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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: INDIANAPOLIS


March 28, 2013


Seth Curry

Ryan Kelly

Mike Krzyzewski

Mason Plumlee


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

THE MODERATOR:¬† Okay, we're joined by the Duke University student‑athletes, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Seth Curry.¬† If you have any questions, please raise your hand.

Q.  This is a question for both Mason and Ryan.  Can you guys talk a little bit about Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix, what kind of things you have to do against them and also what the difference you've seen in them between last time you guys met last year and now?
MASON PLUMLEE:  I think the first thing obviously, you just have to rebound.  They're really good at getting it off the glass.  With Nix, I think you have to stay on your feet, you can't go for his shot fakes inside.  And, like you said, both of those players are much better than last year when we played them in Madison Square Garden.
So we know that they're better, and we have to‑‑ I think the main thing is question just have to rebound.
RYAN KELLY:¬† Mason said it.¬† They do an outstanding job of getting to the boards. ¬†They go every single time.¬† And they do a really good job of getting their own shots.¬† They have really good second jumps.¬† As far as Payne goes, he's really expanded his game a lot, where he can knock down shots out to the 3‑point line even.¬† So that will certainly be a challenge.

Q.  I wanted to ask the three of you, when you look at Duke's tournament history, and I know it goes beyond you, Duke has a terrific tournament record, except in the last ten years or so in the Sweet 16.  It's been the one round that's kind of been a hurdle for you to get over.  Is there any reason why that round should be tougher than the Elite Eight or the Final Four?
SETH CURRY:¬† No, I have no clue.¬† I mean, I've only‑‑ my sophomore year here, we played and we lost.¬† That's the only experience I've had from it.¬† So it's just like any other game.¬† I don't know about the matchups that they've had in the past, but we're ready for this game coming up.
RYAN KELLY:  I don't think that matters, really, now.  We're in the situation we're in right here today, and that's all we're worried about.

Q.  People talk about the player matchups and also talk about the Michigan State/Duke matchup.  What do you think about the coach matchup?
MASON PLUMLEE:  I think you have two guys that know each other very well.  I mean, we've played twice since I've been here from the ACC/Big Ten challenge and last year in Madison Square Garden.  Very successful coaches.  You give them both time to prepare.  I think it's going to be a great coaching matchup as well.
RYAN KELLY:  You can't say that much better.  They're two of the best in the game, no question about it.  And like Mason said, they'll do an excellent job for both their teams getting them prepared.

Q.  This is for Mason.  You're one of the few college players that uses a hook shot.  I'm wondering when you started working on it and particularly why you started shooting it more this year.
MASON PLUMLEE:¬† I think really at the end of last year, I felt like it was more of a go‑to move for me.¬† For myself, I'm not 260, 270.¬† I can't just back people all the way under the rim, so I have to have something I can go to and use touch and shoot over people.
And it's a shot that's lent itself, I think, to my body type.  It's hard to guard because you can get to a spot.  You don't have to get all the way to the rim and shoot a layup.  You get to a spot, you raise up and let it go.

Q.  Ryan, how close are you to being back into 100 percent game shape from where you were before the injury?  And yesterday Mason was saying that you make all your shots in practice.  Just kind of wondering, did perception get skewed a little by that first game against Miami, or are you struggling with your shooting right now?
RYAN KELLY:¬† I think I'm‑‑ physically, I'm 100 percent.¬† I'm comfortable with where I'm at, and I know I can play a full game at a high level.
As far as my shot goes, I'm not worried about that.  Obviously, when I just came back, the ball certainly went in the basket.  And that happens sometimes, and sometimes the ball doesn't go in the basket.
But I'm confident in my shot, and I always believe I'm going to make the next one.

Q.  Mason, talk about your relationship with Miles, especially this year and words of advice he's given you and the kind of support system he's been for you?
MASON PLUMLEE:¬† He's been great.¬† Obviously, he's not here because they're on a road trip.¬† We have constant conversation throughout the season, and I'm always‑‑ I'm more interested in what he's doing than talking about what I'm doing.¬† So I'm happy for him, though.¬† I know he loves Indianapolis, and he loves the team that he's on.

Q.  Ryan, just to piggyback off one of the previous questions, how difficult was that Creighton game for you?  Was it just a little bit out of rhythm for you offensively?  Also, in the last few days since then, you said you feel very confident in your shot.  Have you done anything?  Are you the type of guy who does extra reps?  Do you get away from it when you have a tough shooting game?  What have you done since then?
RYAN KELLY:  In the Creighton game, I feel like I was obviously defending a player that was a heck of a scorer, who did it all over the court, and that was somebody I hadn't defended in quite some time, especially since I had come back from injury.
And so that certainly took a little bit of a toll on my legs, and I think that affected the offensive side of the ball.
But for me personally, I consider myself somebody that's always working on his game, always taking the extra shots.  So nothing is really different.

Q.  This is for Seth and Ryan.  First, Seth, defensively, Michigan State's guards like to get up in people.  What do you have to do in terms of ball screens to get them free and shake them?  And, secondly, both for Ryan and you, there was a little bit of foul trouble in that Creighton game as well.  How important and critical is it to stay out of foul trouble with a physical team?
SETH CURRY:  I think, first of all, you have to be aggressive.  Anytime anybody is being aggressive with you defensively and trying to get up in your space, you've got to attack them and go by them.  That's what I plan on doing.  I've got to work harder without the ball and use screens well and things like that.
So that's kind of the scouting report all year, try to be on me, try to get up in me and try to be physical and aggressive at all times.  It's something I'm used to.
THE MODERATOR:  Question about foul trouble.  Ryan?
RYAN KELLY:¬† I think that's certainly important.¬† You have to be smart.¬† That game against Creighton, that happens sometimes.¬† Games are called in different ways.¬† And when that happens, you have to be smart with the position you're in.¬† The three of us want to be on the court as long as we can, obviously, and when that happens‑‑ but we also know that guys have our backs, and you saw guys come off the bench and step up and make huge plays for us for extended minutes.¬† And we obviously want to be on the court, but we have that.

Q.¬† This is for Seth and for Ryan.¬† Another 10:00 start‑‑ or 9:00 here start tomorrow.¬† What do you guys do to stay busy and to not psych yourself out while you're waiting for the game to start when it's that late?¬† And do you enjoy it?¬† Does it matter?
THE MODERATOR:  Seth?
SETH CURRY:¬† I just get rest and watch other games, watch movies, read whatever it is, to‑‑ I mean, I try to stay basketball 24 hours a day, but I watch our games, relax, and just stay off my feet.¬† Days can be long, so a good nap is always good as well.
THE MODERATOR:  Ryan?
RYAN KELLY:  Coach always says shorten the day.  So I try and get a good nap in and watch film, watch film of myself, watch film of the other team, and, like Seth said, just relax.

Q.  For all three, in looking at film of Michigan State, what are some of the things that stand out to you that sort of define who they are?
MASON PLUMLEE:  Well, they're one of the most athletic teams that we've played.  They show that in how they get out in transition and then how they rebound on both ends.  And I think those are two of the things that they do best.
RYAN KELLY:  I think Mason said it well.
SETH CURRY:  I mean, they've got always five guys on the court who can beat you offensively.  So they're tough to guard, things of that nature.  And even when you play good defense on the first shot, you got to go for the boards.  That's what we keep saying.  So that's our main focus is defensive rebounding.

Q.  Guys, in what way or ways do you think you're a reflection of Coach K on the court?
MASON PLUMLEE:  I think just confident.  You know, if you watch him on the sidelines, he doesn't panic.  He's always cool and collected.  But very confident throughout a game.  So when a team makes a run, makes a couple plays, it's kind of just a resolve to know that you're still in control.  And I think that would be the thing that I would say mirrors his team from personality.
RYAN KELLY:  I think all three of us too, we understand the game, and we've been through it a lot together, and when Coach sees us out there, he knows what to expect of us.  He knows who we are as players and we know who each other are as players.  When you have that understanding with each other, it's a lot easier to play together.
SETH CURRY:  Yeah, I think just his competitiveness is something that's relayed in us.  How bad we want to win every single game and there's no other option.  You can see that in how hard we play every night.

Q.¬† Guys, when you watch it‑‑ we know coaches see stuff.¬† When you watch Michigan State on tape, for all three of you, can you tell me what sticks out to you, please?
SETH CURRY:  I think we just said it.  Like I said, the athleticism and physicality.
RYAN KELLY:  I think they do a really good job, and they're very free flowing in their transition.  When they get into their set offense, their best offense is their offensive rebounding, but also scoring the ball in transition.  They've done a really good job.
MASON PLUMLEE:  Very athletic.

Q.  Seth, what does Coach K say about Coach Izzo and just his ability to coach and what makes him a threat on the sidelines?
SETH CURRY:  He just said he has a lot of respect for him.  Just, I mean, what he's done over the years and his winning, the type of players he has in his program is very similar to Duke's.  He has a lot of respect for Coach Izzo and his program.

Q.  Second time I think you've been in this building or second year.  Any memories from 2010?  It was a pretty successful visit.
MASON PLUMLEE:  A lot of memories.  We have the same locker room as we had for the Final Four.  I think it's a great venue.  I know we'll be in the end zone this time as opposed to center court or center field, but we love playing here.
RYAN KELLY:  I remember, I think it was coming right in this room right here and ripping down the big bracket with our name in the middle.  So there are certainly some good memories from this building, and we're looking forward to making some better ones.
SETH CURRY:¬† I wasn't playing, but it was good to watch that run, and it was‑‑ I mean, it was something you definitely always remember.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, fellas.  See you tomorrow night.
We're joined by Coach Krzyzewski.  Mike, just ask you to make a few opening comments and we'll go to questions.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, we're healthy.  Everyone's going to play unless something gets messed up here during our shootaround.  Really excited to be here and to play against Michigan State.
Tom is somebody I really admire.  I admired him when he was an assistant, because I didn't know that anyone could really be an assistant for Jud.  I hope Jud takes that the right way.  It's meant as a joke.
And he just has done it the right way.¬† And he's built a great program, and we've had great games in the past, and he's somebody that‑‑ he's a guy's guy and a coach's coach, and their guys play hard all the time.¬† I think we play hard all the time.
I think it's going to be a great game for college basketball.

Q.  Along that same line, Mike, when you see Michigan State, a Tom Izzo team, how much of Duke do you see out there and in what way?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I think the main thing is that I know they're going to play every play.  I know they're well prepared and that they play to win.
For the most part, both of our programs, we don't beat ourselves.  Someone has to beat us.  And that's what I see.  I think he coaches every game like it's his first.  I try to do the same thing.  Hopefully, with the knowledge of having won a few.
So there are no possessions off.¬† They're going to show up.¬† We're going to show up.¬† I really love that.¬† This is a big‑time game.¬† It's a big‑time game and we're excited to be a part of that.¬† We want to be in big‑time games.

Q.¬† Coach, a lot made about the chess match between the coaching staffs.¬† How much of that is true or not true, and what happens in a game?¬† Are there in‑game adjustments where a coach can make a difference?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† The one thing that's similar about me and Tom, I don't think we can play chess.¬† I wouldn't‑‑ I mean, I know a little bit about it.
But it's not going to be a chess match.  That's putting the coaches too much involved here.  We'll both have our teams prepared to play against one another, and you can't be instinctively reactive to what's going on in the game if you're constantly looking at your coach to tell you every move.  Our teams are prepared to follow their instincts, and they have good instincts and so do we.
They have areas that they're better than we are in, and we have some that we think we might be a little bit better in.¬† But pretty much it's an even match, and we're going to have‑‑ try to have our kids ready to just battle.¬† And I know their kids will be ready to battle.

Q.¬† Coach, you're not one to get emotional or talk about your feelings.¬† For those of us‑‑
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  How do you know about that me?  Have you seen me in intimate moments?  What do you mean?  Is there a camera on me all the time?

Q.  For those that have covered Tom a long time, he's always spoken with great respect for you, for your program.  He wants to do what you have done.  What does it mean to you personally to have that kind of respect from someone like him year in, year out?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, really good, because I consider him a great friend.  There's nothing about Tom that I don't think is good.  If we lose to them, believe me, I'll hug him and shake his hand, and he'll do the same for me.
I like that.  I think it's more the way it used to be in coaching, and probably we both have great teachers in that regard and brought up a certain way where we understand the game is bigger than anybody.
And for us to be at this level of the game, you got to be pretty lucky to be.  And so just do your best, handle it the right way, and if somebody does well, let them know that they do well.  Somebody doesn't have to be bad for you to be good.  And that's the type of guy Tom is.  Like somebody else can be good.  And I hope that we're perceived to be the same way.

Q.  Mike, you guys got an awesome record in the Elite Eight, Final Four games.  But in the Sweet 16 over the last decade or so has been a bugaboo for you.  Is there any reason this round has been hardest for your teams in the tournament?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† I never even‑‑ I don't know that.¬† Thanks for making me worried now.¬† Now I got another thing to worry about.
I don't know.  I would say matchups, the level of team that we had.  Sometimes you get to the Sweet 16 with a team that shouldn't have been in the tournament, and it's just your time to go.  Sometimes you play an opponent that:  What the heck are they doing in the Sweet 16?  How did we play this level of opponent in that game?  That type of thing.
I would look at it more of who we were at that time and who we're playing.
The other thing about stats over the years, when you all look at stats, they're not stats of the same kids.  They're stats of the program.  So I don't know what the '98 team has to do with the 2013 team.  I just don't understand those stats.
Again, if you're looking at Jeter or guys who‑‑ basketball, you're looking at what LeBron did at a certain time or Kobe, that's different.¬† It's the same person.¬† I just don't go‑‑ I'm the same person, but I guess I'm not, because you grow as a coach.
So I don't really pay any attention to those things.¬† I don't think they're relevant to be‑‑ I'm not knocking you for looking at them, but I don't think they're relevant.¬† I just don't think they're relevant.

Q.¬† Is there a matchup that particularly worries you or something you're intrigued to see your own team, somebody on Michigan State that you‑‑ I don't know if fear is the right word, but you worry about?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† If you're a head coach, you're afraid of everything that might go wrong.¬† So it's not just one guy.¬† It's things that they do as a team.¬† The two best things that they do as a‑‑ well, there are three.¬† They show up to play as one.¬† That's the very first thing.¬† So you better show up to play as one.¬† They always‑‑ they play outstanding defense.¬† And they rebound offensively and better than anyone in the country.
So those three areas, more so than an individual, are the things that concern me.

Q.¬† Obviously, you guys are 20‑1, I believe it is, with Kelly on the court this season.¬† I'm curious, it's clear‑‑
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  That is a relevant stat, by the way.

Q.  It's clear, obviously, how important he is to your team.  I was curious if you could characterize why.  Is it mainly his ability to stretch a defense, or are there subtle things people don't recognize beyond the box score?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† The main thing is he's an outstanding player.¬† So you don't have that many outstanding players.¬† You might have one.¬† We have a‑‑ when they're all right, they're all healthy, we have a few.¬† And when you take an outstanding player off of any team, probably the record will diminish.¬† Ours didn't diminish that much.
But the things that he brings, first of all, he stretches a defense because he's capable of shooting from the outside.¬† But he has a demeanor that helps calm everybody, and he has a way of‑‑ he can talk to his own team, and talk becomes the lifeblood of unification on a team, especially on defense.
He's an outstanding defender.  He showed it in the last game on McDermott.  He's not in shape yet to play at that level on both ends of the court, so he sacrificed a lot offensively just to try to hold McDermott down.  I'm not saying anyone can stop him, but he held him in check.
And then offensively, he helps Quinn as far as coordinating the efforts of our team through his talk and demeanor.  He's really a good player, and he's getting better.
I wish for our team that he never was injured, because it would be neat to see‑‑ he was playing better than anyone on our team when he got hurt.¬† Just for those about four games before he got hurt.¬† There was divine intervention when he came back for the first Miami game.
Since then, his body told him, hey, I know we're in March, but your body's in October.  Maybe he's in December now with his body.

Q.  Coach Izzo has talked about limiting the use of his players' cell phones on road trips and other team activities.  Is that something you've done as well?  What do you do to make sure your guys are focused?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  No, we haven't taken anything away from them.  They still do their Twitter, Facebook.  We talk to them all the time about trying to be focused and not having interactions and being selfish during this time about what they're doing.
I always‑‑¬† through the years I'd say it's like you have your own bus.¬† You drive your bus, and you have friends and family on it.¬† And during this time of the year, more people want to get on the bus‑‑ in fact, sometimes they want a series of buses‑‑ and to try not to let other people on your bus during this time, but to try to do things like what you normally do and remember the responsibilities you have with those cell phones, Twitter, with Facebook and all the things that you can have, the Instagram, all that stuff.¬† See, I don't have to worry about that.¬† I don't do any of that.

Q.¬† Can you share any counsel you might have given to Coach Collins about why this opportunity was better for him than others he's had?¬† And also I wonder about the difficulty of a first‑time head coach in that league.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, he's perfect for the job, and I'm so excited for Chris.  Chris hasn't actively pursued a lot of jobs because he had a great job and loved being at Duke.  We've loved working together.  But Northwestern provides an opportunity to be at a great school, a private institution with an A. D. and president who are totally committed to building a great program and upholding the standards of their school.  It's just perfect for Chris.
Any job in the Big Ten, whether it's your first job or tenth job, is going to be a tough job.  But that's why you do it, and I think he'll be great there.  I love Chris.  And for me, he's not just worked for me at Duke, but for the seven years I've been the national coach for our country, Chris has been with me every step of the way and have worked with the greatest players on this planet and has earned the respect of those players too.

Q.¬† When it comes to longevity and coaching in the game, how important do you feel is adaptability, whether it's adapting to new personalities or subtle on‑court changes each year or even Team USA, challenging yourself that way?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:¬† You're saying how does an old guy adapt?¬† Thank you for being so politically correct.¬† Well, I think if anyone‑‑ look, you have to adapt to what you do or else they're going to find someone else for you, because you have to adapt to different cultures, different‑‑ just the way our life is.
When you're adapting, though, you do not adapt by changing your standards of trust, loyalty, responsibilities and things that you have.  You still try to teach all those things, but you teach them a little bit differently, just because the audience or the team or the group that you have the privilege of leading is different.
So it's up to the leader to adapt, but not with principles and values.

Q.  Tom Izzo's son has Duke winning this game in his bracket.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I hope he's right, first of all.

Q.  A, does that give you more confidence?  B, is there anybody in your family you know of who has Michigan State winning this game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, one of my granddaughters picked Montana to win the whole thing.  She had Montana beating us in the national championship game.  So I wouldn't bet on necessarily what kids or grandkids do, but I thought that was a great story.
And for Tom to share it, that's a good thing.  And by the way, his son will be sitting on our bench and has a scholarship to Duke.  He didn't know that on Facebook and that on Twitter.  I've been communicating with him and have arranged that deal.  So he sold him out.  But he sold him out for a good price.  So it's a good thing.
Thanks, everyone.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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