Mike Krzyzewski Interview
Yesterday, Team USA beat China 119-73 in an exhibition game serving as preparation for the upcoming 2006 World Basketball Championships in Japan. Here's what USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said to the media after the game:
Coach Krzyzewski's Opening Comment:
Coach K: The crowd was great and the atmosphere was sensational for basketball. The Chinese team played with great courage in spite of having a number of their key players injured. They played with great courage and our guys played well, but we played against a courageous team tonight.
On the Chinese team:
Coach K: They played hard the whole game. Our guys played hard the whole game so it was very good basketball. We?re proud of our performance and China made us play well.
On the referees:
Coach K: The performance was as we expected... which was very good.
On his substitution patterns:
Coach K: We just choose for the first two games to split our team up so we could see different combinations. That?s not necessarily how we are going to do it in the future, but these first two games and maybe even for tomorrow?s game, we would do the same thing.
On the defense:
Coach K: We would like to extend our defense, not so much to gamble but to keep constant pressure so we can utilize our depth. If the team is doing well against it, then we can always pull back. But for right now, would like to pick up full court.
On if this is the first time he's ever had a game where he didn't call a timeout:
Coach K: No. When I coach at Duke, I have not called a timeout in games too. When you have very good teams, sometimes you don?t have to call timeouts.
On Shane Battier:
Coach K: Shane is the ultimate team player who generates an enthusiasm or work ethic that helps everyone. He?s very selfless but still had a huge impact on the game. His importance on the game will never be measured by stats. But you can feel his performance when you watch it. By the way, he?s very excited to be Yao?s teammate ? very excited.
On who the game MVP was:
Coach K: I think the coach. (laughs) No, I was fooling around. I would not single out one player. Elton played a great game. Brad Miller. Shane. We played very hard. This team is not about an individual performance. It?s about a collective performance so we would never name an MVP.
On if he misses a shooter like Ray Allen:
Coach K: No. We have good shooters. Ray Allen is a great shooter, but he did not come on the team. We have Carmelo Anthony, Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, Gilbert Arenas, Dwyane Wade. We have good shooters. We feel good about our shooting.
On playing in China:
Coach K: This is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow as a team and get acclimated to playing in this time zone. To play in front of this crowd was excellent. I was happy in that we played very hard every second. And we played unselfishly. As long as we do those two things, we?ll continue to improve.