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Quotes: Duke 68, Clemson 40
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/08/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well, we played really good defense tonight and I thought that was the story of the game, and Quinn [Cook]’s performance.  Quinn was terrific.  We knew he would still shoot, being 0-11 in the last game, is not indicative of how he played, he had 14 assists.  During practice he played great and he can shoot.  He’s been shooting well.  He showed the maturity of not trying to make up for 0-11 and just played his game.  The number of points and assists and lack of turnovers is huge but coming off an 0-11, I really love that.  That he was so good in that regard.”  

“Ryan hurt his foot.  We don’t know the extent.  It’s the same foot.  He’ll have to do a cat scan, x-rays and all that but we don’t know the extent of the injury.  As soon as we find out, we will put something out tomorrow.  We are hopeful that it is not real serious.  For precautionary reasons we felt that it was not good to play him in the second half.  Our bench came through.  I thought Josh [Hairston], Amile [Jefferson] and [Alex] Murph, all three of them, really contributed greatly to the win.  It was just a hard game to score.  Thank goodness our defense was a little bit better than theirs tonight.  Again, we only gave up the three assists.  We have to keep playing defense like that.”

On the timing of Ryan Kelly’s foot injury:
“I don’t know the moment.  When we put him in for the last play to get shooters in, one of the assistants told me that his foot was hurt but I had already put him in.  The other thing, he could probably still take a shot with a foot like that. He wasn’t going to play defense.  That’s when I found out about it so something must have happened in the last couple minutes of the first half.”

On the play in the first half:
“Most of it is them.  They are a good defensive team and we are a good defensive team.  We did miss some open shots and when you miss free throws too.  Rasheed [Sulaimon] made a really good play and then missed his free throws.  He played great but he is still a younger guy.  I think if he makes his free throws he gets 18 points tonight.  He’s not seeing the ball go in right now.  I think as soon as he sees it go in he’ll come back.  He’s playing pretty well but he’s having a hard time scoring.”  

“They were really all over Seth [Curry].  They weren’t going to let him get anything.  They didn’t have to double Mason [Plumlee]. I mean, [Devin] Booker is good, he is one of the better players in the league.  They were both playing each other one-on-one and it was a wash really, kind of a wash.  Mason’s defensive rebounding was spectacular.  He just had a hard time scoring in the first half.”

On developing the depth:
“Just like on a newspaper, if there wasn’t separation then they would have everybody doing your jobs.  They think that you are really good and they want you doing your job all the time.  There is somebody who might be talented below you but there is that much separation.  I am not fooling around.  With a senior really good player there is major separation, especially when the other guys are freshmen.  There is separation of talent and experience.  Whereas, when you have a team that doesn’t have that there is more of a chance of equal minutes, stuff like that.  You just have to manage the game differently.  I do that with every team that I’ve had, including the Olympic team.  Not everyone got equal minutes there either.  There was separation between LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], Carmelo [Anthony], Chris [Paul], [Kevin] Durant.  So they played a lot of minutes.  I think any coach, to be successful, he is going to play his best players the most minutes.  The neat thing is that our guys are practicing well and had really good minutes tonight.  I’m not sure of the status of Ryan for Saturday so that means there isn’t separation, so they will have opportunity.  The experience they got tonight will be helpful.”  

On how the team played without Ryan:
“Well.  He’s usually the one inbounding the ball against the press. We didn’t inbound the ball very well.  I think that was not a good thing but other than that we handled it very well.”  

On Rasheed’s play tonight:
“He’s a younger player.  He’s had a great year.  He’s been terrific.  Younger players are more fragile.  I think that a younger player looks at a miss as a mistake.  Misses occur and you just have to put it behind you.  Every game is a new game.  Keep up defensively, good face, strong, play your D, rebound and we will still call your number.   He’s just 18.”

On Mason’s play:
“Mason and Booker, no one won that matchup which is a win for us.  Booker is their best player.  If Booker doesn’t have a dominant performance then we have a better chance of winning.  That’s how I evaluate it.  His defensive rebounding is still one of the key components of our team. His scoring is a plus.  He hasn’t scored as much in the last few games as he had before but it hasn’t affected his ability to rebound and play defense.  We don’t win the game without Mason.  I’m not going to nitpick his performance.  Our guys played well.  Rasheed played well.  Quinn played great last game.  We don’t win unless our guys are playing doing a lot of great things.”

Duke Sophomore Quinn Cook
“It feels great.  It’s good to go out there and compete against a great Clemson team to get our second win.  We played a great defensive game.  You can’t ask for more from the team.”

On what sparked his strong performance in the second half:
“I just saw openings and I didn’t hesitate to the openings.  I just took my shots, my teammates found me, and it was a good feeling to knock a couple down.”

On Duke’s defensive lockdown in the first half:
“We executed our coach’s game plan.  Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] gave us a great game plan, and we executed it.  We made their best players work, and we did great on the defensive end and defensive rebounding.  It was good for us to make a statement like that.”

On bouncing back from his 0-11 shooting performance in the team’s previous game against Wake Forest:
“You obviously think about it but the next time you’re at practice you have to move on.  Great shooters always move on to the next shot.  Just to have my teammates text me and tell me, ‘Tuesday you’re going to hit everything,’ that’s a big confidence builder.  With the great teammates I have, it was easy for me to remove the game [from my mind].  Mason [Plumlee] was the first person to text me.  He just told me, ‘You’re a great shooter.  Just keep shooting it.  We believe in you.’  For a sophomore, for your best player to tell you that, it’s the ultimate confidence builder.  It’s great to have teammates like that.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
On the performance of Duke’s bench filling in for Ryan Kelly in the second half:
“I thought guys came in and played not good – they played great.  Amile [Jefferson] came in and had some really uplifting plays.  We knew Josh was good.  There was no question about how he would fill the role.  But Amile and [Alex Murphy], they haven’t been in a big ACC game like that.  Murph got an and-one, played good defense.  We expected them to play well, but you never know.  It’s their first time.”

On the upcoming game at NC State:
“[Last year], it was a good ending but we didn’t start off too well.  That was a great win last year, but I don’t know if this year we could start slow and come back like we did.  We’ll have to play a full game this year.  [Richard Howell] is big and strong and he’s one of the best rebounders in the league, offensive rebounding too.  The have a lot of good players, Scott Wood, C. J. [Leslie].”

On how the team handles its No. 1 ranking:
“That’s what No. 1 does – it puts a target on you.  And being at Duke, we’ve always had a target on us.  We’re used to it.  We just have to keep getting better.  We have to stay the course.  It’s a long season and we can’t finish where we start.”

Duke Senior Seth Curry
On the shooting performance by Quinn Cook:
“He got the same shots he had last game.  It’s just a matter of him still being confident and knocking them down.  Many nights when he’s out there he’s going to get open shots, and tonight he did a good job of knocking them down.  Early on, we tried to go to Mason [Plumlee] and me, and Ryan [Kelly] did a good job of knocking some shots down early, but Clemson did a good job of taking us out of the offense and thing we wanted to do, so we had to take some other routes.  And Quinn did a good job of being a beneficiary of open shots, and he was just aggressive.”

On the first half and the offensive struggles for both teams:
“It was weird.  It was tough to get a rhythm.  Nobody really made shots early on either team.  I felt like we getting open shots but we just had to get into it.  They did some things to take us out of our offense.  Quinn did a good job of finding shots and Ryan did the same early in the first half.”

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell
Opening Statement:
Quinn Cook was outstanding today. I don’t what he did against Wake Forest and tonight. He was 0-for-11 against Wake and had 27 points against us, so whatever it is we need to find out and have our guys do the same thing over the next few days. I am proud of the way our guys competed. I know the first half was really ugly. We couldn’t score; we missed a bunch of shots, which I think makes our defense play even better because you are constantly in a transition situation. To hold them to 25 in the first half, I thought our guys really competed and got off to a good start in the first half. We have to find more ways to score.”

On Devin Booker’s performance:
“I thought he did a great job. We didn’t give him much help defensively, a little help every once in a while. [Booker and Mason Plumlee] were two good players going at each other. The officials let them play, which is good. Both guys, the baskets they made they earned. Both guys are physical rebounders, just don’t give an inch. I am proud of the way Devin competed tonight.”

On whether he called more set plays:
“Yeah, we are. It kind of varies from game-to-game. We struggle a little bit with some of the motion stuff that I have run in the past a lot more. We just aren’t very good at it. Not that we are good at sets, judging by tonight’s performance. Some of that is Duke. Duke is hard to play against. We actually got a few balls to the basket and they have big bodies in there and we missed some. We need to be better.”

On how much his team’s youth has to do with struggling with set plays:
“Some of it is youth. I know except for Booker everybody is a freshman or a sophomore. That can be challenging. We have guys that need a little more skill development. Their skills aren’t ready for when they play against elite level players. They get exposed. Some of it is basketball IQ. We have so many things to work on with a young team and to make adjustments, you feel like you get good at one or two things and move on from the next two. Like last week, we were terrible in our transition defense against Florida State, something we have been good at all year. Just made a few bonehead plays. It seems like when you take two or three steps forward and one or two back when you don’t work on everything it is really hard.”

On the team’s shooting ability:
“I think we are a better shooting team than we are shooting right now. Some of this is Duke’s defense. Duke’s defense doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm and open three’s. They make it hard for you. We are better obviously than we were tonight. We don’t have a great shooter. We have got some guys that can make some shots. It is hard for us when we get off to a little bit of a struggle and our guys press a little bit. That has happened to us a few times.”

On Duke’s shooting depth:
“That is why they are so good. They have so many weapons. Hopefully Ryan Kelly is okay. He is a terrific player and I really enjoy watching him play. He wasn’t able to play in the second half. Quinn Cook played like an all-league player tonight. He was incredible, making tough shots, getting into the paint and fending, five assists and one turnover. We did a reasonably good job on [Seth] Curry, a reasonably good job on [Mason] Plumlee, a good job on [Rasheed] Sulaimon. The problem is you just keep going, I don’t know what he was averaging but it wasn’t 27. I don’t know if he has had many 20-point games. The fact that they have guys that have the ability to do that when they need it or to help them just makes it really hard.”