March 12, 2006
ACC Men's Basketball Tournament
March 12, 2006
#1 Duke 78, #3 Boston College 76
DUKE COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
KRZYZEWSKI: Obviously, we are ecstatic about winning this game. What a great game.
Boston College is truly an amazing team. So many teams would have wilted when we got that 10-point lead and with all the emotion that was in the coliseum. Then I thought our kids showed great resolve as well (when we fell behind). There were a lot of guys making really big plays.
(Louis) Hinnant went nuts there for a while. He was on another planet. Our guys made big plays, too. This was truly a team win.
To win both the regular season and the tournament is quite an accomplishment for this senior class. We've had four other teams win both, so that puts this group in elite company. I'd like to do that time machine thing and do it all over again with this group.
On play of freshmen
KRZYZEWSKI: Both of them have played well throughout the year. That sometimes gets overshadowed with all the attention that is paid to other players and other things that might be going on with our program, but they've been great all year. Our seniors this week especially helped our younger guys even more. We had a lot of interaction this week in practice because we were focused more on ourselves than on any one particular opponent.
On Shelden Williams
KRZYZEWSKI: He is our pillar of strength. He'll never get the credit he deserves. I love Shelden. There is no kid that I've enjoyed coaching more than this kid. He just wants to help others, but nothing we have accomplished could have been accomplished without him.
On J.J. Redick's late 3-pointers after not having scored for an extended time
KRZYZEWSKI: We're always a "next play" team. I've told him a lot that if you miss and we lose, then we'll walk off arm and arm. Your players win games, and as a coach, I try to let my best players be the ones that decide games.
DUKE SENIOR SHELDEN WILLIAMS
On the physicality of the game
WILLIAMS: We knew coming into this game that Boston College was a very physical team. They have great inside players that were very physical. Plus, being the championship game, we knew that it was going to be more physical than any other game that we had played in the regular season.
DUKE SENIOR J.J. REDICK
On his play late and his late 3s
REDICK: Well, I didn't want to force anything. I wanted to try to find teammates if they were there. The first one I got was just off the dribble handoff, and it worked out, and the other one they just had some miscommunication off the dribble and I was able to pull it. In that situation I want the ball in my hands whether I shoot it or not, and I wanted it in my hands.
On Boston College, and on what the game was like
REDICK: It was one of the more hard-fought games I've played in my career. BC is very physical, they all play hard, and they came into this weekend with a chip on their shoulder, like they had something to prove. They're easily one of the 10 teams, if not better, in the country. They're a team that can make a run to the Final Four. They're very good.
On whether he and the team were tired or drained coming into the tournament
REDICK: I think there were questions about our team, there were questions about me. I think there's always going to be some doubt things, and coming down the stretch of the season, yes, I had struggled. We had lost a couple of games in a row, but we used last week to get refreshed. We had a great week of practice. We got better during the week, and we came in very prepared and rested for this weekend.
DUKE FRESHMAN GREG PAULUS
On Boston College
PAULUS: Boston College is a great team. They're going to be very dangerous in the NCAA Tournament. We knew it was going to be physical, they're an athletic team, really physical on the inside, and it's the kind of game back and forth, and we pulled it out in the end.
On winning the ACC Tournament
PAULUS: It feels great. Whenever you're watching, you want to be a part of it, and to win it with these guys is just very special.
It was a battle for 40 minutes. Nobody quit. It was a shame that one of the teams had to lose because it was that kind of game where both teams deserved to win.
On J.J. Redick
PAULUS: He was terrific. He missed a couple early in the first half, but we knew bounce back, and he got hot and got in a great run.
DUKE SOPHOMORE DEMARCUS NELSON
On the importance of winning the tournament after Duke's play down the stretch in the regular season
NELSON: You always want to go into March, the most important part of the season, you want to go into that time with a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence.
DUKE SENIOR SEAN DOCKERY
On Boston College's Louis Hinnant's half-court attempt at the end
DOCKERY: He was playing great. I felt like he had a good chance of hitting it. I got a little scared.
BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH AL SKINNER
SKINNER: We had our opportunities. They made the plays that they had to make and unfortunately we didn't. That was the difference in the ballgame. It was a well-played game. Both teams played hard. I think it was pretty entertaining. Unfortunately, they were the last one standing.
On the play of Louis Hinnant
SKINNER: A lot of times they don't give our guards enough respect. Our guards are very capable. It's just that our frontcourt is so strong that that's what we choose to do. It helps make us a better team. I think there have been different times throughout the season our guards have stepped up and made some great plays and tonight Louis clearly did that.
On the altercation in the second half
SKINNER: It really was incidental. (Greg) Paulus was excited about getting a turnover. He jumped up and ruffled Louis (Hinnant) and of course Louis didn't see him and he just kind of shoved him back. There really wasn't anything to the incident. It had nothing to do with the game. It was a well-played game. It wasn't even a distraction for either team. Maybe the fans and everyone else got excited, but for us for the most part, it really didn't have any impact on the game at all.
On coming back from a 10-point deficit
SKINNER: Unfortunately we've done that before. We just had to settle down and execute our offense and get the shots that we wanted and sit down and defend on some possessions. We had plenty of time. It's not like there were only a couple minutes to go in the game. There was really no reason for us to have a sense of urgency. We just had to stay focused and again, collect ourselves and do the things we needed to do. Obviously we did that and got back into the game.
On Jared Dudley and taking advantage of Duke's match-up with him
SKINNER: I don't know if we got to it as much as maybe we could have. Jared had a pretty good game, but I thought early in the game he was a little hurried and he had some easy opportunities. But I thought the second half he handled himself well. We're going to have some advantages in our frontcourt, whether it's Craig (Smith) or Jared, and tonight he had an advantage. But tonight you've got to give Shelden Williams and (Josh) McRoberts some credit because they came over and tried to help a little bit and made it a little tougher than what the mismatch looked like.
On J.J. Redick
SKINNER: He just made some great shots. He's an outstanding player. I think we all recognize that, and outstanding players do that. We knew that he was going to have some opportunities. We wanted to contest shots. He raised his game to another level as far as his shooting was concerned. That's what makes him an outstanding player. We didn't defend him as well as we hoped to because we talk about shooting percentage and his shooting percentage was pretty good. But again, it was a big game and he responded. That's a credit to him and Duke.
How does playing in the ACC Tournament prepare you for next week?
SKINNER: The ACC, from top to bottom, is probably the best league in the country. In saying that, Wake Forest proved that this weekend by coming out and winning games. That being said, if we can compete here, that clearly prepares us for what the NCAA has to offer. Now it's just a matter of match-ups and staying healthy.
With the close games with Duke this season, are you developing a special rivalry?
SKINNER: Whether it's Duke or Wake Forest or Georgia Tech, I think all the contests we've played this season were pretty well-played and pretty intense. I felt going to every game that it was pretty intense, especially being on the road. It's not like we take anyone else more lightly than we take one other. I was just as excited about our Miami win as any other win we've gotten this season. I recognize how difficult it is to win in this league and how good the talent is in this league. This league has had so much success, I'm not sure if there's a real appreciation for the talent from top to bottom in this league. I'm the newcomer and I'm surprised about the way people's opinions are about some of the other teams. I think Florida State is as good as any other team. Wake Forest has proven that this weekend. Again, I think you're completely spoiled because there have been some outstanding teams and obviously you've won some national championships, but in saying that I don't if there's appreciation throughout the league on how good it is.
BOSTON COLLEGE SENIOR LOUIS HINNANT
On his attempt at the buzzer
HINNANT: It was a desperation shot, but I was hoping it went in. You can't really judge those kind of shots, you just hope that they fall.
On defending J.J. Redick
HINNANT: Some of the plays down the stretch there was some miscommunication. He's a great player and stepped up when his team needed him to and he's been doing that all year. It's not anything we didn't expect. We knew he could shoot it from pretty deep. He responded when his team needed him to and he made the shots.
On moving into the NCAA Tournament
HINNANT: I think we can go as far as we want to, as long as we come into each game prepared and understand that we have to take it one game at a time. Wherever we go, it's going to be a two-game tournament and we have to approach it that way and not look at it as a whole, but break it down. If we come in with that kind of mindset, then we should be okay.
BOSTON COLLEGE SENIOR CRAIG SMITH
On the effort of Louis Hinnant
SMITH: He put us on his back and took control of the game. He was in a rhythm and we kept giving him the ball and he was making plays.
On his missed jumper late in the game
SMITH: We were trying to get the ball inside to me and I tried to make a play. We were down, I don't know how much time was left, I just tried to get the ball in the hole. It rimmed out. I tried to make a play and it didn't happen.