VCU coach Shaka Smart hit back at Mike Krzyzewski after the Duke legend criticised the Atlantic 10 conference.
At the ACC tournament Krzyzewski said A-10 teams wouldn’t do as well in Duke’s conference, adding that the ACC should get more tournament bids.
“I hear people saying there are six teams in there,” he said about the Atlantic 10. “Come on. I mean, they’re good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through.”
Smart, whose school joined the A-10 in 2012, hit back on Tuesday in an interview with ESPN.
He said college basketball coaches actually have no idea about other conferences because they’re so busy watching their own conference, and any discussion from coaches about conference strength is too subjective to be taken seriously.
He basically took the high road, but did it in a way that made Coach K look petty.
Brilliant (via ESPN):
“First of all, comparing your own league to someone else’s league is like me saying that my daughter is cuter than your daughter. There’s a level of bias that comes into play that you shouldn’t even make those comments. Secondly, coaches are too busy to be an authority on someone else’s conference.
“I know our league really well because we’ve been in our league preparing for our league, but I don’t know much about anyone else’s league beyond the teams we’ve played in nonconference play.”
“You kind of want to stand up for your league. A lot of this league solidarity, like a Duke guy standing up for NC State, that’s all self-serving too. Let’s be honest. ‘Our league is great because it’s our league’ — it’s a lot of that.
“Let’s just have a level of respect for each other and let’s respect the nine people on the selection committee and the work they put into to picking the 68 teams.”
For what it’s worth, the ACC and A-10 are relatively similar in strength, according to most metrics.
They’re ranked 5th and 6th, respectively, in conference RPI. A-10 teams went 8-8 against ACC teams in out-of-conference action.
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