The great thing about college basketball, as with college football, is its reverence for tradition. All the great programs have them, and all cherish them.
Take Duke, for instance.
They have Coach K. They have Krzyzewskiville. They have the Cameron Crazies. And, of course, they have the snot-nosed entitled little jerk who plays dirty.
The current version is named Grayson Allen, who, in the fine tradition of The Chest Stomper, Christian Laettner, has made his rep as The Tripper. Last night against Elon he stuck out his foot and tripped an opposing player for the third time, and maybe now Coach K will do something about it.
Not that I'm holding my breath.
I'm not holding my breath, because he apparently didn't do anything the first two times, hiding behind the coaching cloak of invisibility known as This Will Be Handled Internally. Yet Allen continues to trip people.
Not that K gives a hoot what all of us think about that.
"I handle things the way I handle them,'' he said last night. "And I think I've handled this correctly, and I will continue to handle it correctly, and I don't need to satisfy what other people think I should do.''
Which is true, of course. He doesn't need to answer to any of us. But he does need to answer to his own standards for Duke basketball, which apparently include tripping opposing players and stepping on their chests when they're lying on the floor. At least that's what his obvious lack of effective discipline in these cases would seem to indicate.
And so, he needs to sit on Allen. Suspend him for a game or two, perhaps. Show the world this isn't what Duke basketball is about. Because right now the evidence is all to the contrary.
Besides ... it's in the kid's best interest. After three of these incidents, everyone Duke plays knows what he's about. And so you've got to believe opponents have figured out a way to protect themselves if Allen tries to pull his little stunt again. And those protective measures probably aren't going to be good for Allen's health.
A busted leg, for instance, would likely make him seriously re-think the whole tripping thing.
Update: Duke has suspended Allen indefinitely. So good for Coach K. My doubts proved unwarranted.