Press Conference: Coach K

Coach Mike Krzyzewski met the media Saturday to discuss the regional final against Xavier on Sunday.

Opening Statement

"(Chris) Duhon is hurting some today. He is getting treatment during the interview sessions which will hopefully speed his recovery along where he will be able to go at a good pace tomorrow afternoon."

On if the quick turnarounds have been difficult for Chris Duhon

"It has been really difficult for Chris. He has had very limited practice time and so to me what was amazing last night was his endurance. Chris is a very gifted athlete and even with the injury he was still able to function at a high level. I liken him to our associate head coach Johnny Dawkins. Those two guys over the years for me are the two guys who never seem to get tired no matter what. They are just incredible athletes and I think that has helped Chris immensely in handling and managing this injury."

On the impact of parity

"I think with college basketball in the last five years, parity has arrived and will never leave now. Xavier is a good example with their guards. You have a fifth-year player in (Lionel) Chalmers who really could be a starting point guard for any team in the country. And (Romain) Sato is an older player ... That's advantages that teams have if they can keep their guys or a good number of them until their senior years or have guys who are fifth-year players. The age differential there is more pronounced now with so many kids leaving early or not even coming to college ... It makes for an unbelievable tournament, but there are less upsets as a result. These teams don't get worn down - I'm not saying necessarily Xavier - but teams don't get worn down in their conference. In our conference, you can get worn down because you are playing somebody outstanding every game. In some conferences that is not the case - although I think the Atlantic 10 is a really good conference with St. Joseph's, Temple and George Washington - and some of these teams can come in and they are fresher, they have not been beaten down, their egos are really good and that type of thing. They don't go through some of the trials and tribulations that a major conference team does. Across the board I think you are seeing that like with a Nevada. They are good and they were (so close) to being in the Elite Eight."

On what impact it will have that Duke has played in so many regional finals

"Many of these guys have not played in a regional final and that is the thing. I have coached in regional finals but I have not coached this group in a regional final and so that's when the past really is irrelevant. If we had gone the last couple of years or last year then it is relevant. But the fact that our program has done it I don't think makes that much of a difference. It's what experience the individual on the court has. I think the fact that Duhon has been there before helps us because he has been a national champion. And these kids are trying to achieve something they haven't done yet just like the Xavier kids are trying to achieve. It means just as much to these guys as it does to them because they haven't done it before."

On the job of Duke's post players in the tournament

"I think over the last six weeks and especially the last two or three weeks, our guys have improved. They have been good all years, but they are really good right now. Last night was the best post passing we have had, post guy to post guy. I can't think of another team we had that did it that well. It's just the experience that these guys are getting playing with one another. I think (assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski) has done a great job of working with the big guys."

On the play of Luol Deng

"He is a very unique player. Over the years we have had guys like that who can be match-up problems for a bunch of people, but that means he has to learn to use and develop his versatility, not just offensively but defensively. He needs to be able to guard a number of different people and he is learning that. One of the great things about coaching Luol, and there have been a few kids I have had who have fallen into this category is they possess very unique skills and qualities as people and as players and they are so grateful and happy to be with you and learn from you and what they don't realize is that for the short time they will be with you that once they leave you, we will be the ones who will say how grateful and how appreciative we were for having the opportunity to be with them."

The Devils Den Top Stories