Duke Basketball: Former ACC Coach Spews Harsh Criticism of Blue Devils

Chris Mack questioned Jon Scheyer’s Duke basketball team’s level of effort.

When Chris Mack was an assistant at Wake Forest in the early 2000s, he saw Duke basketball players consistently show more grit than their opponents. Mack was a member of the Demon Deacons during the years Chris Duhon demonstrated his legendary tenacity in Durham. He went on to coach against the Blue Devils as Louisville’s leader from 2018 to 22.

Duhon would lose his balance in the crowd a lot, sometimes diving headfirst over the first rows of fans or a scorer’s table in an attempt to recover a lost ball. To an extent that other teams seldom equaled, the Blue Devils and others during Mike Krzyzewski’s illustrious 42-year era at Duke were experts at floor burning.

They were best at breaking up plays by seemingly intercepting every pass, which frequently resulted in fastbreak opportunities and trademark Blue Devil scoring runs that completely demoralized opponents.

Duke basketball

Mack isn’t seeing that quality in Jon Scheyer’s second-unit Duke basketball team right now. This week, when he was a guest on The Field of 68: After Dark podcast, he clarified that the No. 9 Blue Devils (17-5, 8-3 ACC) aren’t among the legitimate contenders for the national championship because of their relative lack of ferocity.

In addition to what UNC basketball great Tyler Hansbrough (2005–09) stated about Duke during their podcast interview, here is what Mack said:

“As Tyler previously stated, they are talented. They just don’t seem like dawgs to me.Imagine a Houston team, exactly the way those guys play and the intensity with which they play. That’s not clear to me when I watch Duke.

“And having faced them in competition, whether as head coach at Louisville or an assistant at Wake Forest, I always thought Duke’s energy was unmatched. Tyler, I’m sure you witnessed that during your participation in a major rivalry game. But that kind of intensity isn’t what I perceive.

“I don’t know if it’s the makeup of those kids. I think they’re talented. But until they play with a little more intensity, for me, I don’t see them as being a threat to win a national championship.”

NEXT DUKE BASKETBALL GAME: at home versus unranked Boston College (13-9, 4-7 ACC), 2 p.m. ET Saturday (ESPN)

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