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Quotes: Duke 85, Maryland 44
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/24/2009
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening statement:
“We played a great game today. Maryland couldn’t hit today, so that helped us a lot. Our defense was outstanding. We had great communication and so it was one of those games where we played great defense, and the shots they did have early, they missed. Not too often do you have a game like this, but if the ball doesn’t go in the basket, it makes the other team look better. We got a lot of minutes for everyone – I thought our big guys played well, Brian [Zoubek] and Lance [Thomas], and the start of the second half was about as good of basketball as you can play. You wouldn’t even know who scored – everybody was lights out for about five minutes. I was proud of our team because with the lead you have a tendency to let down and we didn’t. It’s still just one ACC win and we understand that, but it was a good performance by the team.”

On the passing of Kay Yow:
“Over the years, I’ve had a lot of time to interact with her through the V Foundation. The great thing about her is that she had the courage to fight her battle in public, and as a result she not only fought for herself, but for everybody that has cancer, will have cancer, and for the families who are involved. She created an amazing awareness for that fight and set such a good example, especially in this area with Jimmy [Valvano] as a male and for Kay to do that, I don’t think any area of the country has brought an awareness to the fight against cancer like this one. God bless her – she was a terrific lady. A fighter ‘til the end.”

On the passing this week of former Duke athlete Bill Werber:
“In the history of Duke athletics – he was a man’s man. He’s a hell of a man. We corresponded a lot. He’d write me notes and I’d call him or write him a note. What a life, what an example he set for the people here at Duke. It’s a sad day, but in some respects when you celebrate a life it brings a smile to your face to know you were blessed to be in the presence of two amazing individuals. This conference has given all of us a chance – whether they’re at [N.C.] State, Carolina, Wake, Duke, wherever- we’ve got some good people.”

On the strong defensive effort:
“We’re a good defensive team, and it means we have to bring it every possession. We’re older, and I think we’ve played hard all year but in a coordinated manner on the defensive end, and that’s a result of maturity and the ability to communicate. When you play defense, the lifeblood of your defense is talk. You have to be in good shape, play hard, but what coordinates everything is your communication and we’ve had really good communication.”

On the potential for a No. 1 ranking next week:
“It’ll be a big deal for our guys and it’s a big deal for us, because it means we’re playing really well. Over the many years here, we’ve been fortunate to be ranked No. 1 a lot. We’ve played over 180 games as the No. 1 team in the country. For this group, I think Dave [McClure] and Greg [Paulus] have been No. 1 their freshman year, but otherwise it’s the first time for this group. We talked about it last week – just don’t worry about anything, let’s just play, and it’s the same thing we’ll tell them going into this next week. It’s an honor and it says that you’re playing real well. You don’t get anything from it except a big headline when you lose. ... For now, it’s cool, and someone can say we’re No. 1 for a little bit, it’s a big thing.”

On the play of Brian Zoubek today:
“Someone who’s had his career interrupted as much as he had, while he’s developing – if you have your career interrupted while you’re developing, you have a reference point. He never had a reference point last year. He did a really good job today and we’ve been trying to be positive with him. He’s still a little bit anxious sometimes – doesn’t use his shot fake – but he was very good. He and Lance [Thomas] were very good. For us to be a special team, we’re going to need that, because we’re not going to be able to play small all the time.”

On the strength of the ACC:
“That’s why this conference is a great, great conference. Those three teams [Duke, UNC, Wake Forest] could hold their own against anybody, which says a lot for the conference. We have a great conference.”

Duke Junior Gerald Henderson
“I’ve had some pretty good experiences, some pretty good moments, with different plays being made back to back to back. That was pretty special. In the moment like that you don’t really know who is scoring, guys are just looking for guys to make plays and it’s a lot of fun.

On triple pass sequence:
“I knew Nolan [Smith] was going to give me the ball. I knew he was going to pass and I had to finish it. It was a good moment. That was probably one of the loudest it’s been [in Cameron Indoor Stadium] this year. We can make plays like that and get the crowd excited it’s a fun time.

On Duke’s overall play:
“In the first half there were times when our offense wasn’t so great, but for the most part, the way our defense was, and in the second half our offense really exploded. That is pretty much all you can ask for.”

Duke Junior Jon Scheyer
On Duke’s defense:
“Our bigs played really well today. I think [Brian] Zoubek protected the basket. Between Kyle [Singler] and the three perimeter guys, who can really guard the perimeter well, and with Zoubek protecting the inside well and all of us rebounding. That is what makes our defense complete.”

On Brian Zoubek’s game:
“He had the first hook right away to start us off. He had nice passes inside. He was everywhere on defense, blocking shots, rebounding, affecting shots. It gives our team a huge boost when he plays like that. It takes our team to another level.”

On triple pass sequence:
“Playing like that is the best way to play. It started with our defense which lets us get out into transition. Those were all just great team plays. I think that’s the most excited the crowd has been this year. We were really excited because that’s how we want to play.”

Duke Senior Greg Paulus
On the game:
“I think we saw some hard work start to pay off. We have to keep learning from it and going in the right direction.”

On Maryland:
“We know Maryland. They are a really good basketball team. They have a lot of experience on the perimeter with all those guys back from last year. So we knew we had to be ready. I thought our perimeter and even our bigs had a really good game all together.”

On the possibility of being ranked Number 1:
“I think it’s a good experience. Obviously, if that’s the way it votes out and turns out to be then that’s great for our team. But you have to get ready for the next [game]. When you start worrying about what everyone is ranked, you have to control what you can control. For us, we have to keep getting better and heading in the right direction. That is what we are focused on.”

“We come in everyday ready to work. We get tomorrow off, and Monday we get back in here and working hard and getting back to the basics. We have to keep trying to improve our habits. But whenever you start worrying about [the rankings] and who is ranked what, you can get a little bit sidetracked or distracted. We want to stay the course.”

Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams
Opening statement:
“I hope the rest of your day is better than my last two hours. You always sense that coming in here you worry about their intensity level, how they play their defense and things like that. That’s always back there somewhere that that can happen and it happened today. We didn’t play with the enthusiasm necessary to walk in here and play well. They did some really good things defensively, switching and taking us out of our offense, but we had some counters that we were supposed to look at, which we didn’t do. We just seemed to get paralyzed a little bit out there. This is a tough place to play if everything is not ready to go. As a head coach you’re responsible for getting your team ready to play and we didn’t do a good job today of coming out and matching intensity to Duke’s intensity and I think that’s the key to playing here. Whether you shoot well early that’s not the biggest thing, it’s your intensity level. Can you match Duke’s intensity level? We didn’t do it today and we certainly paid the price. That’s part of being an athlete, being a coach, is getting embarrassed and then being able to come back. That makes us 2-3 in the league I believe and we have two home games next week and we’ll be ready to play Tuesday night and at this point, that’s the key, getting back and being ready to play on Tuesday night.”

On his surprise of team not playing with the same intensity:
“I thought we would. I’ve come in here before that were underdogs and they played pretty well here. We didn’t do that today and they made us pay for it. As far as the score goes it doesn’t bother me to lose by 40 or 20, it still counts as one loss, and people can say that’s terrible, but it’s getting ready for Tuesday night. Those last 12 minutes or so that’s what we were trying to do, just get ourselves in a position where we can practice tomorrow and be ready to go.”

On whether he’s seen a team with Duke’s defense this season:
“Georgetown was pretty good when we played them in Orlando, but that’s as good as anybody obviously. That’s how they always play, that’s not Duke being anything special. That’s what they put out there and that’s what you have to compete against.”

On the passing of Kay Yow:
“I knew Kay [Yow] pretty well. Obviously her sister is the athletic director at Maryland. But I knew Kay before I came to Maryland. You met her at a lot of clinics and things like that. In other words, she was always out there. In basketball a lot of times there are men and women’s coaches at the clinics you speak at and Kay was always there. She was great. We would talk a lot of basketball, [Jim] Valvano, the whole thing back that far. She was a great lady, but she was a very good coach. She worked with the game and she tried to make it a better game.”

On being worried about his team:
“I was worried after we lost to Georgetown and we beat Michigan. You worry, but to me this is one game and that’s how you have to address it. We were picked eighth or ninth in the league and we’re trying to finish in the top half again like we did last year when we were picked eighth or ninth. We’re trying to get better and today we hit a road block. We’ll see if that’s going to hurt us or we’re going to come out Tuesday night and play really well. Today we feel bad, but by Tuesday we have to feel like we can win against Boston College.”

On Greivis Vasquez’s comments earlier in the week:
“I can think of maybe something better to say than ‘That’s my house’ before you come into Cameron to play. He’s an emotional player. It wasn’t a set-up interview, it was after the Virginia game and we were pretty happy we won and I think they just caught him at the right time when he said that, which happens. I think the big thing for Greivis right now is he’s really got to concentrate on his game. We need him to play really well and he’s been a good player for us over his first two years and we need to step it up now. It’s getting toward the middle of the ACC season so that’s what we’ll be focused on with him. He knows he shouldn’t have said what he said and he’s learned. Don’t take anything away from Duke. I don’t think they needed Greivis’ comments to get ready to play today. They had a chance to be No. 1 if they beat us and I think that was the motivating factor for today’s game.”

On Greivis’ poor shooting recently:
“I think that comes with the territory after being named second team All-ACC last year as a sophomore. Everybody knows who he is and he’s had some really good scoring games in big games for us. We have to do a good job as a team to run offenses to make sure he gets the ball, but at the same time you have to make shots. When you have the shots you have to make them. I think it’s always a combination of us doing a better job of getting him shots, but he’s got to knock them down when they’re open. In other words, just like [Gerald] Henderson or [Kyle] Singler, when they get shots they still have to make the shots. They can run a good play, but the guy still has to put the ball in the basket. Hopefully we can do a better job and Greivis will get hot and start making some shots.”

On the team’s offense overall:
“It’s one game. If it happens again, next week, then sure there will be a lot of concern. We just scored 80-some in our last game. I don’t change everything because of just one game. This can happen here probably quicker than any other place in the country.”

At what point they lost control of the game:
“I don’t know exactly when it was we lost control. It was a matter of losing confidence in our ability to run our offense and things like that. I’m not sure when that happened. I thought Duke looked more athletic in terms of one-on-one situations today. I thought they didn’t need to help a whole lot to stop our people with the ball, which we have to figure out a way to take care of that. A lot of it is emotion. I told the players after the game that if you ask who the best two NBA players are right now, maybe they say LeBron [James] or Kobe [Bryant]. Both of those guys play with a lot of emotion. They have great talent, but they both bring emotion to the table and we didn’t do that today and we paid for it.”

On Wake Forest, UNC, and Duke being the top three teams in the country:
“We played Gonzaga who had Wake Forest’s size. I haven’t played Wake Forest yet, so I don’t know about their quickness, but they’re really long. We played Georgetown and they were good. I know Duke took care of them here. I don’t think there are better teams than those three. I think that’s pretty safe to say because if you look at their consistency, so far this year, Carolina lost those two. Other than that they’ve been pretty overwhelming and Wake has played great and played a pretty good schedule. It wasn’t just early that they were beating teams they should beat. Then of course Duke, the only thing I saw watching that Michigan tape was that Duke missed shots early and it seemed to affect them the whole game. They never got it back like they usually do. I would say on a consistent basis those three teams have been as good as anybody in the country.”