Coach K Quotes: Duke vs. North Carolina

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski met the media following Saturday's loss to North Carolina

Opening Comments:
"It was a really good game. I thought our kids played really hard. Carolina's kids played hard. The crowd was amazing. Somebody's got to win and lose. I thought they deserved it. I thought they played better than we did. I don't think they wanted it necessarily more than we did. In some respects I thought we made it bigger than what it was. Sometimes you can want things at such a high level that you end up putting pressure on yourself. Carolina played really hard and good defense, and then we added that to it. We have to learn from that because we're going to be in other big games. This is a big game because it's Duke and North Carolina. It wasn't big because of what it would do in the standings or anything else. We are going to be now in games that mean that, and we can't do that.

"Carolina is playing really well. (Tyler) Hansbrough was terriffic. I thought (Marcus) Ginyard really gave them a huge spark. I thought he played really well, and Quentin Thomas, off the bench those two, I don't know all their stats, but after being in that game, they gave an energy boost. They were fresh. They had great energy and kept them at a really good level. I thought they played at a really good level the whole time.

"I want to thank our fans. They were unbelievable. They were positive. They were classy. They honored our seniors in such a magnificent way. Just a thank you to them, and then we need to move on."

On defense:
"I think when we started subbing, we didn't keep up the intensity defensively. We're not playing defense like we should. We do it in spurts, and you can't beat good teams that way. We have won some games like that because of our offense or J.J. (Redick). We're probably not going to beat a really good team with J.J. going 5-for-21. You are who you are, and we're 27-3 because of using that. When it's taken away, or he's human, it makes it more difficult, and we need other guys to step up.

On individuals:
"I thought Lee (Melchionni) played the best he's played in over a month. I thought DeMarcus (Nelson), after his initial few minutes, played very well. Greg (Paulus) has to take his shot, and Sean (Dockery) has to do that. I was happy when we were down by three that Sean made that agressive move to the basket. We had a chance maybe to get a bucket and a foul, but at least he tried. I'm good about guys trying to do that. We just need to do that throughout and not just wait until the end. When you have a couple of guys like Shelden (Williams) and J.J., there's a tendency to step back a little bit. We've played 30 games now. We start 0-and-0. These guys need to shoot freely, and I think that's how we can become better this next week in preparation for the NCAA Tournament."

On defense being worse lately:
"I don't think we've played very well defensively in the last few weeks. The last time we played well defensively would have to be the Miami game. I thought we played very well that day. The thing that hurt us that day was our offense. We turned it over, and they scored because we had poor offense. That's part of the problem with our defense. I bet they got four buckets on four really weak shots that we had in the first half. If you want to shoot, shoot them strong. You've got to shoot them strong, make strong moves."

More on why Duke has had problems lately:
"One, we won the league. You've got to be careful. Sometimes you can look, not consciously, but you've moved ahead to March. You've moved ahead to the NCAA Tournament, and that can happen. I don't know if that happened. All I can tell you is we're not playing as well defensively. Carolina is playing great. They've done a terriffic job. They've got great kids playing together. I'm impressed with them. It's always an honor to play against them, and win or lose, there were a lot of great kids on that court tonight. They played better than we did, and we've got to get better."

On referees:
"I thought the game was really well officiated. Those guys had a good demeanor. It was one of our best officiated games that we've had. I thought they were really in control of the game, and in this type of atmosphere, that was nice to see."

On consoling seniors:
"It's not bad to hurt. That's the great thing about sport is sometimes you don't learn things until you hurt. We got hurt tonight. Let's see what we do with it."K

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