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Quotes: Duke 83, ECU 74
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/19/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well, that was a pretty good game. It was a great game. First of all, East Carolina was terrific. We were good; we were not bad. In fact, we were terrific for the first 16 minutes, up 41-23. When someone is terrific, it doesn’t mean they are just terrific in how they play; they are terrific in their resolve. So they came in undefeated and they came back for two of their wins from large deficits. We kept reminding our guys that this team is not going to go away. Basically, I think they take on the personality of their coach, Jeff [Lebo]. They are so well coached. They put guards out there, and we actually did a good job on their two main players. We cut their scoring averages in half and they played well, but their other guys just came through. We could not hit a shot. We were getting close and then all of the sudden they stay in there and they’re playing real well and there is an incredible amount of game pressure. You can cut it with a knife, and I’m proud of my guys because we responded and they never stopped playing well. It wasn’t like somebody let up or made a mistake or a turnover or anything like that. They were absolutely terrific. What great kids they have and what great kids we have. It was a heck of a basketball game. I wish that more people could have attended. One side note is, I don’t know how they do the seating for the NIT, but is stinks. However they did it, it ruins the atmosphere for Cameron, where people want to get in here. It costs so much to come in for this tournament and there should never be an empty seat here. It’s not the fault of our students. We are allocated a certain amount of tickets and that’s what we get. More people should have witnessed this event. I thought [Rodney] Hood was sensational and Jabari [Parker]’s play full court really broke the ice for us. It put us up by five, but it was a statement play. I thought it made all of our guys respond better, We have all been in situations where, for a moment, you’re not as confident about something that you normally do in a confident manner, and then you need to break through it. Our guys were able to break through it while they were playing, instead of talking about it after the game and congratulating East Carolina on a win. We could not have had a better opponent, a classier opponent, or a better game to build on than we did tonight.”

On Jabari Parker’s blocks:
“The blocks, especially. They are difficult to defend. I have to get back to Jeff and how good of a coach he is. He put a team out there that could beat us and that was different than the team that played the first four games for him. Those kids have a rhythm and a confidence level, and they probably found something tonight. They played great and it took some great plays like that to beat them.”

On East Carolina’s defense:
“No, I don’t think we threw that many lobs. What it does is, it stands you up a little bit. In the last eight minutes, we started penetrating more and we got to the line. Quinn [Cook] hit a big three. A number of our guys hit big shots. Rasheed [Sulaimon]’s drive along the base line to put us up by five as well as a couple free throws. When we did get close to the bucket, we couldn’t finish the play tonight. A good part of it is their defense and hopefully, we can finish a little better than that.”

On the team’s energy:
“We did. We would’ve lost. We brought a lot of energy. The last two nights, we’ve played our butts off. This is not about Duke not playing. We played hard tonight and we played hard last night. Our team was up to play and they respected the heck out of East Carolina. Don’t undersell what they did by saying we weren’t. We were ready and we played hard. I thought we brought great energy, but so did they. This was a really good basketball game.”

On future games with East Carolina:
“That’s tough to answer. They’ve started adding the Big Ten Challenge, teams to the conference, and when we play, we have to play a little out of our area because of the national thing. Right now, that is not in the plan. We respect the heck out of East Carolina. Over these last years when Terry took over, it has reached a whole new level. East Carolina is always good, but Terry and his wife have made it even bigger.”

On East Carolina fans:
“I love the East Carolina fans. For years, we had a place out on Emerald Isle and some of the greatest people in the world are East Carolina fans. I almost gave them a big treat tonight. They would’ve welcomed me back to the beach and probably have given me a few bottles of wine. East Carolina is a terrific school and those kids are good. They are lucky to have Jeff, who is one of the better coaches.”

Duke Junior Quinn Cook
“We don’t come into a game knowing or thinking it’s going to be a blowout. Those guys were good, very good. We started off well and then kind of let off the gas pedal a little bit and let up. And those guys, they hit shots and played good defense. They have some finishers on their team. When you give a good team like that confidence, it’s going to be a good game. We let up, but Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] got on us at halftime. The zone [defense] helped them out in the beginning of the second half. They’re a good team.”

When asked if Duke needed to work on its zone offense:
“We’ve got to work on everything. Yesterday we were great [against] a zone. It was just a different game and a different team. They were good in the zone. We’ve got to keep getting better [in all areas]. That’s really it.”

On his big second half three-pointer:
“Tyler [Thornton] set it up perfectly, like the kind of drills we do every day, just penetrate and kick. I got my feet set and just let it go.”

Duke Redshirt Sophomore Rodney Hood
“We were playing tight. We were passing it around the perimeter, and Jabari [Parker] and I took it upon ourselves to get to the basket. We got a couple of fouls [on East Carolina] and got into the one-and-one and hit our free throws.  At the beginning of the first half, we made some passes that weren’t there on the back side, but when we got it into the middle, good things happened.”

“They came back last night [against Norfolk State]. They were down and they’re used to doing that. They’re playing on our home court and no pressure on them – all the pressure is on us. We were playing tight, and when we got to the huddle, Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] told us to quit playing tight, get the ball into the middle, get to the free throw line and jump up and knock the free throws down. We were able to make some plays defensively down the stretch to really pull this one out. They played a great game. They really attacked the basket, and they’ve got a lot of talent on that team. Give credit to them. They fought us to the last minute.”

On Jabari Parker’s two huge blocked shots on a single East Carolina possession late in the second half:
“That was key. They were getting to the basket, and it wasn’t like we were just letting them. Those were quick guards that can handle the ball. In the beginning of the second half, they were getting to the basket and [seeing] clear lanes. And he stepped over. Winning plays – that’s what we expect from him. He’s a great player, and that’s what big-time players do – they make winning plays.”

On the keys to his improved free throw shooting:
“Confidence. Confidence. I put a lot of work into my free throws. It has to become a strength for our team. Me and guys like Jabari, we’re going to be there a lot with the way we play and try to get to the line. You just come to the game and shoot it and believe in yourself. They’re not all going to go in. I’ve never heard of a 100% free throw shooter. You just have to have confidence.”

Duke Freshman Jabari Parker
“They kind of slowed the game down. Our game is fast break, get out quick, secondary options. We chose to keep attacking the rim even though they went 2-3 [zone defense]. They kind of stopped us from doing what we usually do and it ended up working.”

When asked if he felt like he needed to do a little more down the stretch in the second half:
“Yes, defensively, of course. We helped out a lot, got a lot of loose balls and forced them into turnovers. We made free throws in the second half.  [Rodney] Hood came through for us and gave us the lead, and we just rolled with him.”

On his two huge blocked shots on a single East Carolina possession late in the second half:
“[I was thinking about] just helping my team as much as possible. Their guard play was penetrating, they got the rim and I was just doing what I had to do to help alter shots. Luckily, I anticipated the ball on time.”

East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
Opening Statement:
“I’m disappointed in the loss, but, boy we played awfully hard, took it to the wire and won the position game. I think that, with around three minutes to go, we were still in the game. You have to like where you are there on the road with a young team in this environment and on this stage with guys that haven’t played a lot. Our kids competed awfully hard, understood our game plan and did a good job of executing it, beating them off the dribble to the rim area and we finished much better than we have in the past. We just had a hard time containing [Rodney] Hood and obviously [Jabari] Parker. Those two guys were just terrific. But we did a good job defending the three point line, mixing them in the zone, but they’re an excellent scoring team. I think they made the first 11 of their shots to start the game. I was proud of our team to withstand that. A lot of teams in here have buckled under that barrage of offense. We shot 47 percent [sic], and that’s pretty good for us in here. They’re a great basketball team, a very talented team and hopefully we can build off of that as a program.”

On the Pirates’ effort throughout the game:
“We can draw a lot from this. Our kids playing on this stage, in this tournament, we don’t get a chance to do this that often. We can draw a lot of positives when we watch the tape. I think we can get some confidence from that, and then we have to be able to build upon it. We just can’t say, ‘Hey, we played well and we’re done for the year.’”

On the game answering questions coming into the year:  
“Well, it does, but we have to build upon it. We have a long way to go. We’re proud. I thought Prince [Williams] played great and Paris [Campbell] – good toughness. We had to go small to put extra ball handlers on the floor, put some extra drivers on the floor for us. The way they guarded the Akeem [Richmond], they face guarded him so it opened up some lanes for us. So I thought these guys really did a good job. We knew if we could make three or four passes – that was what we had to do – and then the question was could we finish it. We did a much better job of doing that after the first eight minutes.”

On East Carolina’s fans:
“We have great fans. The Pirate Nation will come … come to football, come to basketball. We appreciate those that found a way to get in tonight.”

On games like this helping with recruiting:
“Well I don’t know, but I hope that they’ll pay dividends somehow. Being on ESPN and playing well, I think they will. We won’t know until a couple of years down the road but … Rodney Hood was terrific. I recruited his brother, Ricky Hood, when I was at Chattanooga. Rodney, when I went to his home, Rodney was just a little kid. How about him coming back to haunt me? A 30 point night – he was terrific tonight. He’s a great kid and he’s going to have an outstanding career here [and] when he decides to go on to the next level.”

On playing so well in the atmosphere of Cameron Indoor Stadium:
“Hopefully we can build upon it and we can grow with it. We’ll draw some confidence. Our young kids haven’t played on this stage. I think they proved that they can play in a game. Now can we be consistent is the question.”

ECU Guard Prince Williams
On using fouls and the free throw line to their advantage:
“That was our game plan, coming in. We know they like to deny the wings and when Akeem [Richmond]’s out there, they hugged up on us so that gives a lot of room to operate. We wanted to attack them, get to the free throw line, finish.”

ECU Guard Paris Campbell
On the energy coming into the second half:
“I think to start the game we were a little shell-shocked maybe. Like Coach said, they made their first 11 shots. Once we started getting a few stops and seeing the ball go through the basket on our end, I think that just fueled our fans and our bench. We got into it and realized we really could play with these guys.”

On the experience of playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium:
“Definitely a great experience playing at Cameron Indoor. Since I was little, I would always see Duke. They were always ranked high, winning championships. I always wanted to play here and I’m glad I finally got the chance to. Wish it came with a win though.”