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March 16, 2016

Mike Krzyzewski

Marshall Plumlee

Matt Jones

Grayson Allen

Marshall Plumlee

Providence, Rhode Island

Q. Marshall, can you tell us how your injury is doing, how it's progressed over the week?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE: We've been making great progress, and the bone that I broke up here is such a small bone that it starts to heal pretty quickly. Swelling has gone down, and most importantly, I've gotten comfortable playing in a mask these last few days of practice and kind of fine tuning that mask to give me better visibility. So it's going great.

Q. Grayson, you're playing a lot of minutes. How are you recovering? What is your sort of day after a game recovery, and how are you keeping your body together with all the minutes you're playing?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, well, all the guys are playing a lot of minutes. We make sure that any of the extra time that we get outside of school and the practice time, we're in the training room getting extra treatment, whether that's the cold tub, extra stretching, or any kind of extra body or muscle work with our trainers Nick and José. And just making sure we're taking care of our body, hydrating outside of practice and making sure we eat enough, and sleep has been really big, as well.

Q. Grayson, can you address what you know about Wilmington's backcourt, what kind of match-ups they'll present you?
GRAYSON ALLEN: We know they have a very dangerous backcourt, Ponder, Ingram and Flemmings. They're able to stretch the floor with Flemmings on the floor, as well. We know that they're kind of similar to us with four guards. But they're a very fast team, and they're going to push the ball up, and the guards that they do have are very quick. They have smaller guards, but they're a lot faster. That's something that we're going to have to be mindful of and really get back in transition.

Q. Grayson, you brought up sleeping. How many hours a night do you think that each of you sleep?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I would say, I think Marshall gets the most. He's always the first to bed.

MATT JONES: Old man.

GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, he's the old man. But at least eight. I think Marshall goes for around ten.

MATT JONES: Yeah, you hit it on the nail. Marshall usually gets the most, but for me, I can say eight as well.

MARSHALL PLUMLEE: Yeah, like they say, I'm a growing boy, so I would say at least eight, pushing for nine.

Q. Grayson, you were actually second on the team last year in scoring per 40 minutes. You obviously have confidence in your ability. How much of that performance in the national title game allowed you to take it to the next level this season?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I think it was a confidence boost going into this year for me. Being able to do it on that stage, I think gave me the confidence to do it just starting out the season. With that, I also had to go into the summer with the mindset of I had a lot to improve on because I couldn't -- in the national championship game, I was able to give us energy, but I knew for next year I was going to have to do more than that with scoring the ball in a bunch of different ways and becoming more of an all-around player. For me, I think it was big for my confidence, but I still had to get back and work hard for next season.

Q. Marshall, you talk about getting more comfortable with the mask. In D.C., what was it like just dealing with that? Were the sight lines weird? Did it get sweaty? What was it like handling that or dealing with it?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE: I was fine. No excuses for my play that game. I have a great training staff, and they did everything in their power to get me ready. I was as ready as you could be. You can't go blaming a mask when honestly it gave me the opportunity to be out there on the floor.

So it was fine, but I will say, over the course of this past week it's gotten better and better each time I've gotten a chance to use it.

Q. Grayson, this time last year you were sort of playing a supporting role on a team with players that were getting a lot more attention. Now you're sort of one of the faces of the program and one of the more recognizable college basketball players out there. How different does this feel getting ready for your second trip to this tournament?
GRAYSON ALLEN: To me, I think I kind of feel the full excitement this time around. Last time I didn't know what to expect, and I wasn't a part of this. I wasn't here at the podium, and I wasn't one of the guys answering all the questions in the locker room, so to be in this position is different. And I think for us as the returning guys, we have a lot more excitement. We've all had bigger roles coming into this year, and it's a lot more exciting this year.

Q. Marshall, just talk about the grind of the ACC and its tournament. And once you've gone through that, is there anything here that's going to surprise you or challenge you?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE: Yeah, the ACC has done a great job preparing us because there's tough competition from top to bottom. And especially the way the scheduling worked out, with having games back to back days and some of the tough stretches we've had to go through, it simulates tournament play in such a way that, when we come up to opponents like UNCW or are faced with environments like the tournament, we can think back and reference different points during the ACC schedule and be like, look, we've been through this before, this is how we handled this, this is what we can do better. So the ACC is tough, but it's given us tremendous experience.

Q. Marshall, you and your brothers have played in so many of these NCAA games. Now, you being a senior, this is going to be the last time. Have they given you any advice on what you're going to be feeling the next few days, and have you given any thought to that?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE: They've given me advice, but more just in general as a player. Both of us having been on national championship teams, we both kind of have a sense of what it takes to go the distance. There's not too much they can fill me in on other than just lifting me up in general as a player. They're very encouraging. But more than anything, they try to give me my space because they know during this time of the year a lot of people try to come into your life who weren't necessarily there with you for the rest of the season. And so you've got to have the horse blinders on and kind of focus on what the team needs from you and not a lot of outside distractions.

Q. Grayson, obviously Wilmington has won 25 games. Just how aware were you of what they were doing this season? How much did you know about them when that match-up popped up on the screen?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, during our season it's hard for us to focus on anything really outside of our conference. When it does get towards the end of the year, I think we're all watching the conference tournament games because they're so exciting. So we saw them win the CAA, and then going through scouting, we've seen a lot of film on them, and they're a really talented team. You look at what they've been able to do. They've won a lot of games this year, and they've been really successful. They're a team that's going to get after you for 40 minutes, and that's something we have to be ready for.

Q. Grayson, Wilmington plays a style similar to Louisville. You guys had some trouble at Louisville last time you played them with your pressure, a lot of turnovers. What do you take from that experience into this game?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, we have to learn from it. I'm thankful that we had that kind of game to prepare us for Wilmington. I mean, we know the pressures are going to be similar, and it's not going to be an easy task because they play a lot of guys, and the pressure is going to be on the whole game, and it's going to be the whole length of the court. So for us, we have to be sharp. We can't get into a rush. We can't play tired and make mistakes when we're inbounding the ball, just careless stuff, giving the ball over. They're a team that's going to try to force a lot of turnovers. We just can't give them any easy ones.

Q. Matt, Grayson is kind of viewed as the next guy that people dislike at Duke. There's always someone. How does the rest of the team deal with that kind of noise during the season?
MATT JONES: Coach does a really good job of kind of portraying the message of one voice. We watch TV just as well as y'all do, so we know what they say about Grayson, but we just make sure that Grayson knows that we have his back. We haven't done a good job of that the whole year, but at this time of the year, especially, we have to make sure that G knows that, and as a team, we rally behind him.

Q. Matt, you're obviously playing an in-state team in UNC Wilmington. Do you sense any extra effort or something to prove out of the other in-state teams you play, whether it be NC State, Wake Forest or anyone else outside of conference?
MATT JONES: There's a possibility. Obviously being in the tournament, everyone has that sense of urgency themselves. They have a couple guys from that area where Duke is so, I mean, they could definitely have an added sense of urgency to themselves. But at the same time, we know that every team we face, they're going to bring their best, so we have to bring ours.

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: We're excited to be here. Our team is healthier than it has been over the last two weeks, and we're in spring break right now, so that's helped us as far as travel, practice, getting rest, and so we're excited to play. We know our opponent is a championship team. They play an exciting style. You can tell that they're really a together group, expect to win and play hard and well together. So we know that the game will be a difficult one for us, but we're also excited to play it.

Q. After the grind of the ACC Tournament and the whole season, do you almost have to reboot a little bit when you come into the NCAA Tournament?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we had to in the last couple weeks of the regular season because we had that -- in certain conferences, sometimes the conference schedule just goes at even a higher level. And we had like Louisville, Virginia, Carolina, and Louisville, four in a row, when we were 6-4, and we were able to win three of them and almost won the fourth one. That took a lot out of our team.

But it also did a lot for our team because when you play that level of team and fight and are successful, you get a level of confidence that then really made us an NCAA team. People would say, well, you should always be an NCAA team. Well, at 6-4, we were not an NCAA team. We had to earn it, and we did during that time. But we got beat up a little bit, just because you give so much.

I thought we were tired even the last week of the regular season. I thought we were refreshed again up to a point of the ACC, and we played about 70 minutes of good basketball, and did not play well in the last 10 minutes against Notre Dame. Matt was still not there, and then he was getting sick, and that night he wouldn't have been able to play if we had won against North Carolina the next night because he just threw up and was in bed for 24 hours.

We've gotten over a lot of that stuff, and none of that is happening now. Again, because they're young, they can get refreshed quicker. Like for me, I need a long time, and it may not ever happen. But for them, I think a few days and no contact -- we gave them off Friday and Saturday, no contact on Sunday -- and had a good workout, I think it's helped us.

Q. Coach, you've obviously coached so many pros through your career, and a lot of guys recently have been some of the one-and-done type of guys. Brandon Ingram might fall into that category this year.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, he will.

Q. Did you ever talk to him about the pressure specifically for you guys to win? Do you have to talk about him managing the pressure of this moment and almost not think about that?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: We talk about -- not so much the pressure, but the opportunity and that if things go the way they should go, this will be his only time that he can play in the tournament. That's opportunity, not so much what it does for your draft. He's not going to be affected that much one way or the other by it. But he will be affected by the memory of what he does in the tournament. In other words, this is your one shining moment. This is the one time you will be in the NCAA Tournament, and to make the most of that opportunity.

In saying that, Brandon has been consistently good, consistently outstanding the whole year, and the games where he didn't play well, as well, are usually games that he got in foul trouble. That's a key to our team is keeping him out of foul trouble and Plumlee out of foul trouble. When those two kids have been out of foul trouble, they've played well, we've played better, and we've won big.

He's in a good place. He's in a really good place. He's having fun, and he's a beautiful kid to coach. He's what I call a no-maintenance guy. There's never couch time. There's never you have your mind on other things -- he loves playing basketball. He loves being coached, and he loves being at Duke.

Q. You were talking about your short rotation, obviously. Is there a comfort, though, with that, that they're all sort of -- we're it, and they know that, and they sort of circle the wagons?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, they've done it since Amile has been out, so they're accustomed to it. I think one of the very best things that can happen to a player is that he knows he's going to play, and he knows when he's going to play and how he's going to be used and who he'll be on the court with. Our guys have had that opportunity.

Our starters know that they could play 40 minutes, and they like that. The new thing for us is that Jeter has played well the last few weeks, and so he's on a real upward swing, and the guys have really loved that. It's given him even more energy. And Sean Obi, his knees have been better, and he came in and gave us a few minutes against Notre Dame. They feel good about it, and they know how to -- I don't want to use the word pace. They know how to play. If they start pacing, then that's not going to be good. But they know how to play significant minutes, and we've been -- and I hope we don't get into this -- but we've played with serious foul trouble where guys had to play 12 minutes at the end of the game with four fouls, play eight to ten minutes in the first half having two fouls, that type of thing. So hopefully those experiences will help us in the tournament.

Q. Last Thursday after the Notre Dame game, guys were very disappointed the way it turned out. You mentioned the physical rest they got. How about the mental recovery from that, and what have you learned from that experience?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, in some respects, it's good to come into the tournament losing a game that you should have won, where it's a tough loss. Even though you're excited about the tournament, you're not giddy. You're not like, we just won and -- no, no, we just lost, and we lost a game that we feel we should have won. So I think you grow up doing that. The extra rest is good for us. We didn't try to lose the Notre Dame game to get it. Notre Dame beat us.

I think mentally we're good. I think we're good. We're ready to go. We're ready to go. Whoever this team is, it's as good as it's been all season right now except -- since Amile. And that's where you want to be at this time of the year. They're a good group. They're a tight group. Let's go.

Q. Mike Pressler is a guy that you were a colleague with for a long time, and he's done some pretty impressive things as a school just north of this city. I was wondering if you could speak to any relationship you've had with him over the years?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, they're great friends. You know, Mike and Sue are great, great friends. They were coaching at Duke -- even the last part, we were really close. My oldest daughter Debbie -- two of my daughters are with me, and we have seven of our nine grandchildren here for the game, and hopefully games -- and I know Debbie has talked a lot to Sue. They were great friends, and just a beautiful family, and a heck of a coach. I'm glad that he -- it doesn't surprise me what he's done because, even since leaving Duke, he's been our national team coach for the U.S., and they're just a great team, the two of them, Coach and his wife. They know what they're doing. We love them.

Q. It's inevitable that players when they're as talented as Brandon get compared to other players who have come before them. What do you tell a player when he's facing consistent comparisons to guys who are playing at the next level?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: To enjoy it. To realize, though, that they're not that good at that time. You know, kids are in the moment. That's just a compliment, and he doesn't try to pattern his game after anybody. And we don't have -- just like with our team, we don't try to make Grayson Allen like J.J. or Brandon like whoever. I don't know, there's not a guy -- he's kind of unique. In other words, find out who you are. During the time that we have the honor of coaching you and you being at Duke, let's develop who you are, not try to make you into something that someone else thinks you are.

That's why every year we try to -- not only try, but we do -- we personalize our offense for those guys, and then we change as the year -- like this year, we've changed our offense a number of times because the kids continue to get better, Brandon and Grayson in particular, and then Luke has come on, and then Marshall. Instead of putting them in the same recipe, so to speak, we try to devise something new for them. And Brandon is going to be in a growth spurt for a number of years, not just physically, but game-wise. He's got a great future ahead of him.

Q. Coach, you are very experienced in first-round match-ups like this where you have your team and then you're going up against a mid-major team like UNCW. What's different about UNCW compared to other teams that you've faced of this competition level in the first round?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, actually most of it is there's no difference. The common thread is always that they're champions. You wouldn't be a so-called mid-major or someone from a one-bid league unless you've won a lot, unless you're good, unless you're together, unless you're well-coached. Those are all the things that Wilmington has. They're right there. I mean, they're right there.

And then that team can beat you. The realization is that sometimes they have and sometimes they haven't. We advanced a lot more than we haven't. It's pretty obvious. But can they beat us? They can definitely beat us. We prepare for them with that level of respect and preparation. I mean, I've watched maybe six games of theirs, and in every one they have a good verve. They play to win. They play to win, and they have a style that fits their personnel really well.

Q. You just touched on Brandon a second ago. Can you give a sense of his arc this year of development? He's come a long way since some struggles early and just how you've seen him improve and adjust to the college game.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, the chart of improvement is just going to keep going because, first of all, he wants to. Secondly, he's a really hard worker, loves the game. We keep learning more about him, so we keep changing things -- I'm not saying big-time, but subtle changes -- to use his abilities, and it's going to keep growing. We hope that during this tournament, because it'll be his only time in the tournament, that he takes it to as high a level as he can right now. That's all I've talked to him about is just take advantage of this moment.

He's not worried about -- like he's not thinking about the pros -- he knows the pros are going to be there. He loves Duke and he loves his guys. He's been -- he's very similar to the guys from last year. They loved where they were, and they love where they are now. But they also love the fact that they did their best in the tournament, and that's what we want Brandon to experience.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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