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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: GREENSBORO


March 15, 2012


Seth Curry

Mike Krzyzewski

Miles Plumlee


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.¬† The 3‑point shots weren't falling as much during the ACC tournament.¬† How do you feel like the offense is flowing right now?
MILES PLUMLEE:  We have been working on things since Ryan's injury and having a week of practice has really helped.  I think our offense is flowing great now.

Q.¬† The fact that you guys have been here and have had a lot of NCAA experience‑ Miles a lot, and Seth, you played last year‑ can both of you address, does it help prepare you for this kind of thing?¬† Is this different than teams that haven't had the NCAA experience?
SETH CURRY:  I played a few games, so you've got to kind of know what the experience is before you get to the game and how to prepare and stuff like that.  All of us have different roles now, so it's kind of a different type thing we're going through.  So we're kind of taking it as new and it's kind of a fresh thing for us.
MILES PLUMLEE:  The guys that have played on the teams that have gone far, it's a great experience to have going into the tournament.  Just the level of preparation and intense focus it takes to win one game at a time is something I think a lot of guys on our team know and that's what we're planning on doing.

Q.  Could you discuss, both of you, some of the adjustments that you've had to make with Ryan not being available.
MILES PLUMLEE:  First of all, not having him on the floor is spreading the team's defense out with his shooting.  It's changed some of our looks.  Its just we have run a lot of things throughout the year and it's not like we have put in anything too new; it's just different looks, focusing on different actions and getting the floor spread even when we have two bigs in there.
SETH CURRY:  It was kind of tough at the tournament because he got hurt right before.  We were trying to learn on the fly.  But these few practices we had before coming up here this next game, we have really worked on it and put in some things that should be successful without him or with him.

Q.  For both of you, because of the loss of Ryan and the fact that you guys like to spread the floor a lot, how important is it whether you get him back or not to rebound the basketball in order to win tomorrow night and obviously moving forward?
SETH CURRY:  It's always important, we got Mason and Miles playing a lot more together now, that they're going to be huge on the boards for us, so it's going to be big to get inside of them and then dominate the glass when we're taking outside shots.  So that's one of the things you get high percentage shots off, not just hitting the post.
MILES PLUMLEE:  Rebounding's going to be huge for us.  Any time you don't have someone out there like Ryan, you just got to play more physical inside, get more possessions, second shots for our perimeter, and rebounding will be key to do that.

Q.  Can you talk about what it's like playing a team that you guys have probably not even heard of let alone know much about.  Does that make for any more anxiety preparing for somebody that you have no clue about?
SETH CURRY:  I actually seen them play earlier in the year, so I kind of know about them and stuff like that, but our coach do a great job of scouting them and telling us about them all this week.  So we are going to prepare as good as we can for them and we know what they're about.
MILES PLUMLEE:  At Duke, our coaches are great at preparing us for games.  Regardless of the opponent, we respect each and everyone, and we're just ready to play this game.

Q.  What's your guys thoughts on CJ McCollum?
MILES PLUMLEE:  He's obviously a phenomenal scorer, great leader on their team.  We're really going to need to do a great job on him defensively if we want to win this game.
SETH CURRY:¬† From what I seen any time you're Top‑5 in scoring in the country, you're doing a good job no matter what level you're at.¬† So he's a great scorer, he has a lot of responsibility on that team, and we're going to have to come ready to play.

Q.¬† Have you guys‑‑ how are Ryan's spirits right now?¬† Is there any chance he'll play tomorrow?¬† What are your thoughts on that?
MILES PLUMLEE:  I don't know about tomorrow or I don't know the time schedule, but he's been in basketball shoes doing drills with some of our trainers and stuff.  And as far as I can tell, he looks optimistic and the whole team's optimistic.

Q.  Coming in on what's not been the most spectacular part of your season the last three games, how has that really affected your preparation for the tournament?
SETH CURRY:  We really had to look at what we have been doing over those games and make some changes.  So coaches have really been challenging us to do that, make a turn in the right direction.  And hopefully we can do that starting tomorrow.
MILES PLUMLEE:  We watched some film on ourselves and took a good look at what we were doing to lose games, and we just got to get back to winning basketball and what we have done in the past to win games.  And that's what we're going to do from this point forward.

Q.  What have you guys told Austin Rivers about the tournament and just how to prepare for an environment where it's one and done?
MILES PLUMLEE:¬† The simplest way to put it is that it is one and done.¬† It's that simple.¬† You got to give it your‑‑ the most focus you have for each game because it could be your last.¬† If you play with that mentality, we're going to do great.¬† So he's hardly a freshman at this point in the year; he has a lot of experience in big games.¬† And our program does a great job of getting ready for this tournament.
SETH CURRY:  You think the biggest thing you got to tell younger guys is every team's good at this point.  We're in the tournament no matter what.  The team's going to be good.  They're expected to win and you have to go out there and bring your A game.

Q.  What's it been like going from a team last year where the roles were clearly defined to a team this year to where you had completely different lineups every night and you might play 30 one night and 18th next.  What's that been like for you guys?
SETH CURRY:  I think this year's been a lot more consistent for me personally.  I kind of know what I'm going to bring to the team every game.  For other guys with different lineups and stuff like that you just got to learn on the fly and just do whatever the coaches ask you to do to win.
MILES PLUMLEE:  It's different.  Guys adapting and learning new roles, it's difficult.  And everybody has their ups and downs throughout the season, but everybody's improved a lot because of it.  I think people are more confident in who they are as players at this point of the year and everybody knows what they need to bring for us to win and that's what matters now.

Q.  Two years ago the national championship year, Miles, you were a critical part of that seven that ended up capturing the championship.  And I know Seth, you were probably a little aggravated not being able to be a part of that.  But what does this team have to do to maybe replicate the chemistry that was on that team?  What does this particular team have to do to win the next six ball games?
MILES PLUMLEE:  That team that won, we were brothers that year.  And we got to play like that this year.  We got to trust one another, bring your A game for one another.  You can't let your teammate down in any aspect of the game.  That was the best thing they had going for them that year.  The seniors had each other's back and we just followed their lead.  If we play like that, we're going to do fine.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you, guys.  We'll take an opening statement from coach.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We're like everyone else.  We're very excited to be here.  Great place for the tournament, Greensboro Coliseum is as good as it gets.  And I think that everyone will be treated unbelievably well.
We have a lot of respect for Lehigh; I think they're an outstanding team.¬† McCollum is really ‑‑ he would be a great guard in our league.¬† Knutson, so good inside.¬† And very, very well coached.¬† We'll have to play real well to beat them.¬† Ryan Kelly's status is‑‑ he will not be able to play like any type of rotation minutes.¬† In other words, you're not going to see a Plumlee go out and Kelly come in.¬† He might be available for some spot duty and we'll know more about that tomorrow.¬† Like an end‑of‑game situation, end of half or some type of specialty thing.¬† But no more than that for the‑‑ for this game.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Has Ryan done any practicing?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Just band work and foot work in our practice at this facility.  We have a couple of courts.  On one court he's working with our trainer and rehabilitator, physical rehabilitation and shooting free throws, running in a pool.  That type of thing.
There's steady progress, but not good enough as of this morning where I would have confidence in putting him in a game, except maybe to shoot the free throw, to handle maybe a possession or two in an end‑of‑game situation.

Q.  Your first win as a college coach was against Lehigh.  What do you remember about that game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I don't really remember anything about the game except we won.  And that's 37 years ago.  I have a lot of respect for Lehigh, the coaching at Army, playing at Army, my former AD at Duke was a really good football player at Lehigh and great school.  This is a very good basketball team that Lehigh has.  I hope we do as well as we did in that first game against them.  But I think the level of play will be a lot higher by both teams.

Q.  Has the team made a decision to stop using Twitter or social media?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We're still not using it.

Q.  Why did you make that decision and how has it impacted the team?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† I think that ‑‑ no punishment or anything.¬† It's just I think sometimes in the development of a team, you can be connected with your Twitter shallow family or you can get more connected with your team deep family.¬† And that basically is just to try to get together, try to develop our family greater, talk to each other, not to talk to people that you may not even get a response from.¬† Just to try to form deeper more long lasting relationships.

Q.  Has it helped?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Yeah, I think it has helped.¬† Again, not that we were ‑‑ it just‑‑ it had gotten into February or I think we did it late January.¬† I don't even know when we did it.¬† But to give ourselves a chance to grow.¬† Because it's a team that ‑‑ this has been a team that has to keep evolving.¬† It's kept evolving.¬† And I think we have become a very close team.¬† I don't think that's the main reason.¬† I think the main reason is we have played really tough games and we have had to depend on one another, but I thought that was a good decision.

Q.  When we talked the other day about Ferry and Laettner and how you just kind of happened upon it, can you elaborate a little bit?  And once you discovered it, did that affect like maybe a Laettner works well and can do those similar things in recruiting through the years?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  To have a guy who is the second big or the biggest guy but not necessarily your center be able to handle the ball, make decisions, be a basketball player, not a position, it all of a sudden became that position.  Because just like we were at a meeting just now, and they said they're going to alternate how they announce people, two guards, two forwards and a center.  And there are no positions in basketball.  To me that's one of the things that should have gone out a long time ago.  They're five kids playing out on the court.  And it's not third base or quarterback or left tackle; they're five guys playing out there.
And over the years, we have been able to find a youngster in a nontraditional position, so to speak, who could have a huge impact on the game.¬† And it's been really one of the things that has helped us over the years.¬† We don't have that this year.¬† Kelly was the closest to that because he was now what somebody might call a stretch four, all right, but a lot of the offense went through Ryan or as a result of the positioning of Ryan, and so with him out our offense becomes not as spaced, not as‑‑ there are not as many things that we can do.¬† But we can do a lot.¬† We can do more than we did in Atlanta.

Q.  Did you sense any kind of disappointment that Ryan will be limited and are you concerned about that at all?  Any disappointment on the part of the team?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Well, they would all love Ryan to be able to play.¬† But, no, we're fine.¬† You play with who you got, and you play ‑‑ there's no excuses or anything.¬† Our guys are ready to‑‑ we're ready to go.¬† We just‑‑ we would love to have Ryan because ‑‑ the other thing is when he comes into ball games, he's different than the other two.¬† And sometimes it takes a defense.¬† You don't adjust as well, and then all of a sudden you have the two big guys in.¬† And so it makes the other team have to adjust more during the course of a game.

Q.  Could you talk about how the presence or lack of presence of one shooter such as a Ryan Kelly impacts or if you don't feel it impacts the presence of other shooters, Seth Curry, Austin Rivers, Andre, guys like that?  Are they then better shooters because Ryan is in the game and then not as good if they're not in the game?  And then the other question would be:  If in a region that includes Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, do you feel like this season Duke might be a little under the radar, perhaps the underdogs?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Well, the first answer to the first question:¬† It's not a shooter; it's the fact that he's a big guy who can shoot.¬† We can put another shooter out there, but then we're real small.¬† So it does have an impact because you don't ‑‑ you might get a few more open looks or a little bit more time to shoot the ball, helping recovers are longer.¬† There's more space.¬† So there are a variety of things that happen as a result of him being out.
I really don't look at the region as a whole; I look at Lehigh.¬† To be quite frank with you, I couldn't tell you the starting lineups of the two other teams that are in kind of our four‑team group.¬† Or much, much about them, their records.¬† I haven't looked at anybody except Lehigh.¬† I think they're really good and I think we're going to have to play a heck of a game to beat them.

Q.  Coming over the anniversary of the shot were you surprised to see yourself in the same region with Kentucky?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, I wasn't.  You know.  I thought we would be the in the same region.

Q.  You saw it coming?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Well, I just thought that that's what would happen.¬† I know that it's‑‑ you pick names out of a hat.¬† But I just felt that there's a real good, real good chance that that play would have worked.¬† That that's the guy who was going to hit the shot or that's the thing that was going to happen.¬† That, heck, I hope we can win.¬† I mean, that would be great because that means we're in the regional final.¬† But we're a long way from that.¬† A long way.¬† And I've been in this tournament a long time and every tournament‑‑ every team in this tournament is in it because they're winners.¬† The team we play, they're champs.¬† Those kids feel very confident; they have won a championship.¬† They're a together group, and they have the resources necessary to beat us.¬† And that's how I prepare for every opponent, not just in this tournament.

Q.  Understanding that both the players involved and their injuries are vastly different, what, if anything, did you learn from having to deal with Kyrie's situation last year coming into the postseason that can help you prepare with Ryan?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† It's really two totally different things.¬† Ryan's been with us and when he's not on the floor, we have had a chance to play with that unit.¬† The Plumlees have started together.¬† Josh has started a couple games.¬† So you're not, there's ‑‑ you're subtracting, but you already have a pretty good menu that you've been successful with.¬† With Kyrie, you're trying to put somebody new in who's‑‑ I mean, you can see how dynamic a player he is.¬† So that was a pretty serious injury.

Q.  The confidence to entrust your assistant coach with pretty high profile things like drawing up a last second play, how has that evolved, I guess?  And is it more pronounced this year than maybe in years past?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Well, than when I was a younger coach.¬† I have a great staff.¬† Same thing with the Olympics, with the national team.¬† I feel like my three guys are like co‑coaches, Wojo, Chris, and Jeff.¬† And we're‑‑ we live together.¬† We talk about the game together.¬† A lot of ideas that I put forth to my team in a normal practice day are their ideas.¬† They're our ideas.¬† They have ownership, and so they coach the game like a head coach.¬† And so if they come up with ideas and say, coach, I got something or whatever, I have confidence in that.¬† It's not about me; it's about us.
And I do the same thing with the Olympic team, Mike D'Antoni and Nate McMillan.¬† In the pros, they have more side out of bounds situations than anybody in the world.¬† And whenever there's a side out of bounds situation, I tell them, you know, one of you guys ‑‑ and they're ready to do that.¬† So I've done that quite a bit throughout my career.¬† I don't know if I do it more or less now, but I have ultimate confidence in doing it.

Q.  Is there anything that you can imagine you wouldn't feel comfortable with them doing during a game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† They wouldn't do anything that I would feel uncomfortable in.¬† Sometimes they would put a sub in, like Wojo might see a big guy being tired before I do, and all of a sudden Josh would be up at the scorer's table and I would be looking, you know, that's a good idea.¬† We kind of feed off each other, really well.¬† Remember Steve and Chris and I have been together for over a decade and we have won a lot of games together, a lot of championships, and it's as much theirs as it is mine.¬† This is not my program; it's our program.¬† And I'm glad that they have the‑‑ that they feel my confidence in them to be instinctive about their decision making.¬† I think it's a good thing.

Q.  Against Carolina, Virginia Tech and Florida State, you didn't shoot the ball as well as normal.  If you do, how do you address that with your kids?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† We take a look at our shots.¬† We evaluate whether they were good shots.¬† For the most part they're good shots.¬† There might be a little bit more pressure because of not having the spacing that we normally have with Ryan in there, but you have to be who you are.¬† We're going to shoot our shots.¬† We're not going to take them wildly, but that's what's won 27 games and has made us a 2 seed in the tournament.¬† You can't ‑‑ you got to be who you are.¬† Somebody said, well, you can't do this.¬† Well, okay, so we're not trying to do that.¬† But we can shoot, so we're going to try to do that.
I remember when I coached Billy King in the late '80s and recruited him, everyone said, well, he can't do this, he can't do that.  And I said well, what he does, he wins.  He plays defense, he's a leader, he talks.  And so you try to do the strengths that you have as a basketball coach and shooting is one of them for this team.

Q.  How ready is Chris Collins?  Kind of going back to the assistant coach thing, how ready is he to be a head coach?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† Yeah, my guys are all head‑‑ those guys ‑‑ well, Jeff has been.¬† Chris is unbelievable.¬† Remember Chris has been with me six years with the Olympic team.¬† He does the scouts and also when we breakdown working with our national team, on his end of the court he has the perimeter guys.¬† He's got Kobe, Dwayne, Lebron, Deron, Chris, Jayson, and he's got to coach them.¬† And he coaches them really well.¬† So that level of experience and confidence most coaches would never have that opportunity.¬† Chris is a great basketball; he's got a great basketball mind.¬† He's got a pretty good mind otherwise, too, but, his wife helps him in those areas.¬† But the basketball wise, Chris is terrific.¬† Just like his dad.

Q.  We talked the other day about Andre and his kind of struggles lately.  What would it mean for this offense for him to be at his best or his full efficiency?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† We wouldn't have won 27 games ‑‑ some of the biggest wins we have had are when Andre has had big games.¬† And for him to ‑‑ basically he has one basket in five games.¬† And it messes up our rotation, because if you're not ‑‑ and it's had an impact on our other parts of his game.¬† So he's had good practices this week and hopefully when he gets his opportunity, he'll be that guy that we have seen in those big games.¬† This year when he and Ryan have played well, we have been outstanding.¬† So those two guys have a big impact on our team.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you, coach.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Okay.  Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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