Monday, February 20, 2012

Duke's Krzyzewski praises team's will to win

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t want to compare his team’s recent comeback victories against North Carolina and N.C. State. But if those wins have taught him anything about the Blue Devils, it might be this: “I do think our team has shown a great will to win,” Krzyzewski said on Monday during the ACC teleconference.

Asked which rally more impressed him and his staff, Krzyzewski declined to compare. Against North Carolina, Duke rallied from a 10-point deficit with about two minutes to play. Austin Rivers made a long 3 at the buzzer to give the Blue Devils an improbable 85-84 victory.

Against N.C. State, the Devils trailed by 20 with about 11 minutes to play. Duke gradually melted away the lead, and took over the game in the final minutes.

“They’re just big-time wins for our team,” Krzyzewski said. “And I’m really proud of the way they hung in there and were able to win those games.”

Duke this week will play at Florida State in a game that carries significant implications for the regular-season title race. Both the Blue Devils and Seminoles are 10-2 in league play, and Duke has already suffered one loss against Florida State. UNC is also 10-2 in league play.

Tough Duke has shown an impressive ability to come from behind and win, Krzyzewski said “hopefully we won’t have to do much coming back” during the rest of the season.

Some other highlights from Krzyzewski’s portion of the call:

--  Krzyzewski acknowledged that his team likely has a “little bit more incentive” to beat Florida State because of what happened the last times these teams met, when the Seminoles’ Michael Snaer made a 3 at the buzzer to give Florida State a victory in Durham. Krzyzewski said he re-watched that game on the way home from Boston last night and he described the first Duke-FSU game as “just a heck of a game.”

--  Krzyzewski admitted he places a little less emphasis on winning the regular-season championship than he once did. Over the past 20 years or so, he said, he has placed more of a priority on winning the ACC tournament than on finishing first in the regular season. “The regular season is still very important,” he said, “but the tournament takes on a little bit different [feel] – it’s like the showcase event.”

--  Krzyzewski was asked what makes Florida State such a great defensive team. The Seminoles are on track to lead the conference in field goal percentage defense for a record fourth consecutive season. Krzyzewski said, “They have a great combination that you can’t teach of length and quickness. You can’t simulate that in a practice. There's the length that they come at you with. And then they’re quick. They have good athletic ability. And this team is really deep, so they come out you with nine or 10 guys … And then they’re well-coached in their principles.”

-- Andrew Carter


Anonymous said...

Coach K's team is improving.....Roy's is performing about the same as it was when it started.

New yr, same result.

Anonymous said...

Seth Curry looks like a monkey! Lol

Anonymous said...

ACC reg. season = decides seeding for the ACC Championship in Greensboro

ACC Tournament Championship = championship trophy, net cutting, ceremony etc.

Anonymous said...

Agreed...Heels or whoever can stress about having the best seeding in the ACC Tourney (based on reg. season record) while Duke continues to collect ACC trophies, year in and year out.

Anonymous said...

Agreed curry looks like a friggin' chimp...hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Seth curry comes from long line of chimpanzees