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Quotes: Duke 98, N.C. State 85
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/08/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well for two teams that both have key players out, what a performance by both teams. I mean that was ACC basketball tonight. I thought both teams played their hearts out. I don’t know if we can play any harder or better in the first half. They are so talented, especially on the offensive end,  that they are never out of the game. They are good. They are just really good. I thought both teams got a little tired in the second half. We were tired, they were. I don’t know how you couldn’t be proud of both teams tonight. That was great ACC basketball. My hat’s off to them. I hope they get their guy back. I hope we get our guys back. It would be nice if both of us were healthy in March, because we both have really good basketball teams – especially if we are full strength, both teams. Mason [Plumlee] was such a man tonight, with 30 and nine. We held our own on the boards, which I felt was key. I thought Quinn [Cook] had a great game. Seth [Curry], that kid has had a remarkable year. With limited practice he had 26 points. I thought everyone on our team contributed. Amile [Jefferson] and Murph [Alex Murphy] gave us some great minutes at the four. For them, [Richard] Howell, I think of all the players in our league he is the unsung great player in our league. Obviously [CJ] Leslie is terrific, [Scott] Wood and [Lorenzo] Brown is as good of a guard as there is in the country. Howell can play for anybody. He is such an easy guy to play and he puts up such amazingly efficient numbers, big time numbers. That kid is terrific, he is absolutely terrific. We beat a really good basketball team tonight and I am proud of my guys.”

On the beginning of the Blue Devils’ last two games:
“Yeah, we can’t start any better than we have in the past two games. We would love to have Ryan [Kelly] back, but we have learned to play with this group. I am not saying we are a great team, but we are a good team now with this group. Again, we got off to an unbelievable start.”

On Seth Curry’s endurance:
“I think it hurt him in the second half. When you are in that level of game, he isn’t going to be able to play 35 strong minutes in that game. Human nature is going to set in at some point when you have a 15-point lead, maybe I can take this possession off or something like that. Not that he is going to rationalize, but it is human nature. We are going to give him tomorrow off. He will shoot Saturday. He will hopefully be ready on Sunday. Really his year, if you were with us the whole season and watch how much he does in practice, for him to play like that is truly remarkable.”

On whether Curry’s injury is better or worse:
“It is maintaining. We had a stretch where we had a lot of games in a row and since Saturday we had two days off. Mandatory from the NCAA to have one a week, we took Sunday and Monday because we got switched to this Thursday, Sunday week. The more rest we can get him the better.”

On Mason Plumlee’s performance as of late:
“I think he is playing as well as anybody in the country really. His moves inside are really beautiful because he is playing through contact. Instead of taking a hook, he is feeling the defense. Whenever he passes the ball it is such a weapon. He was a great player tonight. Hopefully we can keep him healthy.  I am sure their coaching staff feels the same about their guys. It is so fragile when you only have seven or eight guys. Mason has played well all year long, he knows more is on him with Ryan out. I think we are all getting more comfortable with Ryan out. With Amile, Murph gave us really good minutes tonight. It is a different team offensively than it is with Ryan.”

Duke Senior Seth Curry
“We shot it pretty well tonight.  We got a lot of good looks, and we had a lot of energy defensively, and that translated to the offensive end.  We came out really motivated and with a lot of energy and that showed.”

“We got some good stops and hit some big shots, and the crowd was into the game right away.  When that atmosphere is like that in Cameron, we feel like we have an advantage.”

“We wanted to avenge that loss in Raleigh, but more so we just wanted to keep playing well.  We played well at Florida State, and we wanted to carry that momentum.  We’re kind of figuring out who we are as a team, and that’s allowing us to play well.”

“We’re just getting better.  It’s seemed like the whole season we couldn’t get off to good starts, and the last two games we’ve gotten off to great starts.  It can’t get any better than that.  We’re finding out who we are as a team, and we’re coming out of the gates with a lot of energy and playing well.”

On the contributions from Alex Murphy tonight:
“He gave us some big minutes tonight.  We see his athleticism everyday in practice, but that just has to carry over to games.  He did a good job attacking the rim tonight, and [his first half dunk] was a beautiful play.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
On the early spark Rasheed Sulaimon provided at the start of the game:
“He starts with an ‘and-1’ and then he hits a step-back NBA-like move – it was great.  If he could start every game like that, we’d love it.”

After being told that No. 1 Indiana lost tonight:
“We’ve been there twice before.  We don’t go by rankings.  I think our last two wins have been so good because everybody’s playing and everybody’s playing well.  We’re just focused on us.  We can’t worry about Big Ten, Big 12, Kansas, Indiana – we can’t worry about all that.  We’ll watch the games but we’re so focused on us, and I think that’s what helping us get better right now.”

“We’re always getting better.  We are considerably better than those first couple of games [without Ryan Kelly], but if you’ve accomplished it then you’re not getting better.  We’ve just got to keep it going.”

Duke Sophomore Quinn Cook
On how Duke has adjusted since the loss to N.C. State in Raleigh:
“That was our first game without [Ryan Kelly].  We wanted to kind of show how we’ve grown since then.  I think guys have stepped up.  We were down another man [tonight] without Josh [Hairston] playing significant minutes at the four.  They were down one and we were down two, so guys had to step up and I think we did.”

“We executed the game plan more than we did at State.  We let them get too many transition points, we didn’t corral their point guards, and we let [Scott] Wood hit some big threes.  We got better today.  We’ve got to work on closing the game out and keeping the lead, but, all in all, it was ok.”

“It was a great time out there.  When guys are hitting shots and being unselfish, we’re a great team.  It was definitely fun to be out there in the first half.”

“I know we’re not satisfied.  When Ryan goes down, a lot of guys are keying on Mason [Plumlee] and Seth [Curry], so that gives the opportunity for me and Rasheed [Sulaimon] to be more aggressive.  But Rasheed and I have to step up.  I think we’ve been that, and we’ve got to keep answering the call.”

On N.C. State’s Tyler Lewis:
“He’s crafty.  I’ve been playing with him since I was nine years old.  I’m good friends with his father, and he went to Oak Hill, so there was a little trash talking out there, but he’s a great player.”

N.C. State Head Coach Mark Gottfried
Opening Statement:
“The way [Duke] started was just terrific. They played as well as I’ve seen them play, they shot the ball well. We had a hard time keeping them from scoring. They shot the ball from the three. A number of those we had a hand up and we were chasing them off a screen as they were knocking them down. I thought in probably the first eight to 10 minutes they were just sensational … When you lose, you never feel really good. Our guys battled hard. They played extremely hard, they never quit. We just couldn’t seem to get one or two more stops and scores at the same time right when we needed to. We could almost get it under 10 and get it right in there, and then they did a nice job of pushing it back out. But our kids just played with a lot of heart, and theirs did too as well, there’s no question they did as well. Disappointed but proud of our effort there, the way we played about the last 30 minutes.”

On his team’s improved shooting in the second half:
“I thought we were a lot more aggressive. I thought we got some good shots earlier, right around the rim. We just couldn’t make them. We got the ball at the rim. Scott Wood had a couple of good looks. Calvin [Leslie] had some, Richard [Howell] was right there, T.J. [Warren] was right there – we just couldn’t seem to get it in the basket. And at the same time we seemed to be struggling, they were on fire and just shooting lights out. You had two things going on at one time. And I thought after that, we just stayed with it. We kept getting the ball around the rim, we executed our offense, we got good shots. And our guys could have laid down – they certainly didn’t.”

On Howell’s performance:
“I thought he was really good. [Mason] Plumlee played off of him a little bit and respected his ability to bounce it once or twice, and he made a lot of jump shots. I thought, again, he rebounds like he does every night. I thought he really played well.”

On how Tyler Lewis has stepped up following injuries to other players:
“He’s not afraid. Tyler’s a young guy. It’s kind of always in his mind that he has to beat the odds – size and his frame. And he has kind of that mentality right now. He played against good pressure defense all night long, gets 13 points, six assists without a turnover. We’re learning there. The tough thing for us is that we’re not winning, but we’re learning that he can help us a lot. He’s done well.”

On the status of Lorenzo Brown:
“He’s doubtful. I have no idea if he’ll be able to play Sunday. We’ll just go day by day, but he’s not ready to play right now.”

On Scott Wood’s injury in the first half:
“He pulled his groin pretty hard. We’ll see. He told me he could play. I was a little bit cautious of leaving him in there – certainly don’t want to hurt him more but he felt good. He said, ‘I’m okay,’ and he wanted to play and felt good. Hopefully he doesn’t really get stiff and sore tomorrow, so we’ll see tonight. Obviously it’s something we don’t need to have happen to us right now, but if it happens, we roll on.”

On playing through foul trouble:
“It’s hard, but they went right at us and I thought we were trying to go right at them inside. So it’s difficult but I don’t think really until the last couple of minutes – maybe the last two minutes of the game – I don’t really think it was an issue for us.”