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March 24, 2013

Seth Curry

Mike Krzyzewski

Rasheed Sulaimon


Duke – 66
Creighton – 50

COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  The game was a heck of a game.  Both teams played great defense.  It was just so difficult to score.  It's the best defense we've played all year.  Our guys really fought.  It was just tough to get buckets.  Tyler's shot at the end of the half was a big lift, but they came right back, and Seth put on a display‑‑ I thought he just got us a working margin of seven, nine points, and we got in incredible foul trouble, and Josh Hairston and Amile Jefferson really stepped up, and Tyler Thornton defensively, and then Rasheed was terrific throughout the whole game.  He had that big three, but he was just really good the whole game.
We beat an outstanding team.  My kids played really hard and well together.  I'm really proud of them.

Q.  Seth, can you talk about how your shin is feeling, what you're doing to manage it and what rest means for it moving forward?
SETH CURRY:  It's feeling okay.  It's getting a little bit better as the year has gone along, and we're doing a great job of just getting it ready for the next day, next game.  Just quick turnarounds, and Shane is doing a great job of getting my treatment in, and I felt great tonight for the most part.  I'm excited about it.

Q.  Rasheed and Seth, talk about getting past these first two games now and moving forward.  Talk about the challenge of those two games, getting through those and now moving on.
RASHEED SULAIMON:  You know, the first two rounds I felt challenged.  The first game we didn't play as well as we could, but we were just happy to get past there.  And this game playing against a great team like Creighton we stepped up our level of intensity, stepped up our level on the defensive side.  I thought these were two great games in preparation for Michigan State next weekend in Indianapolis.
SETH CURRY:  Just like he said, I think the games just taught us a lot about what the NCAA Tournament is about, physicality in the tournament, just how you prepare for it, things like that.  I mean, I think today our team just came together on a different level than we have in a while.  Guys were playing great defense, communicating on the defensive end and things like that.  It took all however many guys played, eight, nine, whatever it was, to pull off this win.

Q.  Rasheed, was the game plan for you to be particularly aggressive looking for your shot early tonight?
RASHEED SULAIMON:  The coaches always tell me to stay aggressive and to look for my openings when they're there, not to force anything but just to make reads, and if I have the shot to take it with confidence, and if I see my teammate to make the right play and make the right pass.  We all have confidence in each other in all of our abilities, and they just want me to continue to play my game and just put pressure on the opponent.

Q.  Rasheed, playing at Duke, you're obviously no stranger to big games and national television and whatnot, but how much different is it now being in the NCAA Tournament compared to some of those regular season games?
RASHEED SULAIMON:  We've played in some tremendous games this year, some very big games, and they were all nerve racking.  But to be here in the NCAA Tournament, it just brings it to another level.  Both teams are playing with a tremendous amount of urgency and nobody wants to go home and finish their season.
It's definitely that much more intense, but I think the games that we scheduled in the preseason and playing in the ACC has greatly prepared us for these situations, and we have three great seniors to lead us, and we're all following their lead.  I thought we played a tremendous game today as a team, and like Seth said earlier, it took each and every one of us who played to get this win tonight.

Q.  Could you talk about the defense, particularly in the second half, and talk about how you kind of shut Creighton down that allowed you to expand your lead in the second half.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, Creighton has a well‑conceived offense, and with McDermott, he's a great player, especially on the offensive end.  So they have good movement, and so you have to have great communication.  And I thought that was the best we talked on defense, and were able to make switches when we needed to.  I especially thought Thornton helped us defensively in that second half when we were in all the foul trouble, when Amile and Josh were in, he was able to kind of orchestrate us and make the switch up on top so McDermott didn't get it, and then he had to move a little bit more to get it.
But communication was huge for us, and I thought Tyler was outstanding in getting us together and doing it.

Q.  Sort of following up on what Rasheed said about playing games against different opponents, different styles, big venues, big atmospheres, is that something that's distinctly designed for weekends like this, the Final Four, the national championship game in mind, and sort of when did you, I guess, realize that that was a good thing for your teams to experience every year?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  About 1984.  We used to play actually sometimes two games on one weekend when the other team that we played only played one, like we'd play NC State on a Saturday night and Notre Dame on Sunday.  We'd do things like that just to build our program.  And since then I think we've always had a top 10 scheduled.  I think this year we've had the toughest schedule.  Our guys want that.  You learn about yourself as a team, everyone learns about themselves, when we're in those situations.
It can wear you out, too, if you get beat, and the injuries that we've had, for our guys to keep everything afloat while Ryan was out was key.  But we've got another five days to live here, and maybe we can get even a little bit better.  We're going to have to be really good playing Michigan State.

Q.  I think this game went a lot differently than a lot of people expected more of a rock fight than a scoring game.  What does it say about your team's maturity and flexibility to be able to stick with it despite that because it was not an easy game to stay in?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, and I think for both teams, I think both teams ramped it up on the defensive end.  I think Creighton has been the most efficient offensive team in the country.  They're not given credit for playing defense.  But they were really outstanding defensively tonight.
We have guys, those three seniors are‑‑ even though Mason and Ryan were in foul trouble and Ryan didn't hit a shot, I thought they stayed in the game the whole time, and for them to come back, we kind of had to massage the second half in how we used them, but Mason came in from about the 13 minute mark until the 9 minute mark with those four fouls then we got him out.  Ryan was able to play a long time with those four fouls, and that's where the maturity comes in.  We tried not to get conservative, but we didn't want to run with the ball because if we could eliminate about six or seven possessions without being conservative, then it means six or seven‑‑ I mean offensive possessions, so six or seven defensive possessions where these guys might not foul.  Having these three veterans in there, and Tyler, I really can't say enough about him on the defensive end of the court tonight.

Q.  Both teams had stars in foul trouble early.  How much did that kind of affect the offensive rhythm of the game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, they weren't in as much foul trouble as we were.  I mean, it's a game of adjustments.  I mean, nobody I'm sure‑‑ their coaching staff and certainly our coaching staff didn't expect everything that happened today, and so your team has to adapt really well.  And it's a game of adjustments.
So our bench came through for us, Tyler, Josh and Amile were outstanding contributors for us tonight.  That's what these guys were saying, it took all the guys on the team to win tonight.

Q.  Can you reflect on what Seth has gone through this season with his shin injury and how he's been able to manage it?  How much better is he on extended rest?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, he's better on‑‑ not too much extended rest, though, because then you stop being sharp.  He's been absolutely incredible.  I mean, I've never had to do this in my whole career, in 38 years, where a kid really has been hurt the entire season.  And you didn't know on a day‑to‑day, game to game basis for sure if he was going to be able to play because it would be based on how he felt after the game he just played.
Our medical staff and Seth, I mean, Seth has given credit to the medical staff, but he's made a commitment.  I mean, he's in there all the time getting three and four treatments, and then he lets us know about how he feels, so he's been honest with us.
The cool thing about it is we've seen improvement in X‑rays where his leg is getting better.  It's still not 100 percent, but it's gotten better.  Thank goodness.  I mean, he could have been operated on in September and he would have never played this year.  Instead he's had just a sensational year.

Q.  It wasn't just McDermott that you guys frustrated, you really got after their guards.  How much does Ryan's presence really help you guys?  I mean, the numbers really reflect it in efficiency and everything.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, first of all, he defends his position well, and then he talks well.  He communicates well.  He can block shots or he changes shots.  Somebody may not want to shoot if he switches off to them because he's 6'10".  He's a very smart basketball player.
You know, we're just a better team.  Again, to me, it's so good that we won and he scored one point.  And he knows he played a heck of a game.  Again, when we were talking about maturity, that's maturity, also, because that ball is not going in, it can affect you on the other end of the court, and it never did that for Ryan.

Q.  This is somewhat of an offbeat question, but you're 6 and 0 now‑‑
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Are you an offbeat guy?  Is this unusual for you?

Q.  It is.  You're 6‑0 in Philadelphia tournament games.  Is that a coincidence do you think or is there something to‑‑
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Yeah, we've had a good team.  I mean, and by the way, Temple has done an incredible job in hosting this whole‑‑ all the games here.  I mean, everything has been first class and been terrific.  I want to thank them, Bill Bradshaw and his staff, for the incredible job that they've done, and the Wells Fargo Arena, terrific job.
And I want to thank all of you.  You didn't ask one question about Florida Gulf Coast tonight, and I appreciate that.  God bless you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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