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Posted at 5:40 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Mike Krzyzewski: 'We weren't ready to play' vs. St. John's

By Liz Clarke

There was no bigger story in college basketball last weekend than Duke’s 93-78 throttling at the hands of unranked St. John’s at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Closer to home, the import of defeat — when dropped the NCAA champions from No. 3 in the national rankings to No. 5 — revolved around whether the loss would make Duke a tougher opponent for Maryland (14-7, 4-3) Wednesday at Comcast Center or whether it exposed vulnerabilities for the Terps to exploit.

Duke hasn’t lost back-to-back games since February 2009, when the Devils were beaten at Cameron Indoor Stadium by North Carolina and fell four days later at Boston College.

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t try to sugarcoat the drubbing by St. John’s during the ACC’s weekly conference call, calling Sunday’s game, in which Duke trailed 46-25 at the half, “our worst game of the year.”

“I just thought we weren’t ready to play as a program, and they were really ready to play,” Krzyzewski said. “As a result, they just handed it to us. So [it’s] something we need to learn from. Throughout the course of the season, every week is a little bit different. Last week had its complete opposite. [Duke easily handled Boston College, 84-68, last Thursday at Cameron]. Hopefully we can get moving in the right direction when we play a real tough team up in Maryland.”

Duke was plagued by poor shooting throughout Sunday’s game. Averaging 39 percent from three-point range this season, the Devils made just five of their 26 attempts from beyond the arc. They also turned the ball over 17 times and were lax on defense.

“We have to keep trying to develop, really, in all areas,” Krzyzewski said, asked about the key to what remains in Duke’s season. “We have nine scholarship players. We need to, one, stay healthy, and, two, keep working at being the team we are now and not the team that we started the year with (before star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving was sidelined by injury).

“I’m not sure we’ve come to the realization of who we need to be yet because we’ve been able to win most of our games. Sometimes people don’t come to the realization of what they have to do until they lose something. So we just have to get tougher and play better defense and take care of the ball better.”

Krzyzewski pointed out that Duke (19-2, 6-1) has typically done well against nonconference opponents during the stretch run of the season. And he suggested that there’s a value in stepping away from the familiarity of conference foes, regardless of the outcome.

“It’s a time where you get out of conference [and] somebody does something to you that might help you [develop], or you do something to somebody that might help you get a better picture of what you need to do during the last part of the season before you get– hopefully you make the NCAA tournament—to the NCAA tournament,” Krzyzewski said.

“Obviously we didn’t play well at all [against St. John’s]. Throughout a year, a team is not going to play well all the time. What you hope to do is when you aren’t playing as well, you win. Then there are other days like [Sunday] when the other team says, ‘You’re not gonna win! We’re gonna kick your butt.’”

By Liz Clarke  | February 1, 2011; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  | Tags:  Duke basketball, Kyrie Irving, Maryland basketball, St. John's basketball  
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Of course Duke fans should stomp their feet and call for Ks firing since this is his 2nd loss to an unranked opponent and it shows he obviously cant recruit...they just have to demand better and not settle for mediocrity....the horror!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | February 1, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Who is this Duke rulz geek and why are you on the Terps message board? You need something to do dude, you won't find me on a Duke message board trying to start electronic arguments.

Posted by: jpfterps | January 31, 2011 5:12 PM

And others. I have stated that I grew up a MD fan but went to Duke prior to Saint Mike K's arrival. I am a MD fan in all cases except for Mens BB when Duke plays MD. MD has cost us a couple of number one seeds over the years. And imho, GW is one of the greatest coaches ever in college BB history a lock for any HOF. He runs a clean program and a successful one. He is great competition, competition that most Duke fans want to see succeed (unlike the Tar Heels). Now I rarely post on this board but one of my colleagues and close friends, the misnomered HGR, is a regular on here and has already asked me to cease and desist. I am a serious MD fan and always will be; just after Duke thats all. But at least I have an excuse - I went there. Not like a lot of the miscreants we'll see in Bentley's before the game who merely root for Duke as a front-runner or to exhibit some latent racism. Yes, I am whitebread with no knowledge of rap beyond run-dmc (hgr plays some serious noise when he's working) but with an extensive and paid-for collection of country music (hgr put the Garth brooks albums on HIS itunes, though he'll never admit it) and will take this opportunity to remind hgr that Christian Laettner won 2 - count them 2 - NCs and that Nolan Smith gets more play while picking his nose on the toilet than hgr has gotten in his lifetime. At least his wife is hot. Seriously.

btw - welcome back poopy-mcpoop. I am glad to see you and Barno are civil with one another. I think hgr missed you in an unhealthy sort of way but he's puny so nothing to worry about there. Of course the Duke boards never have such disagreements because we win so often.

Have a great day and all of you burn something tomorrow night! Poopy can start burning whenever he wakes up.

Posted by: Duke-Rulz-1995 | February 1, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

While there is real value in knowing Hugh's wife is hot, I still want to vote DR95 off the island. I don't care who you root for every other saturday when coach K's dog is sick.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 1, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Terps getting Duke coming off a loss? How about Duke is getting the Terps riding a hot streak???

Posted by: shanks1 | February 1, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Terpfan, your subtle comparison simply doesn't work. Coach K has a little better record than GW. Duke has made the tournament in each of the last 11 years. They are the reigning NC and he has won what,4 championships? Really, it would be better not to start a thread off like this. We really had enough on the last one. It's Duck Fuke Week so let's get a little unity going here and focus on this challenge. Gary will have the boys ready and they will need to be because Duke will be loaded for bear (er, Turtle). This is a huge game and we are on a nice little streak. Got to keep it going. Cheers!

Posted by: petecard | February 1, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse


Please don't call yourself a Maryland fan except when we play Duke in basketball. If you really attended Duke, root for them. We don't wan't or need any Dukies rooting for any of our teams.

Duke getting blasted by St. Johns exposed what an off night shooting will do to a team that relies so heavily on hitting three,s. I cannot recall Duke ever shooting that poorly against us?

I expect Duke to give us their best shot Wednesday night and if we don't match their intensity we will get blown out in our own gym. I also know that Krzyzewski will try to use his bigs more and get Williams in foul trouble which will also open up the perimiter for their shooters.

Wednesday night we will find out if the Terps are contenders or pretenders?

My guess is that Duke-Rultz also likes the Cowboys/Steelers, Yankees and Lakers? It's called frontrunning 101.

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | February 1, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse


With regard to your Duke Rulz buddy, I will quote from "40 Year Old Virgin":

"You got to put that b***h on a leash!"

Posted by: larry31 | February 1, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

dook-rules-1995 get a life. If you don't root for the Terps against Dook you are not a Terps fan. The two are mutually exclusive. And stop making references to Terps fans not happy with GW. He is a god to us Terps fans and will coach here until it no longer suits him. Why has the nerdy Dook fans left you with no blog to blow off steam. I guess being a Dookie is not all what it is cracked up to be. Find some purpose in your life and since you are a loner Dookie go find your lost people.

Posted by: torope | February 1, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BTW Terps will dominate in the paint on Wednesday and Dook will look very one dimensional relying on solely on jump shots. Those who live by the jump shot die by the jump shot. Terps in a tight battle will win by two.

Posted by: torope | February 1, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

HughG and Duke-Rultz: What a pair you two are. Bet there are times when not much gets done in your office. I am not one who minds DR posting on this site. My advice would be never to come on and rub it in and keep it funny. Other than that, have at it!

Posted by: petecard | February 1, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"the misnomered HGR"

For this line alone I think the guy has enough humor in him that I think he should stay. I'd feel differently if this was a guy who has no love for the Terps. I remember him on here 2 years ago (correct me if I'm wrong)... wasn't that you that used to jump on HGR's computer when he wasn't looking during the 08-09 season?

Personally, I don't have a problem with a guy who roots for MD in all but 2 games of the year. My ex gf rooted for Duke in all but 2 games a year (the ones against MD). Nothing wrong with having your lifelong team and then the team you went to college at. JPfterps, it's like our geek friends who still root for Syracuse even though they went to MD.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 1, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Duke fans are very appreciative of all the BS they receive at Maryland. So many of the ACC teams have become the weak sisters of the poor. It is good training as they prepare for their annual run to the NCAA'S. They need the experience in hostile environments. (Duke's national championship was won on basically Butler's home court.)

Posted by: sportsfan2 | February 1, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a North Carolina fan and I am sorry to say Terpies, but Duke will never think of you as their rival. In fact, they often chant "Not Our Rival" when they play you guys. The rivalry will always be Heels and Blue Devils no matter how good or how bad each team is. For you guys this is a once sided thing. As a Tar Heel fan I always root for MD when they play Duke of course, but give it a rest, you hate Duke more than they hate you! Tobacco Road rivalry has you guys beat.

Posted by: VAtoLA | February 1, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm a North Carolina fan and I am sorry to say Terpies, but Duke will never think of you as their rival. In fact, they often chant "Not Our Rival" when they play you guys. The rivalry will always be Heels and Blue Devils no matter how good or how bad each team is. For you guys this is a once sided thing. As a Tar Heel fan I always root for MD when they play Duke of course, but give it a rest, you hate Duke more than they hate you! Tobacco Road rivalry has you guys beat.

Posted by: VAtoLA | February 1, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse


DooK's gonna be mad Wednesday. You guys better look out !!

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | February 1, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a North Carolina fan and I am sorry to say Terpies, but Duke will never think of you as their rival. In fact, they often chant "Not Our Rival" when they play you guys. The rivalry will always be Heels and Blue Devils no matter how good or how bad each team is. For you guys this is a once sided thing.

Posted by: VAtoLA | February 1, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Uh, you are out of your mind my friend. There is no question that Maryland and Duke are huge rivals. I've posted all this before...

*When the ACC expanded nearly 7 years ago, they eliminated the traditional home and home round robin where every ACC team played each other 2 times a year. Because of the new size of the league, not everyone could play each other twice. So, in order to ensure that the rivals still played each other twice, they designated 2 rivals for each team. For Duke, it was North Carolina..and who? Maryland.

*Several of ESPN's highest rated college basketball games in their long history are the Maryland-Duke games, including the highest rated game ever: a Duke-MD game. Ratings wise, people love seeing MD play Duke.

*But that's besides the point. When asked about the Duke-UNC rivalry, Shane Battier once told ESPN that everyone always asks about UNC, but for him and his teammates, MD was always their biggest rival in college. Now obviously this is due to the fact that MD was so good while Battier was in school, but nothing has changed since then in terms of how well we play them. In fact, the 5-2 record MD had vs Duke at one point all came after Battier had graduated.

*As for the "not our rivals" chant...well, MD fans actually started chanting this at Duke as well in recent years. It's a joke, buddy. Obviously we are rivals...The Cowboys are clearly rivals of the Eagles, even though their primary rival is the Redskins.

Who ever said you can only have one rival?

Posted by: Barno1 | February 1, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I guess this writer fears Duke. Where is he or she from? An opponent is always respected but expected to be whipped, if YOU are a competitor.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | February 1, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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