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March 26, 2010
Duke Â– 70
Purdue - 57
THE MODERATOR: Coach, your opening comments.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we beat a heck of a team tonight. My hat goes off to the Purdue Boilermakers, Matt and his team. Boy, they play so hard. I mean, really hard.
I thought for the first 17 minutes of the game they were playing -- even though we were playing hard, they were playing harder than we were. But then the rest of the game we either played as hard or harder than them. So I'm proud of my team.
You saw two teams really competing out there tonight. Our execution in the second half was terrific. Overall, the rebounding was the key to the ballgame, especially the defensive boards. All three of my perimeter guys came up with big, big buckets and free throws.
I thought this is an example of a game someone doesn't lose. You know, we had to really win this game. You know, we had to really win this game because Purdue's effort was a winning effort. So you can ask questions of our guys.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Looking back at UCONN, Virginia Tech, some of those games, is tonight's game really a game that you've been training all year to win, this style? This kind of game that you might not have won in the past?
JON SCHEYER: Yeah. Well, it was just a hard game. Like coach said, they played really hard and they came out right away, and you could feel them on defense. You know, we've been in some tough games throughout the year, some really tough games. So when we look at each other, we know what we need to do as a team. Our defensive rebounding is a key for us. We want to make our presence felt, too. So that's something we've learned throughout the year.
Q. If you could address it, it seemed as though they were doing a great job of being there on the catch early in the game. In the second half it looked like you guys made more of a concerted effort. Your guys are going to drive to the basket. How much was that a key for you guys, especially for you, Jon, when maybe your jumpshot wasn't falling?
JON SCHEYER: Yeah. Well, I thought they did a good job at first really rushing us. And they stood us up at first. You know, we didn't catch the ball strong. They set us back a little bit. I think in the second half we did a better job of just attacking. We moved the ball a little bit better, and set screens and set up our screens better. That was the big key.
In the first half I think we just would pass the ball and watch each other a little bit. In the second half we got some movement and we made strong moves.
KYLE SINGLER: Yeah. I think we just took care of the ball better in the second half. We didn't turn it over as much. I thought Nolan did a great job of really attacking the basket and coming up with big buckets.
Q. Yesterday you talked about you were aware of the team reputation for the meltdown. That you guys were on a mission --
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't know what a "meltdown" is. What is a meltdown?
Q. Well, he had said --
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, he didn't say that. Somebody said it. I want to know what a "meltdown" is.
Q. The team not doing good in postseason play.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Somebody losing?
Q. Yeah. That's right.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't know what "meltdown" is.
Q. I apologize. You said you guys were on a mission. I want to know what you thought about what you did today and what the next step is, and how you proceed from here?
JON SCHEYER: You know, for us, we just, we're hungry. We need to keep preparing like we've been preparing. And we know each step is harder. And we're playing some great teams. We just need to prepare really hard. You know, just, yeah, we need to prepare.
Q. I thought Zoubek had a couple of pretty brutal picks. Could you talk about how he sets those up and if you ever run face first into his chest in practice and what that feels like.
KYLE SINGLER: I actually have a couple of stitches on my face because of Brian. Brian's a big, physical guy. He's very valuable to our team. And one of the things that he does well is gets in the way of the other team's players and he frees our perimeter up very well. And, you know, he does simple things very well. And I think that's what makes him pretty successful.
JON SCHEYER: I actually have some stitches too from Brian. He's such a big body. You know, it's great. He's a player you love to play with, and you would hate to play against. He's really physical. Such a big body. Even if he doesn't mean to, when you run into him, you really feel it. He's such a great guy to play with.
Q. You guys were mentioning just now about the physical play they put out. Do you guys feel like you matched it? Maybe was this the most physical play, physical game you guys have had all year?
KYLE SINGLER: I'm not sure. You know, it's tough to compare games just because of the tournament. It's different. It's a neutral court. You don't really feel the crowd as much and that plays a part in it, too. But Purdue plays hard. They're a very physical team. They're tough. And they played for 40 minutes. So, you know, you can't really say that they were the hardest team that we played against.
Q. With a team that's physical like Purdue, it's obviously easy to get frustrated on the offensive end. What were you guys really stressing to do to make sure that didn't happen?
KYLE SINGLER: Play strong, pretty simple. I think if you just picture yourself catching and finishing strong, things take care of itself. You don't turn the ball over as much, and I think that was the main key was just playing strong.
Q. When you fell you seemed to grimace with your wrist again. Was it just momentary or are you still feeling some pain in it?
KYLE SINGLER: I'm fine. I took some Advil, so I think it cured it or was it -- I don't know what it was. It was some medicine that helped.
Q. Your hard work has paid off. You're one game from the Final Four now. How does that feel?
JON SCHEYER: It feels good, but we really can't relax at all. This is -- it's the spot we want to be still. This is a good step for us, and a really tough win. I think it's really important to refocus. Really, we can't enjoy these wins right now. After the season we can look back and enjoy them. But for us, we want to keep moving forward.
Q. Could you go through the last maybe three possessions of the first half, and how big was that in kind of not only getting the lead but kind of establishing something good to happen before you went into the locker room for halftime?
KYLE SINGLER: Very important. We were struggling in the first half. We had no rhythm. We just weren't playing how we wanted to play and how we have been playing. So it's very important that we did something in the end of the first half. Made some plays.
Nolan got a bucket to put us up one. I thought it was a big boost even though it might not have felt like it. But being up one at the half and just knowing that we have 20 more minutes to play was, you know, a big boost for our team.
Q. You mentioned earlier about this game being a neutral court. I don't know how much you paid attention to the first game with Baylor and the crowd that's likely here Sunday in green and gold. Do you feel like possibly it's a lot less of a neutral court field on Sunday with Baylor being here?
KYLE SINGLER: I'm not sure. I thought we had a good showing as Duke fans. I don't know. I didn't really see the game that Baylor played.
It should be a fun game to play. I'm excited.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Krzyzewski.
Q. I was wondering if you could talk about what you guys did offensively in the second half. It looked like you guys did a good job getting into the lane and finishing close to the basket. Kind of jamming it down there when you had to.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I thought we spent most of the first half being stood up. And I didn't think we set up our men well before we received the ball. Like we were just kind of getting the ball. Their intensity on defense was right in on us, so we didn't catch it strong because we didn't work as well to get open.
Whether it was on a screen off the ball or the dribble hand-off, we talked a lot at halftime about setting your man up. So then when you would come around, you'd catch it with your feet outside of your shoulders and your arms out instead of your feet within your shoulders.
Even though I didn't think their intensity waned at all, but our preparation was just much better than it was in the first half. I have to really commend the two big guys, Miles and Brian. They had 21 rebounds for one position tonight. That's a lot of rebounds. They were never in the game at the same time I don't think. No, they weren't. They were never in at the same time. To get 21 rebounds from that position was just such a key factor in the ballgame.
Q. Kyle was asked about the deal at the end of the first half, but also that segment and Nolan got like 7 straight points that kind of finally gave you guys a little bit of a cushion. How big were those two periods in the game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, the last two or three minutes of the first half were huge because I thought we played better than they did. Going into halftime, I mean, it was nice going in with a one-point lead, but the fact that we could play better than them tonight.
Again, you say, you should do that. But once you're in it, it's tough to turn things around when you're being knocked back. I thought the whole second half -- I mean, they didn't stop, but we just played stronger in the second half. We opened up. We set screens better. Then our perimeter got just a little bit more room.
We didn't think we could get to the basket before the game, but once we started to spread them just a little bit, we got to the basket a few times. Kyle was right, Nolan's spurt there was probably the biggest spurt of the game. When Jon hit his three, you know, he hasn't shot the ball well, but he came up, I think, with 18 points. All of his points were in the second half, I think, or most of them.
Q. As far as adjustments your guys made at the half, what do you think they did really well? Also, what do you think needs to change by Sunday?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: You know, I haven't watched Baylor at all. All I know is that they're very athletic and they play a tremendous zone. They have great length. So we're going to play against an entirely different defensive system. You know, tomorrow at the press conference after I'm prepared, I'll be happy to answer that a little bit more, you know, because I -- I have an assistant who looks ahead, but I don't look ahead. I'm on that one game.
I know they have two great guards. Actually, one of the best two guards in the country in Dunn. So we'll just, as soon as we leave here, I'll start watching them and trying to get ready for them and give our kids some rest, get them some fluids.
Nolan was cramping up a little bit, so he just has to get a lot of fluids in him. He played through. I was really proud of him because he played through some things, you know, tonight.
Q. If you can, just talk about going down the stretch at the end of the first half and that 7-0 run.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I thought our defense was good throughout the first half. You know, we held them to 23 points. If we could just be strong on the offensive end, we felt that we could get a lead. Not necessarily pull away from them, but get a lead.
Our kids at the end of the last media timeout for the half, I just thought we changed a little bit, for whatever reasons we changed, and we were able to implement that change on the court. It was just a little bit more strength in our movements. And the out of bounds. Kyle -- you thought you were going to have a dunk, and the ball gets jammed. You start thinking this is going to be crazy. But anyway, we were able to score.
Q. You mentioned Jon just a second ago. How rare is it to have a kid to go through a game and a half, and be shooting so poorly, yet have the self-confidence to take over in the second half as he did.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: He's an outstanding player and competitor. So instead of feeling sorry for himself or saying it's not my day, you know, which a lot of people do, Jon doesn't do that. That's why even in some of our games during the year where he didn't shoot well during the game, at the end of the game like the ACC Championship game, the Miami game. I mean, you can go down about five or six games. But at the end of it, he made big shots because he understood his responsibility to the team.
Jon's a terrific kid and player. He didn't allow that to get him down. Really, he had such a bad shooting first half, to go along with the last one, I think it would have defeated a lot of kids, and it didn't defeat him.
Q. Can you just talk about Chris Kramer and the effect that he has on the game even though you look at the stat sheet and he's got no points?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, I think Chris is probably the key guy as far as the attitude, the tremendous attitude that the Purdue team has. You know, it starts with him. He's a fighter. He plays so hard. He plays to win all the time. I just think he's been a tremendous leader.
I really admire the Purdue team. He was the last guy I shook hands with, and he was crying. Again, I don't know him personally, but I do admire him. I just told him, son, your team and you played your butts off. You've had a great, great career. You should be proud of it.
So every coach -- I know I would like to have him on my team. He just makes you better. He makes you better.
End of FastScripts