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Quotes: Duke 105, WWU 87
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 10/27/2012
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“That’s a really good basketball game. I like their team so much. You can tell why they won the Division II championship. This tradition for us to play the Division II champions has worked out extremely well because you always end up playing a team that believes they can win and is extremely well-coached. They’re together and if they return a good number of their people, they’re going to be in the hunt again. [Western Washington] fits that description. Their kids are fearless. They’re strong. They caused a lot of turnovers. We haven’t been able to practice like that with the limited numbers. I thought they were really strong when our big guys got the ball. I thought we responded well. To see our young kids play so well in their first outing … you know we had three kids play in their first college games in Amile [Jefferson], Rasheed [Sulaimon] and Alex [Murphy]. They did a good job. They did a really good job. I thought Quinn [Cook] put good pressure on the ball. Their kid [John] Allen’s going to be one of the best players or is one of the best players in the country. I thought he played him hard. You’re not going to stop a kid like that, but he played him hard. That’s a good matchup for Quinn. I thought our size got to them. It was a good win for us. It was a good first outing for us, real good. I’m really happy with our team and very impressed with their team. I thought it was really good basketball out there today. There were a lot of really good plays by both teams.”

On Rasheed Sulaimon:
“He had an unbelievable first half and it started off with the first play. We called a certain thing and he made a read that was the opposite of what the play was, but it was the right read. And for a freshman on his first play, to have the guts to make a read and follow his instincts, it’s impressive for me. I do think with Seth [Curry] being out for practice Rasheed’s been able to play like a starting position. That’s helped him. I think it’s moved him along further. The limited numbers have helped our young guys move forward more. I just wish we had more numbers. I wish we were healthy.”

On Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly:
“I thought in the first half they played ok, but they got the ball taken away from them and didn’t finish. Then in the second half, they played like really good players. Saying that, Mason had 22 and 11. He’s going to be capable, in a game like that, of having 30 and 15. Ryan … we had a scrimmage on Thursday. We do some stuff for the Children’s Hospital and that. We had our ACC officials in and Ryan was 3-for-21 and didn’t hit a jump shot, shot about three air balls. So again you all don’t see that, but me coming into today’s game saying, ‘Ok, where are we going with this?’ Instead I thought he did a real good job. That’s the sign of real good upperclassmen.”

On Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson:
“Sulaimon’s going to be a real good player. He’s 6-4, can defend the ball. He can defend off the ball. He can drive it. He’s right now a little bit of a streaky outside shooter but as soon as he gets that part of his game … he’s a real good player. As he gets stronger and older … I like Amile’s personality today. That’s the way he is in practice. If he finished a couple times, he left about four points on the floor. I mean he played real well and gave us a lift, but if he ends up finishing, that would’ve been a great performance by him. He’s got the longest wingspan on our team. He’s got a 7-1 wingspan. When he starts moving and playing like that, that’s a lot of length on the court. Again I’m really pleased with the young kids. They’re an older team that has 24, 23 [year olds]. That’s the kind of team you lose to during the season with young guys or in the NCAA Tournament because they’re very good. They’re very good.”

On the team’s performance following timeouts:
“We got loose with the ball. With the limited numbers we have right now … when you get a double figure lead especially if it’s like 15 or something like that, more so than 10, you can let up just a little bit. I thought we let up and ‘Boom’ because they’re good they pounced on it. I thought every time we came out of a timeout, we executed exactly what we wanted and usually scored. I like that. That means they’re paying attention and that means they’re doing a good job. Each time like that, if you start out with a bucket or three or a foul, you can build on it. Some of it too is you get tired. This is the first time we’ve played a 40-miunute game so I don’t know how to sub yet with my team. I don’t know what emotional investment they make before a game, which can wear them out especially with young guys. You’re kind of doing things where you learn about your team while the game goes on. I think we’re going to continue to do that during this first part of the season. But what I learned today, most of it was really good.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
On his impressions of the game:
“Well, I think for our first game we did a great job. Both our freshman played great for that being their first. I mean Blue and White is one thing, but this is the first actual game. They’re both confident. Rasheed (Sulaimon) played great, especially in the first half of it. His defense throughout the game was good. I think we’ve showed them we’ve come a long way in a short period of practice, and we’ve got to build on this.”

On the team’s chemistry:
“Yeah, I think one of the advantages to having… I mean essentially we only have like eight-nine guys that play so, we all know each other, we all meet each other and we all like each other so you know it’s not 11 scholarship players, 12 scholarship players fighting through spots. I mean there’s still competition, but we all know we’re going to play, and we all have to play well to win.”

Duke Senior Ryan Kelly
On his impressions of the game:
“I think we did a really good job. We were enthusiastic together, and obviously there are things we need to improve. They got a lot of loose balls, those scrappy plays where we weren’t strong enough with the ball. Overall I think we did a really good job.”

On what the team wanted to accomplish in today’s game:
“I think the biggest thing was we just wanted to compete against somebody else, and it’s a first step. We are looking at the season in steps, and where we can go next and I think we did a really good job in this step.”

On the various lineups used today:
“I think guys are figuring it out, but as you can see we have a lot of guys that are pretty versatile that can play multiple positions. We’ve got a lot of different guys that can play a lot of different positions, and we just want to put them in those situations. In practice you’re just going up against the same guys and you got to be defended and defend different guys to figure out what we can do as a team.”

Duke Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon
On playing his game in Cameron:
“It was great. Even though we didn’t have as many fans as we normally do, I thought the Cameron Crazies still came out and supported us. There was great energy in there. It was just a great feeling out there. I felt the team executed well and we showed great camaraderie out there.”

On whether he can maintain this level of play throughout the season:
“One thing I’ve got to do is I can’t get too high or too low. I’ve just got to stay at even keel, and that’s our team. We’ve got to stay at even keel and stay focused and take it one game at a time.”

Western Washington Head Coach Tony Dominguez
Opening Statement:
“It was a very enjoyable experience for us. We are not going to play in too many environments quite like this. I think that goes without saying. We do have some great crowds, great rivalries, but this is tremendous. I know our guys were battling until the end. Duke has a very fine team and obviously the best coach in the country, so we are just honored to be here.”

On the effectiveness of the offense:
“Well we have some seniors, who are very good. We won a national championship last year and they have some gifts. We have a solid offense. I think because of their strength and physicality it kind of forced us a little bit further away from the basket and different spots than we are normally used to. I thought they did a nice job, for the most part of executing. We definitely have a lot to work on but that is what exhibition and preseason games are for and what a great opportunity to do it against Duke.”

On the travel and playing two games:
“For us, we do travel a lot in our league, probably more than most Division II’s. We are travelling to Hawaii in a couple of weeks, which used to be in our league. Alaska is in our league, so we have a four or five hour flight there. Five hour flight to Hawaii. As far as the East Coast, the last time we came out was last spring for the national championship. Other than that, we are pretty much West Coast bound. It was quite the experience. I am, as far as a college basketball fan is concerned and as a coach, I am a big fan of the ACC and a big fan of the Duke/Carolina rivalry. I think for us, it was exciting to be a part of that even for just a couple of days. What an incredible environment for us to experience, not only our staff and our supporters. I think we are a pretty elite Division II team, school, program and administration. Very, very proud of what we have and they were actually able to see something a step higher, something for us to strive for even more. We have done so well already, it is hard to push that ceiling. I think the administrators and everybody involved, it was a good opportunity to see what we can do to improve.”

On the biggest difference between playing in Cameron and playing at home:
“If you have been to a Western Washington home game against some of our big teams and big opponents, we get great crowds and there is a lot of excitement. The difference is this is such a tight, they are right there right up on you. There is so much history. I think it was fun for our guys to see, but at the same time we do get some great crowds. I think you would be very surprised at our environment as well.”

Western Washington Forward Paul Jones
On being matched up against bigger guys:
“Well, I was trying to use my speed a little bit. I knew they would guard me and they were a lot bigger. I tried to go to the hole or pull up for a jumper. It was tough, they were a tough team. I just tried to do the best I could do.”

On the biggest Difference between playing in Cameron and playing at home:
“The environment, the Cameron Crazies. It is a very tough environment. We are very far away from home and we had a good fan base to be so far away. The environment is tough, but you have to just throw that out and play basketball. I would say the environment.”