(CBS) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made a point to pull aside Oregon star Dillon Brooks following a long 3-pointer in the final seconds of the Ducks’ Sweet 16 elimination of the Blue Devils.
Walking through the postgame handshake line, Krzyzekwsi stopped Brooks and told him, “You’re too good of a player to showboat.” Brooks admitted this in the postgame press conference and admitted Krzyzewski was right. When questioned, Krzyzewski denied it occurred, then later apologized in a statement when audio of the exchange was released and proved his lie.
However, this wasn’t the first time Krzyzewski has told an opponent about sportsmanship following a loss.
In 2007, Virginia Tech pulled an upset victory over Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Toward the end, Hokies guard Zabian Dowdell bumped chest with a teammate and popped his jersey to the home fans, as detailed in the Baltimore Sun. Krzyzewski pulled Dowdell aside after the game and expressed his sentiments.
“He just told me I’m too classy of a guy to be carrying on like that,” Dowdell said of Krzyzewski.
Days later, Krzyzewski was questioned about the exchange. Via the Baltimore Sun, here’s how the conversation with a reporter went:
“I understand you did speak to Zabian Dowdell about how he was celebrating,” the reporter started.
“No, no, I just congratulated him,” Krzyzewski said. “I respect the heck out of him. He’s a great kid and that’s enough said. He was fabulous. That’s the main message that was made.”
“He said …”
“That’s all I’m going to say about it because I admire the kid and I admire the program and it was a (great) win for them and I’ll say that forever.”
“That’s all I’m going to say about it,” Krzyzewski said.
Thursday’s exchange with Brooks wasn’t the first for Krzyzewski. Will it be the last?