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Coach K Has Duke Ready For West Virginia

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Coach K Has Duke Ready For West Virginia

The Final Four is set to start this weekend and all eyes will be on the West Virginia vs. Duke game on Saturday night.  Duke is the overall favorite to win the National Championship this year as they are seven to five odds to be cutting down the nets in Indianapolis on Monday night.  I think that this game will definitely be a great game as two of college basketball’s best coaches square off against one another.  Bob Huggins, a West Virginia alum, is known for recruiting great athletes and for his defensive tactics being able to shut down the opposing team’s best player.  This year’s West Virginia team is full of a bunch of very long and athletic players.  Duke, led by Coach K, will just stick to their offense like always, penetrate and kick the ball out for a three-point shot.  This year’s Duke team doesn’t have one superstar on the team, but yet they continue to win despite what others have been saying about their lack of athleticism.  In college and especially in the NCAA Tournament, it is not about who has the most talent.  It is about who has the better game that day and who can play together as a team and Duke has shown that all season long.  This hurts to say but I think Duke could win it all this year.  They just have to get past West Virginia which has been proven to be a tough task to handle.Coach K joined Dan Patrick to talk about whether he thinks West Virginia will play man-to-man or zone defense, whether he expects to win the National title, and whether he expects to beat West Virginia.

On Bob Huggins’ comments that he is thinking about playing man-to-man coverage against Duke because of Duke’s ability to get offensive rebounds:

“Well my feeling is that he will play zone because of their length and that it is different.  (Host: Why is it different?)  Because you don’t see it every day.  Jim Boeheim, who is one of my dear friends, he and I have talked about this a lot, you are accustomed to seeing a lot of man-to-man.  So you practice against man-to-man and then especially at the end of the year you don’t practice that long anyway.  All of a sudden you see something different and you have practiced against it a little bit but you haven’t played against it in game competition so it can mess you up a little bit.  I thought that we did a good lob against Baylor’s zone and one day preparation, but it distracted us from not playing as well defensively, especially in the first half because you are concentrating so much on attacking the zone.  I expect to see both from Bob.  They have such good length with Eubanks or Da’Sean’Butler up on the top of that 1-3-1 and start waving their arms boy.  It is tough to throw east west against it.”

Whether he has talked to Jim Boeheim about West Virginia:

“You know I have not.  I wouldn’t do that.  I don’t want to put those guys in a situation where they are trying to help us and they are a member of their league and he is good friends with Hugg.  So I try not to do that.”
What he would say to Kyle Singler during the last game when he shot 0-10 from the field:
“Please hit a shot.  No you can’t.  You just say, ‘Take it easy’ or ‘Get on the boards’ or ‘get fouled.’  The cool thing about it is that he hit four free throws when we needed them in spite of having his worst offensive game of the year.  He was guarding Dunn.  Dunn had twenty-two, he got some in transition but he was only two of eight from threes.  That can mess you up a little bit.  I think Dunn is the best two-guard in the country.  Yeah he is good.”

When the last time an assistant coach has asked him about retiring:

“They have never asked me that.”

Whether he can pick his successor:

“I won’t be able to do that.  I will give input and I don’t think that I should be able to pick my successor.  I think I should have amazing input, but I think that is the role of our athletic director and our president.”

What he would do if any of his assistants came to him and told him that another college is interested in them becoming a head coach:

“With any of my guys, I want them to explore any opportunity that I presented to them and I would give them a fair assessment of what I thought that opportunity is a good one or a not so good one.  I want all of my guys to be head coaches and have opportunities and I would be all for them.  Whatever happens happens.”

Whether he expects to win the National title:

“This is the way that we have done this the whole tournament.  I am totally focused on West Virginia.”

Whether he expects to beat West Virginia:

“I think you have to go into a game expecting that you are going to win, and, if you don’t you have lost already.  You have to prepare like you are going to win.  Do you like expect that it is going to be easy or whatever?  No but you have to go about it feeling like you are going to win and I am sure that Bob is going to do the same thing with his team.”

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