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March 22, 2013

Seth Curry

Mike Krzyzewski

Mason Plumlee


Duke –  72
Albany –  59

COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, it's a good, tough win for us.  Albany played like a team that just won a championship and had 24 wins.  Those veteran guards were terrific and their big guys were very physical.  I thought it was a great game for us, and they shot the lights out of it, nine out of 15 from threes and hit every free throw.  I mean, they just‑‑ I thought they played really well, like we beat a team playing really well this afternoon.
These two guys really came through for us.  We got in a little bit of foul trouble in the first half, and we had that 13‑point lead, and we did a couple‑‑ made a couple mistakes, and they took advantage of it and got it down to five, and I thought we ended the half well.  Rasheed really made a couple good plays for us, and then the second half we scored well, we could just never put them away because they would score.
But overall, I mean, it's a good, tough win for our basketball team.

Q.  Seth, I don't think I've ever seen a Curry bank in a three before.  Can I assume that was deliberate?
SETH CURRY:  No, I didn't call that one.  I thought I got a little contact on the shoot honestly.  But I was feeling good tonight, and it went down for me.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Hopefully you see a few more.
SETH CURRY:  Whatever it takes.

Q.  Seth, do you guys feel at all like people are sleeping on Duke?  Everybody talks about Louisville and Indiana.  Do you think people maybe aren't paying attention to you guys, and do you like that?
MASON PLUMLEE:  Doesn't really matter to us what people are talking about.  We're very confident.  I thought it was a good win today, and we're just focused on us.
SETH CURRY:  Yeah, I agree.  Like he said, we're focused on our opponent and who we have to play.  We have to take advantage of our match‑ups and try to win every game we play.

Q.  Seth, after you kind of struggled with the ACC Tournament, was it good to kind of get your stroke going and whatnot and get into a rhythm today?
SETH CURRY:  Yeah.  I thought the second half of the ACC Tournament game, I got going a little bit, but I was confident coming into this game.  I mean, I was going to take advantage of my opportunities, try and work harder off the ball to get shots, and guys did a good job of screening for me and things like that.  Trying to keep this momentum going.

Q.  Seth and Mason, can you guys talk about what your experience of playing in big games means in situations like this when a team makes a run at you?  Some teams can‑‑ I don't know if panic is the word, but it can get worse, but you guys today, they'd get it close and you would push it out further and make them have to work harder.
SETH CURRY:  Yeah, just like you said, I don't think we panic or anything like that in those type of situations.  I think over the years we've been in every type of situation, down, up, when teams have made runs to come back and things like that.  I think in the second half maybe turned it over on the press once and we got in the huddle, they were going to the free‑throw line, and Mason got us together and just said calm down and make the next play, and that's what we did going forward.
MASON PLUMLEE:  Yeah, you've just got to keep your cool.  When teams get behind they aren't just going to keep doing the same thing that got them behind in the first place.  They're going to make adjustments, and you have to be ready for them.  I think late game situations we've had success in over our careers, and then this team has this year.  We definitely have an experience.

Q.  Mason, talk about Quinn Cook's performance today, I think 11 assists and he was finding you over and over again underneath.
MASON PLUMLEE:  Yeah, he was really good.  Passing the ball that's as well as he's played in a while.  That gets guys going, and it's really hard to guard a passer.  I thought he played great.
And then just made life easier for everybody else offensively.
SETH CURRY:  Yeah, how well Quinn plays isn't determined by how many shots he makes and things like that.  It's how he gets his other teammates involved, and I think he got us going, finding Mason, finding me coming off screens and things like that.  He was good for us today.

Q.  Seth, I wanted to ask you, their players seemed to think the back breaker was the loose ball that you picked up, they thought they had it going the other way down eight with under five minutes.  You picked it up, not only got the ball but not the lay‑up.  Can you describe that play from your point of view and what you saw and what happened?
SETH CURRY:  Yeah, I mean, I think a few times throughout the game there were some loose balls and they came up with them, knocked down some threes.  In close games, especially in the tournament, those are the type of things that win or lose your games, so I was trying to be alert on the offensive glass, somebody tipped it and I was just trying to get to it first.

Q.  Mason, when did you add the sky hook to your arsenal, and why do you think it's vanished from the game?  You so rarely see it anymore?
MASON PLUMLEE:  I've taken a few this year.  Those are just the first couple to go down maybe.  (Laughter).
I like coming across the middle when there's single coverage.  I feel very confident.  I have a couple of go‑to moves.  It's a hard shot to guard.  I don't know why people don't do it more.  But I love going to that move.

Q.  Seth, I don't want to use the word pesky, but did you feel like their guards were irritating, as far as defensively, and I saw you chattering quietly a little bit with Black, and I was just curious what the dynamic was.
SETH CURRY:  No, they were just trying to be a little bit physical, on the ball, off the ball, things like that.  I think their whole team was trying to do that.  I was trying to rip through, go behind in certain situations.  They were mixing coverages with traps and things like that.  You just had to be alert, be strong, and just go about the pressure.

Q.  I would ask you the same thing I asked the players.  Can you just talk about big game experience and what it means in situations like this when teams make runs at you and you do something to push it back out and almost make them start all over again?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, it doesn't happen that way all the time for anybody.  Every game we play is a huge game.  We almost always get an opponent's best shot where people are not afraid to lose.  They're going to gain something if they win against us, but they're also not going to lose anything if they lose to us.  And so we've been fighting that for 25 years.
And as a result, teams are never going to quit, and this team wouldn't, because they're so well coached and they're champions.  But I'm just talking in general, not specifically about this game.
So our guys have been in these situations really every game we play, every game we play.  And those two kids are guys that we can go to.  In other words, when someone is making a run on you, obviously you'd like to have a few defensive stops, but you have to score the ball, and a lot of times in those situations people get tight, and guys who shoot freely or want the ball and other times don't want it.  We have a few guys who really want the ball in those situations, especially those two kids.  Quinn Cook made a big bucket for us when we were up by eight at the end of the clock to go up 10, so we have guys who have stepped up but especially those two.

Q.  I know you're busy this time of year, but I was wondering if you had time last night to watch what Tommy did with Harvard.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Yeah, I watched, and then‑‑ I didn't fall asleep while they were playing, I fell asleep at halftime, so don't let Amaker think that I was letting him down.  But when I woke up‑‑ I didn't turn off the game, let's put it that way, and when I woke up they had the lead, and then I stayed up.  I thought it was an unbelievably well played game by both teams.
You know, Tommy, he and Johnny and Alarie and Bilas, Henderson, they all started this stuff.  So Tommy is like a son to me and I'm ecstatic for him, really.  He's done that with losing his two best players this year.  I'm not going to want to schedule them next year.  They've got everybody back and those two guys.

Q.  Following up, how high is the limit, do you think, for a program like Harvard, and why don't we see the sky hook more in basketball?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  The limit for Harvard?

Q.  Yeah.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I mean, they've got a chance‑‑ if they beat New Mexico they've got a chance to beat anybody.  New Mexico had a chance to beat anybody.  In this tournament really anybody, especially this year, can win as long as you are not satisfied with the position that you got to.  And it seems like a lot of teams are not satisfied with it, and that's why you have all these games.  I think three 12s have won already.
And then the seeding of some of those teams probably is‑‑ like how did it happen.
As far as Mason, Mason has just developed‑‑ he's worked really hard since last spring to develop a better offensive game inside, and he's got good touch, and one of the key things he does out of there is pass.  He can really pass the ball, and a couple times he did, and we didn't hit off his passes.  But that's why he has to touch it.  But he has good touch, he's worked real hard on his free throws, and he's hit them well today, and he has been hitting them really well.  He's had a great year for us.

Q.  Every coach in the second round of the tournament likes to have a game like Syracuse had last night, but at the same time is this the kind of game where teams keep coming at you for that first game of the tournament to get you guys going?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, what every coach wants is a win, and they're happy no matter how they get it, and if they say differently, then they're lying.  Obviously I'd rather have a game like Syracuse had because then I wouldn't have to get as worked up, and I'm getting to be an old guy, and you don't have to use as much energy.  But that's not the way it is in this tournament.
That's why I can't say enough about Albany's team.  I think Albany played great and they changed how they play offense.  They made a really neat adjustment in Rowley bringing the ball up the court.  They were very prepared for this basketball game, and so we have to beat a tough, experienced, winning, prepared team, which is really good.
But going forward, I'm okay if people don't show up against us.

Q.  Is this still fun for you, though?  Are you still having fun?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, I like to win, you know, so it‑‑ I like to win.  So my guys have won a lot, and this team today‑‑ what it is, it's very competitive today.  I mean, we had to fight like crazy to win today.  And as a staff, as a program.  And how you feel afterwards when you win is a good‑‑ I don't know if that's fun as much as a sense of accomplishment.  And the more you go forward in this tournament, the greater the sense of accomplishment you'll have.

Q.  You talked earlier about Quinn Cook and his performance, the big shot he hit late.  Can you talk about his overall game with the 11 assists and how improved from last year until now?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, he's had a terrific year for us, and like these guys know, when Quinn is playing like that, we're just a better basketball team.  He was in complete control of the game, and we didn't see it late, but he usually‑‑ because he wasn't put on the line.  He usually hits every free throw, and he doesn't panic.  But 11 assists, I thought he should have had 12 when he hit‑‑ he allowed I think puck to block his shot that one time, and Mason was wide open underneath.  But other than that play, I thought he played a great game, and we needed it.  We needed it from him, and he tried to play really good defense on Black, who's a tough out.  He's really a tough out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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