Full Transcript: Krystkowiak on Loss

Full transcript of Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak's post-Sweet Sixteen press conference, courtesy of ASAP Sports...

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by University of Utah Coach, Larry Krystkowiak. Coach.

COACH KRYSTKOWIAK: I don't really have an opening statement. Just fire away with the questions.

Q. Coach, Winslow being able to hit his shots today, how much more difficult does he become as a matchup when he's able to hit outside shots like did he today?

COACH KRYSTKOWIAK: Well, that's -- he's a high-powered guy. We looked at stats. I think for the last eight games, he had a multiple three-point shooting game. Hit 3 against Syracuse and 2, 3 against somebody else. Most part was a 1-3 game player with his attack moves and his athleticism and quickness, we were going to live with his ability to knock down a 3 and it got us. No doubt about it. He stepped up. Thought we did a terrific job on their two leading scorers, and that's what makes Duke, you know, Duke. And they've got some other guys that rose to the occasion tonight, made some big plays, but I thought him coming back to Houston day after a birthday, only juiced up and ready to go. We didn't have an answer.

Q. Coach, can you tell me as you reflect, and I know it's right after the game, a good season for you guys, disappointing end. Where do you go from here?

COACH KRYSTKOWIAK: Well, heck if I know. I'm in decompress mode at this point. Just enjoyed the experience with these kids and going to soak that up for a little while and reflect, you know, little R-and-R and, you know, back in the saddle, but that's the last thing I'm thinking about right now. It's that point in the year where it's been a heck of a year from September all the way till now, and these kids have given us their heart and souls for the entire year, unbelievable group of guys, and, you know, I'm just thinking about getting back to Salt Lake. That's where I'm going from here and put it all in perspective.

Q. Larry, missed the first nine shots to start the game, do you think that's jitters? And same question for the players, do you think your team went down swinging today?

COACH KRYSTKOWIAK: I'm not sure we played -- there's been very few first halves that were as poor as we were offensively. We were really good defensively and spent -- maybe shame on me for the last four days. We spent about 90 percent of our time on our defense and hung our hat on our defense and really proud of the effort that we put forth and it was a combination -- I thought our turnovers more than the missed shots put an undue pressure on our -- when we had turnover to start with trying to throw to Brandon under the basket and went out of bounds. 9 in the first half. That was the difference, 9 turnovers. And then sometimes when you're presented with open shots, it was a bad combination. Still to be down 5 at half it really felt like we were down 20. There was a little bit of hope if we dialed in, took better care of the basketball -- we needed to see some shots go in. That gives you a little bit of umph. When we were down 15 late in the game, the 3s add up pretty quick. We didn't have that facet of the game until the very end. We never really got a good feeling. But I think the combination of -- I know the game before us they didn't shoot real well. It's an interesting environment. It's not a basketball arena. It's the only Regional that's played in a venue like this. Everybody else is a normal-sized arena. It's not our issue, it's Duke's issue as well as everybody else. It had a lot more to do with our mindset and turnovers. That probably sealed our fate more than anything. As far as going down swinging, that's -- we always do that. I mean, we got our butts kicked I think once this year when we played at Arizona where we pretty much got knocked down and didn't get up from that game, but we hadn't been -- we haven't really been beaten like that, and I can trust our guys. We had eight minutes to go in the game. I talked about that, you know, and sometimes we need a little bit more of that sense of urgency early in the game. But we do a nice job of responding when we get down and coming back, we've come back any number of games and the kids have never quit. So, I think that's important and that's something we talk about in our program. It's really hard to beat somebody that never gives up. That's not just a basketball deal, that's in life and in general, and that's one of the things we try to get across to our players.

Q. Coach, speaking of turnovers, your team seemed to really struggle against Duke's press. Is that something that you guys prepared for coming into this game?

COACH KRYSTKOWIAK: We did, we did daily, believe it or not, it didn't look like it, but, you know, I thought there was going to be a moment of truth in the game where they pressed and if we took care of the ball, probably weren't going to see much of it. And, unfortunately, we had some turnovers and they kind of juiced it up a little bit and added to it. We had a ten-second call and lot of unforced errors with that that were more of a mindset and lack of ability to make a play. I'd love to take as much blame as I can for it, but we certainly prepared for the press and knew it was there.


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