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Quotes: Duke 80, Pitt 65
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/27/2014
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“We won a hard-fought game and I have a lot of respect for Pitt, not just this team but their program is off the charts. They’ve established themselves as one of the premier programs in the country and they have a heck of a team this year. It was just a hard-fought game and Andre (Dawkins), we got some looks for him, my players got looks for him, and then all of the sudden – boom! We had a double-digit lead. I thought we really cared for the ball with seven turnovers and 19 assists. We played hard, they played hard, and I think Andre was the difference. When you go 6-for-7 from three, it’s pretty darn good. It’s really just darn good.”
On guarding Pitt’s Lamar Patterson:
“Well, he’s one of the premier players in the country. Rodney (Hood) is a heck of a player too. Basically you it was a wash there with Rodney and Lamar (Patterson). They’re kind of equal players, you know what I mean? They’re two of the best players and they kind of cancelled one another out. Both of those kids have to be exhausted. Thank goodness we have a player of Rodney’s caliber to guard him. He’s had a great year. He’s had like a Player-of-the-Year type of year, but tonight we were able to hold him down a little bit and Rodney was the main reason for that.”
On his players getting used to Duke being opponents’ biggest game of the year:
“We’re getting better at it, but it’s a really good question. There’s a process that each of our teams has to go through. If you have older guys like last year with (Mason) Plumlee, (Ryan) Kelly and (Seth) Curry, they already know what that means and they can help the other guys. These guys, this is one of our youngest teams, and so they’ve had to learn under fire. We played very well tonight. We played with a lot of poise tonight, because (Pitt’s) really good. We play them again, we may not beat them, but tonight we did because we had that poise.”
On the Petersen Events Center and Pitt’s basketball program:
“I think this was our biggest win because of the caliber of team that we played against and their venue. This is a spectacular venue. It’s the first time I’ve coached here and I was just really impressed with everything. It’s a beautiful arena, the crowd is terrific and there’s a great spirit. What an addition to the ACC. Until you experience it, you don’t know, but it’s great. For me, my mom grew up in Western Pennsylvania near Uniontown in a little village called Keisterville and we have a lot of respect for the people here. This is good people in this region. I mean really good people. I was so impressed when the Star-Spangled Banner was being played with the crowd. I felt, you know, like ‘Go U.S.A.!’ It was really good. You all are here all the time but this is my first time. I just had really, very favorable impressions of everything. Obviously you can say, ‘well he won,’ but I would say that even if we lost. Their program, this university, the crowd and everything and what they’ve built is a great, great addition to what I think will be the best basketball conference in the country.”
On Andre Dawkins’ overall performance tonight:
“He got 20 points in 15 minutes. I got a text from his father saying, ‘If you played him 30, he would’ve had 40.’ I didn’t get a text… But Andre is a great story, because, you know, sitting out last year, to go through the things he went through and to come back, I’m so happy for him and we’re the beneficiaries of his great play.”
On the Blue Devils’ poise throughout the game:
“I thought (Pitt) really outplayed us in the first half and we got some open shots, like Rodney (Hood) had those two open threes, and so we just tried to tell them we are getting decent shots, just hang in there, we have to fight harder. You have to fight harder. It’s not that we weren’t fighting, but they were outfighting us and we kind of picked it up. At the start of the second half I thought they were fighting us, and that’s why we called the quick timeout just because, again, the game can go south really, really quickly against a real good team.”
On what worked defensively for Duke tonight:
“We started switching a little bit more and you just try to make sure (Lamar) Patterson doesn’t stick daggers in you. He’s such a big-time player, so our defense of him throughout the game, especially during that period, was critical.”
On the Blue Devils understanding his defensive system more now:
“If you take a look at stats from November as opposed to stats in December, we’re playing good defense in December or else we wouldn’t have beaten Michigan and UCLA. We wouldn’t have beaten those teams. We started out the conference in three games, and again, I’ll take responsibility – we were not very good, even though we won one game. Since then, we’ve played more people, and that helps, so we’re fresher playing defense.”
On what Duke did offensively to create open looks:
“We had some patience and a little bit of penetration. Rasheed (Sulaimon)’s penetration helped and then Quinn (Cook) is coming off of sprained ankles, one a little bit more than the other. We weren’t sure that he was going to play tonight. A couple plays that he made to go along with what Andre (Dawkins) was doing kind of gave us that margin. I’m really proud of my team and I’m anxious to give them a little bit of time off now. They’ve got to get some rest and this is the end of what we call an ‘energy cycle.’ We played three games in six days – at Miami (FL), Florida State at home and then here – and now we’ve got to get ready for another energy cycle after this. It’s kind of how you do the season.”

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon
Opening Statement:
“Well, congratulations to Duke. They outplayed us, especially on the defensive end. We simply didn’t get it done; I specifically didn’t think our defense was good early in the first half. Obviously we got down two by halftime and I thought we would come out and defend better and we simply didn’t. Give them credit, they got themselves into a rhythm and made shots, specifically threes. They out-rebounded us and when they missed shots they were able to get to those long rebounds. They played well and I don’t think we did, so that is the result that we end up with. We have to now get ready for Virginia and I need to get the message across defensively to handle our assignments. I didn’t get the message across of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. Our mistake happened early, often and continued throughout the course of the game. I don’t want to take away from them, but we simply put ourselves in a hole by not getting stops and getting out-rebounded to the degree that we did. Like I said, we have to get ready for our next game and I will get the message across defensively before that game.”
On Duke’s ability to shoot the three:
“Obviously, our guys didn’t recognize that they (Duke) could shoot the ball as well as they (Duke) did. Again, that’s why I keep going back to myself. You have to be able to get the message across to them and I simply didn’t. If they felt we were going to win by playing defense like that, I obviously didn’t get the point across like I wanted to.”
On Lamar Patterson’s offensive struggles:
“No, I didn’t think it was because he had a better athlete guarding him. I thought there was stretch there at the end where he was forcing it a little bit. We didn’t get him into good scoring position much, so again that falls on me and our scheme, but we also didn’t get any stops and subsequent opportunities for transition buckets.”
On what allowed Duke to pull away late in the game:
“We got impatient whenever we were up or down. Late in the game, the fouls and pace of the game contributed to them taking a larger lead. You have to gamble in those situations where you are down and we weren’t able to prevent them from getting easy looks towards the end of the second half. Obviously, the previous thirty-seven minutes were the issue. The problem was defensively-minded. Our defense and rebounding combined were not good enough to win this game. Offensively, I thought we did some good things for most of the game but the real problem was on the defensive end coupled with getting out-rebounded.”