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Countdown to Craziness Quotes
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 10/22/2016
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“We’re very pleased with tonight. I thought our guys played very hard. We have good talent, obviously, that made it look like a real game, rather than a Countdown to Craziness. A couple of the kids had been out a few days. Frank [Jackson] and Luke [Kennard] with minor injuries, so to see them play tonight was great. Harry [Giles] is coming along really well. We’re pleased with that. Overall, a really good effort. I want to thank all the people behind the scenes to put this on. It’s quite an event, and I thought that everyone got treated to a really good night.”

On the defense of the bigs:
“I hope it’s harder for other people to defend the basket down low against us. For Marques [Bolden]’s team, it was difficult at times for his team to get it into the post, but once they got it in, he gets fouled a lot. He’s a guy that can not only score, but he can help your team get into the bonus early. We’re tall at all positions, and athletic. We should be able to not just defend the basket, but defend. We just have to make sure we’re always cognizant of team fouls, not individual fouls. With the number of guys that we play, an individual may not be in foul trouble. We might put a team into the double bonus, just because we’re not cognizant of that. That’s a key thing for us, to play that hard with this number of guys, but play without fouling.”

On Matt Jones’ involvement:
“Matt was one of the best defenders in the league last year. Whether he is on the ball or off the ball, he’s a dirty-work guy. He can hit open shots. Matt and Amile [Jefferson] don’t have a position, but they do everything well. They play defense, they get loose balls, they play hard, they can hit shots, they don’t have to take a lot of shots. They’re very, very efficient. To go along with Jayson [Tatum], Luke and Grayson [Allen], those guys can shoot the ball. Frank [Jackson] can shoot it too. You can complement it with inside play of Marques, Chase [Jeter] and some of the other stuff that Amile and Matt can do has the making of a real good group because they know their role. Part of knowing your role is the type of shot you should take, and they’re all good with that.”

On Amile bringing the ball up the court:
“It depends on who he is bringing it up against. That’s the thing. We have a number of guys who can bring it up. You can do it in a way that you never bring it up against a point. Then you make a point play off the ball. Instead of them taking advantage of the fact that we don’t have this true point guard, we take advantage of the fact that their true point guard has to play a wing on the perimeter. Amile is smart. Grayson will bring it up, and Luke and Frank. I wouldn’t call any of them our point guard. We’re going to try to put five good players out there all the time. Our kids love one another. You can tell they had a lot of fun tonight. They’ve been a pleasure to coach. We wish we could all be healthy, and we’re looking forward to next Friday, when we start out playing our first exhibition game. You can see a continuity of subs. You really can’t practice that. Obviously in this game you can’t do it, because it’s all we’ve got. All we’ve got is good, don’t get me wrong, but you don’t get a chance to see that continuity of keeping guys fresh. I thought Marques played really well, but if he played in spurts, could he run even better. That type of thing.”

Duke Senior  Forward Amile Jefferson
On how it feels to be able to suit up and play again after returning from last year’s injury:
“It was an amazing feeling.  All day I was thinking about it.  It’s probably been about nine months or maybe even 10 since I last played, so I was really excited to get back out there, to play with these guys.  We had a lot of fun.  We danced just as hard as we played tonight.  I thought we all had fun and it was an amazing atmosphere.  Our fans are unbelievable.  So for me to be back here is truly a blessing.  I’m really trying to seize this moment, take hold of it, and do something special with this group we have.”

On playing another year with Grayson Allen:
“He’s not only an amazing player but you don’t really have guys who are that talented, who can play that well, that play that hard, who can get their hands dirty and get in there and get a rebound, make plays over and over again and leave their heart on the court.  I’m really honored to back and play another year with Grayson.”

On his role as team captain leading another group of talented freshman at Duke:
“It’s making sure that we’re getting better every day.  One theme for our team is to earn everything and that’s a daily process.  For me to be back with this group is truly special.  Now I’m just trying to seize the moment, do the best to my abilities to bring these guys along.  As everyone can see, these guys are already talented.  They already have the tools and the gifts that God gave them to be really good basketball players.  And for me, it’s just to instill the little things that Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] wants them to do to make them really great players and to represent this Duke jersey in the highest esteem.  That’s my job.”

Duke Junior Guard Grayson Allen
On being back in Cameron in front of the Duke fans again:
“It’s awesome.  I think we have the best fans and they showed that tonight.  They were loud the entire night and it was an exciting environment.”

“We’re trying to be sharp and we want to take advantage of this.  This was one of our first times playing with officials like this and the freshmen [were] getting used to how the college game is called.  So [we wanted to] just take advantage of the scrimmage and this opportunity that we have and run through some of our sets and just get better.”

On the play of the Duke freshmen:
“They’re pretty good.  They can really score the ball and that’s a blessing that we have on this team – we have a lot of guys that can score the ball.  Frank [Jackson] really did it for our team and got it going early and that’s how Jayson [Tatum] plays – he can hit shots where you say, ‘Good D,’  and he just makes the shot.  What we’re working on for the year is getting everyone going at the same time and that’s when I think we’ll be at our best.”

Duke Freshman Forward Jayson Tatum
On his first true game experience in Cameron:
“It was great just being out there with the team and our fans for the first time, especially for my first time.  We just had so much fun, competing against each other, doing the intros, and especially dancing.  That was my favorite part – dancing out there.”

When asked what his most enjoyable experience at Duke has been so far:
“[Countdown to Craziness] by far.  I wish we could go do it all over again.  This summer, we worked extremely hard and all throughout preseason.  We’ve got our first preseason game next week, and we’ve been building up for this moment and we’re working and we’re getting better each day.”

“We have a lot of guys on any given night that can score.  It just depends on who’s open throughout the night.  Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] tells us to be ready to shoot when you’re open and have your feet set.  We set a lot of screens and do a lot of movement, so if you’re open, you shoot it.”

On what the upperclassmen have taught him so far:
“They’ve taught me so much, just how hard you have to work to compete and to be a Duke player, the pride you have to have to play for Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] and put this jersey on.  That’s first and foremost, just to go out there and compete for something bigger than yourself.”

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