Duke coach Mike Krzyzewki wasn’t a good enough basketball historian, he said Friday, and so he couldn’t answer a question about whether this Final Four offers the best collection of post players of any Final Four in history.
But, Krzyzewski said, “I will speak to this Final Four. You have a great collection of big men.”
The best post players in the country have convened in Indianapolis: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns.
An argument could be made for any of them as the nation’s best player.
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“Jah is just an amazing talent who is only going to get better,” Krzyzewski said. “In Frank, I think it’s one of those great collegiate stories where you come in, like that kid’s not going to be that good. Well, he’s pretty good. Well, he’s great. What a neat story with that.
“Towns is a little bit more like Jah. He’s an amazing talent, great kid. Willie Cauley-Stein is the gifted athlete at 7-foot that was playing a different sport, and John Calipari was able to see that. That’s a lot of talent here.”
A sense of Feardome?
Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky and Wisconsin all had a chance to practice inside Lucas Oil Stadium this week – a chance, primarily, to become used to the cavernous environment that could cause some depth perception issues for perimeter shooters.
At least, that’s the thought when teams play in domes – that it can be more difficult to shoot given the enormity of the structure. Players and coaches here, though, said that as far as domes go Lucas Oil Stadium isn’t among the most difficult places to shoot.
“We played on an aircraft carrier where the background was the sea,” Michigan State’s Tom Izzo said. “That don’t bother our guys. I don’t know. … There’s been a couple of domes that I think have been tougher. But this hasn’t been one.
“No matter how we shoot tomorrow, I think this is as good a setup as there is.”
Izzo and Krzyzewski both praised the building’s set up, and how the court is laid out.
Plus, Krzyzewski said, “We like that it’s in a dome because that means more people are here.”
His senior guard, Quinn Cook, said the Blue Devils are “very comfortable” with the environment here.
“Playing at Syracuse this year was good for us,” he said. “Playing last week at the Houston Texans stadium was good for us. It’s all mental.”
K wearing 2010 ring as motivation
When Duke last traveled to Indianapolis for a Final Four, it left as the 2010 national champions. Not too long after, the Blue Devils received their championship hardware – a piece of which Krzyzewski has been wearing recently on his right hand.
Throughout the NCAA tournament Krzyzewski has been wearing his 2010 national championship ring. He has others – national championship rings from 1991 and ’92, and from 2001 – but memories of the 2010 title carry some additional meaning given it happened in Indianapolis.
“Usually I don’t wear a ring on my right fingers, but I did for the tournament,” Krzyzewski said. “Not for luck or anything, just as a constant reminder of what it is. To come back here, again, I think this is the best place to have it. Nothing against any other place.”