K Monday Press Conference Quotes

Coach K met the media Monday to discuss the upcoming game with North Carolina

On Shelden Williams:
"Shelden has been a key for us all year, and I think he's playing his best basketball this season in these last couple of weeks. He has to show discipline in playing (Tyler) Hansbrough. Hansbrough, I think, is not just the Rookie of the Year in our conference. He's the Rookie of the Year nationally, and I think he's a first-team All-Conference player to be quite frank with you. He's very unusual in a kid of that age as a freshman. You're usually talking about potential, and he's using his potential."

On depth in this type of game:
"Any time you play a 9:00 game, and it's an emotional one – usually you're not playing at nine unless somebody wants to watch it, so it becomes a fairly emotional one – you always have to be concerned about the time clock of the kids playing, especially when it's a weekday game at nine. Kids have to become disciplined, both teams, so if you're not, the team that has a little bit more depth can have an advantage. It's all a matter of how you handle that day and how you handle the emotion of that day. If you're in an emotional game, sometimes the team is tired after warm-ups. I've had teams, when this place is going nuts, where I'm getting ready for them to go out for the final time, I'm saying, ‘Holy mackerel, is this halftime?' There's sweat, and they've been through everything. Then after that first T.V. timeout, it can get crazy. You have to make a read on that, and sometimes that will determine the tempo you want to play the game at."

On team being healthy:
"I think we can be in better shape. This is the third game in six days, and the two games we've had are nine and 12, and they have been just unbelievable games, so we've had to adjust practice so we'd be a little bit fresher. Would I like to be fresher? Yes. There's no question. This is one of those three games in six days, two of them road, and they've been just like tomorrow night's game. It'll be a hell of a game. [DeMarcus (Nelson) and Lee (Melchionni)] are getting better. As far as number of guys playing, it's as good as we've been."

On practice:
"We didn't really practice yesterday. We met, but I didn't even have them suit out just because we were just dead after that game against Florida State. J.J. (Redick) had to have an I.V. because he was completely dehydrated, which tells you what kind of game that was. We'll be okay. You would like always more preparation."

On Greg Paulus compared to Duke's other freshmen point guards:
"He's done a really good job. (Bobby) Hurley had more guys around him who could play at a high level – we don't have that for Greg – and more athleticism, so when you did fast break, Hurley had good finishers. He got them the ball, but we're not that kind of team. It was a different team for him, a little bit more of a half-court team. But Greg has done a good job. He's done a really, really good job."

On what makes rivalry unique:
"Proximity, of course, and the purity of collegiate sport compared to pro. Not that there's anything wrong with pro sport, but these guys aren't making $25 million or $13 million or whatever. But the proximity – to have two storied programs this close, who really, there are more similarities with the two programs than dissimilarities. One is that both programs have stood the test of time. You don't talk about an individual team – remember when that team won? You talk about what North Carolina or Duke have won. In all those teams, the trademarks have been good kids, playing hard together, playing good defense and doing it clean but hard and understanding their places within their universities. You could say that, and then say, well he's talking about Carolina; he's talking about Duke. No, I'm talking about both of them. People want to watch that, and besides, usually both teams are pretty darn good. It's usually a showcase game, I think, not just for the ACC, but for college basketball. Any year. In all the years I've been, it's been a showcase game. It's been an honor for me to be part of it for this time, and it will be tomorrow night too."

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