Athens, GA (Mar 27, 2009) - In Sweet Sixteen action from the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament on Thursday, Duke was walloped by Villanova 77-54. This is the transcript of the Duke University post-game press conference as provided by the NCAA and ASAP Sports.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Congratulations to Villanova. They're really a good basketball team. Jay does such a great job with them. They were better than we were. They played an outstanding basketball game. I want to thank my team for just an amazing season for me, a memorable one.
We're disappointed. We didn't play as well as we would like, obviously. We didn't shoot as well, although they had a lot to do with it.
This team has been a great team for me to coach. I love these guys. I'm proud of them. We're all disappointed that we could not have played better tonight, but certainly Villanova had a lot to do with that. So we're open for your questions.
Q. Gerald, I guess if you could talk about what they did defensively to kind of take you off your game a little bit, and then also if you can talk about what your process is moving forward here, making a decision on next year.
GERALD HENDERSON: Well, I think they just, coming into the game, had an emphasis on help side and not letting me get my shots off of one-on-one stuff, always having somebody else there. They did a really good job of that. And I felt like whenever I drove the ball or put the ball on the floor there was always somebody else coming over to help. And it was -- there were kicks there, but it was difficult for me to get my own shot, like it might usually happen in our games.
Going forward, I'm not as much worried about it now. I'll make decisions on next year when that comes up.
Q. Aside from the shooting struggles, how tough was the foul trouble in the second half as you were trying to get going, Gerald?
GERALD HENDERSON: It was tough. We were down, so you want to get out to them -- after them on defense. But if you've got four fouls with ten minutes to go, it's hard to really attack your guy. But that's just the way it went. It just wasn't a good day.
Q. Second chance points were 25 to 7 and you guys were out- rebounded by 15. Was this one of the more physical games, Lance, that you guys have played all year?
LANCE THOMAS: This was a physical game. And their team put a very big emphasis, to make sure they had four or five guys rebounding. Once you blocked out a guy, it was a fight for the ball. And their second point shots it was a lot -- it was very key for them. They pursued the ball very well and they finished.
Q. Jon just said in the locker room when you guys were down earlier in the second half he said you were playing like there was five minutes left, rather than more time left. Where did that come from, because you guys have had so much composure?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think it came primarily from our frustration on offense. There was nothing easy. Villanova didn't give you anything. When you did have an open shot I thought we put a lot of game pressure on ourselves when we shouldn't have. But that comes from a good place. It comes from a place where they care and they want to do it. It's not a seven game series, it's a one game thing.
They made their mistakes by trying to do something. I can't fault them for that. They've been a great team for me to coach. We didn't play well tonight. Again, that's not to say -- Villanova outplayed us. I love Villanova's team and what Jay has done with his team. They've got a chance to do something special, because they can really handle the ball and they play very good defense and they're tough. They're just a tough basketball team. They're a very, very good basketball team.
Q. Coach, as the second half goes on and you've been a good shooting team pretty much all year and you can tell you're facing a good defensive team and a combination, the shots just aren't falling. What is the approach, what do you tell your team in timeouts?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I thought really in the second half we had more open shots. But there's like a level of frustration for us that we couldn't get over. And what we try to remind them of is, okay, it's 0-0, next shot. Don't worry about it being cumulative. And that's what happens sometimes to a hitter in baseball. You don't go into the bottom of the 8th thinking this is your first at-bat. You've struck out three times. Well, you're going to strike out again. You've got to go with a clear mind each time you go out there.
But because those three kids have carried us offensively all year, and especially in the last month, I just think they put more on themselves than I would have liked. But, again, that comes from a good place.
I would never think that in a game Jon and G would go 4 for 32. Okay. You're nuts. You're crazy. That just can't happen. But it did. And the thing is, we've won 30 games and ACC champs because of them shooting and playing so hard.
I'm just disappointed for them, not in them. I'm disappointed for them because they've been a great group of kids. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed being with this group. But that's the way it is.
Q. Does this in any way make you more eager to find a post player who can really score?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: And a point. And we feel -- it's not like we haven't tried to find them. A couple of them have gone to other schools right at the last second. We were like a three-headed monster on offense. And it carried us a long way, but it couldn't -- they played a lot of five against three tonight. They're good. You've got someone in mind.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: All right. You're not that helpful (laughter).
Q. How close do you think you are to getting to that and it seems like you are really happy with this team because they maximized what it was capable of doing or came close. Do you feel like you're really close to maybe having the kind of lineup that --
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, I thought the last three years we've gotten better. And this year's team was really a good team. We faced a team that was probably one of the worst teams you could face, for us, because they can defend in all five positions and switch and do a lot of the things we do, except they can handle the ball better, because they've got those two points. And Cunningham is really good. Cunningham is -- he's had a great, great year. It gives them a really strong, good presence.
Again, congratulations to Villanova. And, again, congratulations to my kids for a great year.
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