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Quotes: Duke 90, Santa Clara 77
Sunday 12/29/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“That was like a February ACC game.  I mean, that was a heck of a game.  They’re really good.  It’s not like we didn’t expect them, we knew they were very good and they were better.  They are old; they are well-coached.  The kid [Kevin] Foster, two seasons ago led the nation in made three pointers and he is their all-time leading scorer.  He got really going.  Tyler [Thornton] did a good job of holding him down, I think he had 18 in the first half, but when Tyler was on him Tyler did a terrific job on him.  I think they are very good; not think, I know they are very good.  [Evan] Roquemore is an ACC caliber guard, starter.  [Marc] Trasolini reminds me of how [Tom] Gugliotta used to play.  They’re good and us coming off the break and playing a game like this, having to fight and come through was just a really good win for us.  Both teams were exhausted.  The last 16 minutes when they took the lead, I thought we grew even more as a team.  The offensive execution that we had, Mason [Plumlee] and Seth [Curry] were unbelievable seniors for us.  I am proud of my guys; that was a heck of a win for us.”

Second half guard play:
“I thought we were trying to do in the first half, too.  The big thing for us, we had that 25-14 lead and we gave up two quick turnovers and that was a huge turning point in the ball game.  I thought for some reason we just couldn’t score and part of it was that we couldn’t hit free throws.  I mean, we scored 38 points in the first half, we should have scored 50 but we had a hard time stopping them.  In the second half, we went to a couple things that really worked well for us.  They had a hard time guarding one of the sets we have where we highlight Seth [Curry] and Mason [Plumlee] together and we just scored every time; not easy because they are a good defensive team.  And we handled the ball well.  We didn’t turn it over in the second half … the first couple of minutes we did.  Quinn [Cook] had two turnovers but then after that, we usually had a good shot.  Mason was a real bull down there and started hitting his free throws.  This was a heck of a game for us.  Forget about easing back, this was a heck of a win for us.”

The physical aspect of the game:
“It was a very physical game. It wasn’t little physical, it was a big time physical game.  They are strong guys because they are older. They have real good athletic ability, but they are men.  They are a man’s team.  Those are the type of teams in college basketball, when you get an older group like that that is well coached, Kerry [Keating] does a really good job with his team.  They are going to have a chance.  They are going to have a chance to be very, I mean they are good, but a game like this for both teams helps. They have a chance to beat us.  We have to play really well in order not be beaten today, real well.”  

“We continue to play tough teams. It’s not even close. Our schedule is not even close to anybody’s. Everybody we play is good, so good.  In order to beat those teams then we have to play well and the big thing is that we’ve been able to manage Seth’s injury today. He was unbelievable. Now you’ve got to give him rest and hope that he will be able to come back.”

Overall assessment:
“Well what do you think? We are undefeated, number one in the country; we are playing our butts off. Other than that, I am displeased [laughter]. I am really down about my team.”  

“Our guys have played great. More than played great, they have competed great. You can play a good game but when you compete every ball game like our guys have competed, it’s a long race. I have no illusions of grandeur, that we are this perfect team or undefeated and all that kind of stuff, but we are good. If you keep getting in fights like this, you get better but you may lose a few fights but then at the end you are tough enough to win the big fight. My team has fought.  It’s amazing our team poster this year has one word, ‘Fight,’ and it is so appropriate for this team. Seth [Curry] had to do something with his muscles, or lack of muscles to make them look, he looks a little bit bigger in that poster than he is in person.”  

On rebounding:
“We out-rebounded them and they didn’t get as many offensive rebounds, they only had seven, so we are working on it.  When you are putting pressure on people like we are you extend your defense. A lot of times, at the end of the exchange because you’ve put pressure, your ability to go on to that final step of getting the rebound is a very difficult step to make and that is what we are attempting to do. I think we are improving in it but it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially, we have a smaller perimeter. Quinn [Cook] got four defensive rebounds, but we have to get more from our perimeter guys. But again better, it was better today.”


Duke Senior Seth Curry
“It was a pretty good night for us all.  They’re a good team – a really good team.  They’ve got a lot of talented players that could play in this league, so we were tested tonight and the whole team did a good job.”

“They came out and jumped on us early with physicality and got their hands on a lot of balls.  The refs were letting us play, and we were finally able to respond to that in the first half, and then in the second half we kind of played in spurts.”

On Duke’s better performance and building a lead in the second half:
“We were able to get some stops.  The whole time, we had some breakdowns and they were able to get some open threes.  In transition, they ran to the three-point line, and they can shoot as well as anybody, so we had to get some stops.  Then we were able to get out and get some easy buckets.  We also executed really well in the half court down the stretch, so that was good for our team.”

On the upcoming matchup with Davidson in Charlotte:
“It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’m really excited about that game in Charlotte, and we’re going to be ready for it.  It’s a lot of fun for me to have a lot of family and friends in the stands.  Every game here at Duke is a big-time game, so it shouldn’t be any different.”


Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
“Coming in, our view of it was that [Santa Clara] hadn’t lost a game in regulation.  Both of their losses were in overtime.  They have three really good players and they’re well-coached.  With that, they play with unbelievable confidence.  That first three, [Evan] Roquemore came out and hit like an NBA step-up three, [Kevin] Foster was just hitting everything.  They were impressive.  It was a good win for us.”

On the team’s poor free throw shooting in the first half:
“We talked about that at halftime, especially guys that were shooting a lot of them, like me and Seth [Curry], and we just said, ‘We’re going to hit them.  Don’t worry about it.’  And that’s what we did in the second half.  You miss a few and you just have to flush them out [of your mind].  You can’t hang on every free throw.”

On the several backdoor plays from Duke today:
“It’s just like a field play.  When you’ve had guys that have played together so long, it’s kind of like a look in the eyes.  You just kind of nod your head and they know to go.  The worst is when you nod your head and they don’t go and then you throw it out of bounds.  But it was working tonight.  They’re going to overplay our guys because they’re good shooters, and Rasheed [Sulaimon] can drive, so it’s something that’ll be open if we can keep the floor spacing.”


Duke Sophomore Quinn Cook
“At the beginning they really knocked us back, but once we got strong we got really good shots.  That was the biggest thing – just taking their physicality and just playing our game.”

“They were tough, a veteran team, and they made us better today.  Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] knows what he’s doing and he knows that a team like Santa Clara can only get us better.  They came in here and they wanted to win, not just compete.  They did a great job today, but our seniors led us to victory today.”


Santa Clara Head Coach Kerry Keating
Opening Statement:
“That was a really good game. I was excited for our guys to compete. I thought we showed something about our program and how far we have come. It is a difficult place to play, I know that from experience. I am glad we had the chance and they gave us the opportunity to get our guys in this environment because we are trying to take steps in our program that we are developing. I thought our guys made the most of it, unfortunately our guys had a few too many turnovers, a few too many missed opportunities and we gave them a few early ones that gave them some confidence. Had we done a better job maybe would have made it a little closer, but we kept fighting. Obviously playing against a Duke team that is the key, you have to come out with aggressiveness. You have to come out fighting. You have to come out ready to play and not scared.”

On how the game got away in the second half:
“They aren’t going to stop playing. I think maybe we got their attention a little before halftime, fighting from down 11 to make it a two point game at halftime. I think we withstood their first four minutes, probably better than anticipated. It took us a little longer for us to get going, their aggressiveness and ability to score. I thought we had some key turnovers and I don’t know if our guys get the sense that we are going to be OK or not, I don’t really get that impression. They made their charge, we knew it was going to come. We couldn’t stop it and we had to fight back for the rest of the way. Credit to them, that is why they are who they are and why they are where they are at right now. I am glad we were in that position to begin with, showed something about who we are, but it is very difficult to maintain that. You almost have to play a perfect game from a turnover standpoint and from a shot selection standpoint. For a couple of possessions there we didn’t have any go down and a couple of guys had some opportunities when they came to them, you have to take advantage of them and we didn’t. It is a wonderful experience and certainly one we will remember.”

On what Duke did differently in the second half on Kevin Foster:
“They had to adjust to us a little bit, because Kevin got going early and Evan (Roquemore) and Kevin did a good job of running the offense. They had to go into a face guard with Kevin for a few possessions and we were able to take advantage of it and get a dunk, which is a little bit surprising. We needed a few other guys who can score and not rely so much on Kevin, but that is a growth process for us.”

On job against Mason Plumlee:
“We made him earn it. I would venture to guess that in all the games that they have played that Rob (Garret) is the biggest guy he has played against. I thought Rob and Yannick (Atanga) did a good job being physical with him. We tried to limit his offensive touches on the boards and we did that, I think keeping him to three offensive rebounds is a success when they don’t rebound the ball particularly well, at least numbers wise and he is a key guy. He had to earn most of his points from the free throw line and I thought we did a good job in the first half of not giving him and one’s. He had to earn it. I thought our guys answered the challenge pretty well and he had to step up.”  


Santa Clara Guard Kevin Foster
On confidence shooting the ball:
“I am a confident player. I am confident in my team. I have been shooting the ball since I was a little kid, so it really isn’t anything new to me. I have confidence in myself and my team, it really doesn’t come easy to us, but we didn’t get enough stops when we needed them.”

On what Duke did differently in the second half:
“I mean, I hit a couple of threes so of course they are going to start denying me and stuff. They made it hard for me to get catches and stuff like that, which is normal. I have become accustomed to that, but at the same time we still made plays, but we didn’t get enough stops and that is the key.”


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