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March 19, 2008

Mike Krzyzewski

DeMarcus Nelson

Jon Scheyer


Q. How do you think you guys are perceived nationally, when people think of Duke what do you think they think?
DeMARCUS NELSON: I think the team is recognized as a good team. But at the same time I think that our success this year has been overlooked a little bit. I think our team hasn't probably got the full credit that we probably deserve for some of the things we've done throughout the year, which is totally fine for us. It keeps us motivated. It keeps us hungry.
Right now we're in the part of the season where it's a six-game season, you have to take each and every game with a sole entity and we'll be fine.
JON SCHEYER: I don't think when we're looked at nationally, I don't think anybody looks at us and is really intimidated or scared when they play us. First of all because we don't have any really big guys. We're a small team overall. That's one thing people might have a little more confidence playing against us.
But I think definitely they know how hard we're going to play and how much we expect to win, and I think those are things people also expect.

Q. Just curious, you expect to be part of the Yankees of college basketball, are you surprised how many people are picking against you, do you view it differently in a sense?
JON SCHEYER: To be honest with you, I haven't looked at people and their pace for the tournament. Last year I was curious to see how people viewed us. This year it's been -- we've been on a mission where we don't care what anybody else thinks. We know how good we can be going into this tournament. We understood a lot of people had us picked to win, that's fine, we had to take it game by game.

Q. How much do you feel like your game has developed by virtue of being a four-year player. How much do you feel like the experience helps you come tournament time?
DeMARCUS NELSON: I think my game has developed a lot. Coming from high school to college you have to learn how to be successful at this level, at the highest level. So you have to adjust and figure out what works for you individually and for your team.
With this year, with the success that's come this year, it's brought a couple of things, with the system we run, with the penetration we keep, the floor spacing and using different angles for ball screens. And also, my teammates have been very good, everybody is playing to everybody's strengths. Jon being the shooter, spotting up on the floor, stretches the defense out for me to get in the lane. If defense collapses he gets over shot.
I think the way we play really plays to our strengths. And I think the experience of four years will help in this tournament. This is my last tournament. I will definitely go out winning the tournament, and that's going to be the end result of my goal. If we don't come to this tournament expecting to win, we don't belong in the tournament. My sense of urgency I have, I want to spread to my teammates and make sure everyone is ready to play.

Q. Can you explain what last week was like? How much, if you could compare, how you feel physically today with one year ago right before you won BCU?
DeMARCUS NELSON: Last year was good for us how we prepared for our conference tournament. It was a way for everyone to feel a part of what we were doing. Everyone practiced extremely well for the conference tournament and those two games we played well. Unfortunately, we just matched up against a team, Clemson, who played extremely well that day also and they beat us.
But going into the tournament this year, I think we're a lot deeper. Everyone is confident of their abilities and how they can contribute to help the team. I think it's a night and day difference how we feel physically and emotionally going into the tournament this year and last. Last year going into the tournament I could say that we all were pretty worn out with the course of the season, the ups and downs, emotionally getting up for every game. It was a physical and emotional season for us. By the time we stepped into the tournament we pretty much were dead.

Q. Can you assess having -- I guess you have the scouting report on Belmont now. We know they take a lot of 3's. Do they attempt them by the same means, dribble drive, kick, penetrate, pass back out; what's their philosophy and how does it compare to you?
JON SCHEYER: The way they get their 3's is different than the way we get our 3's. They use each other a lot by passing the ball a lot and making good cuts. So for a lot of teams because they shoot 3's, they can get easy buckets with them. There are a lot of catch and shoot guys.
When they put so many guys on the court that can shoot the ball, it's tough because you can't help too much. With them they play motion, they screen, they make some good cuts and that's how they get their 3's.
With us, we're more of a -- we'll drive and kick, and if that's not there, we'll do it again. So the way we get our 3's is a lot different. But they're definitely a big threat to shoot a 3.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I want to apologize for my voice. I'm fighting something, and I'm not winning. We're healthy, outside of my predicament here.
We're very, very excited to play against Belmont. Belmont is really as well-coached a team as I've seen this year. I've watched a few of their games on tape. Coach Byrd does a good job with his kids. They're winners. Very well conceived offense, and they play hard. They shoot more 3's than we do, and we shoot a lot of them, and they make them.
So we prepared hard for them because we respect who they are and the fact that they've -- this is their third straight NCAA appearance, which is -- that's a heck of a thing.
I'm ready if you have any questions.

Q. In days leading up to the tournament and today what do you tell your team in the locker room?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: What do I tell my team?

Q. In the locker room.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Just to play hard and have fun and go for it.

Q. Do you talk about the history of Duke and the program?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, sometimes that adds pressure to a team, where you have to try to live up to something that has been really good. They know why they came to Duke. They wanted to play in big games and tomorrow night's a big game.
For our freshman, it's their first NCAA game. The sophomore class, they haven't won a game in the NCAA tournament yet, because we got beat by Virginia Commonwealth last year in the first round. We have a lot of young guys and they should just try to figure out their own identity and just coach this team for what this team is, not for what other teams have been.

Q. Can you explain differences in Belmont's offense, how they generate 3's as opposed to how you generate 3's?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Some of it is similar. We both will shoot in transition. I think both of our teams have really good spacing on the offensive end of the court. If you're not savvy about staying with your man all of a sudden they have it. I actually think they shoot it a little bit quicker than we do. They have more catch and shoot guys than we do. When they hit the post they don't necessarily want a post move, they sometimes go into relocation. They can invert their bigs and littles, and they do that more than we do.

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