Highlights From Coach K's Opening Press Conference

Basketball season officially begins at Duke tomorrow with the team's second annual Countdown to Craziness and head coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke to the media today about his thoughts on the coming season. Here are some notable excerpts:

  • Krzyzewski started by mentioning that everyone is in good health, which bodes well for a team that is supposed to push the tempo this year and needs depth. Kyle Singler, who recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee, is back in "full force" and has bulked up, currently weighing in at 235 lb. compared to last season's starting weight of 217 lb. Sophomore Ryan Kelly has also put on 26 pounds from this time last year.
  • On captains Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, two of three scholarship upperclassmen on the team along with junior Miles Plumlee: "Those guys are very old in college, because of the games they’ve played in, what they’ve accomplished, and then the summer that they had being on the select team has really put them in a great place to lead this group."
  • Krzyzewski took note of the increased expectations of this team compared to last year, but emphasized that this team has to chart its own course throughout the season and develop as the schedule—again one of the toughest in the country—progresses, in the same way that the 2010 USA national team had to come together as a group throughout the world championships. "Everybody wanted us to be great against Tunisia and Iran and they weren’t, but they didn't have to be. But then we got to the medal round and they were pretty darn good.... We can’t play for the national championship every practice or every game.... We need to give them a chance to grow in the system and by the time you are in that position, be ready for it."
  • Krzyzewski acknowledged that the 2010-11 team may have more offensive talent than its predecessor, but will have to develop the blue-collar defensive mentality. "Whereas last year we knew we needed to play defense to win, when you have a lot offense, sometimes a kid can rationalize. We need to make sure we don't become a rationalizing defensive team."
  • Amid the excitement surrounding tomorrow's festivities—namely, the raising of three banners—Krzyzewski joked that he hopes the Blue-White scrimmage itself isn't "the least exciting part."


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