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Quotes: Duke 79, Michigan 69
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/04/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Our guys played really well tonight. They played so hard on the defensive end and we beat an outstanding team. You know, John [Beilein]’s teams are terrific. They give you so many looks offensively and defensively, but our defense was outstanding tonight. One of the keys for us was to trying to limit [Nik] Stauskas, because Stauskas, we felt coming into this game was the best 2-guard we would face so far this season, and a huge thing is we didn’t give up any threes in transition. In the half court there was a big emphasis on trying to keep the ball out of his hands and trying to keep him away from his normal operating. I thought Tyler [Thornton] and Matt [Jones] really did an outstanding job with that. We cared for the ball, we only had 7 turnovers, we rebounded the ball well, except at the end, in the last minute and 30 seconds. I think there were more points scored during the last minute and 30 seconds than any minute and 30 seconds during the game. I think we broke some kind of record—both teams. But Quinn [Cook] was magnificent. The whole game—even though he didn’t score in the first half he managed to continue well, and we told him to be very aggressive in the second half and he was. And he was 10-for-10 from the line, which sews up the game. So I’m proud of our guys who’ve gotten better, we’re getting better, a little bit more cohesive.  We’re getting to know one another a little bit more, and you know we have to keep that going. And we have this break now for exam week for us, these next two days for our kids academically are monster days with projects and papers and that’s before exams next week so we have off tomorrow, we’re going to come back on Tuesday and figure out our exam schedule before we come back in about 13 days.”

On Marshall Plumlee’s performance in the first half:
“Well I thought all three of those big kids played very selfless. Josh [Hairston], Amile [Jefferson], and Marshall [Plumlee] they got into the game, they weren’t trying to figure out how to score they were going to try to help. Every kid who played did good things. Quinn did a little bit better than anybody, especially in that second half.”

On Duke’s improving defense:
“I think even without stats we are playing better defensively. We played an outstanding defensive game tonight—not a good one, I mean an outstanding defensive game tonight, and part of that is just learning to play with one another. Sometimes after a game when another coach talks about your team, they say some things that resonate pretty well. Sean Miller, after we lost to Arizona, somebody was asking him about Jabari [Parker] and he said all good things. But he made a really interesting point, and it’s kind of what I’ve been trying to tell you all, that we’re not there yet, and I don’t know when we will be there, but he said Jabari will be even better when we’re more cohesive. And his team is already cohesive. They have veterans back, we’re trying to figure that out along the way while you’re playing those teams. And, so, the best way we can become cohesive is on the defensive end. And that’s what the last three ball games--I think we’re really good all three games--against Alabama, Arizona, and Michigan, all three big time names and good teams. So we’re getting there.”

On keeping Nik Stauskus out of the game:
“Well, it takes a lot of effort. Like [Steve Wojciechowski] was mainly responsible for the game plan, and we practiced so hard these last couple of days. We came back last night and did stuff, you know, this afternoon, where we tried to make sure that we knew most of their offense. And then it is just a matter of our kids working real hard to try to stop it. They still scored, but it was tough to score against us tonight.”

On Caris LeVert’s play:
“Well he was terrific. And instead of just shooting the ball from the outside, he drove the ball. I thought that gave them a huge lift when Stauskas wasn’t scoring. They were having a hard time scoring and LeVert just put them on his back, and was terrific. Again, when he was doing that, we kept telling them he goes left more than right. But he played real hard, and it was very good. They got it down to six points, I think it was 46-40, and we called a set for Andre, you know Andre came up with those two threes which were just huge because they had the momentum of coming back, and obviously they’re a winning, they’re a championship level program, and they’re going to make a push right now and Andre boom, boom, you know, put us up by 12. Those were huge. I’m really happy for him; he’s getting in better shape. Remember he’s been out for a whole year. He didn’t play basketball at all last year. And so that’s some of the things we’re trying to develop right now.”

Duke Junior Quinn Cook
“It was a team performance.  Rodney [Hood] started it off, keeping us going.  Andre [Dawkins] stepped up.  Everybody stepped up.  [Michigan] kind of started backing off me in the second half, so I got some easy shots to go in, but it was definitely a team performance.”

“I think in the first half I was losing a little confidence in my jumper, and Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] got on me at halftime [and said], ‘Keep shooting.  Don’t get down.’  So guys kept feeding me the ball and had confidence in me.”

“We paid attention to the scouting report and the game plan Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] wanted us to do.  We wanted to make stops and we were really working [Mitch] McGary, [Glenn] Robinson and those guys.  And they have great role players like [Caris] LeVert and he played well.  But we stayed true to the game plan, and if we do that we can keep it going.”

“I think earlier, [against] ECU and Vermont, we got a lead and kind of let up, but today we didn’t let up because we were conscious of what we had done before.  We didn’t let up today and it was a good performance for us.”

“We’re getting better daily.  Guys are stepping into roles and roles are changing.  It’s a long season and we can’t just stay the same the whole season.  We want to keep getting better and keep teams on their toes.  We’ve got a long way to go.”

Duke Graduate Student Andre Dawkins
On his quick offensive production in the second half:
“You’ve just always got to be ready.  Sometimes it’s going to be your night and sometimes it’s not.  I just came off the bench, Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] called my number on the offensive end, and luckily I was able to just come in and knock a couple of shots down.  It felt good.  We had a great crowd tonight, so being able to knock down a couple of shots felt really good.  And obviously the crowd loves it when we knock down threes so it was fun.  In most games, when Coach puts me in, he goes to me [for offense] unless someone else is hot.  So when I go in, I pretty much know I’m going to get an opportunity to get a shot.  It’s just a matter of being ready and preparing for my shot properly.”

“They’re a really good offensive team, so we knew that we needed to have a good effort on the defensive end.  Myself, I’ve got to keep getting better on the defensive end, and that’s been a big focus for me this week, and I’ve just got to continue to get better.”

Duke Redshirt Sophomore Rodney Hood
On Duke’s renewed focus on defense:
“We took it upon ourselves, and we had a meeting and we said, ‘Regardless of what happens on the offensive end, we’ve got to help each other out on the defensive end.’  I think at the beginning of the season, we started off just guarding our man and hoping our man doesn’t score rather than helping each other.  The last three games, even against Arizona, we really helped each other out.  And we’re getting better, as far as defensive rebounding.”

On the performance from Quinn Cook tonight:
“Quinn was Quinn.  That’s what we expect from him – being a leader out there, putting pressure on the defense, finding guys, and hitting open shots.  He’s one of the better shooting point guards in the country, and he’s one of the better point guards in the country.  He’s just got to do that every single game.  There are going to be games like that, where me or Jabari [Parker], we don’t go off for 20 or 25 points, and guys are going to have to step up like ‘Dre [Dawkins] did today.  But Quinn did a great job defending the ball, putting pressure on [Michigan], and taking them out of the flow of their offense.  It was just a great job by him tonight.”

“It’s a long season.  This is our eighth game, and we’ve got at least 25 to 30 games left.  We’ve just got to get better.  We’re a young team and we’re growing up so much, especially after the Vermont game.”

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On limited three-point opportunities:
“It was a great plan. They really tried to keep [Nik] Stauskas’ touches very low and not let him get into a rhythm. Blocked the rails and the sides so that we couldn’t get there and maybe score a couple of twos. They did a great job of doing that, particularly after the first half.”

On Duke’s back-to-back three pointers:
“That was a really tough one. The second one was a really tough one. The first one we lost just a little bit, but they made two great threes during that time, and that was a huge difference for them and for us. Those misses were kind of distinct. It could have gone either way, but big makes by them, and we couldn’t come back again after that, especially ten to twelve the whole game and then we get it to six and it’s right back to twelve, which stuck to us.”

On staying close through the half:
“You never know what is going to happen. We didn’t get a lot of easy shots, but we did get a few that we missed early that could have kept it where we wanted it to be. Obviously we’re missing Nik [Stauskas]’s normal game; we have trouble scoring points without him, and then when we got it going in the second half, changed the game plan and tried to play through more, and that is when we got within six points. But  the first half was a really bad offensive showing. Defensively we were okay. They had three shot clock plays, one I think was illegal but that’s another matter. But they got three shot clock plays and those nine points were huge.”

On the environment of Cameron affecting the team’s play:
“No, that’s going to happen at different times. We had a couple of turnovers from young players that they’ll just learn from it. It’s difficult. I don’t care if you’re home or away, you’re playing a really good team and they’re guarding you, and you’re going to make some mistakes in some areas where you don’t get that possession back. So we’ll look at that.”

Michigan Guard Caris LeVert
On being the aggressor in the second half:
“We saw openings with ball screens and we went downhill a little bit, but we came back.”

On Duke’s defensive pressure:
“They did a good job of denying Nik [Stauskas], making it tough for him to score – Glenn [Robinson III] as well. But we didn’t knock down shots. We didn’t do the things we needed to do to win.”

On the improved play in the second half:
“We attacked better: going to the rim, getting to the free throw line.”

“We did a good job knocking down shots in the second half and knocking down free throws as well. We just have to do a better job controlling the ball.”

Michigan Forward Mitch McGary
On the atmosphere of Cameron Indoor Stadium:
“The Cameron Crazies, they bring a great atmosphere here to Cameron Indoor and it’s a pleasure playing here. It just didn’t turn out how we wanted to.”

On Michigan Guard Nik Stauskas’s play coming back from injury:
“I don’t know if it was the ankle or not, but they were just denying him. We tried to get him some looks but it just wasn’t going our way.”

On not scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game:
“I think they’re just closing the passing lanes, taking away the angles to the basket. We just needed to get out and run and start executing our offense”

On the low number of three-point shots:
“They were high-siding us, so when we were trying to set ball screens and get open looks, they were just there, playing good defense. Credit to them.”

On the youth of the team playing a role in away games:
“It might be. It’s a hostile environment. It just goes to show that we’re going to learn from this and come back. We’re a bounce-back team.”

On the team playing on the road:
“It just shows how much we can learn playing in these hostile environments. We need to play a lot more poised and I think down the road it will help.”

On conditioning to get back into the game after injury:
“I think I just need to do a better job in between games, just doing extra work to get my conditioning up, get my heart rate up, so I can get in better shape and stay on the floor longer.”

On frustration under Duke’s defensive pressure:
“I think once they started shutting down Glenn [Robinson III] and Nik [Stauskas] and started high-siding us so we couldn’t get open look.  We just needed to get out and transition.”