March 11, 2006
ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
March 11, 2006
#1 Duke 78, #12 Wake Forest 66
DUKE HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
KRZYZEWSKI: I thought we beat a really good basketball team today. For them (Wake Forest) to play this well at this time of the year, during a tough year, shows a lot about their character. (Justin) Gray at the end of the first half put on a show. He was held scoreless, then all of a sudden he hits three 3s.
They seized momentum of the game at that point. We were in a lot of foul trouble and J.J. (Redick) banged his knees. He's okay, but he was out for a while and I thought our kids at halftime really took it up a notch. Our defense was excellent today and we really valued the ball. To have only five turnovers was huge. I thought Greg (Paulus) continued to play like he did Friday. He played like a veteran point guard today. For that stretch in the beginning of the second half, the first six or seven minutes of the half, he made some great plays, which gave us all confidence. I thought his play and Josh's (McRoberts) play really sparked us. To have two freshmen step up like that was big. We're very excited about the win and the manner in which we accomplished it, because we had to play very well in order to win.
On playing without Redick (injury) and Williams (foul trouble) at the end of the first half
KRZYZEWSKI: We built a lead without them in the game. I thought our kids played really well. We reached a couple of times on (Justin) Gray instead of just trying to turn his back, and he's good. He was facing the basket and had some open looks. We did that two of the three times and then we didn't switch on the (Chris) Ellis one (3-pointer).
We let up defensively on our game plan (late in the half). They had 21 points through 16 minutes and then they exploded for 15 in four.
On the second-half intensity and Wake's fatigue
KRZYZEWSKI: Wake can tell you whether they got tired or not. They didn't look like they got tired. We didn't think they were tired, let's put it that way. The may have been, but they were putting up a good disguise for that.
I think our defense picked up in the second half, because the best defensive player in the country was in the game - Shelden Williams. I think that helped our team a lot. We valued the ball and we played great defense in the second half. That's why we won and that's why we were more aggressive on the offensive end. We were being strong with the ball and strong on the ball defensively.
DUKE SENIOR J.J. REDICK
On his injury
REDICK: I banged knees with Trent Strickland when he drove baseline. Normally when that type of thing happens, it's painful at first; you kind of hobble off and then it goes away. But I just got hit in a really weird spot, right on the inside of my knee and it's right where the joint was. I had to go back to the locker room and just work it out a little bit, spend some time moving back there. The pain was gone, otherwise I would have stayed back there longer. It didn't bother me at all once I got back out to the floor.
And as far as the game, Wake deserves a lot of credit. I think a lot of teams would have come in here being a last place team and kind of throw the towel in. But they fought all weekend and deserve some credit.
The man to my left (Greg Paulus) played his best game at Duke and it was just exciting for me to see him play that well.
On having more fun on the court in the second half
REDICK: I'm not really sure what the difference was. We were definitely having more fun though. The second half was the best we've played in a while, just as a team and as far as being together as a group. Guys were connecting out there. Greg (Paulus) had some passes that were just connecting plays. We had really good huddles, which is something we have to get better on.
DUKE FRESHMAN GREG PAULUS
PAULUS: I thought we played well. We played pretty well in the first half. We didn't finish the first half the way we would have liked. Justin Gray had a great game. We wanted to limit his touches, limit his penetration because he's very dangerous off it. I think the difference in the second half was the activity we rebounded the ball with. Everybody contributed defensively and led us to easy transition baskets.
On playing without Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick in the game in the first half
PAULUS: It was different. Most of the time when we practice we try to get everybody equal opportunity in case a situation like this arises. It was different the first couple possessions not having the two of them, but I think once we settled down, we organized our offense and then defensively, we needed to rebound. Without Shelden, we needed a bunch of guys to rebound instead of relying on one guy. It was a different mindset. We needed to be more aggressive, but we also needed to help each other out and that's what we tried to do.
On what he saw in the Wake Forest defense and what he saw on the court
PAULUS: It was pretty much just playing the system that we always play. When they were in the match-up zone, pressing, man-to-man, it was pretty much just passing and cutting through, getting the opportunity when you get to drive it. If they collapse, penetrate and kick; if not, you've got your shots. Coach (Krzyzewski) gave me a lot of confidence, told me to be aggressive and so did the guys on the team. When everyone chipped in, started making some shots, our confidence level rose.
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH SKIP PROSSER
PROSSER: I thought our guys fought, which the rebounding numbers reflect, but we just didn't shoot the ball well enough. We didn't have a whole lot of opportunities at the free throw line either, which is perhaps reflective of our inability to put offensive pressure on them inside.
We obviously knew coming in that we had to do a better job defensively. In our first two meetings, we had "held" them to 87 points per game and "held" J.J. (Redick) to 32.5 points per game. I thought we guarded them hard and for the most part pretty well, but they're going to score baskets. We probably didn't get enough contributions from other guys (in addition to Justin Gray and Eric Williams) to stay within hailing distance.
On Redick being out in the first half
He (Redick) and Shelden Williams both missed some time in the first half and we were able to take some advantage of that. We were in the lead. But it's not like those other guys are plumbers, not that I've got anything against plumbers. They were some of the most coveted high school players in the country. Those other guys are really good, too.
On momentum switch early in 2nd half
Justin (Gray) picking up his fourth foul so early was certainly a big factor. They were more efficient in the second half and (Greg) Paulus played a great game. We had trouble all day keeping him in front of us. Our inability to control him was a factor.
On Duke's having only five turnovers
We're not the type of team that creates a lot of turnovers and haven't been all year. That's just a reflection of our overall lack of quickness. But again, I think you have to give Paulus a lot of credit for that.