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April 6, 2015

Grayson Allen

Quinn Cook

Amile Jefferson

Tyus Jones

Mike Krzyzewski


Duke - 68
Wisconsin - 63

THE MODERATOR: We've been join by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: It was a heck of a game. When we got nine points down, we were in foul trouble and a little bit disjointed. Grayson put us on his back. We went to him kind of exclusively because of his ability to drive and penetrate. And he did, he finished. He got 16 points. Hit his free throws. Got a steal. It won't show up in the stats, except for his rebounding and blocks. But Amile Jefferson was a huge, huge factor in this game. His defense and how he battled everybody, he battled everybody, put us in a great position. Then the ball screen stuff with Tyus just worked out well. My team had great grit and determination. Our defense down the stretch was magnificent. We scored. I mean, we were fabulous down the stretch. I mean, I don't know how you can be any better than we were down the stretch, except Tyus going in for that layup when he should have taken it to the side, and I wanted to break his neck (smiling). Other than that, yeah, great, great stuff. I'm proud of my team.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Grayson, just how do you keep your mindset when you're in a year where you play a little bit, then you get to the biggest game and you have to be out on the court for major minutes?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, coach has told me all year to stay ready and practice. These other seven guys have really given me confidence. They've been supporting me all year. You know, to be in the position where you're coming off the bench, and these guys still support me and put confidence in me, I knew I was capable of doing it just because of what they've been telling me all year.

Q. Your thoughts right now on you've done it, you've won the national championship. What is going through your heart and mind right now?
TYUS JONES: It's hard to put it into words. This is just such a special group. The best team I've ever been a part of. We've worked hard all year. This has been our one goal that we were working for. No matter if it was getting up extra shots or extra running, trying to get in better shape, tough practices, just believing in one another, believing in coach, everything they were telling us, because we knew at the end if we did accomplish this, it was all going to be worth it.

GRAYSON ALLEN: It doesn't feel real right now, to be honest. For me, dreaming of being here, to have it my first year here at Duke, it's amazing. You know, this group has talked about this moment since the beginning of the year, but saying it and actually getting it done are two completely different things. It's been a tough road. To be here and to be able to do it with this group of guys is amazing.

Q. Grayson, in the first half you guys had a really hard time drawing fouls. You're down nine, then you kind of take over. What did you see from their defense that made you able to exploit them and get them into foul trouble?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I saw openings to drive. Quinn has been a great shooter for us all year. They were really staying on him and not helping off. That was able to give us open lanes to attack the basket. I just wanted to stay aggressive and go up and try to draw a foul.

Q. Quinn, could you just describe what it felt like to be on the stage watching One Shining Moment when Coach Krzyzewski?
QUINN COOK: Surreal. Something that we've all dreamed of. Growing up watching Duke, watching Coach K win championships, celebrating with his great players. To be next to coach, he's been like a father to me over these last four years. To have his arm around me and hugging me while we're watching One Shining Moment was probably the best feeling in my life. Words can't describe how everyone is feeling right now. I'm just blessed. I'm just blessed that coach thought I was good enough to come to Duke.

Q. Quinn, what does it mean to be able to give Coach K his fifth national championship?
QUINN COOK: All year, and especially this past week, this week of preparation, coach has been making it not about his fifth, but about our first together. I can remember when we won 1000 games for him, he was more worried about us getting our 17th win. All his players not just thinking about him, just us and our team. He's kept us all, you know, in the moment of this team. It's great to get him his fifth, but I know he's happy that this is his first with us. It's just something that you dream of, winning the national championship.

Q. Grayson, the poise, the aggression that you played with out there, is that purely an example or a byproduct of going against guys like Quinn and Tyus in practice all season?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I think definitely. We push each other in practice because we know that's what's going to make us better. So, I mean, that was big preparation for me to be in this moment.

Q. Grayson, you grew up a Duke fan. When did you start putting yourself in this position when you were a little kid that you would have a big part in a national championship game?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I dreamed about it ever since I think about eighth grade. I saw them win 2010, that national championship against Butler. I've dreamed about being in this moment since then. Never thought it would actually come true. But for it to happen, it's amazing. I'm lost for words.

Q. Quinn, it's obviously your team. But tonight the four freshmen scored 60 points, and every point after halftime. Can you speak to what you've seen in their arc this season and what they've accomplished and where they stand as a group?
QUINN COOK: They're amazing. They're amazing. I mean, they make up half our team. There's four of them. They came so close, so together and so humble. Those guys are so humble. All the top 20 recruits, the number one class, I mean, they came in so humble. It was all about the team. All of them worked. All of them looked to the upperclassmen for advice. They didn't think they knew it all and things like that. They worked. I mean, they worked hard. It paid off tonight. They've been making plays for us all year. It's great that it paid off in the biggest game of everybody's lives. I'm grateful for those young guys because, you know, for them to perform like that on the stage like this says a lot about those guys' confidence. I'm just thankful that they came to Duke.

Q. Tyus, what did you say to Jahlil to get him going?
TYUS JONES: We didn't have to say anything to Jah. He's all about the team. Unfortunately he got into some foul trouble. But all the time everyone on this team is telling each other just stay in it. We never get down on ourselves or one another. This team is so close that it's all about winning no matter who is stepping up, no matter how you're playing individually, as long as the team wins. He got into some foul trouble, but he was able to come back in. Because of his positive attitude, he made some big plays for us down the stretch.

Q. Quinn, you have the unique perspective of having played at Duke for four years. You saw this team at one point in March, it just seemed to grasp Coach Krzyzewski's defensive philosophy. It carried you to a national championship as much as your scoring. Can you talk when you saw that flip? When did it happen or how did it happen?
QUINN COOK: I think I really started to notice it after we beat UVA at home. Guys really kicked it up a notch in practice when we went through defensive things. It became fun, stringing stops together, getting stops. We knew defensive rebounding would win us a championship. A couple letups here and there, a game here, a game there. I mean, in this tournament, I mean, we played outstanding defense, all eight guys. Just our preparation, watching film, our walk-throughs, we went game speed on everything we did. We prepared so well. Our coaches don't sleep at all during the tournament. It pays off. For us to put on a defensive performance like that against one of the better teams in the country is outstanding. I'm just so happy that, you know, the little things that count, it counted today.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Can I add one thing? All these guys have become really students of the game. They share knowledge, they talked well. If you look at the stats tonight, two of my players had combined two points, Matt and Amile. I don't know if you could get points defensively. But they were incredible, those two kids, on the defensive end. You start taking more pride in it and they talked well.

Q. Tyus, you come from halfway across the country from Duke. You made a decision to go there based kind of on other people who were going there as well. What were you hoping to accomplish with that? How were you hoping to accomplish it? Did it play out as you envisioned it?
TYUS JONES: I just wanted to be a part of a special team. I knew the guys on the team already prior to stepping on campus. I knew Grayson, Justise and Jah even before we got to campus. I just trusted Coach K and everyone on the staff with all my heart. I believed in everything that they told me. I just wanted to help, you know, contribute to such a special group. I wanted to go somewhere where I knew we would win. As soon as I stepped on campus, you could just feel the family atmosphere. It was, you know, just always positive energy, everyone caring for one another. You could just tell that this year was going to be special.

Q. Amile, Jah got in foul trouble there. They were killing you on the offensive glass. Can you talk about your mindset on the defensive end.
AMILE JEFFERSON: For me, it was just about making positive plays. We have an amazing group. We have guys that can score, amazing talent. So when I'm out there, I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help our guys. Today it was, you know, being strong on the defensive end, trying to make a play at all times. I think all our guys, you know, are confident enough in their abilities, no matter if they're in the game or starting that they can make a play. I was out there, I was able to make some plays. Our entire group was really huge tonight. I'm extremely proud to be on this team.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, fellows. We'll continue with questions for Coach Krzyzewski.

Q. What was going through your head with Jah in foul trouble, how long to keep him out, when to put him back in? What did you tell him right before you put him back in?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I didn't tell him anything when I put him back in late. We just thought that -- especially on the out of bounds situation, we might get something. It wasn't exactly what we diagramed. But he was in a good position. He's done it all year. I think the foul trouble got to him and Justise. We didn't play well at the start of the second half. For about 10 minutes, I thought they were really outplaying us. They're still young guys. You know, they're pro prospects and all that, but they're young guys. Learning how to play hard, strong and tough when you have that foul trouble is something you learn. Thank goodness he came in and got it. I'm sure Jeff, John and Nate said stuff to him, like, Stay in with it. He came up with two huge plays for us.

Q. How does this compare? When the final buzzer sounded, you had a look of pure delight on your face. Can you rank this with the other four you have?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: All of them are great. The one you're in this moment with is always the most current, you can feel it the best. I haven't loved a team any more than I've loved this team. We have eight guys, and four of them are freshmen. For them to win 35 games and win the national title is incredible. When it's over, and I would have the best appreciation because I've been in this for 40 years, and I'm the coach of that group that did this. You know, how good is that? They've been a joy. They've been an incredible joy. When you're already happy, and you get happier, it's pretty damn good. It's pretty good.

Q. Jahlil, Jabari, Jon Scheyer, even Anthony Davis, Chicago continues to produce a lot of high-quality players.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Good coaches as well (smiling).

Q. How good is it to control that area?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't know if we control the area.

Q. Just to be in the conversation.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: We do well with our players, wherever they're from. Our players get better. They become -- if they're going to become pros, they all become good pros. They all become good men. So you have a great track record, so you're going to get good players because it's not just our program, but Duke does that. That's why I've been at Duke for 35 years. Duke's made me unbelievably good because they're around excellence all the time with all the kids who go to school there. We've been fortunate enough. You missed Chris Collins from there. That's been a good area, a good area for us.

Q. There's a scene on the court afterwards where you're picking up each grandchild. What does it mean at this stage in your life to be able to share this moment with the family like that?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: The best. We've been able to do it with USA Basketball in the last Olympics. Everyone was there. Actually in Beijing, but we didn't have as many grandchildren then. The cool thing about it now is my grandchildren are older, 15, 14, 11. Two of them are 11, the twins. They know it more. The thing is, they live it all the time. My daughters, we talk about it. So they've shared it. They share it with them. It's always been a family thing, and now we've got a bigger family. To see my daughters crying. We're coming here on the cart. The one grandson I hadn't seen is John David, Jamie and Chris' son. We're going by, I say, Stop, stop. He's very eloquent. How old is he? He's five. He says, Congratulations, Poppy. I said, Stop the cart, I've got to give him a hug. Just cool. It's really neat stuff. Really neat stuff.

Q. Can you talk about the versatility of this particular team. You have been able to outscore people all year, but in this particular championship game, you out Wisconsin and people thought that wasn't possible.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: With eight guys, we needed to be very versatile. It kind of happened over how we play. Grayson has been coming on so much, and Matt was playing such good defense, and my guards are good. In some respects the foul trouble may have helped us a little bit because I got some gritty guys in there in combinations that we didn't have on the court very much this year. I have to look at it. I'll look at the tape later on 'cause I'm not even sure who I had in all the time. But I know, because Jah and Justise were on the bench, and Marshall was on the bench, we were pretty small. We were playing such good post defense with that small lineup. I know Matt and Amile were the linchpins of the defense. They were so darn good. For them to take that pride without, you know, getting shots and stuff like that is terrific.

Q. Can you expand on the defense of execution down the stretch. It was really kind of a thing of beauty for those of us who enjoy defense. Dekker comes in, and you hold him. Even Kaminsky, you did a great job of denial.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: We were switching a lot. They were trying to iso in the post, but our guys fought it. Amile had one really big block I think on Hayes. Amile and Matt were like big guys defending them. They're really good. Matt got in on Dekker and then Grayson did the whole game where he didn't have the freedom to dribble like he normally has. Amile is a better defender against Kaminsky than Jah would be. Kaminsky is more like Laettner, you know. They're not centers, they're players. So that's difficult for a guy like Jah to defend. But Amile defended him well.

Q. The players talked about being together and being like this family unit all throughout the tournament. They talked about early in the season about how much this would mean to them, how much you meant to them. What made them so close and what made you so close to them?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, you know, with guys who aren't going to be here as long, what we've tried to do over the last few years is get to know them even better before they got to Duke. For all four of those kids, their families are so good. They committed pretty early, so they got to know us deeper than a normal incoming freshman. Then they got to know the guys on the team, you know, the guys coming back. I think a statement that Quinn has said a couple times this week is how humble the guys are. So here you have these four really good freshmen coming in, and they want to blend. They want to be led. They don't want it to be about them, although it's going to be a lot about them. They're good guys. They had that chemistry right away. It's been an incredible group. I've never had a group that has had this chemistry and the brotherhood that this group has had. Maybe because it's so small. I don't know.

Q. Indianapolis has been a special place to you obviously.

Q. Coach Wooden, the only guy ahead of you now, grew up 40 minutes south of here, went to college 60 minutes north of here. It's almost like there's some interesting chemistry going on with you and Indianapolis. Each of the three championships were unique, but to do it in John Wooden's bailiwick, so to speak.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Whenever you mention Coach Wooden, he's separate from everybody. In some respects, so is Indianapolis. I don't know if you realize just how good everyone is here. All the hosts, the volunteers, the police, everyone. They're unbelievable. I want to thank them for making this experience so good for our team. It's comfortable. Plus this arena is the most -- outside of the feeling you get at the Garden and in Cameron, this is a spectacular venue. When you walk out on the court as a player or coach and you see this arena, there's something, there's something here that's magical. I don't know. And I don't know what it is, but it's here. We've done well here. I also want to say that for basketball, this has been a great year for basketball. Somehow there's been better cooperation in the stakeholders of the game. The stakeholders being mainly the TV people. You know, CBS and Turner have done a fabulous job with the tournament. But ESPN does a fabulous job with it in bringing it to the five yard line. For some reason, and maybe it was because of following Kentucky's pursuit of perfection, ESPN and Turner and CBS, they were better together. I hope that keeps going. The game needs it. I mean, ESPN, all they do is promote it, so more people are going to watch it. We need those stakeholders to be team members in the future of our game. The blueprint of it was this year. I really believe that Kentucky was a catalyst for it. But I don't know if we're always going to have an undefeated team going into the Final Four. But it was better. If you look back, you're talking more about basketball. Everyone's talking more about it. Ratings are sky high. But I think it was because of their cooperation. I hope we continue to have that.

Q. When you look back at this, how much satisfaction will you take from the fact that you changed your whole approach and were able to win a title in a completely different way from the past model?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: They all have been different. You know, Jon Scheyer would tell you 2010 was different than 2001. 2001, we had a heck of a lot of talent, not that Jon's team wasn't talented. The ability to adapt is key in everything. I think I've adapted well. I really believe in the last decade, having the honor and the opportunity to coach our nation's team has helped me adapt even more. But it's not like you're making sacrifices. What does this group need from you? Then you try to give that. As long as they're giving back, then it's a pretty cool thing. Again, I want to thank everyone in Indianapolis and all the volunteers and that. It's been spectacular. It's been more player-friendly, the locker rooms, the hotels, everything. There's a big improvement that's gone on, to include giving money to the parents to get here. Let's keep the ball rolling. Let's keep the ball rolling and try to find out more that we can do for these student-athletes as we go forward. Again, I want to thank my team publicly for taking me on a great ride. Happy guy.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Poppy.
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