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Quotes: Duke 113, Presbyterian 44
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/14/2014
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“We played really hard and well. Their kid (Reggie) Dillard was out, and is going to be out for the season so they are adjusting. We shared the ball very well and played with a lot of enthusiasm. The crowd was great and we will have to see if we can do that again tomorrow. We will have to show the maturity that we will need to develop and learn throughout the year. We shared the ball really well and really had great shots. It was a great way to start the season and we were much better than they were. Let’s see if we can do that again tomorrow.”

On the chemistry between the team:
“They have great chemistry off the court. We are a young team and have to continue to build chemistry on the court. Tonight we showed some of that. We have five games in eight days, a lot of travel, and really good competition, so we will see who we are after those eight days. They were practicing well and working really hard. They are a good group.”

Chemistry continued:
“It’s unusual for a young team like we are to have this much chemistry. Usually a young team would be concerned about not being sure of themselves. By being sure of each other, it allows them to be surer of themselves. They were a really easy and good group to coach because they didn’t get sloppy and played hard the entire time. We were able to work on some of the defenses we have been working on like the zone.”

On Matt Jones:
“He has practiced really well and can start or come off the bench. When he came in he made about eight decisions offensively and defensively that were all right; where he was supposed to be, who he was supposed to pass to, how he was playing defense. Those are things we are looking for. I thought the way Rasheed (Sulaimon) played was great. He is a different player, with a different type of penetration. We look a little bit different when he is in the ball game.”  

On Jahlil Okafor:
“He is an outstanding player. I think Quinn (Cook) and Tyus (Jones) really help him a lot. He has a great poise to him. He will get doubled against bigger players, and will have to show that poise when that happens. He has done really well and the only way to improve is to play against those bigger people and see what happens.”

On how good this year’s team can be:
“I like this team a lot. We are a young team. Six of these guys are freshmen and sophomores. They have to figure out who they are against really good competition. As long as they stay healthy and keep learning we have a very good chance to get better. We were really good tonight but we are a lot more talented than tonight’s game. If we are playing really hard we should be able to win big. We need to keep up that consistency, and our depth is very good. I like the style we are playing, and hopefully we will get better at it. They are not good kids, they are great kids. There are no issues at all. I totally commend my upper class for totally accepting this freshmen class.”

Duke Senior Quinn Cook
On the starting lineup and working together with Tyus Jones
“I’m the senior.  I’ve been here so I know what Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] wants, what we need to run at this time.  I can still see things, even when I’m not at the top of the offense, so I want to help Tyus out.  He’s still learning things on the run, so I just want to help him.  I just want to be a helper out there.”

After hearing that Presbyterian was forced to call its final timeout with 16:04 remaining in the second half:
“That says a lot about our defense.  We didn’t let up.  All the things that we’ve been working on in practice, sometimes we’ll mess up and Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] will get on us, and we’ll pick it up and won’t make that mistake again.  We didn’t make them tonight, and hopefully we can use this as a momentum boost for tomorrow.  Our defense was outstanding.  Just to force a good team like that to call timeouts with pressure is great.”

On Duke’s three-point shooting tonight:
“[The keys are] just penetrating and using our athleticism to get by defenders and sharing the ball.  A lot of times in practice, we’ll get caught up in taking bad shots when help defense comes.  [Tonight] we shared the ball, guys were ready to shoot, and we shot it with confidence.”

On the Duke freshmen:
“All four of them bring a different skill or different thing to the table, and all four of them are very mature.  They pick up things well, and I can’t say enough about them.  They’re great – all four of them.”

Duke Freshman Jahlil Okafor
On playing his first official game in Cameron Indoor Stadium:
“It was a lot of fun.  The one shot I did miss, I should’ve made that.  I was mad about that, but it was a lot of fun.  We shared the ball, so everybody on the team had fun.  It was a great.”

“I felt very comfortable.  I give the credit to us in practice.  Playing against Marshall Plumlee, Amile Jefferson, Semi Ojeleye, I feel like I play against some of the top big men every time I step on the floor in practice.  That really prepared me for today.”

“Everybody on this team realizes that the guy next to you can really play – there’s a lot of talent on this team.  And one of our absolutes is sharing the ball, so making the extra pass, it’s fun playing that way.  I think that’s why today we had 30 assists and nine turnovers.  It was a lot of fun.”

Duke Freshman Tyus Jones
“It was a good first win for us.  Coming out, we wanted to execute and focus on defense, and I think we did a great job on the defensive end and rebounding.  So we’ll come back tomorrow [against Fairfield] and try to do the same thing.”

On his confidence in his shooting tonight:
“I’m confident.  Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] tells us all, if we have a shot, take it.  He gives us confidence, and these guys around me give me confidence.  If they’re driving and kicking, that tells me they have confidence in me just like I have confidence in them.  So when you get a shot, you’ve just got to take it.”

On the talent surrounding him on this Duke team:
“It’s definitely a dream.  We’ve got a tremendous amount of talent on this team at every position, and it definitely makes my job a lot easier.”

Presbyterian Head Coach Gregg Nibert
On his impression of the game:
“Well, I saw the two tapes of the exhibition, and they’re [Duke] a lot better in person than they are on the tape.  You know, we tried to have a plan of jamming down on (Jahlil) Okafor, and he was tremendous—nine-for-10.  One game they were seven-for-25 and in another game 15-for-32, so we tried to do a little something, making them shoot the three.  That was one of the best exhibitions (for offense).  I’ve been doing this for a long time, and our team is not 69 points, but that team tonight was hitting on all cylinders.  I told our guys: shooting the three, driving that ball inside.  They were tremendous.  For an exhibition of offense, a team with that many weapons, everybody, (Justise) Winslow, Okafor, (Tyus) Jones.  I mean, Grayson Allen coming off the bench scoring 18 points, I mean you couldn’t ask for more of a complete game from a team like Duke.  To have that many young people play like that was very impressive.”

On William Truss’ performance:
“Well, he’s our senior, and him having three block out fouls.  We gotta have him up on the court.  I mean, he’s our senior—the guy that we want to get the ball to and have a snowball’s chance of playing.  He’s really needed for us having a chance at all.”

On Jordan Downing’s performance:
“I told him before the game, ‘Winslow’s gonna be guarding you and he’s gonna rough you up and it’s not anything illegal, but I mean they were gonna be gloving him.’  We need a screen, and he needed to be really patient and they did a really tremendous job on him, scoring off and every shot was tough and then he got a little frustrated, but I knew the defense was going to be tremendous on him and it was, and he made some shots, but we’ve got to get a little tougher defensively when things aren’t going too well for us offensively—especially our two seniors.”

On preparing for the game:
“Well we watched the two exhibition games.  I think this was definitely opening night.  Even Okafor in person, when I saw him, he’s a lot bigger in person than he was on the tape.  He’s a tremendous talent, he played very physical.  I think in the two exhibition games you kind of saw him out on the floor posting up, but I mean he’s down there posting up like the man that he is.  We said maybe if he’s posting up far, we could jam up and not have far to go, but he was the man, and I think he made everything go.  He’s the force that he is, and all the other guys open up the whole floor with the ball coming out and they’re shooting three or driving it.  That’s what we want to do—get the ball inside.  Truss was over there playing 16 minutes, and he’s over there sitting with me and I’m down there every time telling them [the players] how much they’re needed.  I hope this is a learning lesson for Will because we gotta have him out as one of our best players on the court.  The only thing I wish, and the only thing I think we could have tried to do and we weren’t good enough in early, but we tried to play in the zone because they got more threes man-to-man, and at least we cut of Okafor.  I told the guys that was my fault.  I’ve always got something we need to do better, but to zone the way they shoot.  They got the whole gamut.  They’re good, I mean they’re really good and I know you know they’re well coached.  The weapons that they have are tremendous.  They got five guys and they got five more coming off the bench and they’re cheering for each other and pulling for each other and that’s on November 14th.  They’ll be scary in March, if everyone keeps being excited and pulling for each other and I know they will.  I said to Coach K, I said our basketball team is not gonna forget this night.  I’ve got a lot of young guys with a lot of potential, but we’re not gonna forget this night.”