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March 8, 2009

Williams, Krzyzewski Postgame Comments

CHAPEL HILL --- North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke to reporters following UNC's 71-79 victory. Krzyzewski was the first to take the podium shortly after the final seconds ticked off the clock.


DUKE HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI


Opening Comments:

"I thought both teams played really well. I know our team played well. We had an opportunity to win the game. You put yourself in this environment with the caliber of team that they are. They're a terrific team. It got down to one possession in the last few minutes and they had three huge plays. Our kids can make plays, and their kids can make plays, and their kids made them.

I thought the three-point play by Thompson, three-point shot by Green and three-point play by Lawson, those three exchanges were what won the game, but you get it down where there is some pressure and you need a stop and we weren't able to get the stop, and in fact they scored three points on us. In fact, that's really the story of the game. Our team's getting better. I thought we played really well. We did not shoot well. We had some shots inside you hope you would make and some things that went in and out. The key thing is those three plays, and their kids made them, and that's why they won. That's the story.

Thoughts about Duke's improvement from the last time they played UNC:

"We played better defense. I thought we had better shots. I thought we competed better. I just think we are a better basketball team than we were a month ago, but they're really good. You know, if they're not the top team (in the country), they've got to be one of the top two or three. I'm good with were my team is at. We just would like to get Nolan (Smith) back and more adjusted to the lineup we have."

"The game was a big game for us because of that lineup. It was a huge game. Although the four that we won before this were a bit bigger, a little bit different. I thought Elliot (Williams) performed very well. And Jon (Scheyer) had a great game. Not a big game, a great game. I thought Lance (Thomas), he didn't practice, so his first half wasn't as good, but I thought second half he battled like crazy. And they (UNC) did too. I mean, that's a hell of a game. That's a real good basketball game."

Thoughts about Kyle Singler and his performance:

"I wish he would have shot it a little bit more, to be quite frank with you. We're getting a different type of shot now in the last couple weeks than we did before. We're getting better shots as a result of how we're playing. Our team has gone through something you would go through in November and December. Just getting accustomed to it by playing with this level of competition. I mean, we don't have much time, but again, that's where we're at. He could have taken a bit more (shots). I'm okay if they take them and they miss, just there are shots. It's okay if you miss five in a row and take three more---you know what I mean? He's more into that."

Thoughts about Tyler Hansbrough:

"He's one of the best that has played, not just here, but in the ACC. I think when you think of Tyler you're going to think of warrior. You would never say that there was a possession that he did not play. And he's really good, and it puts him in a really elite class in the history of this conference. He deserves all that he gets. I mean, he's earned it. He's been a great representative for North Carolina as a kid. (I've) never heard him not represent this University in a way this University should be represented."

Thoughts about the UNC-Duke rivalry:

"My feelings are the same wherever I compete. If I didn't, then I shouldn't compete. Florida State is a big game for us. At Maryland. Wake at home. So I think you try to compete at that level every game. I think there is an immense amount of respect---not just now, but over decades---that Duke and North Carolina players have for one another. In some respect there is a kind of brotherhood there. I saw Michael (Jordan) right before, and we're unbelievably good friends, but that doesn't mean you don't want to beat them. But there's a tremendous amount of respect because of the excellence that each program has."


NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS


Opening Comments:

"A big-time day for us. I've always tried to put pressure on the underclassmen to make sure the seniors go out the right way. I challenge those guys to make sure the seniors do have great feelings about their last game."

Thoughts about Duke:

"Duke is a big-time basketball team. We really had trouble guarding them, particularly in the first half. In the second half we got a little bit better, but they also missed some shots. I think we always have to understand that when they miss some shots, it's not just our defense and we were very fortunate then. Our work on the backboards was big for us. The first half, we had seven offensive rebounds and they only had three, but we had the same number of points. I thought we were better the second half. We shot the ball pretty well. Five guys in double figures, they had three in doubles, and that was the game."

Thoughts about Ty Lawson:

"I was extremely concerned about Ty. I did not know until I came over here today if he would be ready to play. He banged his toe big-time on Friday. Yesterday he tried to jog up and down the floor, and that's all he could do. If we had played the game yesterday, he would not have played at all. I told Chris, our trainer, that he had to say he was 90 percent or he wasn't going to play today. He wasn't the Ty we've seen all year long, but nine assists is pretty doggone good, and nine of 10 free throws was good for us. He has been so big in close game sand he's played so well since the first two games."

"I am extremely proud of our team. We started off 0-2 and a lot of people were abandoning ship and criticizing our team a great deal, and I told our team at Wake Forest that it was a long year and that we had to play today, but we still have chances and I think that was the important thing and since those two games I think Ty Lawson was sensational."

Thoughts about Tyler Hansbrough:

"I have never coached anybody that has had to face as much on the court as he had to face and he is awfully impressive."

Thoughts about who should be ACC player of the year:

"If you go past those two (Lawson and Hansbrough) I find it hard to believe."

Thoughts about the pre-jump gimmick of having all seven seniors in the 'starting' lineup:

"One year at Kansas I did that and it's kind of a tradition of mine. In this game, also, we alerted the officials and sent all seven guys on the court. It was important to show those guys how important they are to us."


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