K: We think we'll get Kelly back

Coach K met the media on Monday for his weekly teleconference , and spoke about Ryan Kelly, the game against Maryland, the new uniforms, and his team's upcoming game against Virginia Tech.

Q. Just wanted to get your thoughts on the matchup with Erick Green and what kind of challenges he presents.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, he's a terrific player and young man. I mean, he's a scoring machine. As a result of his ability to score, he creates opportunities for his teammates to score because he draws so much attention.

And to draw that attention and still score the way he does is remarkable. He can break you down, hit open -- he can knock down the 3, but he can also get to the foul line. He's just a terrific player. He's one of the best players in the country.

Q. Have you seen anything effective against him?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think he's pretty much scored against everybody, you know. So I don't think -- you've got to just hope that you don't let him score on in all three of those ways. If you can take one of those things away, either keep him off the foul line or not let him get as many 3s and hold him down a little bit; but he's going to score the ball.

And they do a great job of putting him in a position where he has the ball and can score. He doesn't have the ball and they do things so that when he gets it, he can score. They position him in different parts of the court, very well conceived.

Q. I know we in the media tend to hyperventilate a little bit over one loss, but is there anything especially concerning you after the Maryland loss after two kind of pretty close wins?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I hope, there's probably something you can take for that hyperventilation. I think probably a dose of realization. And that is for the last 41 days, we've been playing without Ryan Kelly. So it not about what we have lost; it's about what we've won.

The story for my team is the fact that we are competing and we are doing a good job, in fact, a terrific job, and we have continued to win at a very high level without Ryan. The story isn't that we lost. The story is how much we've won. My guys have done a terrific job in doing that.

Q. After the game, you talked about Alex (Murphy's) play at the five -- you still have the practice opportunities to take a look at some of those things. Are you going to --

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: When I say we don't have practice opportunities, first of all, from the State game until Maryland, we played four games in about ten days. Just physically, you're not capable of having practices. Like Maryland we had a whole week of practice in preparation for us. We had a day.

So much of our is practice stuff is dependent on Seth's condition, and obviously Ryan. We have a numbers problem in how many guys you have to practice. It's impossible to practice all those combinations if you want to be good at your main combination. Like if you're constantly practicing for contingency plans, then you're going to be in a lot more contingency situations. You've got to practice with the guys who are going to play the most minutes.

And the reason we were in that position on Saturday is it's the one game Mason didn't play well in. He's had a remarkable year and we think that he'll still be remarkable. We have to go with our main group for as much practice as we can have.

Q. What about on the lighter side, what do you think of the uniform on Saturday and what do you think of the fact that every year, a handful of teams are wearing these alternative uniforms?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I think the uniforms look good. I wish we won in them. I don't think uniforms win a game. I do think that kids like different looks. They are always different materials. The way people put out apparel and shoes nowadays, you want to keep up with the very best things. Those uniforms are very lightweight and good-looking and maybe something that we'll use in the future.

Q. I was just wondering, when you think of Phil Henderson, what comes to mind?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, as a real gentle person, Phil, we're so sad about his passing. He passed away in the Philippines over the weekend. Talked to his mom this morning. He's a good guy, very talented player. But a gentle person, real gentle person and had a lot of talent.

Everyone in our basketball family certainly is mourning his passing. A lot of teammates out there that are expressing that, I know on Twitter, have already expressed things to our office.

Q. On the Phil Henderson situation, do you have any more details on what happened?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: No, we don't. His mom couldn't even say. She's actually making arrangements to fly out to the Philippines. A little bit sketchy right now. Maybe my sports information people know more. We don't know the cause.

Q. And on a totally different subject, with Ryan making progress here, are we getting to a point now where he'll be able to come back?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: We believe he'll come back at some time. That some time -- we are a month away from Selection Sunday, yesterday -- It's got to move. It's got to keep moving. At some time we have to be able to try things out. I think you need to do that before the NCAA Tournament for his good and for our team's good.

So yeah, it's been 41 days now since the injury and my team has done I think just an amazing job since then. And Ryan's done an amazing job in trying to get back and hopefully we can try to see if something will work here in the not too distant future. But no timetable. I can't give you a timetable.

Q. If you don't mind me asking another question about Phil, before he got there, reaching the final and winning it all in '91. Can you talk about his role in helping that program to sustain that excellence with three Final Fours during that period, and the dunk over Mourning that people remember.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, he's a very talented player and could really score the ball, deceptively -- like you didn't think of him being the athlete that he was because he kind of had a frail body; he's thin, but he could shoot and really a streak shooter. In other words, he could put up points real quick.

You know, there's no question he was an integral part of our success during that time period and keeping us as one of the elite programs going to Final Fours during that time.

Q. Saturday's game notwithstanding, (Mason) Plumlee has had a great year for you, what has impressed you most about his play this year?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, he's been a great leader for us, and the fact that he can play so many minutes. A lot of times, big guys get worn out and they don't have the conditioning. Mason has made a commitment to being in the ballgame for every play. He's played heavy minutes.

I do think that you get worn down a little bit. Especially since Ryan's been out, because there's even been more pressure on him to keep the ship afloat so to speak. He's just had a great year, and sometimes those things happen, like Saturday.

Maryland had something to do with it, they played really well, and you could tell, Mason just wasn't at his best. The combination of that, you know, proved to be something that we could not overcome and get a victory.

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