Coach K: We have to develop differently
This story originally published on TheDevilsDen.com

TDD Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2013


Head coach Mike Krzyzewski met the media on Monday afternoon for his weekly press conference

Q. I heard your radio comment earlier about Ryan Kelly's presence and lineup gives the team a confidence that obviously isn't there when he's not in there. Short of him waking up healthy tomorrow with a good foot, what's the best way for the team to sort of recapture that over the next few games?

Mike Krzyzewski: Well, I'm not sure you ever recapture that completely. Ryan is one of the best players, and so you can't ask somebody to just try to do what he does. I think your team has to develop a little bit different personality. And when you've had a personality that's developed based really around our three seniors, you have to -- it's new. It's new.

But trying to chase what he had, you're not -- we won't be able to do that. Hopefully he'll be able to come back at some time and that will help us recapture it.

Q. I'm writing a story on Chris Street, the basketball player who was killed 20 years ago this week. His last game that he played for Iowa was against your Duke team back in 1993, and I was just wondering, one, what, if anything, you recall from that afternoon when you guys played Iowa, and two, when you think of him, what comes to mind?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, he was one of my favorite players. He pointed their press. He just was all over the place. He played with the type of attitude that you would want to inject in every player that has ever played for you. He just was a warrior and a terrific player and really a terrific kid.

I remember shaking his hand after the game just because coming into the game I admired him so much watching him on tape, just to tell him, it was an honor to play against you. He was a very special basketball player.

Q. Obviously Rasheed (Sulaimon) is still doing a lot of good things for you, but he's been in a little shooting slump. I just wonder what you see. Is he still taking good shots? Is something happening, and is it just a cycle players go through?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I think it can happen more with freshmen. I mean, he has played really well at times this year. Really since coming back from Christmas, he really hasn't played that well in all aspects of the game. He's been okay, but he hasn't come close to playing the way he was, and sometimes, especially a younger player, if the ball is not going in, it can have an adverse effect on other aspects of your game, and that might be what's happening with him.

A lot of the shots he's missing are right by the basket. He's not finishing. And when you finish or you get fouled, he has to be stronger so you can go to the line, then you see the ball go in, and that helps when you're shooting a jump shot.

But a big thing for him is finishing and then not letting -- I mean, he -- I am thinking the last five games, he's something like 9-for-40 and only three assists. So he's not nearly playing at the level that he can play at. So we've got to keep working with him.

Q. As a coach what can you do?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: You work with him. I mean, there's no injection or app. I mean, I'm looking for those apps. I went online and tried to find that app to change a 9 for 40 shooter and freshman to playing how he was, but I couldn't find it. I think we'll just continue to work, drill, and then be positive about what we're doing.

Q. As a coach do you have to-- I'm sure you go over his shots and his tapes. Do you reinforce these are good shots and these are not good shots and encourage him to keep taking the good shots?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, over the years I think you would see that my guys take shots. We're not conservative about going after it. And so with the team or individual, not just Rasheed, you always evaluate whether you have good shots or not good shots. I mean, that's one of the keys to winning is taking good shots.

Overall his shots have not been bad shots. It's hitting them and finishing. But we always -- it's not just Rasheed. We evaluate our shots all the time. I mean, that's an integral part of the game.

Q. I apologize if you mentioned this in your opening statement. Is there an update on Seth's health status or Ryan's at this point?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, Ryan's is more -- a little bit more long-term because we're -- you saw him on crutches on Saturday. Well, he was on crutches on Saturday and has been on crutches to reduce the load on his foot, and we'll see week to week what that does. We're hopeful that he'll be back at some time. We don't want to put a time out there where he's trying to compete against a time rather than just take care of -- make sure we're taking care of the injury.

And with Seth, Seth's injury was a slight sprain to his left ankle, and there wasn't a lot of swelling after the game, and yesterday it looked pretty good. He won't practice today, but unless something else happens, he'll be available for Thursday.

Q. I was going to ask about Seth, too. I just wanted to get your feelings on his -- the mental toughness he's shown. He's always dealing with the right leg. Can you just address what he's going through and how he's handling this so far?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: No, he's been remarkable, because you guys don't get -- you're not here every day and you're not -- you don't know what he has to go through or really the limited amount of practice that he has, you know, where you're missing days every week of practice and how our medical staff has managed the injury. They've all done a remarkable job, Seth being the main one, and for him to have played in all of our games except one and really be a significant factor on this team is remarkable.

But it also causes you to adjust and make adjustments in how you practice, and it does have its negative impact on your continuity, your sharpness on offense, because he's not there. You don't practice with him except for limited time on certain days. And so it -- our guys have done a great job because really managing that injury leads to a bunch of different things that we have to adjust to. But overall it's worked great for us to be in the position we're in and that Seth is playing. We're very pleased. But it's a very unusual situation.

And then with Ryan getting hurt, pretty -- that puts another thing with practice and continuity and all those things. That's two of our top three players. So again, Seth has been terrific, though, and I'm very proud of him.


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