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March 23, 2006

Mike Krzyzewski

J.J. Redick

Shelden Williams


COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: First of all I congratulate LSU. They played a heck of a game. I thought it was a very difficult game to score for both teams. It was very physical, good defense, and there weren't a lot of open looks in that game.
Obviously they came up with some big plays at the end. I thought Mitchell's three to cut it from 45-40 to 45-43 was a huge play in the game. And but that's what that kid's done.
He's been a terrific player for them.
We could have a better offensive game, there's no question about it. But LSU had a lot to do with that. Again, congratulations to them, I want to just say that with my team, I'm proud of my team, obviously, they're 32 wins and 4 losses, and they have won championships and the two kids here have been two of the best players I've ever coached. They have been part of 116 wins at Duke during their four years, many championships. And although we have lost games, they have always represented me, our program and our school and themselves in the best possible manner.
I'm proud of them, and I'm disappointed that we can't go on, but you got to learn, not everyone -- you don't win all the time. You lose too. And you have to handle losses with the dignity and class that you handle the wins. And these kids have and again, congratulations to John and his kids on a terrific effort.
MODERATOR: Okay. We have questions for J.J. and Shelden Williams and questions for them.
Q. J.J., there was a point in the second half when you cam out very briefly and Mike was giving you some advice on the bench and then you went back in quickly. Could you describe the nature of the advice and how you were trying to work through this tonight?
J.J. REDICK: He just told me to take 30 seconds, take a little break, and go back in there and take my shot. Coach has always said that as long as we are taking our shots, he's okay. He'll walk arm in arm with us off the floor. So they didn't go today.
Q. J.J., could you just talk about the difficulty in getting on track offensively tonight.
J.J. REDICK: As a team we didn't shoot the ball very well for the field. I think that had a lot to do with LSU's defense. They really pressured the ball when I would come off screens and try to use their longer defenders and then it helps when they have shot blockers back there. The kid, Thomas is pretty darn athletic and he altered a lot of shots and came up with five blocks too.
Q. J.J., when you have that shot when you're up five, it rattles around and goes out, are you thinking about that, that if you make that one, this would be a lot different?
J.J. REDICK: I mean there's a lot of ifs throughout the game. There's a couple loose balls that we didn't come up with, that could have made a difference. But that was definitely a big shot and the very next possession Mitchell hit a three and cut it to two. So that was a big momentum swing. It could have gone our way but it ended up going theirs.
Q. I know he didn't have you the whole time but can you talk about Garrett Temple and his defense?
J.J. REDICK: Yeah, he's long and it was just a very physical game. So he was physical with me as well and now I had a few looks there were pretty good. They didn't go in, but overall, you know, he did a good job of contesting my jump shots and when did I drive, they had shot blockers back there.
Q. For both of you, wonder if you could just share with us your emotions.
SHELDEN WILLIAMS: Well, for me it's -- any time that you lose a game, I mean, you feel bad about that particular incident and in this case there isn't any redos or makeovers, so it's pretty much it for us. And it's a great deal of disappointment, but it kind of came with the way that we lost and everything, so I guess we both, I mean we have to look back on what we did throughout our whole course of our careers here and remember those moments.
J.J. REDICK: Well, I'm obviously really disappointed. And this definitely hurts.
The past four years have just been pretty amazing and I didn't want that to end. And really I just, it's been such a thrill and a blessing for me to play for Duke and to have the teammates and the coaches that I've had, I really consider myself one of the luckiest people. That doesn't really help the pain I'm feeling right now, but I'll be able to look back like Shelden said and be proud of what we have accomplished.
Q. For both players, your younger teammates in the locker room were just saying how they hurt more for you two and for Dock and Lee than they do themselves tonight. How does that make you feel and also, is there any kind of sense of melancholy or unfulfillment that you didn't get a championship in the four years?
J.J. REDICK: Well, they're great kids and it doesn't surprise me that they would say that. I know when I was an underclassman I felt bad when we lost my sophomore year for Chris Duhon because I felt he deserved a national championship. Or another one, rather.
But they're just -- they're great kids and they have all got bright futures and yeah, that's it.
SHELDEN WILLIAMS: I'm kind of going on what he said. Our teammates, they're a great group of guys and it doesn't surprise me for them to say that. They have been unselfish like that from -- during the whole course of the year. And they're a great group of guys and I expect a lot from them in the next year and the upcoming years.
Q. You've reached this point of a season four times now, J.J., under I guess difficult circumstances, how difficult, how hard is it to look at this and how kind of -- the kind of season you had and to get to this stage and maybe not show the J.J. Redick who has been here all season?
J.J. REDICK: Oh, certain things are in your control and certain things are out of your control. I'm not a great athlete and LSU has great athletes. And it was just a very physical game and obviously I'm disappointed in the way I played. But I've had a good year. Shelden's had a good year. We have had a pretty outstanding year as a team. I'll be all right.
Q. J.J., even after the Thomas did you think that made it 57-54, did you feel like you were still going to pull it out? When did you sense that it was that, that that was out of hope?
J.J. REDICK: Well, we had the ball there and I think Thomas made a big block on Greg. I think that was the possession. Greg made a good drive and Thomas just made a heck of a play. When they got the rebound, I still felt that there was enough time for us to, because they're not a great free throw shooting team so I knew they would give us at least one miss and we just couldn't get those rebounds. We did a -- you know, just, again, those are what if plays as well.
MODERATOR: That will conclude it for the student-athletes. We'll excuse them and questions for Coach.
Q. This senior class has accomplished so much. What are your emotions that they're leaving and that this is their last game?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, first, it's a bad night here, I can't get the mics to work. But I thought that something was wrong there.
For right now, for me, it's to make sure that these kids don't walk out of here blaming themselves, and looking only at the loss. I've always said that you want to end the season where you're cutting down the nets or you're crying in your locker room. And our kids were all crying in our locker room. And they, they have been a great group of kids. And led by these seniors. And this is a team that had a lot of seniors and a lot of freshmen.
And so it put a heavier load on those seniors and especially these two kids. And I just thought that they were two of the best kids I've coached in my 26 years. Sean, Lee, Pat, and Ross, the other seniors, they all did a good job. We had a great year. 32 wins, 4 losses. Championships. Finished the regular season number one. I know we're not -- we weren't ever a dominant team. We knew that. And so things have to go right for us to win. And tonight LSU just, one, they -- J.J. made a good point, it's the first team we played all year that could really block shots like that. It wasn't just their own the ball defense or off the ball, their ability to block shots made us change some shots inside. And I don't know if we have ever, we ever adjusted to that.
Q. On similar occasions in the past you've described that the difficult part of this is that it stops. You can't work with this group anymore.
Q. Is that the same tonight?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it is, but, I don't feel like crying, I feel happy. Not that we lost, but I feel happy that I've had them. I mean how lucky. We have been really fortunate with this group, these seniors, to have four years like that.
But the last 20 years, our kids have averaged a Final Four, three NCAA wins a year, I mean they have been and incredible group these -- for me I've been lucky. And I've been really lucky with these guys. And so I find it hard to cry right now. I found myself saying a prayer afterwards saying, thanks. Just thanks for letting me have this group again. And then whatever happens, you can handle wins or losses. But the quality of people your with, that determines the experience. And I've had a hell of an experience with these guys. I'm a little bit surprised really that I'm feeling like this. Because -- but I just feel very lucky.
Q. What would you blame for tonight's loss?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: I don't blame anything, son, I'm not a blamer. I take responsibility. I think we all could have done a little bit better job, but the other team forces you into those situations. And the game is a game of adjustments. And I don't think we ever completely adjusted to the physicality of this game. And so they did. And they won and we shake their hands and that's part of being a competitor. So there's no excuses or no blame.
Q. Can you describe your decision to, with I think nine seconds left to pull Shelden and J.J. out?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it's an obvious decision. I mean, come on.
Q. To honor them I'm sure?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, it's just to make sure that they get a chance and for our fans and not just our fans, but basketball fans at that moment to say thanks. And for me to do that, that's an easy thing to do. And it's obviously it's a very appropriate thing to do.
Q. You talked about their shot blocking, do you think your guys struggled from the outside allowing them to pack it in a little bit more?
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we didn't, you know, if you're not hitting, they can pack it in. So we didn't shoot well, but I thought that at the very start of the game we had a couple fast breaks and we tried lobs and they blocked two lobs. And we talked about that before the game. That if we have a fast break, don't throw a lob, try to get something strong to the basket. Because one of the things that they do is they chase down, they chase you down real well. If you get an advantage, they will chase you down real well. They don't give up on plays. LSU is a team that doesn't give up on plays. And they can make a play when you don't think that they can make a play. And I thought they did that early and it knocked us back a little bit.
MODERATOR: I guess that will do it.
COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: That's it. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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