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November 22, 2011

Mike Krzyzewski

Austin Rivers


Duke – 82
Michigan – 75

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, if you'd like to start off with an opening statement.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Yeah.  It was a great game.  I mean, they're an outstanding basketball team.  They're very difficult to defend.  I thought defensively in the first half we did a great job.  The second half, you know, they just come at you.
And we were able to weather the storm in the second half.  I thought there was a lot of game pressure when they came back.  And I like the fact that they came back against us and then we responded.  And then we handled the end‑of‑game situation well where we didn't spit up the ball.  And we made our free throws.  We had a working margin, which thank goodness we had the working margin, because they never give up.
But I'm proud of our guys.  Six games in 11 days.  And I thought we were pretty fresh today.  I thought Austin made some really big plays for us and did a great job on Hardaway, especially in the first half.
But, again, we played a little bit better than they did.  We played really well.  And they played well.  And we just played a little bit better.  Any questions?

Q.  Austin, can you talk about how you and Seth combined for 40 points, how you're sort of able to stay one step ahead of Michigan's back court of Burke and Hardaway?
AUSTIN RIVERS:  Basically we were just trying to be aggressive.  Our teammates did a great job of finding us.  And we tried to stay aggressive, kept pushing it.  Kept trying to get rebounds.  From there we tried to push it and run offense, and me and Seth are starting to get a real good relationship with each other on and off the court which is helping us and helping us trust each other on the court.  So it's helping us.

Q.  Mike, could you talk about what Austin just mentioned there about how Seth and he seemed to have a working relationship and they complement each other out there?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Again, they just need time together.  Practice only does so much.  You don't develop a really good relationship on the court until you're in real good competition.  So that's one of the reasons we went to China and Dubai, to give these guys a chance to get to know each other.  And it's why we've scheduled such a difficult schedule these first seven, eight games.  And we ended at Ohio State next Tuesday.  And it's probably as tough‑‑ I think it's tougher than anybody in the country right now.
And so that's how you develop it.  I mean, they're both natural scorers.  They're not points.  But they're very gifted.  And if they learn how to use their gifts together, then we're going to be better.
And we saw that a little bit more today.

Q.  Either of you or both of you, talk about the role of 3‑point shooting in this game.  In the second half you were at about 60percent, and that just seemed to kill all of their rallies.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We hit some amazing 3s, but they were good shots.  And we missed some good ones, too.  And I thought our guys really shared the ball well.  And we didn't turn it over.  We attacked their 1‑3‑1 well.
When you have Ryan Kelly and you basically have four shooters, that's a weapon for us when someone‑‑ I think it's difficult for somebody to play zone against us, because the three guys that we start on the perimeter can all shoot.  And then Ryan can really shoot.
And Mason's such a good passer.  So offensively we can be very good.  We just have to be better defensively.  And today we were better defensively.

Q.  Can you talk about what the key was to the 9‑0 start?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We hit shots and they didn't hit shots.  I thought the way we defended was probably a little bit different than what they would have expected, not that it was a huge surprise.  But we've been more in passing lanes and stuff like that, and what we tried to do is not spread ourselves out, and once they got the ball to a wing, we wanted to down it and keep the ball to a side as much as possible.  And they reacted well after a while with Burke's ball screen.
We didn't defend that.  And, I mean, John had counters.  But to start off with, it's something they haven't seen yet.

Q.  What's it like to coach the sons of NBA veterans?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Good, because they're good.  You always love coaching good players.  And especially sons of guys who have played in the pros should have a greater love for the game, because they've grown up in the game.
I mean, he's grown up in the game.  So he loves the game.  I don't have to teach them how to love the game.  Seth has done that and Chris Collins, the guys we've had, it's been a good thing.
And their fathers have always allowed us to just coach them.  They haven't said my kid needs to do this or whatever.  Not ever, ever has that been the case.

Q.  You said yesterday you weren't quite sure about Michigan until you watched tape.  You knew Burke was a good player.  What was your impression?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  He's really good.  Such tremendous poise for a freshman.  The thing he has going for him, he's got veterans around him.  You have two of the tougher kids with your two seniors.  Novak and Douglass are just tough competitors, and they can shoot the heck out of the ball.
And then Hardaway is a gifted player.  He's going to be a pro.  He's one of the best players in the country.  And you put veterans around a gifted point guard and he's going to feel even more confident.  And he handles it well.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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