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March 14, 2018

Grayson Allen

Marvin Bagley, III

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Q. Grayson, I have kind of a random question for you. We were told that the guy who's a song writer for One Shining Moment has like a picture of you watching yourself on the replay from when you guys won the title as sort of an inspiration. What is it like to watch yourself on One Shining Moment? A very random question, I know.
GRAYSON ALLEN: It's really -- it's weird, because, you know, as like basketball players and basketball fans, we obviously watch that moment, and you see that one team standing up there at the end of the year. And for me to be able to have that moment myself and go back and watch that -- I haven't gone back and watched it in a while, probably since right after it happened -- but to have that just like years from now just to watch, it's very special. It's very memorable, and part of what makes it is because you look at that moment so many times growing up, and you just want -- you just try to picture yourself there.

Q. For both players, I know Coach Krzyzewski's resume speaks for itself. I wonder how you're impacted by his assistants on the staff, some of the younger guys have been in the program pretty recently, Jon, Nolan, Nate. Could you share a story how those guys have helped you along during your time at Duke, how they impacted your careers here. One of each if you don't mind.
MARVIN BAGLEY, III: Coach is arguably the greatest coach that ever coached. Obviously, being under his wing all year, every practice, seeing him every game. It's a great experience to be able to learn, pick his brain about things he knows about the -- coached the US team, won some championships.

Being able to be a part of something so special with him leading the way is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. It's been a great experience for me. I'm having fun every day and trying to learn as might as I can.

GRAYSON ALLEN: The thing with his assistants, you share a lot of experience with them because they were all in our shoes. Nobody's career is going to be perfect. Everything you go through, maybe they've been through something similar or the exact same thing. There's moments where, for example, me last year being the mixture of point guard and wing, I talked to Nolan a lot and Coach Scheyer, both of those guys were in that combo position, played some point from our scorers. And so talking to them a lot about how they handled it, the mindset between distributing and running the team and trying to score the ball.

Then you talked about leadership. Coach James, Coach David, all of our assistant coaches were great leaders on their teams. You try to pick their brain on certain things that you can do for this team, but also what you can do as a leader underneath Coach because they obviously played for Coach, too. So you share some of these similarities, you can learn a ton.

Q. Grayson, in what ways has this season been a different challenge for you than in the past few years?
GRAYSON ALLEN: You know, leadership is very different and new and it comes with its own challenges. You know, especially with a very young team who everything is a first, and it's your first game on camera, your first true road game, first tournament. Everything's a first, so you have to try to prepare them. And me being the lone senior and lone captain, it puts a lot on my plate to try to prepare these guys. So you really have to expand your focus to, not only on yourself, but making sure all of these guys are okay, and it makes it easy when they are as good as they are. It makes it a little bit easier.

But still, experience is something that's tough to beat, and so we have to try to -- we've tried to gain that throughout the year, and I know these -- the young guys will say it's been challenging at times for them because they've had to learn so much, but they've done a great job of it, and I've just tried to be the best example I could for them.

Q. I was wondering, Grayson, what's your kind of mindset going into the last tournament, I assume soaking everything up there.
And also Marvin, Trae Young was in there last year talking about last year he getting to play the McDonald's All-American game and now he's get to be part of March Madness. I wonder what your mindset is going into your first NCAA Tournament?

MARVIN BAGLEY, III: It's something new. I obviously have not been part of it. You grow up, you watch it in school. Everyone has their phones, iPads, whatever they have, computers, whatever they have, watching this tournament. So it's obviously a good thing for the sport of basketball.

So, being able to finally be here and actually be here and actually be a part of it is a great thing, great feeling, and I'm just trying to soak it all in. This is -- from here on out, you only get one guaranteed game, so you've got to take it one day at a time, so, just trying to soak everything in, and just try to have fun but still be able to lock in when it's time to be prepared and get ready.

GRAYSON ALLEN: For me, I'm just trying to be in the moment in everything I do. I mean, I know I've been here before, but I'm probably going to remember the last a lot. So just trying to be in a moment. Everything still feels new for me, because each time I've done it, it's been with a completely different group.

And so, just trying to enjoy it and make a special moment with this team and this group, and try to look back where at the end, I don't have any regrets. I don't want to look back and say I should have changed something in my preparation. I should have changed something in how I practiced and worked leading up to the game. I don't want to look back and be able to say any of those things.

So, it's just fully committing 110 percent to basketball right now, and everything I do leading up to this.

Q. Marvin, some of us remember seeing your grandfather play. I just want to find out what do you know about Joe Caldwell. And his legacy and also, both players, what do you know about Iona?
MARVIN BAGLEY, III: I know a lot -- my grandpa obviously tells me stuff, and I've seen some highlights of him in All-Star Game playing against many of the greats that played the game. So, it's a lot of stories out there about him, how good he was. How he can jump out of the gym, how he got his nickname. There's a lot of great stories out there about him.

He just tries to show me things every now and then what he did back then. It's pretty cool to see because I'm not used to seeing him run the floor and score points like he was doing back then. So it's pretty cool to see stuff like that. I'm just trying to soak that in as well, just learn from him in anything I can.

Q. Iona?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Iona, they have a great basketball tradition at their school. They are not a stranger to the tournament. They've been here before, a couple -- many times before, actually. Myself, I've actually had a class with Coach Welsh at Duke, who is an old Iona coach. That's one pretty neat thing.

We understand the basketball tradition they have there. This isn't just -- they're not just a team that's lucky to be here. They do this, this is what they do. And so that's a really cool thing about them. And they are very good basketball team, fast-paced. They can really score the ball. They have a lot of guys that can beat you. It's not a team that has a top scorer, a top guy that you have to watch. They have six or seven guys who can go off and be their leading scorer any game, so makes them a dangerous team, a dangerous team to defend, too.

Q. Grayson, the 2015 tournament was really big for you as far as you just breaking out establishing what kind of player you are. Three years later as a senior, has your mindset changed or adjusted from when compared to when were you a freshman?
GRAYSON ALLEN: It's a lot of different. My freshman year, I had no idea what to expect or what to do. I just wanted to play hard and just go out there and leave it all out there. And from that aspect, hasn't changed but, you know, with this team, I'm in a completely different role, kind of flipped the script from being the freshman on the end of the bench who wasn't getting much playing time, really didn't have any pressure on him, to now being a leader of the team and kind of growing into that role.

So, it's completely different from that mindset, but at the same time, I still want to have a great moment with this group.

Q. Grayson, I asked you this before so you don't need to answer this one. About the zone, Marvin, what was your reaction when Coach kind of told you or maybe he didn't tell you -- maybe he just started playing the zone exclusively a few weeks ago -- and how long has it taken you to adjust to get comfortable playing the zone?
MARVIN BAGLEY, III: That's, you know, it's a long season, so a lot of things can happen where we adjust to certain things. And you know, Coach just moved into the zone and we've been playing it -- I think we've been playing it well for the most part. Obviously, things we could get better at in it. But, you know, it's just something that Coach put in for us just to try to make adjustments on the defensive end and I think it's been working out great for us.

Q. This morning, we had thousands of high school kids walk out of class, protest of gun violence. As college students, have you thought about the issue of gun control and if so, can you tell us what you think?

GRAYSON ALLEN: I think one of the things is that there's obviously a problem when you see so many -- so much violence in your country. As far as, you know, picking something to change, I'm -- I'm honest and open enough to say, I don't know. But something -- there has to be a change in something that we do as people, something we do as a country, because there is so much violence, so much of it is affecting families. So much of it is just unwarranted and senseless, that is really -- it's troubling. It's really troubling.

And anybody who knows it or follows it, you know, you have to kind of be moved by it, because you see -- see how much of a problem it is, and how really heartbreaking it is to see just loss of lives over nothing, over senseless violence. So, I think, you know, the protests are great. You know, as long as we're pushing for some type of positive change, but, again, I can't sit up here and say I want a certain thing to be changed. I don't know exactly what it is.

Q. One for more Grayson, in what ways do you feel you're better prepared now for your future in the draft than you would have been if you decided to leave after last season?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I'm a better basketball layer. I think it's a very interesting thing when you talk about people staying in college hurting the draft stock, because I think I've become a much better basketball player over the last three years. And each time I have kind of chosen to say, I'm staying in school, not going anywhere, the interesting thing is, I'm choosing to stay here because I want to learn under Coach and I think he's the greatest basketball coach I can learn under.

And so I think I'm a much better basketball player, much more well-rounded basketball player. And then leadership has affected my game in a ton of positive ways. And, I wouldn't have had that opportunity if I wasn't here for my senior year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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