Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Mike Krzyzewski

Duke Blue Devils

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: We're excited about today, first of all, for all the attention our league is getting, and I think rightfully so. The ACC continues to grow basketball-wise. Our brand I don't think could be any better than it is right now at this point. We hope that with the accomplishment of our teams this year, it'll grow even more.

I think the league is going to be as strong as it's ever been, and we're looking forward to being one of those strong teams. I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Q. We know that you're expecting Jayson out maybe a couple weeks --
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: A couple.

Q. But if you could just address Jayson out of the gate, and then the question is about having guys who were on a title team, what impact that has on a new team this year.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Sure. Jayson suffered a minor sprain. He'll be out for -- we say a couple weeks. It might be less. We're not going to rush him just because we don't want anything to linger, and we're still in a preseason phase. It wasn't from any kind of an extraordinary event. We were scrimmaging, and all of a sudden his foot bothered him, so we immediately got him out of there.

So that's moving in a positive direction.

The opportunity to have a few guys who were on a National Championship team is a blessing. First of all, they not only have handled very difficult situations and have come through, whether it be Matt Jones and Gonzaga, Grayson against Wisconsin, a tough defensive assignment by Amile Jefferson against Kaminsky, they've accomplished.

More so than that, they also understand the process, the long process it takes to get there, and I think the ability to teach those things in a very secure way, they want to teach them to the younger guys, is something that is such an asset for a coach, when you have secure upperclass leadership, accomplished leadership. Those three players are three of our best players, and they want to share that knowledge with our guys, which produces a great environment for our team.

Q. You've now had a couple of links to work with Coach Boeheim. What have you learned through him?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I've learned what a great friend and what a great friendship can be developed between two guys in the same profession who are competing against one another. Jim and I have been really good friends for decades, but this last decade we shared a bond that no two coaches really have had an opportunity to share in this country because no two coaches have worked together on a national team for that long.

I was given an opportunity to choose one coach when I got the job, and within a second of being asked by Jerry Colangelo, I told him I wanted Jim, because I wanted him to sit next to me on my right side, and he's one of the smartest coaches ever in my sport, and will go down as one of the great coaches of any sport. Whether it be -- look, when we're competing against each other, we share another common thing: We both want to win. But that would never get in the way of our friendship, nor would our friendship get in the way of our preparation and commitment to competition when we do play against one another.

I love Jim. I love his family. That will never go away.

Q. One of the things that Amile said that really jumped out to me earlier today, he said a big part of the season was going to be being confident in your own skin as a player. What does that mean, and is that something you preach to these kids, or is that him being him?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, it's something that we hope we recruit, too, that you recruit kids that will be confident in the skin that they have and hopefully their skin will grow, so there will be more talent and that.

But I think there are a couple things he means in that. One is that no matter what decisions are made, how much time you're playing or whatever, to be you. Don't be a number, don't get caught up in numbers. The other thing is to be -- like for him, he's our -- he and Matt are our two main leaders in real time, but Amile has the personality to show it even more. He's got to be comfortable in his skin so that he can impart the knowledge in real time, not at a time-out but while it's actually happening to our guys, and he can do that. He can do that.

Amile is a very special guy, as important a guy as we have on our basketball team.

Q. Earlier Matt Jones said that how you coach your teams are different every year.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah.

Q. What's different from last season to this season?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: The players. I'm not being trite and saying that. I mean, I don't coach a system, I coach a group of kids. Hopefully a group of men, eventually, and they have different talents, and I don't want to systemize them. I coach them differently because Matt Jones is different than he was a year ago. So is Amile. We've never had Jayson Tatum or Marques Bolden, so instead of making them a five, a four or a reserve or whatever, let's just find out who they are, so it's a developing process.

But I think it has so much room for growth, and the freedom to grow, and I think that's what Matt is talking about. Our guys like it a lot, and I like it, because it's incredibly interesting to see what can develop.

Q. The Big Ten is going to be experimenting with expanding the replay review for calls within the restricted area of the arc. What are your thoughts in general about replay review, and would you be open-minded to expanding that in the ACC?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I'd just like to see time limits. In other words, if we have to get a shot off in five seconds -- let's get a review off in a certain amount of time so it doesn't take away from the flow of the game. Our game is a game of flow, and if you have too many stoppages, I don't think that's good for the game. But I'm all about improvements for the game.

I think a big way of determining that is to only put one line on the court. If you look, there are two, because we haven't coordinated that with the women's game, and that's kind of a -- not a real smart thing to do. In other words, there should -- the reduction of lines on the court make it easier to make the call.

I think part of the reason we have mistakes is because there are two lines. I would first of all eliminate the line, one of them, and then if we need a review, then let's have a timed review of what we're doing.

Q. Just wanted to gauge your thoughts on the NCAA Tournament first two rounds getting moved to Greenville and just how it affects you guys and UNC and Wake Forest and North Carolina State.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I mean, I think it was a necessary move because it was in response to legislation that so many of us disagree with about inclusion. I think that decision was right.

It doesn't really -- like we all just want to get into the tournament wherever it's being played. I think it's bad for our state because North Carolina has so many great institutions of higher learning, so many colleges and universities that support sport, these collegiate sports, and to take championships, tournament or National Championship -- ACC or National Championships out of the state I think is a big mistake.

Hopefully that legislation will be overturned at some time and we can get back to the reality of inclusion and also the reality of having championship-level competition in our state.

Q. I know it's just the preseason, it's just a ranking, but as you're standing up there, the rankings just came out, and you guys are picked first. Just your thoughts on being the favorite headed into the season?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: No, it's an honor to be picked, and we've been -- this group has never been picked No. 1, but our school has, our program has, and you have to remember that nobody has seen anybody yet.

But before they ever see you, like we're -- it's like internet dating or something. Until you see the real person, you know, we can create a big, nice picture of who we're supposed to be. Not that I do that internet -- it's just something that somebody -- it's an alias I use, by the way. You'll never find it. You'll never find it. (Laughter).

But it's an honor. It's an honor, and it's so good for our conference that any one of us, and there are a number of teams picked in the top 20 -- I think it's just, hey, the ACC is going to be really good. We think this one team should be No. 1 right now, but there are a bunch of others that could be, and I'm just glad we're in that mix.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2016-10-26 21:13:00 GMT

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