Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is reportedly taking on some unexpected criticism in the wake having four of his five Duke starters from 2017-18 drafted. 

The dress-down is a surprise from a public standpoint, but perhaps was anticipated on Krzyzewski's end. Fortunately for him, it's come months after the conclusion of college basketball season and long before the start of its next one. The sport has entered its hibernation period. 

Still, it's never good to have parents of players accusing you of deceit, even if the allegations are potentially misguided. That's where Krzyzewski finds himself at the moment. The source of the criticism, as you may have seen by now: Kylia Carter. She is the mother of Wendell Carter Jr., who had a standout season for Duke and wound up being the seventh overall pick. He'll soon make millions suiting up for the Chicago Bulls

NBC Sports Chicago quotes Kylia Carter as being "pissed" over Duke bringing in Marvin Bagley III late last offseason. She didn't fault the Bagley family at all; she felt a bit betrayed by Krzyzewski, and ostensibly his coaching staff, for making the Bagley reclassification possible and leaving the Carters out of the loop. In short: Duke's coaching staff saw an opportunity to land a player who was considered the most talented prospect coming out of high school, and in recruiting that player to Duke, the Carters came away feeling like they were misled. 

But it's not that simple. What was Krzyzewski supposed to do, not recruit one of the most promising prospects of the past half-decade?

Duke, and Bagley's, situation changed. With that, so did Carter's. 

Duke was justified in its action. The Carters seem justified in their reaction. 

"To be honest, I felt like that was information that was kept from us," Kylia Carter told NBC Sports Chicago. "It felt (shady), it felt like my baby was gonna get kicked to the curb. I felt like all of that." 

For the record, Wendell Carter Jr. has since responded to say that his mother was misquoted. Still, her purported points bring up an interesting series of events and shine a light on the tight-wire act of elite-level college recruiting. 

Bagley went on to be a First Team All-American and set ACC freshman records in addition to being the conference's player of the year. Carter, while good, was absolutely overshadowed. And that was never to be the plan as far as the Carters were concerned. Carter wasn't kicked to any curb, though. If anything, Bagley's presence may have helped him in the big picture. The multi-faceted power forward averaged 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 2.0 assists and 26.9 minutes while starting all 37 games. 

In pre-draft interviews, both players credited each other in helping their preparation and development for the NBA

Duke was a wire-to-write top six/seven team in the country, at points No. 1 in the polls, and won 29 games. Carter, who nary had a critical word lobbed his way, was one of the eight best freshmen in the sport last season. 

But that's not the point, at least from Kylia's perspective. And what she's done here is pull a curtain back on the nature of how recruiting at the highest level works. When courting top-10 high school players -- the one-and-done types who can change the short-term future of your program -- bargains both personal and professional have to be made on behalf of the coaches. 

"Calipari started the one-and-done thing," one coach at a perennial power, who asked not to be identified, said. "Krzyzewski got sick of it. He's the most low-key competitive motherf----- on earth. He's Bob Knight's protege."

Point being that Calipari vs. Krzyzewski has led to a recruiting arms race that has changed the way each of those coaches recruit to their institutions. The methods Krzyzewski used to recruit Carter and Bagley were probably much different than the pitches employed to bring in Shane Battier and Elton Brand a generation ago. 

We don't know exactly what Krzyzewski promised the Carter family, but if we're to take Kylia's quotes to heart, it's clear that the family feels like Duke came up short. But the issue is not so straightforward. Kylia is coming at this from the perspective of her son, her family, but what of Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval and Grayson Allen and Marques Bolden and so many other Duke players? What do those parents think? There is no satisfying everyone. Most coaches will tell you that it's impossible, particularly in this era. 

The timeline is also important. Wendell Carter Jr. picked going to Duke over going to Harvard in November 2016. At that point, Krzyzewski gets Carter in part because he's probably made certain assurances to the family about Carter's role with the Blue Devils.

So at that point, the notion of Marvin Bagley III playing at Duke in the same season as Carter is on nobody's radar; Bagley is a junior in high school. We can't even say for certain it was something Krzyzewski and his staff were considering at that point. Krzyzewski's pitch to the Carters is probably reasonably well-intentioned, and honest, in that moment. 

Then Bagley winds up committing to Duke almost nine months later, on Aug. 15, 2017. He also needs to get cleared by the NCAA, which ultimately happens on Sept 8. Reclassification is complete, and suddenly the Carters feel like the wool was pulled over their eyes. 

But was Krzyzewski wrong to do this? Looking back, would he have regrets about it? Likely not. Instead of having one lottery pick in 2018, he has two. Duke was almost certainly better with Bagley on the roster vs. what would have been the case without him. And ultimately, even though Duke failed to win a national title or even make the Final Four, the team was relevant start to finish and wound up being one of the best offensive teams K's ever had. 

Let's also acknowledge the obvious: Kylia Carter's beliefs about her son's situation at Duke are aligned with a heavy majority of college basketball parents. These laments are commonplace and something coaching staffs deal with constantly. It's rare for the criticism to go public, is all. 

NBA: NBA Draft
Wendell Carter and his parents were all smiles on draft night.  USATSI

Taking that into account, whatever Krzyzewski and his staff sold to the Carter family, they knew that bringing in Bagley would bring about a new dynamic. That's part of the recruiting game, that's part of coaching. 

"There's so much pressure to deliver for these guys, you've got a lot of drama because of the people that come with these players, and I'm not even talking about these parents," one high-major coach said.  

Had Bagley not been able to reclassify, the public would not know any of this. But recruiting has become even more complicated in recent years due to reclassification. Kids are now, if able, attempting to bump up a class because there's so much money at stake. You jump your clock a year, get to the NBA sooner, and add X-amount of millions to your bank account.  

Krzyzewski is yet to speak publicly on this topic, and chances are he won't even go there. What does he have to benefit by publicly returning serve on Mrs. Carter? But in speaking with coaches who deal with five-star recruits, I was told that the issue here is, plainly, how the Carter family was sold on attending Duke and how much communication, if any, the staff had with the Carters as the Bagley recruitment unfolded in the summer of 2017.

Tell the kid and the family one thing, and then something else happens, and yeah, there's going to be singed feelings. 

"It's hard to enjoy a group of clueless freshman every year, no matter how talented they are, because it's such a grind," one coach told me. "If you're making a business decision on someone's livelihood, if one of their sticking points was that 'We're going to go where Wendell is going to be the best big man and the focal point of the offense,' you pick that because you sell the farm. We're going to sell that Wendell Carter is going to be the focal point of our offense which, if Bagley wasn't there, he probably would have been." 

Remember, after Bagley committed to Duke, Krzyzewski was openly confident about Bagley's chances at being eligible to play. This is, potentially, what perturbed the Carter family. It took months of actively recruiting and assuring the Bagley family that their son would be able to pull off a rare instance of reclassification so late into the summer and bumped right up against the start of the semester at Duke.

"From the outset of this process, we were optimistic that it would end with the NCAA Eligibility Center certifying Marvin to compete for Duke University in 2017-18," Krzyzewski said in Duke's official release after Bagley was given the all-clear to play. 

So when did the "outset" begin? It's all about what was sold vs. what actually happened vs. what Kylia Carter is saying now. (And she is no shrinking violet.)

The Carter family is close-knit. In a first, so far as I can recall, the trio wore matching attire to the draft. I've never seen a player tailor his draft night outfit to coordinate with his parents' in the green room. It was great to see, and momma Carter was beaming the entire night. 

It's understandable why she'd react the way she has, to an extent, but it's imperative to keep in mind the responsibility of Duke's coaching staff and the timeline of events. Any other coach in Krzyzewski's position would have had it in their duty to recruit Bagley just as he did. 

Ordinarily these disagreements are hashed out in private. The fact that Kylia Carter has opted to speak publicly on this -- of course, if the reported quotes are correct -- and that it's Mike Krzyzewski of all people caught in the crosshairs, is what makes it fascinating. Rare is the day when someone goes after Krzyzewski's integrity.