Tag Archives: Coach K

Coach K on Commissions Release — A Good Starting Point

Earlier today, a Commission on College Basketball made some recommendations.   See article here from ESPN.   

The results have sparked many discussions and debates in a short time after the release.  With one and done being one of many issues, the offering was of major interest to Duke Basketball.

Mike Krzyzewski will be giving his feedback during an NABC call in show.  As he has said in the past, the college basketball world needs a starting point of discussion to implement sweeping changes.

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzzyzewski and Athletics Director, Kevin White issued a statement moments ago -

Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White:
“To be sure, we want to express our sincere thanks to Dr. Rice and her esteemed colleagues who serve on the College Basketball Commission. Their valuable insight and recommendations provide a starting point, a blueprint so to speak, for the future of college basketball. There is still much work to be done in coordinating the significant effort to make basketball – at all levels of play – the very best it can be. We will fully support those efforts, for they directly impact the best interests of the student-athletes playing the game.”

Duke Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski:

“Certainly, the Commission on College Basketball led by Secretary Rice included some of the very best people in higher education, college athletics, professional sports and beyond. Like everyone, we as coaches are looking at the recommendations announced earlier today. We are participating in an NABC conference call tomorrow and should have more to share as an organization by the end of the week. We have consistently said that we’d like to see substantive change in college athletics, particularly within our sport, and this appears to be a starting point for further discussion among the entities who touch basketball at all levels.”

Coach K, Bagley, Allen Talk Duke Win

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we played really well today. I mean, you know, from start to finish. It was one of our best games. And I thought we played in a very mature manner, because we're playing a championship team, a program that has great maturity and toughness, and we showed that today, too. And I'm just glad a lot more of our shots went in than theirs. It was an honor to coach against them and play against them. That was -- they're an outstanding team, and we were an outstanding team today.

I thought we shared the ball real well. We were patient. The big guys were not getting the ball early, perimeter scored, and the big guys started getting the ball. That's the maturity that you like to see and guys making the extra pass, what Wendell did for about three or four exchanges to pass the ball to Javin was beautiful basketball.

And our defense was good. Defense was really good. And we're excited and honored to be going to Omaha, you know? That's such a good thing for our team and we're proud of it, and have a week to get ready. Any questions for them, right.

Q. Marvin, I think for the first 11 minutes or more, you didn't have a shot. I'm just curious, Coach talked about your patience, but how nice is it to have the supporting cast that you do?
MARVIN BAGLEY, III: Everybody was on, so I wasn't really focused on getting my shot. You know, everybody was on -- clicking on all cylinders, and was scoring in different positions. And as long as it says two points with Duke -- going forward, that's all that matters. That's all that I was worried about.

I just tried to stay in the game mentally, still trying to talk on defense, communicate, and, you know, it started to come in the second half and everybody was on in the second half. We got a big lead and we won the game. So at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Q. Grayson, how would you describe how Marvin played today?
GRAYSON ALLEN: He played really well. Yeah. He ran -- he runs the court so well, and that's -- it really opens up a lot for us in transition, whether he gets the ball or not. Because someone has to get down there and guard him, and that's why we get threes. That's why he gets early posts. That's why we're able to throw it ahead to him and it really opens up our transition.

I mean, when he does get the ball, he was shooting 8 for 10, that's 80 percent, so it's a pretty good percentage to just throw it down there to him. And then he's always on the board, so, another great game from him like we've had from him all year.

Q. Going into the game, what was your game plan defensively as a team and how are you guys able to execute it so well today?
GRAYSON ALLEN: We knew they had two really good scorers in Terrell and Matthews, they are really good shooters, and we didn't want to let them get hot from the three-point. Wanted to try to take away their threes as a team and be more active and try to keep that ball off the middle, two in the zone.

We came out and gave up a three early, but after that I thought defensively we were very active getting our hands on a lot of passes. And Wendell did an amazing job protecting the rim. He's contesting shots and then getting back up and grabbing the rebound, too. When he does that, our zone is a lot better.

Q. Marvin, this being your first two games in the NCAA Tournament environment, just what have you learned going through this first weekend about what the tournament is kind of all about?
MARVIN BAGLEY, III: Our biggest takeaway from just watching and being involved, is that anything can happen. You know, every team is here for a reason and every game is -- anybody could win it. So if we go out, we just got to play hard. We can't assume anything, got to worry about that one game. Have your minds focused on that one thing, take it one day at a time because tomorrow's never promised in this tournament.

That's one thing that I, myself and the rest of my teammates talk about and understand, is that we don't want any game to be our last one together unless it's the last one. So we got to keep continuing to get on this roll and lock in more.

Q. Mike, I'm wondering, having been the number 1 seed as many times as you have, if you had maybe a twinge of empathy for what Virginia went through having the whole arena kind of turn for the underdog and just the pressure that goes with those games?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, I mean, what Marvin just said really applies. And we as coaches know -- I thought Tony did such a great job after the game in expressing his feelings, and really the feelings of what you should feel as a coach. And that is, we all understand that when we go into that arena, some great things can happen. And -- but also, some really difficult things can happen.

And for them, only great things happened this year, so the -- the difference of feeling for them, not just losing, but they've been so damn good, they've been the best team in the country. And then they have an injury, and then you don't have much time to prepare. You don't have any games to prepare for what you're going to do when you have that injury.

So, my heart goes out to him. We've lost in the first round a couple of times, and we've lost to teams that were deserving of winning. You know, like UMBC was deserving of winning, just like when we lost, C.J. McCollum was pretty good and Lehigh deserved to win. Mercer was really good and they deserved to win.

So, I just thought he handled it so well, and what a great example for all coaches to not just handle victory well, but to handle defeat, because you're going to experience both. Hopefully you experience the other guy more than the last guy, so --

Q. They were up, Rhode Island was, after the second media and you go on the 16-3 run which forces the time-out. What was the catalyst for that and what was said that maybe prompted that run?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't think anything that was said. I thought we were a little bit nervous at the start of the game, and we didn't have the looks that we then had for 36 minutes. And I thought we made this one sub, Javin for Tre. And then when Tre got back in the game the second time, then he was who he's been for the last couple of weeks. And we were playing the zone pretty well.

Terrell didn't get many open looks, and then that helped us focus a lit bit more on Matthews. And the thing that's happened in the zone is we don't give up many free throws, and then we didn't -- we only had that one live ball turnover in the first half, so we were able to set up our defense each time. Our offense always has to help our defense and sometimes it doesn't when we turn it over too much.

Anybody want to hear about the trapezoid lane in international ball? Just -- I've actually, you know, had more to say about it. It was pretty boring, wasn't it? When I walked out of there, I said, all right, I got to tell some jokes or do something.

Q. Mike, can you tell a joke, please?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah. John Feinstein's my friend, just -- no, he is.

Q. You may or may not be aware of this, you passed Pat Summitt.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, you know what? I wasn't aware of it until yesterday when somebody told me we tied that, and I don't -- you know. I'm not paying attention to that. And, one, it's Pat -- Pat would have won hundreds of more games if health had not taken her from us. And so that -- someone will have more eventually. You know?

Q. It's still a lot?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: It's a lot. It means I've been at a good place. I've had great players and have had good health for the most part. I got so many new body parts right now. Two knees, two hips. That's all I'm talking about, but, yeah. It's an honor because she was a pioneer in her sport. Her sport, women's college basketball, took off because of her. And her -- her ability to understand that there needed to be another program, and what Gino established at Connecticut was helped by Pat, because Pat played the games that gave the exposure. And it became then the two of them and it would still be the two of them if she was alive because she wasn't giving anything up to him. So, anyway, it's an honor.

Oh, by the way, I would like to thank all of the volunteers. Pittsburgh was a great site. People were great. Funny thing, they're all dressed in green this morning. By the way, Monday is St. Joseph's day. Dress in red. That's the Polish day. All right? We'll see if they have a parade.

Coach K, Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval Talk Win

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we -- I'm happy with my team, you know? You bring a young team in here, and I thought our guys really handled their first NCAA game very well against a team that has a championship pedigree. You know, Tim's program is one of the best in the northeast and the Iona name in basketball is huge.

And they have a lot of older guys. Obviously, they can put five guards out there, which was tough for our zone to cover for a while in the first half. In the second half we did a much better job of it.

But defensively, we did make them take tough threes and they didn't shoot their normal 40 percent or so from three-point range.

But I thought my guys played well, and proud of them, and we're going to now play against another championship caliber team in Rhode Island.

Q. Grayson, what did you think about how -- your young teammates handled the situation the first time?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I thought they did a great job, mostly because I thought they came out aggressive and confident. I don't think we were nervous or overanxious because of the tournament atmosphere, I thought. We came out very well. We scored the ball to start the game and played hard and had to make an adjustment on defense because of Iona's defense.

This was a game, if we didn't come out like that and didn't come out hard, we could have been down seven, eight points from the get-go because of how they scored the ball. Really proud overall how they came out and just attacked right from the start.

Q. Just a question for Trevon. Could you talk about your emotions going to your first NCAA Tournament game?
TREVON DUVAL: Definitely a little nervous because it's my first NCAA Tournament. Overall, I was just excited and I was ready to play.

Q. Grayson, when you went through your first experience in the NCAA Tournament, what can you really remember from that and just the feeling of doing it as a freshman when you have all of these teammates?
GRAYSON ALLEN: My first role was a little bit different than what I'm telling to these guys, because I was not playing as much. And so my first one, really, I look at my sophomore year in a lot of ways, because that was the first one that I was, you know, fully into playing 30-some minutes a game, you know, you're part of someone else's game plan, whereas my freshman year I wasn't, so, just really trying --

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Really trying to think that you weren't.

GRAYSON ALLEN: So just really trying to tell these guys -- like prepare them for the atmosphere being inside of it, versus being on the outside of it. Where last year, they were watching the games in high school, during the day, and now you're in it. So it can be easy to get distracted by who is playing who, who is beating who, what's the score going on here.

But if you just focus on today, Duke versus Iona, if we were able to focus on that, we come out and play well. We first focus on Duke, not Rhode Island, not focus on anything else. Not get distracted about anything else, we'll be all right.

Q. Grayson and Trevon, I know you probably haven't seen much film on Rhode Island, we have a lot of senior guards, a lot of experienced guards. What's your first take on all of their guards and back Court?
GRAYSON ALLEN: They're very experienced and their guards are very tough. We played against them last year, and I remember that game, their guards were very tough. They go at you both offensively and defensively, and they're a very experienced team. They have a pretty good amount of guys back from that team that I played, so it will be a very tough match-up because of how experienced they are and because they are a team that wins.

Q. In the first half, is it a matter of getting behind the zone when they're getting those baskets?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: First of all, they average 80 points a game, so you're not talking about a team that doesn't score. They have eight guys that have scored 20 or more points in a game, and some guys have scored 30. One guy scored 40.

So, when they put five guys out there -- and it's not a conventional way of doing it, they actually put five guys out on the perimeter, and you have to talk and move a lot. Overall, I thought we did a good job against it, we had -- brought a 15-point lead and we took a couple bad shots. And that hurt us more than our defense.

And -- but my staff, Jeff, made a really good suggestion at halftime, and we went with it in how to change the zone just a little bit, and that worked for us. But they can shoot the ball. And that's the scariest thing for us going into the game. Because if we're tight a little bit, they start shooting like they did, you know -- it's one game, you get a shooter's chance. That's what Chris Collins used to always say to me.

Q. You know I can't let you get out of here without a Hurley question?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Which one?

Q. Obviously you're close with the family. What do you think it means for Danny to have his father be watching him and father be watching his son --
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah. We played at Seton Hall the game before we were in the Kentucky game and brother against brother. No, I love -- look, I love their family. When Bob was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame, he asked me to present him and I did. It was an honor to do that.

Their family epitomizes the highest level of love for the game. And the father, you're talking -- one of the great coaches. It doesn't matter what level. That's why he's in the Hall of Fame. And his two sons have learned a lot, learned a lot. And Danny's team -- yeah, he's built a -- he hasn't built a team, he's built a program there. You know, that's the difference. That's what you want to do is build a program that develops teams year after year, and he's done that at Rhode Island.

Q. Just to follow up on your thoughts about your guys making their debut in the NCAA --
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah.

Q. -- what's the biggest part, what's the biggest adjustment you have to make?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Do you have children?

Q. No?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: See, you're missing out on that. What happens when you're 18 and 19, and you go into a new experience. That's what we've had to go through the whole year, you know, the first road game, the first conference game, the -- you know, the first 10:00 game, you know, all of those things. So this is a first for them.

And whereas Iona, their program's been in the last three years, so this is just nerves. We didn't have it today, but because you're a human being, you can have it. You can get jittery, you can get a little bit tight. That's what happens to people. And our guys didn't do that today which I'm really pleased about.

Q. What was the first experience you had personally in any NCAA game in any way, shape, or form?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: It was '84 --

Q. No.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: '84, we got messed over, in Washington. They undercut Johnny Dawkins on a last-second lob and didn't call it and Detlef Schrempf and those guys beat us. It's pretty for me to remember that.

But also, it's an honor to coach any NCAA game. You know, they don't -- we've been fortunate we've been in a lot of them, but I don't take any of them for granted. They are beautiful in any way and getting a win in an NCAA game is fantastic.

Q. Mike, how valuable is it if Trevon can consistently hit from the perimeter like he did today?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, it's crazy good. He's worked on it, and I was proud of him after he hit the first one that he was aggressive and taking the others, you know, like -- wasn't like, oh, I'm happy. And -- but overall, the biggest thing, until the second half, when we had a bigger lead, he and Grayson had 17 assists and five turnovers. And then they messed around with a couple balls.

It probably should have been like 17-3, but if they can give us the floor game like that, and then, you know, he -- it would be nice if he hits that many. Just so he's a threat, and he is. So, that was a big boost for us.

Q. Now I'm blanking. What makes you most worried about Rhode Island match-up wise, with such experienced guards?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: You're going to answer my question. My answer. Now, I don't know if I asked the question or you did. Anyway, let me start over.

Rhode Island, we played them last year early, up at Mohegan Sun, and they were a tough-minded group. And that's what Danny has built there. And they have -- they can put four guards out there, too. They can handle and shoot and they value the ball and play defense. So, we'll have to beat a really good team to advance, but that's -- look. We're not unlike the other teams in the tournament. Everybody in the tournament is good, but they are experienced good. Okay? Thank you.

I See You, Duke Basketball

What best describes the mood surrounding Duke Basketball at this point in the season?  I will take a look-see at that question and more by sharing some thoughts on the Blue Devils.

I see you, Grayson Allen

Grayson Allen is in a good place right now.  He has been all smiles of late and for good reason.  His game is coming together full circle and at the right time in the season.  Allen is leading his team and has come out of his admitted somewhat shy shell to command and tell players where to be on the court.  Allen is at his best when the ball goes through him and the team as a whole seems better off as well.  Allen has beamed in consecutive games while talking in the ESPN post game interviews  as the player of the game.  I see you're happy, Grayson Allen.

I see you, defense

Duke has been playing some darn good defense of late.  It has been mainly zone but Mike Krzyzewski may go to man at anytime to shake things up.  The head man said that Duke communicated better in the zone with concern on where to be on the court during his post game press conference. As a bystander, I agree.  The Blue Devils have held three consecutive ACC opponents to under 60 points for the first time since 1980-81.  I see you, Duke defense.

I see you staff

The Duke staff is in serious mode these days and they are pushing the right buttons of late.  Not only are they recruiting like crazy when eyes are not on them, but they have made the right adjustments with a young team.  Whatever tweaks they have made, the team is in a good place mentally and physically at this time.  I see you working, Duke staff.

I see you, Wendell Carter Jr.

I notice you led the team in assists last evening while almost garnering a double-double.  Carter has become a steady player who shows up in every game.  He has learned to play tired at times with Bagley out and that has only made him better.  It is hard not to miss Momma Carter behind the Duke bench cheering her son on.  It is a reminder of how the Duke family works.  I see you crashing Allen's ESPN interview last night, Wendell.  We all know you are a big part of the recent success.

I see you, Gary Trent Jr.

Gary Trent Jr.  is at his best when he allows the game to come to him.  He is also very consistent as a true freshman.  Trent scored in double figures for the 22nd time this season in the win over Louisville.  He finds ways of helping his team and is a hard worker when it comes to improving his game.  I see the work you are putting in, Gary Trent Jr.

I see you, Trevon Duval

Duval had an off shooting night, but he had more assists than turnovers while leading the team in steals with five.    He also grabbed six rebounds from his guard spot and we all know Krzyzewski wanted his guards to hit the boards better.  I see you slithering in the passing lanes for steals and protecting the ball more, Trevon Duval.

I see you, Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley III is a part of conspiracy theories these days.  If you go on the message boards, some pretty active imaginations are at work.  But Bagley is shooting around and is close to coming back sooner rather than later.  His dad is behind the Duke bench cheering as if his son were playing and they both know the comeback will be worth the wait as should you.  I see you about to reenter the Duke lineup, Marvin Bagley.

I see you, Marques Bolden

Bolden is showing flashes of what many know the big man can do.  He had some great moments last night (8 pts, 5 rebs, 1 blk) and some tape will show him that similar play will lead to good things.  He is putting together some very efficient minutes.  I see you improving and becoming a factor, Marques Bolden.

I see you, Duke cast

Javin DeLaurier has averaged 9.0 rebounds per game in his two starts.  His energy can make things happen.  Meanwhile, Jack White has been logging great minutes as well.  Even Alex O'Connell dropped 2 assists in 7 minutes of play.  I see you guys.

I see the better free throw shooting

I think we have all noticed Duke has been efficient from the free throw stripe of late.  The team went a phenomenal  15 of 16 last evening.  I see the work, Blue Devils.

I see you, togetherness

Duke has been playing with great chemistry of late and seems to be building upon that in each time out.  They have played big time defense, looked good in their half court offense, had a solid rotation and are having fun while competing.  And when you have fun playing the game, the weight of the season lifts.  Despite going through a brutal stretch of their schedule, Duke seems fresh with three regular season games remaining.  I see you having fun and competing for a full forty minutes, Duke Basketball.

Defense Keys Duke Romp Over Hokies

Grayson Allen was the Player of the Game for Duke. Defense keys Duke win over Hokies.

The Duke Blue Devils played their best forty minutes of basketball this season.  The result was an impressive 74-52 ACC win over Virginia Tech.  The win sets up a situation where the (9-4 ACC, 21-5 overall) Blue Devils can move into second place with a win at Clemson this weekend.

Duke played zone the entire contest and more importantly they talked to one another on the defensive end.  "We stress talk.  The system we try to teach is offense, defense and communication.  But defensively, especially in zone, when you are talking you will be wider," said Krzyzewski.

The Duke coach also acknowledged it was his teams best defensive game of the season.  The Blue Devils helped themselves after a half time adjustment where the Hokies had nine turnovers after just one at the break.

Grayson Allen led Duke with 25 points and was the kind of leader the staff envisioned for Duke tonight.  "He's our leader.  We've had him off the ball a lot, so he has tried to lead from there but the ball is not in his hands.  With the ball in his hands he can make plays and call plays and is in more command, said Krzyzewski.

You can expect the strategy of Allen having the ball in his hands more to continue for Krzyzewski acknowledged it has helped the team in their last two outings.

All of the Duke players Blue Devil Nation spoke with after the game said this was their best 40 minute effort of the season.  And all of them had things to say about their communication in a zone defense that held a potent Hokies team to just 52 points.

Gary Trent Jr. added 19 points for Duke.  He was joined by Revon Duval (10 points) and Wendell Carter Jr. (13 points and 13 rebounds) as double figure scorers.

Duke started Marques Bolden (2 blocked shots) in the first half but opted for Javin DeLaurier in the second half.  DeLarurier played with energy and went 3 for 3 from the field and was on the end of some outstanding passes.  Those scores helped Duke gain continued energy in their victory.

The Blue Devils also scored 18 second chance points and tallied seven steals in the game to just one for the Hokies.  Duke held a monster advantage on the boards with a 36-19 advantage despite their leading scorer and rebounder in Marvin Bagley III being sidelined with an injury.

Duke can take over sole possession of 2nd place in the ACC with a win at Clemson this Sunday.  That game tips off at 1:00 and will be televised by the ACC Network.

Coach K Tidbits

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski briefly addressed the media today.  Here are  some tidbits from that Q & A.

-If there is one thing that bothered the Duke coach in not only the loss to St. Johns but in the games of late; that would be turnovers.  Krzyzewski said that many of the turnovers against St. Johns were unforced.  "A really good team doesn't need to beat itself and when you commit that many turnovers we beat ourselves."

-Krzyzewski would like to see a more aggressive Grayson Allen.  he wants him to shoot hunt his shot and to play aggressive. "He has done that for the most part but not all the time. He is trying to help his teammates but you have to be careful not to lose some of you."

-Krzyzewski said it is easy to see what his team has to do better and while he is not minimizing issues as a simple fix -- he feels hard work will get the team to where it needs to be,

-Krzyzewski praised UNC for still being a good rebounding team despite playing a smaller lineup.  "Thursdays game is not an end all.  It is a huge game but there will be another after that.  Their program and out program is built on more than one game."

-When asked of struggles of late, Krzyzewski said, "Nobody wants to be at their peak in February."

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