Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball display hypocrisy regarding MTE

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke basketball program finalized details for their multi-team event in Durham.

When Duke basketball opted out of the Battle 4 Atlantis, which will be held in South Dakota, many were confused, but the Blue Devils had a plan to host their own midseason tournament event in Durham, Dec. 4-5, to raise awareness for social and racial justice.

The reasoning for hosting their own event was completely justified, but concerns were raised by many about the competition level the Blue Devils could lure to Cameron Indoor Stadium given the state of the sport and the fact that many teams are traveling to various bubbles to play in their events.

However, many eyebrows were raised when Watch Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that Howard and five-star recruit Makur Maker would be making the trip to Durham as Howard’s head coach is former Blue Devil Kenny Blakeney and assistant coach is former Blue Devil Tyler Thornton.

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Then on Wednesday, Goodman reported that Elon and Bellarmine will round out the field.

Goodman also said that each team will only play two games in the event and that the Blue Devils won’t play Maker and the Howard Bison.

Elon and Bellarmine?!?! Really, Coach K.

This ruins any credibility this event potentially had in terms of raising awareness for social justice.

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Sure, you can wear patches on your jersey and put a sticker on the court, but how about inviting two other Historically Black Colleges and Universities to participate in the event or, even better, play Howard!

Scheduling a game against the Bison in this event gives a national platform for not just the school, but all other HBCU’s across the country, and two of your former players in Blakeney and Thornton.

Are you that scared Howard will beat you on your home court or that HBCU’s are picking up steam on the recruiting trail and Blakeney might pry away some of your targets?

Bellarmine is a school that will be entering its first season as a Division I program in 2020-21, and Elon is one of the bottom feeders in the CAA conference, winning just seven league games a season ago and 13 games overall.

Some competition, huh?

Comparing the two potential Duke basketball events.

Compare games against Elon and Bellarmine against a tournament (formerly called Battle 4 Atlantis) comprised of Ohio State, Memphis, West Virginia, Wichita State, Utah, Texas A&M, and Creighton.

Just a slight difference in the skill level of those teams.

This entire conversation would have been a non-factor if Duke and Coach K would have the guts to play Howard because be honest, will you watch Howard vs. Elon or Howard vs. Bellarmine?

Probably not.

And if you are not a die-hard Duke fan, are you going to watch Duke vs. Elon and Duke vs. Bellarmine?

Also probably not.

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But Duke vs. Howard? You’ll probably tune in to see the Blue Devils and the hype about Makur Maker.

In a season where Duke can only play seven non-conference games, four slots are already filled with the Champions Classic vs. Michigan State, games against Elon and Bellarmine, and the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge, where opponents have not yet been announced.

Duke had a chance to put on an event that truly makes a difference and raises awareness for social justice that gives a platform to a school that has never been on this stage before, but instead, it fumbled a chance to give Howard the proper recognition it deserves.