Monday, January 19, 2009

Coach K Q&A

Excerpts from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on the ACC teleconference as the Blue Devils prepare to host to N.C. State at 8 p.m. on Tuesday:

Q: Aside from the obvious talent quotient, what are the intangibles it takes for a road team to come in and win at Cameron?
A: I think to come in and win anywhere, you have to be good. And you have to be ready to play. I really think teams get up to play in Cameron. I don’t think you beat a really good team because of your crowd in Cameron because most kids want to be in that type of an environment. And the fact that Cameron is so celebrated that they know a win there is something very special. I’m not saying our students shouldn’t cheer or they should sit down, but I think teams obviously can win in here, so they get psyched up to play. The thing I want to make sure is that we don’t take it for granted, that our team doesn’t take it for granted and just expect to win because we’re at home. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Q: Also wanted to see how you envision Elliot (Williams’) role evolving throughout the season. Obviously he played some time on Saturday.
A: I just think with a freshman, when you have a veteran team, you can’t predict that. Like with Miles (Plumlee) played really well (Saturday), you don’t know when they’re going to do something kind of special. So as far as having a role, he practices hard every day and he’ll get his opportunities, and all of a sudden something will be defined. But you can’t look in a crystal ball and predict all those things right now.

Q: What impact do you think the new 3-point line has had?
A: It hasn’t had much to do with, we haven’t changed anything with that. I don’t know all the stats, but right now I haven’t studied enough to give a qualified answer on that. For us, we just ignore the fact that it’s one foot farther and we continue to play offense and defense the same.

Q: Is there one matchup problem that (N.C. State’s Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley) really give you trouble with?
A: McCauley and Costner can play with anybody in this league. When the ball goes into their hands, they have a chance to make plays for themselves and for their teammates. And when you have two guys, two kind of non-traditional guys - usually you say that about a point guard who makes it happen – it’s not what you normally defend, and they take advantage of that. Both those kids can really hurt you with the score and the pass.

Q: You mentioned (Brian) Zoubek didn’t play much (against Georgetown) because you needed quickness on the perimeter to guard (Greg) Monroe. Does Zoubek go back to his traditional role now that you play more traditional opponents?
A: Yes, he does.