Coach K Monday Press Conference Quotes

Opening Statement:
"We're in the same physical state. Sean [Dockery] is doing better. He's not ready to play and I don't know if he is going to be ready to play, but he'll be checked out again tomorrow. But that doesn't mean he'll be ready, no matter what they say, for the ACC Tournament. We'll have maybe a better idea of long term, if there's any chance at any time in the NCAA Tournament he might be able to play. He's doing bike work and doing a little bit of running straight ahead with the brace. We're just hoping that we can get him back just to help us a little bit with ball handling and on-the-ball defense. And I think he's staying in good shape because he's doing footwork and bike and all that, so we'll see.

"Other than that, we lifted this morning and we're going to have a practice right after this press conference. We'll practice here on Wednesday and Thursday morning, then leave early Thursday afternoon just because we're not going to be able to practice at the MCI Center. So instead of trying to find a place there on Thursday, we'd rather practice here and then take off. The one thing that is different for this tournament than all the other ACC Tournaments is the fact that you won't be able to get on the floor before your game. In that regard, there's a disadvantage, of course, of playing on Thursday, but the advantage is that in three of the games that team will have had the experience of being on the floor, just feeling comfortable with the surroundings. One of the things I'm concerned about for our game is the short warm-up period in between games, because we won't be able to shoot there the day of the game. That's a concern for me. We're working on how we do our prename warm-up or is there something that we can do in the locker room before so that we get more shots up and just get a little bit more familiarity. It's different. I'm not saying that that means the other team has a huge advantage; I'm just saying that maybe I think as we look at other tournaments, I would like to see us find some time for the teams that play of Friday to get at least half an hour in on Thursday morning or something like that, which we haven't done this year."

On playing in the MCI Center:
"I think that the fact that our last game was in an arena like it, at the Smith Center, that helps. Friday, we have our shoot around. We're going to try to do it at one of the local universities, so it'll be a bigger arena. Again, I don't want to make a big thing out of it, but I think as you're looking with the expansion and that, everyone should get their comments as to how you might make it better in the future."

On testing players for stress fractures:
"Nancy Major and Clyde Helms, who are two of the top radiologists in the country, handle that here. For the last couple of years, they've been doing studies that not only help athletes, but you take a look at stress and what happens. We've done that the last few years and then we do it again before we start our conditioning in the fall and then after the season. We do not just in that, but in a lot of orients in testing our guys so you get to see the wear and tear of what we have. Although with Nancy and Clyde doing it, you have the best people in the world doing it."

On the difficulties of preparing for Miami and Virginia:
"What we do these first couple of days is prepare ourselves for the tournament and the next tournament. We are trying to get in good condition, review all of our offensive sets and take areas of weakness and try to make them strengths. More so we are preparing ourselves, not for a specific opponent but just trying to be a better basketball team. We are going to start the lineup we started against North Carolina, so we need to get Shav [Randolph] more repetitions with that unit in game situations. We need to get Dave McClure, now that he is just about 100 percent, in some type of a rotation. If we can use the ACC Tournament to get that familiarity, I think we will not only be better for the ACC Tournament but we will definitely be better for the NCAA Tournament."

On changing your coaching strategies this season:
"I think we have done a little bit more in our game plans, quite frankly we did to much earlier in the conference. Now we have a good feel for what are kids can handle and what we can get across in a two-day or one-day period, depending on how much preparation time you have. Instead of changing defenses, it will be more about tempo or something within our defense that we will try to take advantage of."

On what you like to do for pregame shoot around:
"You would like to on a day of a game get in for at least a half hour. We like to get 10 minutes at least, after we stretch, at each bucket and then give them about 10 minutes just to get a feel for the court. Not to long."

On officiating changes in the tournament:
"They are officiated differently, I don't think the ACC Tournament as much as the NCAA Tournament. Part of it is that it is one of the only times that officials are scrutinized and judged based on their performance to advance and keep working. If they do well they might get a next game or next round. So what does that do, is it good or bad? I think it is both, really outstanding officials are in the tournament. Some of them then react very positively, like they like being watched. Others their is a lack of communication during the game, they may not talk to the players as much and you have to be careful that they are not the ones that are tense. I have coached in a lot of NCAA games and in a number of them I would say that of the components - coaches, players and officials - that at times the officiating crew is tight."

On officiating at the end of the game - idea that the officials want to let the players decide the game:
"I don't think they should ever go according to that saying. I hate to call it a rule, because if that is the rule then it is wrong. Players decide the game, there is not question about it. But if a player is in a position where he is taking a shot and is fouled then you have to call it, whether there is 0.1 second or two seconds. To me the most important thing to watch at that moment is what happens on the shot. Really there are a number of fouls committed in last shot type of situations. I don't think you would call a moving screen unless it was blatant or an over the back unless it was blatant but anything that would interrupt a shot, I think you have to be strict about that and call it."

On freshman point guards in the NCAA Tournament:
"Two of the freshmen I have had in the NCAA Tournament were Tommy Amaker and Bobby Hurley. They weren't freshman by the time they went to the tournament. There is a lot more pressure on a point guard then any other position because you have to think for everybody. The main thing I would be concerned is not so much the game but everything around the game that might distract that kid from paying attention to his job."

On the ACC Tournament moving around the next few years:
"I think it is a good thing right now. Once we get through with expansion, hopefully when it is through it is done, I would think that the powers that be, it won't be the coaches but the people who want tickets and the fundraising arms of each school will look at venues that are large, I mean really large. The demand of 12 teams is immense. For right now I think it is great but at a certain point I think that will be the main point of discussion."

On RPI and Strength of Schedule impact on NCAA Tournament selection:
"I don't know what it means in terms of NCAA Tournament. The way they have done the RPI this year is kind of weird, where you have teams that have high RPIs and there is no way they should have a high RPI based on their overall schedule. I think they have weighted games on an opponents home court too heavily. I don't know what the committee will look at, at the beginning of the year they said that the RPI wasn't going to be that important but that is what everyone talks about. I think our conference is probably deserving of six bids, based on the strength of our conference and I think what you would have to look at is what those teams did in the nonconference, but also remember we did not play a double round-robin this year so there are teams that have had a little bit tougher schedules than others in the conference. That's a factor. You need to look at that, as you should in all the conferences that don't play a double round-robin. That is where I think that it would help the committee to have an advisory group there that understands these things, especially when it comes down to three schools for one [spot]. The ACC champion will be crowned on Sunday afternoon, that's the automatic bid. After that it's your overall record, it's not your record in conference. That is the misconception."

On Duke possibly being an underdog heading into the tournament:
"I don't think people will cheer us as an underdog up there. We go there knowing that people want to see us get beat. We have not been an underdog all year and hopefully we never will be while I am coaching here. I'm not saying we are the favorites, I am not big on predictions, all I know is that when we walk on the floor we are getting everybody's best shot."

On the competitiveness expected at the ACC Tournament:
"I think somebody from that middle group can win. They will have the most motivation. You have three teams definitely in (the NCAA Tournament) and I think Georgia Tech has to be in. You have to be careful in how you do the ACC Tournament, you want to go there and win but you also know that there is a great tournament that you need to play (the following) Thursday. I think within that middle group of teams, somebody can emerge and win. I also think that having three games on Thursday will help the middle group have a chance to make more of an impact for their NCAA chances. Having that Thursday game and then really being more ready to play the Friday game. The first two days there will be different motivations but there is a lot going on Thursday and Friday, not just for our tournament but for the NCAA. It is very interesting all the stuff that is happening."

On Shelden Williams defensive prowess:
"He is a different defender than we have had because he blocks shots. He pretty much doesn't foul when he blocks shots - his fouls are getting around [in the post] - and the main reason is because he is able to go straight up, he stays in his plain and he can block with both hands. He has got to be a candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year. He is the best shot blocker I've coached. With this team in particular, he's the main reason we are a real good defensive team. I wish I had depth at the perimeter because I would like to go chase people and know that he is behind there. We just haven't been able to do that because of our depth."


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