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February 11, 2013

Mike Krzyzewski

Q.  Curious what time y'all got back last night, long day trip, and do you have to take any time off?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  You know, it's a good question, and teams throughout the season go through periods where because of away games and different things, Thursday, Sunday to Wednesday, Saturday changes occur that kind of puts you in tough positions.  Now everybody goes through that but not everybody goes through it at the same time, so we are going through it.
So yesterday we got back here probably about one o'clock in the morning, but it was a long day, because you have breakfast here between 8:00 and 9:00, and you get up there and you're on the Tarmac for about 45 minutes waiting.  There are just delays all over and it's a long day and then it's a tough game.
And so today, we'll meet but you really‑‑ like two of our guys can't practice today, Seth and Ryan can't practice obviously.  But Seth and Josh, Josh is sore from yesterday with his elbow, and Seth needs today off.
So it's mostly meetings and so a little bit of individual work, and you try to get a good night's sleep instead of having Sunday off, went to winter wonderland and played a tough game.  Now we are playing another huge game Wednesday night.
So we have to use today to kind of mentally start getting into it but physically give our guys a chance to recuperate.

Q.  Does this North Carolina game have any different flavor, because they are not ranked and they have had some struggles; does it take away from what's been obviously a premiere rivalry in college basketball?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, no.  They are a good team.  Look, if we are both judged by our performance, our last performance against Miami for both of us, the game wouldn't be on TV.  But that's not the way it is.
We are both really good teams.  Our injury problems have hurt us but our kids have responded well since Miami.  I think until they play Miami, I think they won six out of seven or something like that.  They are explosive offensively.  I know McAdoo is an outstanding player.  Bullock I think is one of the best players in the country because of his ability to score, and at 6‑7, you don't think of scorers as being rebounders, but he's a heck of an offensive rebounder.
They are one of the best offensive rebounding teams and transition teams in the country.  Those are two areas that we have been good, obviously, or we wouldn't have the record we have, but we are not that good.  And the two areas that are a little bit weak are defensive rebounding and transition, and those are their two strengths.  So we have got to get fresh and we have got to be able to do a good job in those areas.

Q.  With the shifting landscape in college basketball, do you appreciate something like a Duke/Carolina rivalry even more?  Obviously you always did, but is it almost something like it could become one of the last great rivalries?  Is that what's going on?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, it's a good point.  I think that it kind of puts an exclamation point on, hey, remember while we're doing all this stuff, let's remember these things.  Whether it's that Ohio State/Michigan, whatever the rivalries are in different conferences.  Let's not forget about those.
Because that's what makes college basketball, college sports, are those, the traditional games, because they conjure up memories of other great games, great players, and really good coaches.  Just like from your area, the amount of games that Duke and Maryland have played together, UNC and Maryland; those are tough to say you're never going to have again.  The fact that you have this one, and it's not going away, is a good thing.  It's really a good thing.

Q.  Just to follow up on that, I know over the years, you've stated whenever I bring it up about the Maryland/Duke rivalry, and you made a good point about being rivals with everyone because everyone was taking their best shot at you.  But when you reflect on those years where Maryland and Duke were among the top teams in the country in 2001 when you guys played four times, what stands out to you?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  And they happened within your own conference, just like in the 80s, it wasn't just Duke/Carolina.  In the late 80s, early nineties, it was against Georgia Tech and Maryland for a good portion of time.
Those games were just nationally followed and really helped our conference and helped both programs.  For us, I never wanted to get it to where it's just us, like one game is the rivalry, because pretty much everybody was trying to give us, and they still are, trying to give us their best shot.
But in saying that, Maryland was terrific.  You know, you may have had in those four games, the two best teams in the country playing.  And over the years, that's what Duke and Carolina have done; whether they are the two best teams or two of the Top‑10 teams in the country in so many of these games, and that's what Maryland and Duke has done during that period that drew that level of attention.
Those are moments in time that will never go away and you hope that they will come back at different times, even though both are you aren't ranked.  But when you do play, it conjures up memories of those games and makes that game even bigger.  Kind of like the Masters or whatever; it's not just a tournament; it's what somebody did on the 16th hole in '84.
That's what college basketball is about, and when you get all this stuff going everywhere in every different direction, and you say, well, those teams will never play again, it's tough to take.  I think it's a hit.  Your sport takes a hit on something like that.

Q.  You commented about Maryland leaving, the way you feel‑‑
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, I hate to see Maryland leave.  I hate to see Maryland leave.  I mean, you're talking when this thing started, whoever it was, knows guys shook hands and said, we are going to start something special.  Duke, Maryland and a few others were in that room, and I like that.  I hate that something that happened 60 years ago now is in a few weeks, no more.
Look, I respect the heck out of Maryland, and Maryland, again, not just‑‑ especially their basketball.  Westy, Gary, these guys, terrific coaches, great players, great games, amazing atmosphere.  I'm sorry that that's not going to be there for our conference and for Duke and Maryland anymore.

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