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March 22, 2008

Gerald Henderson

Mike Krzyzewski

Jon Scheyer


COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I want to congratulate West Virginia. Bob's been a great friend and he's one of the terrific coaches in our profession. His team played an outstanding game, especially on the boards.
I thought our team played really hard, but we did not -- especially defensively, but we didn't complete the defensive exchange. They got, what, 20 -- 19 offensive rebounds. To me that was the story of the game is second and third chances.
The MVP of the game was Mazzulla. He had a triple- double and played really strong and got them multiple exchanges on the offensive end.
In saying that, I'm proud of my guys. I love coaching these guys. I have great kids and they gave us a great season. It's tough to end on a loss, but the season was a really rewarding one and a happy one for me. I really loved working with these kids.
We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Can you expound on the offensive rebounding, especially the undersized players were able to work hard and get those boards. Talk about what it is that makes them so good at that.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: As opposed to the oversized players we have? It's two small teams. If we rebounded, we would have been the undersized that rebounded. We're both undersized.
GERALD HENDERSON: Like coach said, really it didn't come down to size, just about checking your guy out. We didn't do a good job of that tonight.

Q. Can you talk about what was going on the second half that seemed to be different than the first half. You seemed to have it going. From your viewpoint on the court what was going on as you were falling behind?
JON SCHEYER: You know, I think they came out really strong. Actually, I think both teams came out really strong in the second half. We had some good opportunities. We had some good looks in the beginning of the second half and they just didn't fall in.
There were a couple of plays where they ended up getting scores off of it and you could see their confidence built up a little bit. On the other hand, I think we weren't as patient as we were in the first half. We maybe forced some shots or went a little too quickly, but I think that's what happened.

Q. A lot have been calling Joe Alexander the best in the nation over the past couple of weeks. Can you expand on that, how hard was the match-up against him today?
GERALD HENDERSON: Definitely, he's a heck of a player. In our preparation there was a lot of emphasis on keeping him from scoring. He ended up with 22 off of 22 shots, which -- that's not bad defense for us. That's how we look at that. But he can definitely score the ball.

Q. The second half they shot four of five from a long range. How were they able to get so many open looks from you guys?
JON SCHEYER: I think they got a lead on us, and at that point we started really trying to make something happen. They got into the lane. They had two or three guys on the perimeter that you pretty much can't leave, because if you do they'll knock down 3's.
For us, I think they got -- for the most part in the half court we did a pretty good job. But once we got behind we tried to gamble a little bit and they got in the lane and we over-helped a little bit and they got some open looks.

Q. What was DeMarcus's physical state, he seemed sick the last couple of days, and what do you think he struggled with?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think he probably struggled with trying too hard. He's the only senior on our team and really one of the main reasons we've won 28 games this year. I think sometimes at the end a person who cares sometimes puts too much on themselves. I think the last couple of weeks I think he's done that.
It's just the fact that -- he's had a great year and he didn't have a real good game tonight or this afternoon. But the kid cares as much as he can. It's one of those things. I feel badly for him.

Q. Will you think about this one awhile; did you see this one coming? Was there any holdover from the Belmont game in the tournament earlier?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, I think you could see from our team starting the ballgame. We had a great day of practice yesterday, good meetings. We didn't put the ball in the basket. Like I thought we played better than a five-point lead in the first half. And then we started the second half and we scored -- we had a break and we didn't get -- we missed an open three, could have gone up 12.
No matter how well or how hard you're playing, you've got to put the ball in the basket, and we didn't do that today. We had, I think, good looks, good things right around the basket. We didn't have real good finishes.
Our kids were really ready to play, the bench, the locker room. They're just real disappointed because it didn't translate into that type of -- into a winning performance. So I feel badly for them because they care a lot.

Q. From what you've seen of West Virginia early in the year, how much do you think they improved in the last few games?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: First of all, Bob, this is his first year there. I just think they know each other well now. Bob's system, he's got good players. They just looked very comfortable with one another.
Alexander, even though he took 22 shots to make 22 points, he puts a lot of pressure on you. He has that star quality that in certain exchange where you need to score, you need to get fouled or whatever, he can get you a shot and wants to do that.
And the rest of the guys are really good players. Ruoff hits open shots. The real story, though, is Mazzulla. That kid was fabulous. He looked like a mini Jason Kidd out there, getting rebounds and assists and points and toughness, not to overshadow other kids on their team. But the star on that court today was No. 3.
I told him that when we shook hands. To see a kid who doesn't start give that kind of performance in the NCAA Tournament is remarkable. That's what makes the tournament so good, too, you get to see these kids do that.

Q. From your point of view what was the difference between the first half and the second half going down the stretch?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Not so much going down the stretch. They had two big 3's at the end of the shot clock when we had a six-point lead. When we had the lead we had good opportunities to score and increase the lead. And if you don't, the other team feels like we've got a chance. You don't put that game pressure on them.
Ruoff's three at the end of the clock, there was a question of open looks, we didn't give hardly any open looks. They only hit four 3's, and one was falling away at the end of the shot clock. Our three-point defense was great. But those two 3's were huge. It seemed to change the game, those two 3's changed the game. And we had open looks.
We rely on three- point shooting, we're five for 22. Glad my guys took them and I didn't think they were bad, but we needed to shoot a better percentage and finish a little bit better.

Q. Did Mazzulla show up on tape; did you know what he was capable of and was he better than you thought?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, he's better than Bobby thought. Not to put words in his mouth or whatever.
No, we knew he was good, being more of a driver, tough, really good athlete, tough kid. But it seemed for awhile there he just got so many rebounds. Like if they played lacrosse, he'd be the guy on the faceoff, and whenever there was a loose ball or a scrum, all of a sudden, look, No. 3. And he was just the story. I think he's the difference maker in this game, there's no question about it.

Q. For all the disappointment today at losing, when you look back on the season will you think 28 and 6, that's a pretty good year for this team?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, that's a great season. I told our kids afterwards, the last game, you always have to look at the full body of work. And this team was a lot of fun and great to work with, a young group. A little bit undersized -- sorry -- I know we look bigger than we actually are, but we had a great year. I'm proud of our guys. And we lost to a team that's playing really good basketball and is a good group of kids and played their butts off.

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