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November 21, 2018

Mike Krzyzewski

Tre Jones

Javin DeLaurier

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Gonzaga - 89, Duke - 87

MEGAN GODFREY: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Great game. I thought both teams played their hearts out. Kind of two different halfs. I thought they dictated the flow, the pace, they were very much in control the whole first half. I think their experience, I mean they're really good, obviously Mark's teams are well coached, but they're experienced good, they can beat anybody. They started out that way, where I thought we looked young. It's not that we were tired, because we both played the same amount of games, but I thought emotionally they were more ready than we were. And that's something that you learn. You have to learn that by being in these situations. We were ready to play but we weren't as emotionally ready to play as we needed to be. And the second half they gave us a knockout punch in the first four minutes. And then in the last 14, 15 minutes of the game I thought we dictated everything. It started with Tre's play where he scored and then stole the ball and got fouled. All of our guys need to know that just one guy making a play like that can send, it can turn the emotion of the game around and Tre did that. Then it's anybody's game there right at the end. We have a number of moves right at the bucket or right around the bucket where we couldn't finish or get fouled and that's really the game right there. We had the ball right by the bucket a few times and couldn't finish or draw a foul and then -- and they won. Congratulations to Mark and his team. They're a beautiful program and great group of kids.

MEGAN GODFREY: Questions, please.

Q. For Tre. This is the reason why you come to Duke, to play in these kind of games. What was it about playing Gonzaga that they were able to do that other teams weren't able to do to you early on?
TRE JONES: Like coach said, we both were ready to play but they came more emotionally ready. So they came out more ready to play emotionally and had more fire behind them. And we dug ourselves a hole that we had to dig ourselves out of in the second half.

Q. For Tre and then Javin, what do you think happened the last 14 minutes that allowed you guys to kind of dictate the tempo, where Gonzaga was really sticking it to you before that?
TRE JONES: I feel we just got to playing how we know we can play, the way that the coaches want us to play and the way that us players know that we can play and want to play as well. Like coach said, emotionally early on we weren't ready to play. But within those last 14 minutes we all kept trying to pick each other either up. And guys were picking me up and I was trying to pick other guys up. And we all came together and started fighting together rather than just by ourselves.

JAVIN DELAURIER: Just what Tre said. His play in the second half sparked the rest of us and we finally started to fight in the last 14 minutes, whereas before we had just come to play and we weren't as emotionally ready as Gonzaga. But the last 14 minutes we played how we're capable of together with emotion and we just got to do that earlier.

Q. Javin, obviously a tough loss for the team, but how much has Tre kind of evolved into the leader for this team and the first couple games of the season?
JAVIN DELAURIER: Tre, I think, is the heart and soul of our team. We go as he goes, he's an amazing player. He almost never makes the wrong play and he's capable of providing everyone with energy. We all respect him. He's our point guard and we'll follow him into battle.

MEGAN GODFREY: We'll take questions for coach.

Q. Obviously great game by both teams but where would this rank as a regular season type of early tournament game for you guys, for -- you've been here a long time or been around, where would this rank?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: No, it's a big time game for any part of the season. We're not, again we're not who we're going to be and they're not either because they're missing a really good player. But they're ahead of us as far as knowing one another and knowing their system and they're strong. Mark's teams are smart, they're strong, they play together. And it's a tough matchup for us. And we knew it going in, that's why you can't get off to that type of start. But again it's a great game for us. This whole tournament we played, look in our first six games, we played three Top-10 teams, and one other who is supposed to win their conference. We played a hell of a schedule. I think three days in a row for young emotionally, not physically, is tough. It's just, it's tough. And that's where veterans win or have a better opportunity to win. But proud of my team. And they -- we were in the process of getting blown out there the first three minutes of the second half and they turned it around. It wasn't coaching, our kids turned it around and Tre in particular did that.

Q. Tre missed that dunk early in the game. A lot of young kids that could have taken them out emotionally for the game. He seemed to fight back really well from that. What did you see from him the way he handled that?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well the other way is we handled it is we didn't make anything of it. He knew -- you could feel it. When you compete like this it's not just hearing, seeing. It's you feel the game and the game didn't feel right. Even though you had really good knowledge, you're ready, but it doesn't feel right. And as a guard, as a competitor, maybe making that play might, boom, it might just do what he did in the second half. So I don't fault him for that. He has tremendous feel for the game. He's way ahead in spite of his young age. That's one of his gifts.

Q. Gonzaga shot 65 percent in the first half and then 41 percent in the second half. What were they doing offensively in the first half and what adjustments did you make?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: They were just dictating the flow. I mean we were not playing good defense. But they were playing great offense. They are an outstanding offensive team. Not that they're bad defensively, but they have great movement and we weren't talking. And our bigs were not able to defend their actions the way we needed to defend them. So in the second half we went smaller and we played better defense against them. Even though we had a height disadvantage there, it was better in their movement, so we did a lot better job. But they're a tough team to defend, they're a tough team to beat. They're a tough team.

Q. You talked the other day about just what Maui, as being so unique as a tournament, what it can do for you guys in so many ways. Do you feel like this, a loss is tough, but do you feel like this is part of that?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: No. I mean we learned a lot here and we appreciate the -- how everything is done, the people, all the people who helped, the volunteers and everything. They create an environment that's really good for all the teams. Gonzaga's a team you would like about four days of preparation for, you know? They do so many things. So in trying to simplify things in a one day, less than one day prep, we weren't able to do that. That's part of it. But we won't be in that situation again. So overall to play and be put in a position to win against them, overall that's a good thing for our team.

Q. You guys were able to find your driving lanes on offense to the basket more in the last 10, 12 minutes than you were the rest of the game. Was there something you guys did differently there?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: No, we didn't have a big guy in. What they were doing with our big guys just zoning in the middle and we weren't active or using the big and DHOs or ball screens enough, so that just opened driving lanes for us. Really pretty simple.

Q. Jack was really solid through all 26 minutes that he played. As you said, for such a young emotional -- or emotionally young team, what does he provide being on the floor around those young players?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: He's the ultimate glue guy because he also, he's the guy who tried to guard Hachimura when we went small. And he just does all the dirty work. And he's a heck of a player for us. Javin started playing that way. Javin hasn't played as well. And then the last 10 minutes of this game he played like he can play. And that makes us better. So I think it was tough for Marques to come back from yesterday. That was such an emotional thing for him to play at that level and that well. And again, there's some of youth in there, just handling all -- not that he wasn't ready, but it just, it's tough to get on at the same level when you are not accustomed to playing at that level. You showed you were so damn good and then it's tough to do it 24 hours later unless if you're, that's who you are. So hopefully we can all learn from that. But there's a lot of good stuff from the game.

Q. What did you think of Hachimura and the kind of player he is and the challenges he presents?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, not only him but they have, they're good. I mean they have good basketball players. And they're old. They're strong, they're old, and they're unselfish and they play their butts off. And Hachimura gives them a guy that you can go to to get a bucket or get fouled. But he's better because the other guys are good too. In other words, you can't just double team him or whatever -- well, you can try, but he'll, another good player is going to be open. They have good weapons. Norvell is a heck of a player, Perkins is that outstanding veteran guard that's been through all the wars. So I talked to Mark before the game behind in here, behind the curtains there, and just how much I liked their team and what he's done. He's done a marvelous job with his program. And it's an honor to play against him and their fan base and it's great game for college basketball today. The fan base is there, the effort, and two outstanding programs. That was really good basketball today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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