|No. 13 Duke looking to keep perfect record in EA Sports Maui Invitational|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 18 November 2007 12:33|
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -With the Pacific Ocean lapping the shore about 100 yards behind him as he sat at a news conference, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gave another honest answer.|
How have you been able to come to the EA Sports Maui Invitational three times and leave the island each time with a championship trophy?
``Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Jason Williams, Steve Wojciechowski. You have to have good players and we have had great players and veteran teams and we've been lucky, a kid hit a big shot or whatever,'' Krzyzewski said Sunday, a day before the 13th-ranked Blue Devils (2-0) place that perfect tournament record on the line against Princeton (2-0). ``It's the same scenario whoever wins. Good players make good plays and get a little but lucky and all of a sudden you win.''
No school has won this tournament as many times as Duke, which won the eight-team event in 1992, 1997 and 2001. Only Syracuse, which won in 1990 and 1998, is among the 79 schools that have played in the 23 previous Maui Invitationals to not have lost a game here.
``That we keep coming over and over shows things are done right here and this tournament sets the standard for the rest of the college basketball season,'' Krzyzewski said.
The tournament starts Monday with No. 10 Marquette (2-0) against Chaminade (0-0), the Division II host school. In addition to Duke-Princeton, LSU (2-0) faces Oklahoma State (1-1) and Arizona State (0-0) goes against Illinois (2-0).
The championship game is Wednesday night.
Most coaches are worried about their team's focus in a place known for surfboards and pineapples rather than setting screens and post play. Marquette's Tom Crean has the added caveat that his team will be facing Chaminade, which has a 4-63 record in the tournament and is the only non-Division I school in the field.
``We may not play well, we have no idea about that, but it won't have anything to do with overlooking them, I can guarantee you that,'' Crean said. ``Our coaches have been able to get across to our team how good Chaminade is. They return four starters and they play well and we've tried to portray that this is going to be a road game for us so we don't have any concerns of overlooking anyone.''
Even though Chaminade is located in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, it does get a bit of a home-court advantage that comes courtesy of the local airline.
``They offer a discounted rate and send a chartered plane over, so we definitely do get a lot of support over here,'' Silverswords coach Matt Mahar said.
Chaminade is known for the 1982 upset that many consider the biggest in college basketball history. The Silverswords, then playing in the NAIA, beat top-ranked Virginia and three-time national player of the year Ralph Sampson.
``It helps, but maybe what's more relevant for these guys is that Chaminade's last win was over another school in the Big East who our guys are very familiar with,'' Crean said, referring to the 52-49 first-round victory over Villanova in 2003. ``The Virginia thing sounds good, I remember it, but none of these kids were alive then. So what's more relevant for them is what they see on film and that they respect them as a team.''
Arizona State will start three freshmen in the first game of the season for the first time ever.
``We'll get some honest, immediate feedback here,'' second-year coach Herb Sendek said.
Illinois, which beat Hawaii 79-77 in Honolulu on Friday night, starts four upperclassmen but has seven new players on the roster.
``The experience you get here is great,'' Illini coach Bruce Weber said. ``You can learn a lot about a team in a situation like this.''
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