Duke Basketball Data Notebook #1

The freshman will wear the Duke uniform now. Duke Basketball Data Report #1

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski who is entering his 39th season in Durham addressed the media for the opening of basketball season this afternoon.

"I like our team, its development and we have good chemistry," said Coach K to open the up media day for Duke Basketball.

Javin DeLaurier Returns to Practice, Earns Praise from K

Krzyzewski said that Javin DeLaurier would return to practice today after nursing a foot injury.  He also said that DeLaurier had flourished in the 5 out offense prior to his injury.  The HOF coach also said that DeLaurier was one of the teams best communicators with concern to talking on and off the court.

Coach K on the Four Freshman and Chemistry

"They are very personable guys.  They knew each other before they got here.  They not only knew each other they respected one another.  To get a class like that you have to have those qualities and be secure who you are."

"They've communicated almost all of their senior year and they love Duke.  They love being students and they want a college experience and they've been good with the upperclassman.  If you went to one of our team meals, you would not notice whether a player was an upperclassman or not.   And that was there for them from the beginning, it was not something we had to teach."

Today's Practice Focus on Communication

Duke will concentrate on better communication in today's practice, the 13th of the season for Duke per Krzyzewski.  "What hasn't happened yet is for them to communicate at the level we need them to on the court while the action is going on," said Krzyzewski.  He went on to say that he wanted his team to confront one another more or to challenge teammates to do more or be better.  Krzyzewski continued, "Talk.  The ability to confront, it coordinates your work."  Krzyzewski said he had to change from man to zone last season in that his team did not communicate or talk well a season ago,

Duke Will Go Five Out on Offense

So far this season, Duke has implemented a system of five players out on offense.  That opens up the court in a similar way as to how the Golden State Warriors or Boston Celtics play per Krzyzewski. It was also mentioned they were in the process of figuring out offensive sets for when two big men were in the game.

Starters Are Set

Krzyzewski said that the four freshmen, Tre Jones, Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett, and Zion Williamson would start.  "Coming out of Canada, DeLaurier would be a starter," said Krzyzewski. He then mentioned Marques Bolden has been starting in his place but that they miss DeLaurier talking.  He also said that the past four practices have been the best for Bolden this early season and hinted at him finding consistency.

Krzyzewski on Zion Williams

When questioned what it was like when Zion Williams was on the floor, Krzyzewski gave one of his best quotes.

"Well, he is not on the floor a lot.  {paused}  He is up in the air a lot.  The main thing for me is he never takes a play off.  He's in unbelievable shape, about 270 and his lateral quickness is off the charts and his jumping... he's really a guard.  He can handle the ball, he is one of our best passers.  He can drive the basketball and he gets the ball real low.  He has got great body control and he finishes.  Look, he's a helluva player He's a very special player and he's getting better because he works every day.  And he's got such a great attitude.  There is not a thing this kid is lacking, he's already really good.  He is going to be a really special player, not just at Duke, but his whole career.  He's got it.  He is one of the more unique athletes that you will have seen and I have coached and I have coached a lot of unique athletes and this is one of them.  He is not like any other kid, he is like Zion and he has to figure out who Zion is going to be,"

Krzyzewski on his Defense

"Our primary defense is man to man.    We haven't really even worked on zone because man to man has so many principles.  In the last week, we have not done any pressing except man and we are adjusting.  It is just a process of learning your team and what they're going to do," said Krzyzewski.  He then went on to say that the team needed to play other teams for the staff to adjust their defense.

Krzyzewski on his Health

No plans to stop coaching anytime soon per Krzyzewski.  He said his health was good and that he was moving better than he has in eight years after some surgeries over a year ago.  So, people may want him to retire but it will not be anytime soon, so squash the rumors.