There’s a growing sentiment – perhaps aided by Bo Ryan’s “rent-a-player” jab – that Mike Krzyzewski has changed his recruiting style to include more one-and-done players.
Doug Gottlieb, however, feels this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I don’t think he ever changed,” Gottlieb said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I don’t think anything changed. I think they’ve always recruited (elite players). There’s a difference in the Duke kid and the Kentucky kid, a difference in the Duke kid and a UConn kid. They’ve always recruited the top of the deck – and they’ve missed on guys. They’ve missed on some guys. And frankly, I think (Jeff) Capel is really, really good. He’s a very, very good recruiter. He was a good recruiter at Oklahoma, he was a good recruiter at VCU, he’s a good recruiter there. Anybody who said something has changed, they’re not paying attention. They’ve had the best kids. The eras have changed to where there’s now more one-and-dones. It’s not a focal point. They haven’t changed. They’ve just landed a couple more kids.
“They had Kyrie Irving,” Gottlieb pointed out. “He was a one-and-done. He just got hurt. They had Jabari Parker last year. So they didn’t have six or seven. Okay? I don’t think anything has changed in his recruiting whatsoever.”
So why does it feel like that to some people?
“Here’s what happened,” Gottlieb said. “They got Greg Paulus and he started as a freshman, and it screwed him up because they had had a cycle of pro point guards before (that). You don’t want to go somewhere where there’s a guy already starting. Really, just to get Tyus (Jones) shows . . . who Quinn Cook was. Quinn Cook wasn’t good enough to beat him out, so they moved Quinn Cook over to the 2. So that allowed them to get Tyus. That’s the thing. They had Greg Paulus for three years, they couldn’t recruit somebody over him that would beat him out.
“You can’t get every kid,” Gottlieb continued. “Every kid doesn’t want to come because guys want to play right away. Sometimes they’ve gotten kids that are really good that they’ve recruited from a young age and they didn’t become pros and it ends up hurting their ability to get the top-level kids. But I don’t think anything’s change. Kyle Singler was a top-10 high school All-American. They got him. He just stayed four years.”
As for the aforementioned Ryan, Gottlieb didn’t quite agree with his complaints about the officials in the national championship game, either. Were there a couple of bad calls that went against both teams? Yes. But did significantly more go against Wisconsin?
Gottlieb doesn’t think so.
“I don’t think there’s ever a point where the refs are like, ‘Hey, we got to give this thing to Duke,’” he said. “Duke won the game. Wisconsin had a nine-point lead and they didn’t execute. I thought they got tired, which is reasonable, but they didn’t (execute). They didn’t find the mismatches nearly as well, and they didn’t move the ball – I think because of fatigue – nearly as well. And they couldn’t get stops because they kept getting beat on the same high ball screen.”