K: Team adapting without Kelly
Coach K
Coach K

Posted Jan 28, 2013


Coach K says a lot has changed for his team since Ryan Kelly went down, but the Blue Devils are adapting better and better.

Q. Have you ever had a week where you've had a 47-point swing between two games?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't keep track of that. You'd have to look. I'm sure in my early years. We lost to Virginia by 43 late in the week. We might have beaten somebody early in the week. Though we didn't beat many teams at that time.

Q. Do you remember many swings? Do the scores reflect how poorly things went in Miami and how well things went in Miami, or maybe the scores didn't reflect the differences?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, I thought we played well against Maryland. We had to. I thought Maryland played well. Maryland's good. But we hit shots. The first ten minutes against Miami I thought we played well. We didn't hit any shots. They prevented some, but we missed some lay-ups and they didn't miss any. They were playing at a really high level.

It got out of hand, and they're real good. We're just trying to keep getting better with the group we have right now. So we got better on Saturday, and hopefully we can continue moving in that direction when we go to Wake Forest on Wednesday.

Q. The other thing I wanted to ask you is last year you guys were 8-0 on the road in the ACC. Over your career, you've had a really good road record. A lot of talk of this year's team is 0-2 on the road. Is that a function of the schedule or is it something this team has to learn to do on the road to be as successful as some of your other teams?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it's not passed down. Winning on the road is not passed down. You have to be able to be tough enough to win on the road. With us, we usually play in a very upbeat atmosphere. Teams are even more ready to play us. As good as the team we would normally face would be, they are better when we face them on their home court. That just goes with the territory.

Q. I know a lot of people know about what Mason (Plumlee) and Seth (Curry) are able to do and even what Ryan (Kelly) was able to do before he got hurt. But I wondered if you could share your thoughts on a guy that doesn't necessarily lead you in scoring, rebounding, assists whatever it may be, but has vital contributions. I didn't know if there was a guy or two that stood out to you that maybe gets a little overlooked or unheralded inside the program?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Oh, I don't know. All of our guys are important, you know? I'm not going to single out one of them. Every one of them is important. I mean, Tyler Thornton doesn't have to take a shot, and he's important because of his defense,leadership,his presence on the court.I'm not going to single out one guy.

Q. You mentioned Tyler because --

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: You're going to single him out? Yeah, you can single him out. Look, all of our guys on our team are important. So we're not worried about being overlooked. We're definitely not overlooked. But I think that would be a great observation on your part to single out one of our guys, but I'm not going to do it.

Q. The other day after the game you talked about how the team got better by setting better screens, taking better, what you called Duke shots. I'm curious after looking at the film if you can expand on that a little bit more? Were there any other specifics of the game that you guys played so much better?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, I thought there was greater attention to detail when we were winning so much and had Ryan in there. There could be some slippage that you wouldn't know about and we could still probably produce points, especially, because the court is so spread and you have two of the better three-point shooters on the court in Seth and Ryan, and Rasheed can score, and Quinn (Cook) can hit open shots.

So you had five guys with spacing, and very little double teaming or plugging. You just had more space. Now we have to have more attention to detail on setting your man up, setting screens, working together to get shots. That was the best we've done thus far in doing that, even when we had Ryan, because we have to do it better. Hopefully we'll continue to build on that.

Q. On defense, what areas are you seeing there?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: They're getting more comfortable with one another. I mean, it's a huge difference with Josh (Hairston) and Amile (Jefferson) playing at the four. Everyone has to adapt. You can put more emphasis on guarding Mason and Seth when Ryan's not in the ballgame.

How they get open and what shots they get are different.

It's a period of adjustment. You'd rather not go through it, but we're going through it. We saw some progress on Saturday.

Q. Just mentioning the road question again. How much of it is due to the parity in college basketball, or how much is sort of the selective immaturity of college basketball where you have so many young teams going on the road playing in tough environments?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think both. I think there aren't -- there aren't the great teams. There are some teams that can be somewhat better, but not necessarily ridiculously better than others in our conference. Age has something to do with it. The oldest team in our league, by far, is Miami. (Kenny) Kadji's going to be 25 in May. (Reggie) Johnson's 23. (Julian) Gamble's 23. You've got guys who are men. Then they're well-coached and they've played together.

They're going to handle road better than younger groups. That's just the way it is. I don't know if it's immaturity as much as inexperience. Sometimes when you say immaturity, people look at that as insulting somebody.

But inexperience, I think, is a keyword. Age has something to do with it. The older the team you have, the better chance you have for consistency both home and away because they're older. They get it. In some respects, some of them become men. They're men by that time. The other guys are young men or boys.

Q. I was wondering at this point with 19 games into the season. How is (Seth Curry’s) shin holding up compared to where it was at the beginning of the year?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, thank God. I think he's done a great job. I think our medical staff Jose and Nick have done a great job of treatment and doing other things that are necessary to keep them in shape, in good enough shape to be able to play at a high level. We feel it's not any worse than it was in the fall. Hopefully that can -- we it continue to do it. We can continue to hang on with that.


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