Coach K Pre Game Quotes

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski met the media Monday to discuss the upcoming week.

On playing Michigan State again
"They're a veteran team. They're returning all their key guys from last season. It is a championship level program run by a championship level coach, so they have their system, they believe in it, and they believe in each other. You have to beat a team, not one or two individuals. That is the thing about Michigan State, they are going to play you hard. They are really running the ball, more than I've ever seen them run. They still rebound and are playing hard. They are a veteran crew. They have three seniors in their top six, and have some juniors and guys who have played a lot of minutes. They are an old fashioned really good team. "

On the ACC/Big 10 Challenge
"First of all, college basketball needs to do stuff like this to draw the attention that basketball needs this time of year. There are a lot of other things going on, and you do something like this for one, two or three years and it captures a lot of attention, especially if you take two of the premiere conferences and have them play against one another. I'd like to see this continue. "

On Duke being a big game for other teams
"We are hunted, and we also do the hunting. Once I see something, I can tell you whether or not I think a team is good. I don't like to predict on something I haven't seen before. I've seen some of the teams in our league now, and I think they are really good. My feeling is people are going to have to come after us, and we are going to have to go after them. Where we are ranked is irrelevant. We have won a lot, so people are going to think our game is a big game no matter what."

On strong shooting performance against UNC Greensboro carrying over to stronger opponents
"I think anytime you shoot well in a game, no matter what game it is, it helps. They're still kids, and they still like to see the ball go in. It went in with more frequency on Saturday night (against UNC-Greensboro) especially from three-point range. I think we can be a good shooting team. I think when J.J. [Redick] doesn't shoot as well; it has an impact on all of us, just from a confidence level. They expect J.J.'s shots to go in, so if he didn't hit, they may start thinking, especially early on in the season. But I think the game will help us."

On the lack of a specific point guard
"It is not so much rotating point guards, but it's just that different guys will handle the ball. Daniel [Ewing] is our leader out there, and he will have the ball most of the time, even if he and Sean [Dockery] are in the ball game. But then Daniel isn't in the game the whole time and in different sets we will run, Sean will handle it. Sean is showing that he has worked hard on his outside shot, and sometimes taking him off the ball, people might drop off of him, and he has a wide-open shot and that can be another thing for us. We will use the non-conference schedule to get a better feel for our team before the conference games. We are still learning about our team."

On Daniel Ewing's play
The first thing is to not to try to be Chris [Duhon]. I thought Daniel committed a few turnovers on Saturday just because he was trying to be someone he isn't. He leads us in turnovers, and probably two-thirds are unforced, just by trying to go too fast. That's not who we need, we still need him to look to score, which is much different from Chris. He has to be who he is, and that's what we need him to be."

On Chicago Basketball
"Chicago is a big city. There is inner city Chicago, and there are the suburbs. In the city, it's a lot of fast paced games, a lot of running, pressing. I hate to generalize, but the exchanges are not too long, so you wouldn't need a shot clock. Sean [Dockery] has had to change his game to play at this level. He is changing, and sometimes when you change, you find a strength that you never knew you had. I really believe that Sean can become an excellent shooter. He shoots a soft shot, and he shoots it easy."

On Defense
"I think overall on defense, we've played hard. We are playing together. Each possession is important for us. We are diving for loose balls. I'd like to always see us walk out a little better, and we are going to need to do that against Michigan State. I think our kids understand that we are going to need to play good defense, and I think that is why our defense is a little ahead of our offense right now."

On Michigan State
"They're deeper than we are this year. They are really a veteran team this year. They could have played a game after a week of practice this year. They are probably ahead of us this year. That was not the case last year, we were on the same page that year."

On the ACC chance of winning ACC/Big 10 Challenge
"Well I have seen some of the teams now, and I think we have some talented basketball teams. I think one of the best is one I haven't seen yet, in N.C. State. They are playing some great defense. I have seen Wake Forest and North Carolina. ACC has won two of the major tournaments so far, the preseason NIT and Maui. When your conference wins those, it says you have a pretty good conference."

On Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo
"He's one of the best coaches and he's built a premier program, he didn't do it from the bottom-up though, like here there was a tradition at Michigan State...and he is in a very rich and talented area. I think the fact that they had continuity, [they] hired the assistant who had served well and was ready to understand Michigan State, and to me Tom believes in and loves Michigan State. That carried over, it's kind of a great story and I would like to see it in other places. I would like to see it here eventually when I step down, where there is continuity. One of the things about Tom is that he has developed his own style; he's taken a look at a lot of different people and said here's what I want to do and he's done that. They have always been a good rebounding team, they play hard all the time, I don't think I can ever remember anyone saying one of his kids had a bad attitude. They are going to be there every year as long as he is there, there is no question about that."

On changes in Redick's game
"I think he's become a really good defender, he moves his feet well, he wants to defend and I think his passing has gotten much better. In high school he never passed and shouldn't have, all of a sudden he has to do that and led us in assists on Saturday. He wants to be a leader as well, so I think those three areas, the fourth is probably is that he is able to take the ball in intermediate range or all the way to the bucket better."

On Ewing's Contribution
"Daniel's been great, he's been like the Duke players we've had in my time here; the Trajan Langdons, the Chris Collins, Wojo. He's been steady, he's been terrific, a team guy, as a senior I really believe he will have his best year and understand that more is expected of him in every area and want that responsibility. Historically that is what has happened for our seniors, and they've responded beautifully over time, and that's happening so far. Main thing I hope for him is that he is injury free...that kid played with a boot on for two months last year, trying to prevent a broken foot and was never really completely 100% the whole year, but because he never says anything you think nothing's wrong. So I would like to see him injury-free this whole year."

On what the team needs from Shelden Williams
"Throughout the year we need him to play a lot of minutes and the less fouls he has the more minutes he will play. He's in shape to play a full game and he can play 40 minutes, that's what we have our guys trained to do. Part of it is playing well, part is staying out of foul trouble and being smart. Overall I think he has done a really good job of that, we have to get Shav to do better in that regard."

On the progress of freshmen
"I think they've both done really good jobs, they're working hard. Dave (McClure) played center in high school, we have him on the perimeter most of the time, there some things that will take a little bit of time; shot selection, how to play defense. He rebounds very well, and he's an easy guy to play with and I think he is going to be a really solid basketball player. DeMarcus has been knocked back with that injury, so it affects a lot; how he shoots etc, it's healed really well, he'll probably get the tape off it in about a week, but it's still there. I think he's working hard, he's getting his reps in, his progress was hindered by the injury but his attitude is great."

On varying styles in College Basketball
"I think that's the beauty of college basketball, that you could be playing a team that runs it and tries to score 90 points, and then the next day you are playing Princeton or Temple, and they win doing it their way. In the NBA you might see one trend but in college you are going to see a lot of styles, and you have to adapt; sometimes your team is better playing against certain styles, but I just want to be good against all of them."

On Duke's Style
"I wouldn't consider us a running team or a slow tempo team but I'd like to be a good offensive team to match our defense."


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