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Quotes: Duke 71, Belmont 70
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/20/2008
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Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski

"We played against a team that played an amazing game. They’re very good.  Watching them on tape they looked really good.  Watching them in person, they’re better.  They played with great verve and they’re just real difficult to defend.”

On Belmont’s Starters
“The way Coach Byrd has handled his team this year, it’s about 10 kids how have starter’s mentalities because so many of their guys have started. When they sub, it’s never like going to their bench.  I talked to him about it, he said ‘We didn’t do that on purpose,’ and I said, ‘You probably did, you just don’t want to share that with anybody.’  With so many kids starting throughout the year, it doesn’t matter, the five guys on the court always feel like they’re a starter.  That’s a heck of a thing.  It’s a really good concept.”

On Pressure
“In the last nine minutes of the game, we had incredible game pressure on us.  One, it’s the NCAA’s.  Two, you’re supposed to win.  But even more importantly, they’re playing really well and you have to figure out how to win. I thought our kids were calm, the bench was calm and we reassured one another down the stretch.
“I’ve coached in 89 of these games now and I told the guys as far as game pressure goes, this has to rank in the top three or four.  Hopefully the people at Belmont take that as a real compliment because they should be complemented.”

On Gerald Henderson
“Down the stretch, we were primarily going to G (Gerald Henderson) to have him initiate stuff for us, whether it was his shot or his penetration.  That’s how Jon (Scheyer) got his three when we went up by five.  When he missed the shot with just over a minute to go, it was in and out, it was a great move.  Everybody told him, ‘great shot, take it again.’ “

On The End Of The Game
“I just told the kids that we need one stop and I’m not calling timeout.  You push it and make it happen, attack the rim.  That was our way in showing confidence in our guys.  Gerald made one of the great plays for us this year going full court like that.  That was just a great move.  Then we didn’t make any mistakes in the last 12 seconds to put them on the line.”

Gerald Henderson

On His Last Drive
“Coach said if we get the ball, push it up to get them off balance.  Right when I got to the three point line, I saw there was a lane and I just went up and finished it.  I knew we needed a two so I just took it to the basket strong.”

On Duke’s Confidence
“A win is a win.  Obviously you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself to win a game, but Belmont is a good team and you’re not going to just run through this tournament.  So it’s a big thing for us to win our first game in this tournament.”

Greg Paulus

On Belmont’s Offense
“With the way they shoot the ball, in the first half they did a good job not only making threes but getting some easy buckets on back-door cuts.  When you’ve got shooters like that one through five, they’ve got some guys that can put the ball on the floor.”

On Belmont’s Relentlessness
“They did a great job of keep playing and keep fighting.  We tried to extend the lead a couple of times.  They deserve credit for either making the big play with the three or getting to the foul line.  We definitely tried to extend the lead, but a lot of credit to them with the way they kept fighting and making big plays.”

On Duke’s Confidence
“Anytime you can win in the NCAA Tournament it’s a good thing.  They’re a great team and hopefully we can go back, look at the film, learn from it and get ready for the next one.  But nothing is a given in this tournament, so any win is great. Getting a win and advancing, it builds confidence.  We gained some more experience.


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