Friday, March 24, 2006

The Last Time We'll See 4 or 23 on a Duke Jersey

Duke's Coach K, after tonight's loss:
I'm proud of my team, obviously, their 32 wins and 4 losses, and they have won championships and the two kids here have been two of the best players I've ever coached. They have been part of 116 wins at Duke during their four years, many championships. And although we have lost games, they have always represented me, our program and our school and themselves in the best possible manner.

I'm proud of them, and I'm disappointed that we can't go on, but you got to learn, you don't win all the time. You lose too. And you have to handle losses with the dignity and class that you handle the wins.

For right now, for me, it's to make sure that these kids don't walk out of here blaming themselves, and looking only at the loss. I've always said that you want to end the season where you're cutting down the nets or you're crying in your locker room. And our kids were all crying in our locker room. And they, they have been a great group of kids. And led by these seniors. And this is a team that had a lot of seniors and a lot of freshmen.

And so it put a heavier load on those seniors and especially these two kids. And I just thought that they were two of the best kids I've coached in my 26 years. Sean, Lee, Pat, and Ross, the other seniors, they all did a good job. We had a great year. 32 wins, 4 losses. Championships. Finished the regular season number one. I know we're not -- we weren't ever a dominant team. We knew that. And so things have to go right for us to win. And tonight LSU just, one, they -- J.J. made a good point, it's the first team we played all year that could really block shots like that. It wasn't just their own the ball defense or off the ball, their ability to block shots made us change some shots inside. And I don't know if we have ever, we ever adjusted to that.

I'm not a blamer. I take responsibility. I think we all could have done a little bit better job, but the other team forces you into those situations. And the game is a game of adjustments. And I don't think we ever completely adjusted to the physicality of this game. And so they did. And they won and we shake their hands and that's part of being a competitor. So there's no excuses or no blame.


Blogger Johnny said...

Duke is a class act, from the coach down to the last player. They have the true team concept. I watched Gonzaga play and they didn't come close to the team concept of Duke after their loss. The only people who helped Morrision up off the floor were members of the UCLA team. Where were his teammates and coach?

Fri Mar 24, 11:44:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jason Hill said...

Huh, that's an interesting observation. I am often amazed at Duke's displays of team play. Watch them shoot free throws, after every shot, 4 guys, without fail, will offer a handshake. Most teams are lucky to have one offered. Or, watch a player go down and 2 Duke teammates will sprint to help them up.

Now consider Josh Mcroberts. He was rated by everyone as last year's number one high school recruit. How did coach K convince him to come play on a team where he is only the 3rd option? Most players of Josh's caliber went somewhere where they became the number one option in their freshman year--(Tyler Hansboro at UNC). Josh played on a team with 2 first team All-Americans, which dramatically affected his ability to garner freshman year stats and accolades. The answer? Team. They play as a team not as individuals.

Fri Mar 24, 01:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kaelea said...

That's so cool! I'm so thankful for the people in my life that are on my team.

Sat Mar 25, 10:48:00 AM PST  
Blogger ewall said...

i hope you and christa are doing ok with the loss. heartwrenching. when jj started crying...oh my word. it was a joy to watch that boy in a duke jersey. these games have been awesome, haven't they? did you get the newest espn magazine? cool article on shelden, check it out! blessings to you jason

Sat Mar 25, 04:56:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jason Hill said...

Yes, before I finished reading the article on Sheldon in ESPN the Magazine I was already hyping it to my wife. She read it immediately after I finished. We could not believe we had never heard the things that they wrote about. If you are a fan of the Dukies, you must get a copy and read it. It blew us away.

Sat Mar 25, 07:34:00 PM PST  

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