I believe it was on Gregg Easterbrook's espn.com column where the author kept referring to Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren as Former Genius Mike Holmgren. The premise was that Holmgren wasn't actually a genius coach but that Brett Favre made him look like a genius because Favre, for at least 2-3 years in a row, was the best QB in the NFL. I humbly suggest that, in the aftermath of Duke's 71-70 victory over Belmont literally 5 minutes ago, that Coach K deserves the title "Former Genius Mike Krzyzewski". It is now clear he rode the coat-tails of players like Hill, Laettner, Brand, and Hurley to national titles rather than guided them.
The Belmont game highlighted Krzyzewski's most glaring coaching inadequacies: poor rotations and bad plays. For as long as I've been watching college hoops, Krzyzewski has relied on 6-7 players. This is despite the fact that he appears to be a good recruiter (aside from the fact that he can't find any wing players) and the players he does recruit are McDonald's All-Americans. Then, when he gets the players to Durham, he fails to develop them. For example, DeMarcus Nelson was the California High School Player of the Year when he arrived at Duke. After 4 years, his free throw percentage is 60%. That's awful. In fact, it's borderline negligent. Further proof: the number of Dukies who go on to become NBA All-Stars. Off the top of my head, I can think of two: Grant Hill and Elton Brand. Christian Laettner and Shane Battier are good role players and Jay Williams could have been really good (we'll never know, though). Corey Maggette is good but he's not that good. Luol Deng has probably peaked (though maybe not: he's got tons and tons of talent). The majority of Dukies washed out withing 5 years. Why is this? Because Krzyzewski can't develop the talent he has. Case on point: both Brand and Deng left school early and they're arguably the best recent Dukies. Krzyzewski can't seem to find an elite point guard, either. Wojo gets lots of props (deservedly) but he's more guts than talent. The same goes for Paulus: he's not an NBA PG and I'd argue that he hasn't really improved since he arrived in Durham. Singler has potential and Scheyer is an excellent shooter. Except none of them can play lockdown defense. So there's two recruiting flaws: no wing players and no lockdown defenders. At the end of the Belmont game, they got lucky when Belmont choked on the inbounds play.
Krzyzewski is not one for plays, either inbounds or set offensive plays. Granted, nobody seems to have quality inbounds plays anymore but Duke's seem especially bad. The vaunted motion offense seems designed to get 3s rather than the best shot available. This leaves Duke susceptible to off nights. Yet they don't adjust. A good coach would adjust their strategy to get closer shots, lay-ups, or even go big (Zoubek is 7 feet tall). But Duke keeps heaving 3s. Rigid adherance to one strategy doesn't make one a genius.
All of this has caught up with Krzyzewski in the NCAA Tournament in recent years. The lack of depth has been exposed repeatedly. The lack of creativity has also been exposed. Duke's disappointing results since 2002 are a product of the coaching staff's unwillingness to change. Embracing the 3-pointer is nice but Duke is smothering its effectiveness like an overbearing hockey dad. Krzyzewski needs to branch out. He needs to start churning out NBA players. His legacy is pretty much unassailable (800 wins and 3 national titles help with that) but to stay relevant, he needs to change with the game. His teams need to be able to play multiple styles. He needs to get more athletic and taller recruits. Having 2 or 3 shooters is wonderful; he doesn't need 9 of them on a team.
If Krzyzewski doesn't change, he'll be left behind.