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April 3, 2010

Mike Krzyzewski

Jon Scheyer

Nolan Smith


Duke – 78
West Virginia - 57

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you would, a couple of opening remarks, please.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, our team played really well tonight. Thought our defense was outstanding. Our care for the ball was excellent, to get 20 assists and only six turnovers. These two guys had 12 assists and no turnovers. All three of our perimeter guys had outstanding shooting games.
So I thought we were difficult to guard as a result of that. And we guarded well. Zoubek really asserted himself on the board. Some of his offensive rebounds really turned into, you know, big plays for us when he kicked it out.
So, you know, we beat a really good team. And I thought we played an outstanding game.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. There's so much talk coming into this game about how you were going to play against their zone. They didn't play much of the zone. Did you prepare for them also not to play zone? Can you tell me how you managed to be so successful offensively?
JON SCHEYER: Well, we prepared for anything. We had a game plan if they did go to zone. And the couple times they did, I thought we attacked it pretty well. And the against their man, I thought we did a good job, too. We had a good week of preparation. I thought we were really well prepared and we felt comfortable no matter what they did.

Q. Nolan, you stepped your game up during the post-season. Is there anything you've done fundamentally different or you like the brighter lights?
NOLAN SMITH: I haven't done anything different. I'm just trying to make sure that it's not Jon, Kyle, and Lance's last game. Just trying to give it my all and. We all play until the last day. That's my main focus.

Q. You have a chance to now win your fourth national championship in a 19-year span. Can you talk about what it's like to know you have that opportunity coming up?
JON SCHEYER: Well, it's my first. You know, it's the program's fourth. We're part of it, obviously.
But, you know, anytime you come to Duke and there's so many great players that played before you, great teams, you know, it's great to be able to add something on. That would mean a lot to us from that aspect, too.

Q. Is that as well as you've played since maybe the Carolina game? Is that as well as you've played all year?
NOLAN SMITH: Uhm, we definitely came out and played a very complete game. You know, the team was ready. We knew it was going to be a 40-minute war. Everybody played a great game.
The main thing now is to get on to the next play.

Q. Jon, you grew up in Chicago, not too far from Indianapolis. Were you aware of Butler's basketball program when you were a high school player?
JON SCHEYER: You know, not a whole lot. I followed basketball. I was always a big basketball fan, so I knew some, Butler. All the teams around here. But I wouldn't say I'm very knowledgeable about it, though.

Q. Nolan, I know you're thinking about all the games, your job, what you have to do. You're getting a chance to play a game that your dad played in. How much did that mean to you?
NOLAN SMITH: It crosses my mind a little bit. But I'm playing for myself and I'm playing for my Duke team. You know, I let my mom do all that thinking about my father's footsteps, all that. I'm just playing for Duke basketball now.

Q. I assume you're college basketball fans. Can you appreciate why the country would find Monday night's championship game so intriguing? Do you find it intriguing?
NOLAN SMITH: Yeah, definitely. You know, it's definitely going to be a big story, I'm sure. People calling Butler the Cinderella and, of course, Duke the big-time program. But it's going to be a fight. You know, both teams are very good. I just can't wait to play.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Let me interrupt. It's really tough. They just got through with a really tough game. They're trying to answer about the West Virginia game right now. They'll find it very intriguing after we give them the scouting report and tell them they've won 25 in a row.

Q. Jon, there's been some talk that domes are hard places to shoot in. You shot the ball so well. Was there any problem with the background at all?
JON SCHEYER: No. You know, we've had a couple days to shoot. The dome, I felt being in Houston and here now, I felt it's a really good shooting background. I felt really comfortable at both places.
So for me, hasn't been an issue. But I love shooting here.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. We'll continue with questions for Coach Krzyzewski.

Q. Can you appreciate what the story is? I know you have a dog in this fight, so it's a bit different for you, but can you talk about what Butler has been able to accomplish and this Cinderella story?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think they're one of the best teams in the country. I think Cinderella would be if somebody had eight, nine losses and pulled some upsets, stuff like that. I don't know for sure, I think they've won 25 in a row. Yeah, they've beaten Syracuse and Kansas State and Michigan State tonight. I don't really consider them Cinderella.
You know, two of those kids played on our national team and won the Gold Medal in the under-19s. One was a starting guard, one was one of the outstanding players. So they're accomplished players. I think they're a very outstanding basketball team who, because Butler hasn't been to the Final Four, creates that Cinderella thing.
But they're one of the best teams in the country, or else they wouldn't be playing in the national championship. They've earned it. I mean, to beat those two teams. They probably had the toughest road, you know. I think Syracuse is as good as anybody. Kansas State was playing lights out. Those were two great wins for Butler.

Q. Can you talk about the fundamentals of Nolan's game, strengths and weaknesses.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Nolan guards the ball well. For a little bit in the first half, he wasn't. But he's our best guy as far as breaking somebody down at the end of a clock or when we're just running motion, and we give him the freedom to follow his instincts. He makes really good plays, not just shots. He's very good with the ball. And he's very good on the ball.
He hit some threes tonight, which he's a good three-point shooter. But they were like when we kicked it back out and he's ready to shoot. Nolan has played as well as anybody, especially in this tournament. Nolan is one of the best players. He's an outstanding player.

Q. You've won three national titles, a Gold Medal in the Olympics. From a coaching perspective, is it as gratifying when you have a player like Zoubek chip away year after year, being a factor throughout the tournament?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think you hit on a really good point. Seeing Brian play, the injuries he had, he broke his foot twice during his career, you know, for him to be playing such great basketball. He had a terrific game tonight. It's unbelievably gratifying because that's what college is about. College isn't about what I've done before. College is about what they're doing right now.
So, yeah, we're all into the moment of their moment. It's kind of like Jon said. These kids can't identify with a fourth national championship, but they can identify with going for their first and their only one. So I think it's more important for us to stay in their moment.
But Zoub's is doing great.

Q. You've said all along this is a very good team, not a great team. Is this becoming a great team? How satisfying is it to see a group get better with each post-season game they play?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, I just think we keep getting better. We've gotten better throughout the year. We got better this week. It's a really good team and it can do something great on Monday night. That's what we're going to try to do.

Q. Mentioning this will be the first one for these guys. Last couple years probably not having the tournament success anybody would have wanted, how have they handled this every step of the way? Like you said, this is Duke, but for them this is uncharted territory.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I wasn't displeased with how they've handled things their first few years. Their freshman year, these seniors, they were all freshmen and sophomores, and they were 22-11, fought like crazy, and they made the tournament. They were worn out.
And then the second year, they won 28 games. West Virginia beat us. Last year they won 30 games, and we lost, Villanova I thought was as good as anybody. Well, North Carolina was a step above. But other than North Carolina, I thought Villanova was a great team.
So I wasn't disappointed in our team because they gave me their best those three years. They're giving me their best this year, so...
They're a great group of kids.

Q. You primarily got here by defense and rebounding. You haven't shot that well. You shot well tonight. Coming into the Final Four, how concerned were you about your outside shooting?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it's like a plus, especially if all three of the guys are doing it. Usually two of them give you points. A lot of it has to do with the defensive emphasis of another team. They might try to take one guy out of it.
But today when all three of them, they worked so well together today. They really were very good tonight. To score that many points against West Virginia is a lot. But we hit shots, I mean, to go 13 for 25 from three is very good.
The other thing, Jon said about the dome, a really good thing for the Final Four is coming in here on Thursday and having a practice, a closed practice, where you get 90 minutes. That was excellent. Then you get the open practice for 50. Then you get a shoot-around today for an hour. So it really gives the teams a chance to get acclimated to a dome.
Then we played in a dome last weekend, so we had even more of that.

Q. You obviously played well defensively tonight. Can you specifically talk about the job Kyle did on Da'Sean Butler. Touch a little bit on their a physical team, known for physical play. You matched that and perhaps exceeded that.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: We thought the matchup of Kyle and Butler was the key matchup for us. Kyle, I hope he's not hurt badly. But even up until the time he was hurt, I thought we still played very well against him. He can dominate a game. Kyle not only played outstanding defense, but he played outstanding offense. Singer had a great game tonight because he had the toughest matchup.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts

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