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March 9, 2018

Grayson Allen

Mike Krzyzewski

Gary Trent

New York, New York

North Carolina - 74, Duke - 69

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it was a really physical game, and congratulations to North Carolina. You know, we've had three really good games against one another in a short period of time. Kind of a disjointed game. It was kind of a weird game tonight.

But the turnovers hurt us, and their offensive rebounds. We're not going to win a game against a team that caliber if we turned it over 18 times.

We learned a lot here. We played two really good games, two really good teams, and we know we can play better. I'm proud of my guys. I thought in the last six minutes they showed an incredible will to win against a very, very good basketball team. We had a chance. We had a chance, but we've got to do that a little bit earlier.

Q. Grayson, can you just walk us through the flagrant foul from your perspective and what happened there?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, they got a fast break and I bumped him and fouled him.

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: I was surprised there was stoppage. But we'll go with the call and move forward.

Q. Grayson, just knowing that you guys had a chance to come back and claw back at the end, does it hurt that much more? I can sort of see it in your face a little bit.
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, we were right there, and when you fight back to bring it that close, you often think back to why you got down in the first place. So for us, we can't get to that position. We just can't let it happen. That's something we need to learn from moving forward is you've got to fight, fight, and you can't get down, because when you play against good teams, it doesn't always work in your favor when you try to come back.

Q. Grayson, could you take us through the last play, what was called and what you saw out there on the last shot?
GRAYSON ALLEN: With the three? So we had a chance to draw something out. I had a ball screen from the big on both sides and was trying to get a three off to tie it up. Initially went for the pump fake to try to get him in the air, but he didn't commit to come foul me, so then tried to get up a shot up towards the rim, make it, or hopefully one of the big guys would get a rebound.

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: They switched.

GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, so...

Q. Grayson, when Joel Berry and Theo Pinson were in here, Joel was asked about the flagrant foul and he and Theo both had nice things to say about you, that you guys go way back. You've gone head to head with Joel for four years now. What makes him such a tough competitor to play against?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, he is tough, and he's been that way ever since I've known him. First time I played against him was in eighth grade. I don't even know if he remembers me, but we were at a camp, and he was big, strong and tough back then, and he's just a real tough player. If you go at him, he comes right back. He's the type of guy where if he makes a mistake on the next play, he's coming at you to get it right back. Just a very good competitor, and a tough guy to have to play against for the last four years.

Q. Talk about the slow start from the start of the game. Were you guys nervous, too amped up before you got everything rolling at the end of the first half?
GARY TRENT JR: We just came out, we tried to be aggressive. We tried to be strong early. We came out a little bit flat. I felt like as we continued to go, we got more comfortable with the game. It started coming more natural to us, and we just kept fighting and kept trying to compete.

GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, we were a little bit just too fast at the start. Defensively me and Trey up top needed to do a little bit better job of trying to keep it out the middle, and then offensively just working the ball, relaxing, and relaxing a little bit and just playing, just playing basketball. Once we settled in, that's when we came back in the first half and got the lead, or narrowed down the lead a little bit.

Q. Grayson, in the locker room Garrison did say that he thinks you're a great player but he thought that the hip check was not accidental, so I think you should have the opportunity to respond. Was it?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: You know, any foul in a game is not -- you don't want any foul in a game. So that was another foul in a game. Do you think that that was the only time someone was hipped in the game? If he look in the low post, that's going on all the time, so it happened at half court, they got it, it's done, and that didn't win or lose the game.

Q. What gave you trouble on your zone defense tonight?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, they scored 74 points.

Q. Was it specifically what they were doing?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah -- no. You're going to -- 74 points is okay against them. If we don't turn it over 18 times -- we're not going to -- you're trying to limit their threes. If we were playing man and they shot 18 out of 24 from three, then you'd be asking why didn't you defend the three better. But holding them to 74 points was good. They're one of the explosive teams, as explosive as anybody. And they have two kids that can really handle the ball well in the middle of the zone in Pinson and Maye. So that's good for us.

The two games we played here, Colson can do that, too, so we got a chance to work our zone against probably two of the best teams that would work against us, and we gave up 70 and 74 points. So we'll take a look at it and see what we can learn from that, but overall that should have been good enough to win if we don't turn it over like we did.

One of the key things is these long rebounds. So they got 18, I think. Yeah, they had 18. That's the other stat that hurt us. Again, they've got to do that better. But overall, it wasn't bad. The zone wasn't bad. The offense was bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.

Q. As a whole from this tournament, what did you learn most about your team that you're going to try to pull forward?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, I just think the experience, one, playing against a desperate, old, really good team in Notre Dame, and being we were really ready for the tournament, and I thought we played really well last night. Even to play the second game where you have just a 20-minute warmup, those kids haven't -- Grayson has gone through it, but I'm not blaming it on them, I'm just saying it's different, and that's what can happen in the NCAA Tournament. You can play the first game or the second game. You'll get about 30 minutes then. And then you're playing at 9:30 or 9:45 or whatever, it's different. So you learn from those experiences. That's the whole year for us is there's so many new things for these guys, and playing against two top-quality opponents. Winning and then -- I thought we got off to a bad start, not that we weren't ready. I thought that we weren't physical enough.

Kind of like in the first half against Notre Dame where you -- the game is physical. I'm not saying they're fouls. It's physical inside. So you have to do more than try to get your shot off because you're going to -- there's bumping in that, not necessarily fouls but there's bumping, and so you have to -- yesterday in the second half, we did a great job of that. And today at the start of the game, we did not, and then ^ Treton got hurt, there were disruptions. It was kind of a weird thing.

And then we kind of played the game in different stages today, and we have to play it at the same stage throughout. It's just maturing. It's our 33rd game, and these kids have won 26, and they've been really good, and they have a will to win. They just hopefully will get a few good days of practice, hopefully Trey is not -- the X-rays are negative, we got that done right away, and we can get healthy and then move on.

Everyone is 0-0 starting next week, so that's the way we're looking at it. I think we're much better prepared for the NCAA Tournament than we were a month ago, and these two games will help us, even though we lost tonight and could have played better. But they make you not play well. They're very good. They did a good job against us.

Q. So many of your best teams have had either superstar point guard play or incredibly dependable point guard play. Grayson and Trevon had 9 of your 18 turnovers. How do you assess that given that you're really on the verge of the NCAA Tournament here?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, Trey has gotten better, and I have to thank that -- we'll be really good if he's good, and he has been good. Again, when you get that injury -- like I thought he -- I didn't expect him to come back and play. I think that had an impact. And then you're playing against a really good team.

But he has -- we can't turn it over like that. A few of the turnovers were just like, whoa. They were whoa turnovers, you know? But I think the injury hurt -- that was a problem for him.

Q. You talked to scouts or other teams in your league this week here, and they say you are undoubtedly the most talented team in college basketball. I'm wondering how you balance coaching a group like this, a lot of guys who will only be here for one season, and trying to get them to grow up fast. There's obviously some deficiencies that you have, defensive intensity, shooting et cetera. How do you bring a group like this along this fast?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, they're good kids. They want to be good. You just try to -- there's going to be slippage. There's going to be a game like this where it's kind of disjointed for us. But overall they've gotten better. They like each other a lot. They want each other -- we talk about talent -- we have a different bench in that we don't have a lot of perimeter players. That's a stumbling block. And so our perimeter has got to play long. They have to play a lot of minutes. And where we can alternate a little bit with the bigs. But they've been great. But we have to accept some slippage.

For tonight, look, I'm disappointed we didn't win, but we've got to move on, learn from it, and they -- they can't hold back. I thought when things weren't going well in the first half, we didn't have the looks that we normally have. And then at the end of the game, we did. Boy, we had great looks. But it's just a different experience. I'm not complaining. I think we have a chance to do well in the tournament, and we have to learn from every time we go out on the court. And these guys will. They accept responsibility for everything.

Q. I know you guys have faced these double digit deficits whether in the first half or the second half, and you guys have been able to come back on multiple occasions. What can your guys learn from not being able to come back in this one and not having to put themselves in such a hole that they have to fight all the way back?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I mean, no one wants to put themselves in a hole. Sometimes you can play well and the other guys are just hitting and whatever. Like in the first half, boy, boom, boom, boom, they got threes, and that can knock you out, but it didn't knock our team out. You just try to have a consistent effort for 40 minutes and not put yourself in those positions. But if we are, like throughout the last 15 minutes of the game, we kept telling our guys, look, stay with it, stay with it, just stay with it, and we've been here before. We will have an opportunity. And we've added some things to our defense in the zone where we can trap. We've just added them in the last week. And to be quite frank with you, a couple of those things worked today, which we hadn't had. So we're just trying to get better, and maybe we do those things a little bit earlier, I don't know. I'm good with my team.

Again, congratulations to Carolina and Virginia. I mean, Virginia has been stupendous, and again, thank you for the people here, for their hospitality. I think Brooklyn has been great. The Barclay's have been great, and we'll just find out Sunday where we're going and be 0-0 and go for it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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