Tag Archives: Duke Basketball

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.

Duke Locker Room Video Interviews

Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter and Javin DeLaurier had a few things to say after the huge Duke win over Iona.  Check out what they had to say -

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10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball

Welcome to the final regular season edition of my ten random thoughts on Duke Basketball.

Putting a loss in perspective

It amazes me how some fans will say the season is over after a single loss.  History shows us that most teams which make a deep run in March have some adversity during the season.   Just ask current Duke assistants Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith what they went through before the 2010 title.    Duke lost a game to a hungry Virginia Tech team where a single play could have won the game.  Teams can learn some tough lessons and benefit down the road.

Duke-UNC Important in many ways

Duke is a lock to get a double bye in the ACC Tournament, but a win over North Carolina assures them of second place.  And that would be a good finish is in the toughest league in America.  The Tar Heels can be more damaged by a loss.  The reason is that they can fall out of a top four seed if the ball bounces right for other teams.  That will make for a hungry bunch.

Win it for Grayson Allen

Lets face it.  A loss to North Carolina would be devastating on senior day.  And not only that, a regular season sweep would mean a long summer for the fans and team pride.  Grayson Allen will be playing his final game in Cameron Indoor Stadium after a four-year career.  Winning this one for a player who gave his heart would be nice on many fronts.

But this will be other players last go round in Cameron, too

We all know that Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. will enter the NBA Draft due to their lofty draft status.  This will be these two players last game in Cameron as well and they should want to go out with a bang.  Here is hoping the dynamic duo has a great outing.  And for the record, depending on how the season unwinds, Duke will be losing other freshman early as well.

Defense has been good

Not to be lost by a close loss is the play of the Duke defense of late.  The Blue Devils have steadily improved by playing zone.  A good measuring stick for the defense will be the game with UNC which is one of the best offensive teams in the nation.

Now, the offense needs to catch up

It is strange how things work out.  Early in the season the Duke offense was unstoppable and the defense had holes to plug.  In their last two outings, the Blue Devils have been a tad clunky on offense.  There are many reasons for slowed production but none that cannot be worked out.  And that is good news for the team as all the games count from this point forward.

Finally, some rest...

Duke will be fresh when they face North Carolina if they can avoid getting too high.  Campus will be a hotbed of activity as ESPN Gameday comes to town.  Duke was a tired bunch after the loss to the Hokies and they have finally been able to rest up.  That same break will also be big heading into Brooklyn and the ACC Tournament which will be well underway at this time next week.

About Marvin Bagley III

Firstly, how awesome is it that he made the All ACC Academic team?  But the elephant in the room is the brutal criticism from Dan Dakich and others of late.  Duke is better with Marvin Bagley but the there is an adjustment period when a player comes back in the lineup.  Here is to Bagley using the chatter as motivation to be his best self the rest of the season.  I mean, he is likely to be the ACC's Player of the Year with a strong finish.  As for Dakich, I thought his comments were off base and unfair to Bagley or anyone else who would have been a recipient of a rant from out of nowhere.

Prospects Visiting

Duke will have some very key prospects on campus this weekend.  More on that later.

Final Thoughts

I feel pretty good about where Duke is at this time in the season.  They have had some hard lessons on toughness but those have helped a young team grow.  I think we will see Duke at its best this Saturday.  One thing at a time.

My thinking is that Duke will land three players on the ACC All Freshman Team and a fourth will be very close in the voting.  I feel Bagley III will come away with the Player and Rookie of the Year awards.  Duke will likely have Bagley on first team and a couple of guys on second team or close.

Bold prediction?  Duke is about to go on a four game run.  That is if they treat each game like a fight.

 

 

Mike Krzyzewski, Wendell Carter Address Yahoo Report

Wendell Carter

If you have read some of the articles in the national media of late, you would think Duke Basketball was in trouble.  In a Yahoo report released yesterday, there was tale of a ledger which said an agent had dinner with the Carters in 2016.

"I don't really know a lot about what happened.  It really wasn't that much of a distraction because I know I haven't done anything wrong nor had my family," said Wendell Carter Jr. after his teams 70-54 win over Syracuse.

About that time, Trevon Duval yelled, "Yeah, man, he's good, right?"  His teammate was looking to save Carter from what had been non stop questions on the Yahoo report and not his stellar game.

If Wendell Carter was bothered in any way by the minor accusation his numbers did not show it.  In fact, he had the best stat line of any Duke player with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots.  He was also 6-6 from the free throw stripe.

"I just went out and played the game," said Carter.  He continued, I am just a player who wants to win.  I don't care if I score two points a game."

Carter also addressed the return of Marvin Bagley and that he thought the two would only get better as they played together.  "it was great to have him back, he is a great player on both ends."

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski cleared the matter with Carter up even more in his post game presser.  Krzyzewski said he was out walking his dog "Blue," when he received a call from Kylia Carter, who is Wendell's mom.

"Kylia called me at home when I was walking Blue.  And she said did you see the Yahoo report.  I said, Kylia, I am walking  Blue and I haven't seen the Yahoo report.  And she was nervous about and I said tell me about it.  And she said, Coach this is what happened.  A couple of years ago through a friend we met this guy and we were suppose to get something to eat.  As soon as Wendell's father sat down, he did not like the guy and he left.  She said, you know, I am a good southern girl from Mississippi, so I just stayed there a little longer.  We did not have anything to eat and we left and never had anything to do with them," said Krzyzewski.

The Duke coach then said, "Please don't be nervous.  We met at 9:00 with our compliance and at 11:00 Kevin White (Duke Athletic Director) arranged for compliance to meet just with the Carters.  Wendell has never... he didn't know anything about it.  So, they went through with preparation just like you would do with the NCAA and they let them know about that.  Our team here at Duke did a great job providing the help a player and parent would need.  And I applaud the NCAA for working so swiftly.  It is too bad every item mentioned (in the report) had the same magnitude.  It was a little bit of a rush to judgement, but that is the world we live in today."

Krzyzewski said he felt comfortable in using Carter in the win over Syracuse in that there were no violations committed.

"Ledgers are ledgers. It is not the Ten Commandments.  I think everybody should be careful on rushing to judgement with something like that.  It was an alleged ledger entry," said Krzyzewski.

"We don't feel like we were taking any chances with that particular thing," added Krzyzewskl.

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.