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Now that you've been back for a few years, what impressions of this rivalry have changed for you?
"I don't sleep nearly as well as when Coach Smith was in charge [laughs]. I don't think it's changed very much. I thought it was extremely intense when I left, it got a great deal of attention around the country, the players enjoyed it and I think that's the way it still it today. We've had some really, really good games and I hope tomorrow night is one of those as well. We've had very competitive games that have gone down to the wire and I'd like to have that happen tomorrow night."
Can you prepare your freshmen for what it'll be like tomorrow night or do they have to go through it?
"I think they have to go through it. It's so much attention ... but the fact of the matter is it's still just one game. That's all it is. So we can say all we want to about that -- the students, friends, parents everyone else tends to make it not be that, but that truly is what it is. It gets a great deal of attention, there's no question about that. But I think they have to go through it themselves, I don't think you can prepare them for it."
With young guys is the unknown sometimes good? You go to Rupp Arena, but the freshmen didn't really know the significance of it ...
"I think there's something to that, but this is a different bird now - let's be honest. Eight miles away. Bobby Frasor grows up thinking about Duke or North Carolina. And I know that Kentucky-North Carolina is big, but Duke-North Carolina is different. You use the same airports, recruit the same kids, great deal of interest just because of the location, much less that it's a conference game. ... But who knows? Our guys could come out like they did at Rupp and play great and not be tight or anything, or we could come out and play like we did at Southern Cal, which I thought there were aliens out there in North Carolina uniforms."
Can you afford 20 turnovers tomorrow night?
"I didn't think we could afford them in any game we've played. Duke is as good defensively as any team, denying the pass, putting pressure on you. I watched the tape of the Florida State game last night and wish I hadn't -- it gave me nightmares. They get after you so hard and yet you've got to keep scoring against Duke. You've got to keeping putting the ball in the basket because they're going to."
Have you seen a player have a season like J.J. Redick this year?
"I can't remember anybody in my time of college basketball averaging 27-28 a game. It's been a long time. When I was in school, Charlie Scott, Rick Mount, Calvin Murphy, Pete Maravich did. To do it on a top, top quality team, maybe you could throw one at me to remind me, but I haven't seen it in a long time. Especially when defenses are aimed to stop you. Every year there's somebody that leads the country averaging 27-28 a game, but his team is usually not very good. For J.J. to shoot the ball as effectively as he has with the other team's defense aimed at him is about as impressive as it can be. ... Bobby, Wes, Marcus, Reyshawn, all of them will get their opportunities [to guard him]."
Bobby did a good job on Hassan Adams - how different will this be?
"Night and day. You play Hassan to drive, and if he shoots it from the outside you're thankful that he didn't drive and dunk it on you. J.J. in the past, you got up as close to him as you could and tried to bother the shot, and he's worked extremely hard to put the ball on the floor and he gets to the free throw line a million times a game. It's a completely different challenge for you and he's really a focal part of the offense. Hassan was more an equal opportunity thing where they didn't have to go to him all the time. Duke goes to J.J. quite a bit. But their whole team offensively - their last four games they've shot over twice as many free throws as their opponents. They're hard to guard and then they get to the free throw line and make their free throws. It's a difficult assignment."
Has the last four-game stretch been the best this team's played this season thus far?
"Against Arizona we played some good basketball, but caught them on a day they missed some shots. The second half of Maryland, I thought we played well defensively but I thought they missed a lot of open shots, too. Saturday we got it up to 17 and had a chance four possessions in a row to make the game be over with and never did - when they made their run to cut it to seven points we played well. It's such a young team that you don't have a lot to compare it to, but they have done a nice job of righting the ship somewhat. There were a lot of people bailing out at one point and the kids felt like they'd still be okay and we tried to tell them they'd be okay. And they kept working - who knows, three games from now people may be ready to bail the ship again."
What has surprised you the most about your players thus far this season?
"The biggest thing is how they understand how hard you have to play, particularly on the defensive side of the floor as freshman. And I'm not trying to say 'Poor Roy.' I've got great kids -- great kids. But in our top seven, we have four freshmen, two that came as walk-ons and another who had never started a game until this year that was second-team all-state. That's just being factual about the thing. They've really bought into the defensive end of the floor and bought into playing with an energy level and passion that's really impressive to me. We'll turn that sucker over in a heartbeat, you may take an awful shot and we'll foul you anyway - we may do some crazy things at times, but for the most part they bring it on game night."
Are you satisfied with Reyshawn's level of focus at this point?
"He has gotten better, and I'm nowhere near content with it. I think it can get so much better and if it does get so much better, I think you'll see a much better consistency at a higher level than he does right now. He knows I'm going to keep pushing him. At times I'm fairly tough on him, but I think he has done a better job, but he's got another couple of levels I think he needs to get to. He has some impressive moments. A couple of those offensive rebounds Saturday catch your eye. But my thing is I'm a bad guy because if I see you do something once, I think you can do it more than once."