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Quotes: Duke 79, Miami 76
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/02/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Wow. What a game. They’re such a good basketball team. [Shane] Larkin is a great player, the best guard by far in the league. He’s magical out there. He has such poise and [Kenny] Kadji…these guys are just so talented. You can see why they’re leading our conference and having the spectacular year that they are having. This was a great ACC game. For all of you who have been around this conference, this was ACC basketball. Both teams were spectacular and then we were all privileged to see one of the performances of the ages I think by Ryan Kelly. Me saying spectacular or whatever doesn’t do his performance justice. One for the ages. Probably as good of a performance as any Duke player has had in Cameron, especially based on the fact that he hasn’t played for two months and really only practiced about half of a half of a practice. I mean we hardly practiced yesterday, maybe 20 minutes. We went into the game with a plan of ‘it’s better to start you because then you tell me when you’re tired.’ But I didn’t go in with a number of minutes, a meter or anything like that. I said, ‘Let’s play it by ear’ and so he did that and 32 minutes and 36 points. I really thought in the first half that he was so unbelievable that it had an impact on our guys. In other words you start watching him because we haven’t had him for two months. So we didn’t get a couple loose balls. We could have made a few plays that we didn’t make. At halftime we said, ‘This is the transition we’ve got to get into with Ryan being out there.’” Again we just need to keep growing because we can’t expect him to get 36 points every game. If he did that would be alright. He’s a threat. I’ve been saying for two months and the last 13 games that we’ve been missing one of the best players in the country and tonight he showed that. I don’t know how you’re going to write about it. I’m interested what words you’re going to say because as a guy with a low SAT verbal I’m always looking to learn. My math was off the charts.”

On what changed since Thursday in terms of starting Ryan Kelly:
“We wanted him to get as much time as possible and he never practiced before Thursday. He just shot and did work. Nick Potter, Jose Fonseca and T. Moorman, our team doctor, have done an incredible job in getting him back with the confidence to play that way. He went through the shootaround up at Virginia and he said ‘Coach I feel really good.’ I said ‘I don’t feel comfortable with you playing tonight because we haven’t practiced.’ We couldn’t practice long because we got back at two in the morning and you have one day. Yesterday he did a little more running and he said ‘I feel really good and really confident.’ It really is incredible. For me, I’ve seen so much basketball this is one of the great things to have coached a kid that did that. How lucky can you be?”

On whether Ryan’s performance shocked him:
“Anybody who would do that would shock me, but for him to do it knowing what happened, that’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen. How did that happen? I don’t know how the hell that happened, but it did and we won and God Bless America. I say that from my Olympic experience. Anytime I didn’t know what I was saying I would say ‘God Bless America.’ Usually that won’t cause a national story.”

On why Duke is so good on the second day of short weeks:
“We have tough kids and there are no excuses. We have a good team. Our guys go 9-4 without Ryan, which is really one of the great stories. When we had him out we were still judged with him. We weren’t judged without him and that’s just what happens at Duke. And for our guys to maintain that level of performance to get nine out of 13 was terrific.”

On Seth being affected by short turnaround:
“He was pretty good. They have really physical wings. [Durand] Scott and [Trey] McKinney Jones are really good. It’s just really tough to get open. And obviously when you play against him you’re going to try and get Seth out of the ball game. This spaces the court better for us and hopefully he’s going to react well to playing that many minutes and we can come back on Tuesday night and close out the deal and give our seniors a chance to finish out their careers here and try to be undefeated at home and then take a day off and finish the season at Carolina. Then we’ll use that next week to get even more adjusted to one another.”

On the crowd:
“What a cool thing for so many students to camp out again. I said it after the last game. This has been one of the best years. Every year has been good, but this has been one of the better ones. And we need to have that type of thing to keep that level of spirit alive. We have a special place. No one dresses up with the same t-shirt. I’m not knocking anybody who does that, but it’s very genuine and our kids over the years, that sixth man has come up with an amazing spirit in support of our team. And tonight they were spectacular too. Not as good as Ryan, but right at the next level.”

On what the team is capable of with Ryan:
“We weren’t the third best team in the country, but our resume warrants a high ranking because anybody else who had that schedule it would be interesting to see if they would have that record. We were bailing water making sure the ship stayed afloat, and we bailed enough to stay with a really good ranking and obviously we’re going to have a great RPI because of our schedule. This win is a huge win for us. The thing it does for us is it gives us a chance over the next few weeks to transition into the NCAA Tournament. We’re just running a little bit different race than anybody else right now. It doesn’t mean everything is okay, but it’s a lot better. We have to transition over the next couple weeks.”

Duke Senior Ryan Kelly
“I just felt comfortable.  I’ve been working out with my training staff, and they’ve been really getting me ready.  I’m not in unbelievable shape, but I’m in decent shape and I held my own out there.”

On his expectations for himself heading into today’s game:
“I didn’t really know [what to expect].  I just knew I was going to play my hardest.  Honestly, more than anything, it was just whether I was going to be able to hold up with my breathing.  I hadn’t played in a game in a long time, and being in a game is a lot different from practice or anything you can do.  I think I held up alright.”

On when he knew he was going to play:
“[I knew] yesterday after practice in the afternoon.  I ran through a practice, not a super-long one, but my foot felt good, I didn’t have any problems with it after, and just went for it.”

On his shooting:
“That’s something I’ve worked really hard on.  The ball went in today.  Some days it doesn’t go in as much as you’d like, but it certainly did today.”

“I’m just really happy that I got to come back for this game.  And then obviously to experience Senior Night with the Cameron Crazies, with my family, and with my teammates, I’m really excited that I’ll be able to do that, and I just hope to keep getting better.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
“It’s not so much about the game [in Coral Gables] – it’s more important that we got Ryan back and obviously he’s fitting in quite nicely.  We just have to get something going into the Tournament, and I think is a step in the right direction.”

On how Ryan Kelly’s return will affect him:
“I think the biggest thing is I didn’t see one double-team tonight.  He was putting on a clinic out there.  At Virginia, I could touch the ball without seeing two guys, and I don’t think that’ll happen as much with him on the floor.”

“[This win] is so big.  We’ve said all year that we want to be at our best come mid-March.  Obviously we can win the regular season ACC [title], so now it’s about us hitting our stride going into the Tournament.”

Duke Sophomore Quinn Cook
“Just to respond the way we did after Thursday, no disrespect to Virginia, but we thought we didn’t play our best game out there, and they took advantage of that.  A normal team would’ve given up today, just come out and given excuses about the quick turnaround, but we responded.  We played hard today.”

On the defensive floor slapping in the second half:
“It was just the first thing that came to my mind.  I just happened to look over at Wojo [Coach Steve Wojciechowski], and I remember watching tapes of him slapping the floor, so I just did that.  We were up 10 and I wanted a stop, so I just wanted to put a stamp on that defensive exchange.  We came up with the win.”

Duke Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon
“Especially in the first half, without Ryan Kelly it would’ve been a different game.  That just shows what a great talent that he is.  He hasn’t played – hasn’t practiced - in two months, and he comes back and has 36.  He’s unbelievable.  We’ve practiced with him once or twice.  He’s not even in shape yet.  That kid is unbelievable.”

On his key plays in the second half as Duke gained some separation:
“I just read the defense, especially on that steal.  When I got it, I just wanted to make a play.  We needed that boost late in the game, they were making kind of a run, and I just wanted to step up and make a play for my team.”

“I really thank the fans.  They were amazing.  Through the ups and downs, they carried us.  They gave us energy when we needed it, and without them it would’ve been different today.  Miami is a great team, and [our fans] gave us that extra boost that we needed to get over that hump and win the game.”

Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga
Opening Statement:
“Well I thought we prepared for Ryan Kelly, but obviously not for that Ryan Kelly. He was sensational from start to finish. For a young man who hasn’t played in more than a month, he is shooting the ball incredibly well. I think he is shooting the ball over 70-percent in conference play. That is hard to do when you are in the gym by yourself and you have a guy just rebounding for you. My hat is off to him. It was good to see him back, because I don’t like to ever see a player get injured, especially when he is a senior, miss a portion of his senior year. Obviously, he came back and gave them a boost. I thought our guys did a good job. We played well. We had a two point lead at the half. Second half kind of seesawed back and forth. I told our team afterward that we needed to play a little bit better down the stretch. One more shot could have made that last possession, I should have probably called timeout, but I wanted to save it in case the game was tied or we were down one if we made a two point shot.”

On decision to start Kenny Kadji:
When Reggie [Johnson] came back he hadn’t practiced in a month and we needed to get him back in the flow of practices, because we are playing so many games and travelling so much. His progress has come far enough along that I thought it might be a good boost for him. It kind of helped Julian [Gamble]. He has been killing himself for the last two months. I thought that if they kind of reversed roles it might help both of them, but obviously that didn’t happen.”

On turnover at the end of game:
“That is just one of those things in a game where there a lot of things going through your mind as a player. Shane [Larkin] thought Rion [Brown] was going to space out in the corner, Rion thought he needed to come up. Shane made the pass to Rion thinking he was going to be a little further away than he was.”

On coming back from 10 down:
“There were a number of things. We made some shots coming down the stretch and got fouled a couple of times. We made most of our free throws. They missed a couple about that time. They had been shooting great from the foul line, but I think they missed three during the last minute and a half. That made it a one possession game after we got that defensive rebound.”

On the maturation of Shane Larkin:
“When we recruited Shane, we felt like he was going to be a great college player. He has all the ingredients that you want in a point guard. He just loves to win, he does everything he can to help his teammates win. I think he is someone who loves the challenge of a game like tonight, on the road in front of a very enthusiastic crowd, a legendary basketball program. Last year, he made the ACC all-rookie team, he has now advanced as a sophomore to be more of a team leader. I think he has enjoyed the role. We have certainly enjoyed seeing his development.”

On if he enjoys a thrilling game like tonight:
“I told the team, this is a great game, we have to keep plugging away. They are playing very hard and very well, we are playing very hard and very well. We need to buckle down defensively and guard Kelly a little bit better. Kenny [Kadji] guarded him, Erik Swoope guarded him, but at the end we even had Trey McKinney Jones on him. He was dynamic, 36 points on 14 shots. That is quite frankly ridiculous.”

On how he was able to play so well:
“I thought we closed out on him very well. One of the threes that he hit, I turned to my staff and said ‘This guy is unconscious’. It was 30 feet. We would’ve liked to guard him better, but when we put a player right on him he drove to his right and got fouled. He had a great game.”