discuss T-Bone’s fandom, the Final Four, the one-and-done culture and the Duke program.
On UConn’s defense: It starts with the guards and the ball pressure that they put on and when you think about the job that they have done against the backcourts of the gauntlet they’ve had to go through, it starts with Napier and Boatwright. What solidified them was how physical their interior has been. In a game, last night, where we all thought Kentucky would dominate and have their way in the paint, the job that Connecticut was able to do in neutralizing that says a lot about how far they’ve come defensively.
On Coach Cal: I thought his performance last night was fine. The decision to not foul, UConn was 10/10 from the line, so that was a calculated decision. The thing with Cal, there’s never a dull moment, and there’s a different flavor to the way he does things and it’s an acquired taste. In his case, there’s going to be a lot of highs, but he also played in the NIT last year. If you’re a fan and saying he’s one of the best in the game, you have to be willing to live with down years. I’m more of a consistent success guy, but he’s a terrific coach.
On Duke: K’s philosophy has changed with the one-and-dones. It’s now you’re either going to get them or you’re going to have to play against them. If you go back to really his first one-and-done, Kyrie Irivng, we had a team that year that if Kyrie didn’t get hurt, we had a real good chance to win the national championship and we got unlucky. The Austin Rivers experiment and even Jabari Parker, this year, those didn’t work out. Here’s the reason why, you have to look at who you’re surrounding those guys with. Kyrie was surrounded by two guys who had won a national championship, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, there were some other veteran guys around him. His talent was able to flourish because those guys weren’t insecure about anything. The teams Austin and Jabari came on to, were much more unsettled groups.