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Quotes: Duke 80, Wake Forest 62
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/05/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“I thought it was a good win for us to get started. I thought [Wake Forest] came out … I thought they played with good resolve. Their two veterans played really well for them. I liked how we passed the ball – 22 assists and six turnovers. It’s too bad Ryan [Kelly] got in foul trouble because he was having one of those days. [He] still had a special day; he had 22 points in 18 minutes. And then kind of a weird stat is Quinn’s [Cook]; he had 14 assists, no turnovers but was 0-11 from the floor. Sometimes a point guard … they are going after him and trying to be really physical, not just Wake but everybody, that you’re pressuring the ball, you’re passing, you’re running a team by the time you get to your shot sometimes you just miss that little bit of concentration you need to knock it down. I was proud of him. He didn’t let the shooting take away from his defense and playmaking responsibilities. Overall a good win for us.”

On Ryan Kelly:
“I think Ryan has the ability to score 20 points against anybody. I think Ryan is really good. I think when you’re trying to take Mason [Plumlee] and Seth [Curry] out of the game, it opens it up a little bit more for Ryan. That’s why Rasheed [Sulaimon] scoring and Quinn [Cook] scoring will be big and have been big so far and will be big going forward as people are going to try and take different things away from us. But [Kelly] stepped up. He just had the openings and knocked them down. He was on his way to 35, 40-point game. We would’ve obviously kept calling his number. I like to do stuff like that.”

On how the attention given to Mason Plumlee improves spacing:
“Over the years I think we space as well as anybody in the country. You hope the other team sags off a little bit so you can take advantage of that spacing. [Plumlee] passed out really well today. We were 11-for-24 from three but it seemed like we could’ve hit eight more. They were just wide open. He just kept adjusting to it. I think in the second half, he played through physicality and was … I didn’t think he did that in the first half. I think he let the double team dictate to him what he was going to do instead of at times dictating to that double team what he was going to do with it. The second half he did that. Having an outstanding player inside is always an advantage.”

On limiting turnovers:
“Overall we haven’t turned it over that much. We’ve been pretty good about that.  A big thing in that is Quinn [Cook] having the ball more. He doesn’t turn it over. And then when Tyler’s [Thornton] out there with him a lot of times our ball handling is even better. Tyler doesn’t turn it over that much.”

On utilizing jump shots:
“I think you take the shots that are there as long as they are good shots. We’re playing Santa Clara last week at this time and if Tyler Thornton doesn’t take his wide open threes, the outcome could be different in the game. His two threes knocked it open. We’ll always shoot the three here, but if we can stay established with Mason inside and develop a little more of a driving game … Seth [Curry] does that in his own little way and Rasheed [Sulaimon] can do that. I think eventually Alex Murphy will be able to do that. He had a couple good minutes today. So did Marshall [Plumlee] and Amile [Jefferson]. The game kind of got disjointed there. We got a 25, 27-point lead and for two minutes it was like la-la land or something. I didn’t know what the heck was going on there for a while. We’ll shoot them. We’re a good shooting team.”

On communicating the team’s progress to the squad:
“I think every coach, whether you’re winning, losing or in the middle, has a hard time convincing their players where they are at that particular moment and time. I’d rather be doing it where I’m doing it than where I had to do it and had to do it again in the 90s. I think you just have to believe in one another. More so than that, you have to have the support of the people who are behind you - your AD and your president, where everyone knows that you’re all on the same page and you’re fighting to develop a program. [Wake Forest has] good kids. They just won three games in a row. I didn’t think they were a down group today. They were up. They played hard. They played like a winning team. I thought we beat a winning team today. We didn’t beat any downtrodden team. They had good faces. But it’s a long haul. It’s a long haul.”

On developing the team’s depth:
“The development of our starters is much more important than the development of our depth. The development of every player is important. We are dealing in an injured player in Seth [Curry]. I know because he’s playing you think everything is good, but he’s not. He’s had gutty performances. Ryan [Kelly] was hurt during the holidays. He tweaked his foot. They have to be ready to go. And also for your future. Those three kids – Amile, Alex and Marshall – are really good players. They’re playing behind three seniors. It’s a different dynamic. There’s more separation than normal. And that’s good. That’s why we’re 14-0. It’s why we’ve won. You have to develop your depth and young guys in a little bit different way with this team.”

Duke Senior Ryan Kelly
On his strong first-half shooting performance:
“The ball was going in the basket.  I got some open looks and they went in.  I got my shots, and I was knocking them in.  I’ve been pretty confident with my shot.  Everybody was saying at the beginning of the year that I was struggling a little bit.  The numbers always end up working themselves out – that’s how I think.”

“We’re still learning and we’re still getting better, but there were certainly some spurts during that game where some really good things happened.  We’re 1-0 in the ACC, beat a really good Wake Forest team, and we’ve got to be ready for the next one.”

On defending Duke’s No. 1 ranking each game:
“We just have to continue to have a chip on our shoulder and be out there saying that we need to prove something to everyone every time.  Everybody wants to take us down from that spot, and everybody wants that spot, and we can’t allow them to take it from us.”

“We certainly have some areas where we need to grow.  We’re 1-0 in the ACC, and the ACC schedule is all that matters now.  The 13-0 is gone and now we’re 1-0.”

Duke Senior Seth Curry
“We wanted to get off to a good start in the first half.  They stuck with us for the first few minutes, but after that we were able to knock some open shots down, get some stops, and push the lead up.  That’s what we want to do early.”

“We ran our offense really well.  Guys set screens, guys weren’t selfish with the ball, and we attacked the paint.  Whenever we attack the paint, defenses have to collapse and that’s when we like to kick for threes.  We did a lot of that early, and guys were playing unselfishly.”

On Ryan Kelly’s performance:
“He did a good job of stepping into his shots with confidence and knocking them down, and if he does that, that makes us a better team.”

On Duke’s inconsistent play in the second half:
“We just had a few breakdowns, they hit some threes, and we turned the ball over a few times.  Whenever you get a big lead like that, you can’t really relax.  You want to keep playing hard and we kind of had some lulls there in the second half.  It’s hard to stay as sharp as possible when you get a big lead, but I don’t think anybody just took the game lightly or shut it down for the night.  We just made a few relaxed turnovers.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
On Duke’s inside-out threat:
“Today, obviously Ryan [Kelly] shot the ball well.  Rasheed [Sulaimon] hit one there at the end, and Seth [Curry] shot well.  Those guys are going to have open shots, so we have a good dynamic going there where I’m inside and those guys are spacing the floor.”

“We need to start starting games better.  We need to come out with more energy.  It’s good to be a second-half team but not to be just a completely different team in the first half.  You want to be a 40-minute team.  You can’t be two different teams in each half.”

“It’s really important to get off to a good start in the league.  You don’t want to dig yourself a hole early, and everyone counts the same.  There are only 18 games so every game is big.”

“I’ve always said, if I’m playing how I should, I should have a double-double.  If I’m playing hungry and I’m rebounding, that should just come.  I don’t count while I’m out there, but that should come with how I play.”

Wake Forest Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik
Opening Statement:
“Our young team played hard. We need to play better. The game got away from us in the first half. We allowed them to make nine threes. We turned the ball over way too many times. Second half we cut our turnovers down to six, they only got two threes, but we allowed them some driving lanes. We need to execute better under duress. That will all come. It is an experience for seven freshmen to come into Cameron against the No. 1 team in the country. It is an experience I think will benefit us going forward.”

On adjustments down the stretch:
“I just wanted my team to play very hard and like I said initially we need to play better. Stick to our defensive scheme, we changed it a little bit. In the first half, we tried to switch and take away their threes, but the communication wasn’t quite there and we were late on some of our switches and they got air space for some of their threes. We got sucked in on flat drives. Knowing the difference between a flat-line drive and a straight-line drive are things we talked about. Just to continue to play hard. I talked to my team about the difference between playing hard and competing. Competing is doing what you can do to win and to make sure, be determined to win. We are playing hard, we just need to play better and that is what I am saying. We did a good job on the boards. We learned from this experience. I thought we learned from this experience as the game went on. We missed a lot of layups. The first play of the game, we had a designed play to clear it out and have Devon [Thomas] take [Mason] Plumlee right off the dribble and go to the rim. He did, he missed it. We missed a lot of layups and some open shots. We need to make those, because they aren’t easy to get. When we get them we need to take advantage of those opportunities.”

On what makes Ryan Kelly a difficult matchup:
“He is just a terrific player. What makes him such a great player is he can shoot the three. He is very crafty in the post. He is intelligent. He is like a point guard out there, because when he catches the basketball he can do a lot of things with it. He has terrific fakes, he is really good on the dribble handoff. He is really good on handoffs period. One time he faked two of our guys and wheeled. These are things you drill, but when you get in the heat of the moment, I think we had two freshmen guarding him on that particular play and he faked them both out. He’s smart, he’s skilled. He stretches you out. He is a great leader. They have three great senior leaders that have been in a lot of basketball games.

On timing of game:
“I know you probably think I am crazy when that when the ACC schedule came out, you have to go home and away with people. Why not come in here? To me it is a great benchmark. It is not an excuse, I am not making an excuse at all. We have seven freshman and one senior and only one junior. It is a great benchmark for our guys to understand what a No. 1 ranked team does and playing on the road, especially here in Cameron. All these things are things you can learn from.

On turnovers early:
“It was a different kind of pressure. Some of it was unforced, our own inability. You can’t simulate this in practice. The experience factor is critical. Dan Collins and I were just talking about Tim Duncan’s first game as a freshman, he had 0 points and 0 rebounds against a Division II team. Devon Thomas had 12 rebounds as a freshman. A lot of things to grow from.”