Coach K denies telling Dillon Brooks he's too good to be showboating

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Instead of letting the shot clock expire with his team ahead by 11 points and only seven seconds remaining, Oregon's Dillon Brooks decided to try to pad the Ducks' margin of victory.

He buried a deep 3-pointer, gestured toward the Duke bench and celebrated as the final seconds melted away during the Ducks' 82-68 Sweet 16 victory.

TV cameras caught Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski pull Brooks in close and whisper something in his ear as the two shook hands after the game. Exactly what was said is still unclear as Krzyzewski and Brooks offered conflicting versions of the conversation.

Brooks told that Krzyzewski scolded him for his behavior, telling him he was "too good of a player to be showing off at the end." The Oregon star conceded Krzyzewski was right, adding "I have to learn from those things."

In a bizarre turn of events, Krzyzewski insisted that's not the way the conversation went at all. When asked what he said to Brooks after the game, Krzyzewski initially said he congratulated Brooks and told him he's "a terrific player." When later informed how Brooks described the conversation, Krzyzewski became defensive.

"I didn't say that," Krzyzewski said. "You can say whatever you want. Dillon Brooks is a hell of a player. I said, 'You're a terrific player.' And you can take whatever he said and then go with it, all right?"

The postgame exchange between Brooks and Krzyzewski should not overshadow the performance of the Oregon star. Brooks torched Duke for 22 points, six assists and five rebounds, helping the Ducks advance within one win of their first Final Four since 1939.

While Brooks probably didn't have to either attempt that last 3-pointer or celebrate as vociferously after he hit it, he deserves some benefit of the doubt under the circumstances. This was program-boosting victory for an Oregon team that swept the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles yet somehow flew under the radar nationally.

Brooks has been instrumental to Oregon's success all season because of his scoring, passing and ability to defend multiple positions.

Showboating at an opponent's expense may be crossing the line, but the passion with which Brooks plays is a big reason he is so successful.

- - - - - - -

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!