Mike Krzyzewski is as known for his man-to-man defense as Jim Boeheim is known for his zone. But with only two true guards on his roster for 2010 Coach K might be abandoning his pressure-filled man-to-man in favor of the zone he has long disdained.
Kyle Singler spoke of the possible strategical shift last week to ACC Now:
"What we've been talking about... is we might be playing a little more zone this year than in years past. That might not be the way Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] wants to do it, but with the personnel that we have, we are a big team."
There were a number of times last year when Duke clearly would have benefitted from a playing a zone to force teams to the perimeter (most notably in a February loss to Wake Forest when Jeff Teague was driving at will). As Ken Tysiac notes, the Blue Devils did throw in a little zone against Tyrus Rice and Boston College, but only for brief stretches.
The obvious angle here is that Coach K is adapting to new things. However, it could be more a case of Coach K being forced to go against his defensive coaching philosophy because his roster is as thin as it's been since 1995 (when Krzyzewski abandoned a losing team took medical leave to have back surgery).
Duke playing a zone defense. What's next: A Michael Bay movie getting good reviews? Iran and Iraq holding hands at a picnic? A Blue Devil point guard not slapping the floor? Well, let's not get crazy, folks.