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Quotes: Duke 88, Delaware 50
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/01/2012
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Our guys did a terrific job today. They respected Delaware, which you should. Delaware is a really good team, and those two kids – [Devon] Saddler and [Jamelle] Hagins are two all-week players for them, so I thought we played terrific. Sometimes in these situations, our fifth game in 10 days, and after that four games in seven-day stretch, there is a chance for a letdown and we didn’t have it. Our guys played hard and well the whole way, very unselfishly, played good defense and the crowd was great. Club Cameron shows that it can be open in the afternoon, not just late at night. It is good to know – we should do that more often. I am proud of my guys. Seth [Curry]’s injury was not the leg, he hurt his ankle against Ohio State and we had to sub in and out at the end of the game. He should be fine for Temple.”

On development of role players:
“Those guys are good guys, but you know what, for me the main guys to develop are Mason [Plumlee], Ryan [Kelly] and Seth [Curry]. This is not like an AAU team or whatever; you have to make sure your group understands its role. Mason’s role this year is different from last year – he has to get a lot of minutes. To see Alex [Murphy] and Amile [Jefferson] and Josh [Hairston] play so well today, that is great, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to get this wave of substitutions and things like that. We already knew they could do it, but the fact that they are out there and got those minutes is great. You never know is Seth’s case, if he is going to be able to play. The kid who always goes unnoticed is Tyler [Thornton]. We can plug him in anywhere, he is a winner. He comes out with 10 assists and tough defense, such an easy guy to play with.”

On getting players to accept their status as role players:
“First of all, you are always honest with them. You have a relationship with them, and not all these guys are great players. They are good players. If they are great players, they wouldn’t be here, they would be in the NBA right now. If they are some freak athlete or whatever. They all have development to go through and they have to develop under people that they trust, and if you tell them the truth all the time they have a better chance of trusting you. I have a great staff who works with these guys. Each guy is on his own race to becoming better, and they run their individual races as we are collectively running our race. The collective race is much more important than your individual race, and you can’t compare your race with another guy. Ryan Kelly hardly played his freshman year, and Ryan Kelly is a heck of a player right now and has been, so the example of doing it that way. Making sure they know that we believe in them.”

On his team’s defensive effort:
“We did a good job on [Devon] Saddler, he is a heck of a player. He shot 22 times to get 23 points, and that he got a number of points late. He is a darn good player; he is a really good player. We have four or five games here where teams have six or fewer assists against us. To me, that shows great team defense, and our defense has just been a lot better.”

On the team’s performance overall:
“I feel good about everybody’s play. Everybody played well today. Everybody. Not one guy played less well than another guy. They were terrific together.”

On the team’s effort over the 40 minutes:
“Just the way we played for 40 minutes – it was different than you would expect, different in a very positive way. We have great kids on our team, they have great character, just a pleasure to coach. To me the second half was more impressive because you can get a big lead and they know they are going to get the next two days off. It is the end of an energy cycle, the eight games, and we have enough to win, but instead they continued to play really hard.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
“We treat every game the same. Our preparation is the same. I thought we were good [today] in playing disciplined and we didn’t get out of character. I thought we kept playing to our level.”

On Duke’s intensity throughout the game despite the lopsided score:
“I hope that’s just our habit this year. It’s been that way from game one and even in the exhibition games, guys have been playing hard. If playing hard is our habit, we’ll be a good team and keep getting better.”

On Duke’s defensive play:
“I thought it was really good. We started fouling a little bit at the end of the first half, putting guys on the line when we were in the bonus. Especially the guys off the bench can help us out defensively, too.  Amile [Jefferson] is so long he can really guard bigger guys, and then when he guards smaller guys it makes it hard for them to get shots off. And Ryan [Kelly]’s defense has been great all year. Rasheed [Sulaimon] has been great all year, especially for a freshman, and Tyler [Thornton], you know throughout his career. We have individuals, but more importantly, I think our team defense is better than it has been.”

“I think the best thing was that everybody played well. Some guys got more of a chance. Our schedule was so intense early in the season, which isn’t always the case, but some guys didn’t get as many minutes as they’d like. It’s good for developing our bench, and our bench has potential. For them to grow, they have to not only do it in practice but do it in the game. And that’s why I thought this game was big for them, and I thought they really played well.”

Duke Senior Ryan Kelly
On the play of Alex Murphy:
“When he goes out there and plays basketball – just goes out there and plays – he’s a good player. When you’re in a situation where you’re trying to figure out where you’re going to fit in, you can kind of not play your game. When he plays his game, he’s a heck of a player. We’ve seen the talent level that Murph has. He’s young and he’s got a lot of growing to do, but he certainly showed the potential he has and the willingness he has to work on his game. When you’re not finding those minutes early, you’ve got to continue to work and when you get your opportunity, go out there and show it. That’s what he did today.”

On his strong shooting and aggressiveness early in the game:
“I have to be that way every game – when I get opportunities, I have to take advantage of them. That’s going to help our team. I think early in my career I was a little bit one-dimensional. I was just being a shooter, and now I’m just trying to be a player, whether that be taking open shots or making plays for myself or others, or whatever I can do to help our team.”

Duke Redshirt Freshman Alex Murphy
“It definitely felt really good. I wouldn’t say it like a pressure off, but it definitely felt good to see the ball go in and just help the team and build confidence. [After the first shot fell] you always do [feel more confidence]. Even next game, when that first shot goes down, it always feels good.”

“Seeing some shots fall, it definitely helps your confidence a little bit and you loosen up a little bit. It feels good to be out there. Everybody played great. We played so unselfishly the whole game. Obviously you’ve seen what the first five can do, but I think developing a bench is a big part of what we’re going to do if we want to make a run late in March. We all love each other and have each other’s back, so when one guys has success it’s just as good for everybody else.”

On his role when a player like Seth Curry is out of the lineup:
“When a guy like that is out, it’s not just my responsibility – it’s everybody’s responsibility to step up. When a guy goes down like that or is sitting out a game like today like Seth was, it’s important for everybody to step up and do little things to make up for what we’re missing when he’s not out there.”

On his early season struggles:
“It’s been frustrating personally, but the team comes first, and what we’ve done to this point is obviously great. You want to be out there yourself, but to see the success that we’re having and finally now becoming a part of it and starting to develop this bench, it’s hard not to be happy.”

“Guys like Ryan [Kelly] and Josh [Hairston] have been great, but it’s not just one or two guys. It’s everybody. This team is so close, both on the court but especially off. If anybody has any problems, whether it’s basketball or whatever it is, we have each other’s back. That’s the biggest thing. We’re there for each other all the time, and that makes playing on a team like this special.”

Delaware Head Coach Monte Ross
On mindset at halftime:
“I said we have to try to come back and win the game. I think we were down 23 at the half. At that point, you want to try to chop the game up. By the first media timeout, you want to try to get it to 18. By the second media timeout, you want to try to get it to a certain number. So at that point, you want to try to chop the game up and keep playing and play good basketball. That’s one of the things we were trying to do, is play good basketball. They had something to say as to what they were going to do.”

On the five game losing streak:
“I would say that we have to play better basketball. One of the things we try to do with our team is put them in a position where we are playing the best competition possible. We have, I don’t think anybody in this room would think our program is up the hill of Duke basketball. So it’s easy for me to say that we have played some up basketball games and we have tried to put ourselves in position to play some up games, to play the best competition possible. When you do that there is always a possibility that you are going to lose some of those games. Four of our last five opponents that we have played will be in the mix to win their conference to be in the NCAA Tournament. That would be Duke. That would be Pitt. That would be Kansas State. That would be Temple. So what do we need to do to get back on track? We aren’t off track. We are OK.”

On positives to draw upon today:
“Well I think again what we are trying to do, there is no crazier environment than Cameron Indoor Stadium. One of the things I wanted to do was put ourselves in position to where when we play at Old Dominion, when we play at George Mason, when we play at Drexel our guys will not be intimidated by the environment. I think once you play here, you won’t be intimidated by any other environment in our league. It is different for Delaware basketball. Our road to the NCAA Tournament is through the CAA, so we use these early games and we purposely put together a schedule. I did it because I know these guys can handle it. They can handle it physically. They can handle it mentally. We have done that so we can put them through some very, very difficult situations, so that we will be better off in the long run. We will be fine.”  

Delaware Guard Devon Saddler
On trouble making shots in first half:
“It was real frustrating. We usually make our shots and today our shots weren’t falling, so it was frustrating. Everybody was shooting their regular shots. I mean, it just wasn’t falling today.”

On mindset in second half:
“I didn’t want to do it myself. I wanted to get my teammates involved and get us running and to get us into the flow. I just wanted to take over the point guard and be the leader. Just try to get Jamelle [Hagins] the ball, get everybody the ball and get everybody going.”

Delaware Forward Jamelle Hagins
On benefits to take away from game:
“I think we have to see how hard we have to work to play with that high of competition. I think it is really a good test early in the season.”

On facing Mason Plumlee:
“He’s good. I think the team finds him in spots where he can score the ball.”