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Quotes: Duke 82, North Carolina 50
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/06/2010
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well we played a full 40 minutes and that was one of the best games we have played all year. Our defensive intensity was there throughout. We really cared for the ball offensively. Our two guards had no turnovers. Jon [Scheyer] had seven assists and no [turnovers] and Nolan [Smith] had five assists and no [turnovers]. Those three veterans on the perimeter set the stage in the first half with how they passed and moved and worked with one another. We played really well. I think we would have been tough to beat tonight against anybody. Our fans were great. Our seniors have been such a good group. They deserve this moment. I am really happy for them.”

On what it means to win the ACC regular season title:
“You live through your players. People say, ‘Well, what do you still have to accomplish?’ It is not about me accomplishing, it’s about living it through them. To be with Jon Scheyer, Lance [Thomas] and Brian [Zoubek] for these four years. They won an ACC championship last year, but to do it in the regular season, they have something that will be there forever. We talked about that yesterday. Today wasn’t a game against North Carolina. Duke and North Carolina games are great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not forever, unless it’s for a part of a championship or an outright championship. That’s the bigger picture. That is what we talked about. We really did not talk much about … ‘boy you got to win because its North Carolina’ … it was all about the regular season and finishing up the right way.”

On having cut down the nets for a regular season championship before:
“I don’t know if we have. I have never been out there. We have some really good guys on this team. A special moment before we talked with the students and had our meeting with the students, which was real nice, I met with the team and Kyle [Singler] during the day I had met with him about his offense and watching some tape with him, he said, ‘Coach, can I show you something?’ I thought he was going to show me how to get him open better or something like that. He is an artist, he and Lance are artists. He pulled out something that he had made for his teammates. He said, ‘Tonight, at the meeting, I would like to put it on a posterboard and present it to my teammates.’ So, last night … that is what the guys have on their shirts. It says 17-0. We have never been 17-0 [at home]. We have been undefeated, but never 17-0. The design, I can’t say it as well as Kyle did, all the guys were there and Kyle pulled out this drawing. He said, ‘I love you guys. This season has been great. In honor of that, this is my gift to you,’ which is … it’s pretty cool. Pretty cool to be there. That is what they were wearing. It is a nice thing. Good stuff.”

On preparing for North Carolina with using last game or just new developments:
“You always look back and see what they did. We didn’t shoot particularly well there and neither did they. I think some of that had to do with the defense both of us played. We are better than when we played them the last time. We try to see what worked against them, here are the things we are doing a little bit better, maybe we can get those things going well again. The two times we have played them, we played very well defensively and rebounded well.”

On if there was a point when Duke realized it was going to be a big lead and win:
“Well I just thought right from the beginning, we shared the ball so well. We had open threes and the thing we remind our guys after the first TV timeout because we hit I think four threes, it’s not going to be just three-point shooting. You don’t want to fall into that trap. Whenever you are playing that well, you are always concerned that you can let up and I never really thought our team let up tonight. In the last eight minutes, we kind of pulled the ball out and used clock, but even there I thought we did fine. They had their focus throughout.”

On Roy Williams saying this is the best Duke team he has seen since being with North Carolina:
“It’s tough for me to think back. This is a good team, this is a very good Duke team. I’m not big on comparisons. I’d rather just be in the moment, right now. This is a very good team that has played their hearts out. They are a good group of kids. Really good group of kids.”

On learning moments, calling timeouts in the first half:
“We weren’t getting back. We put in two fresh guys. One of the things that North Carolina has historically done is push the ball. A lead can go real quick, especially if people see the ball going in. We just tried to be emotional. We called one in the second half when we started trying to do things we weren’t doing in the first 32 minutes. Overall, it was a very good performance by our kids.”

Senior Jon Scheyer
On the early three pointers by the “Big Three”:
“Those were big shots just to get us going.  We told each other before the game that we need to have a game where the three of us – every one of us – start playing better.  It was a good step in the right direction.”

“You never go into a game thinking you’re going to blow somebody out by 30 or whatever it was.  But once we get a lead like that, we really want to have a killer instinct and really put them away, and I thought we never let off the gas.  A few times in the second half, but really the first half was a great half.”

“Obviously, it was a big game because we are ACC Champions, and it was a great way to finish out at home.  But we’re trying to move on and not get too sentimental right now and just keep working.  It’s a great feeling, but we’re hungry.  We have a lot more work to do.”

On his thoughts before addressing the crowd after the game:
“When I was looking at the Cameron Crazies, I had a few friends and I was just looking at them and just looking at all the faces of people.  Before the game, I just looked over – I had a big group of family here – I just looked at all of them, and especially my mom.  She’s really been there for me throughout college.”

Senior Lance Thomas
“I feel great.  As a competitor and with the emphasis that’s put on this game, it’s big time.  And for me and my teammates not to get one our four years here, it wasn’t acceptable.  So when that game came here, we wanted to give it our best effort and we did.  It hit me [that this is the last home game of his career], but I’m not looking at it as something sad.  The way we took care of business tonight, I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life.  And I want our younger guys to know that this is the level that you have to bring it to.”

“There’s no better feeling than this.  Campus is going to be crazy.  We worked for this and it’s just a relief to know that our hard work has paid off, and we’re not even done with the season yet.”

Senior Brian Zoubek
“It’s an unbelievable way to end, especially with what our seniors have been through during our four years.  There was no other option than to win this game.  We wanted to have no regrets looking back, especially us seniors.  We haven’t won in a while and that’s not the way we wanted to go out.”

Junior Nolan Smith
“Of course, coming in, we knew it was going to be a fight.  They’re a very talented team and we just knew we had to fight for 40 minutes, which we did.  The outcome was definitely surprising, but I’m happy we did it.”

“On the court, we definitely had a feeling that things were going good.  For us, when things are going good, our defense is going good and we just go from there.  It all starts with defense.  Our defense on the first couple of possessions really had them rattled and we were able to lock in and continue that for the rest of the game.  It was just a great feeling.”

Junior Kyle Singler
“It wasn’t easy. It was still 0-0 once the ball went up, so we still had to bring the same mindset.  We still played as hard as we could.  It wasn’t easy and I thought on both sides of the ball we played great tonight.  [The quick start] kind of reminded us what Maryland did to us.  They got off to a hot start, and that’s what we did tonight.  We just got into a flow, we were playing great defense, and we were knocking down shots.”

On the senior leadership on this team:
“They’ve been great to us.  They all bring something different to the table.  They’re guys that you can really go to for support.  They’re just great leaders, what Duke leaders should be all about, and I just feel fortunate that I’ve had that type of leadership, especially this year.”

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
Opening Statement:
“There’s not a lot to say, except to congratulate Duke; they played very, very well. I’m not their coach, so Mike [Krzyzewski] can evaluate them better than I can. Early in the game, we didn’t want to give them open three’s, then they make three of them in the first three minutes of the game. We had 15 turnovers that led to 27 points; that’s been a problem for us all year and it was again tonight. Their defense was stronger than our offense. Their defense was the aggressor. Their defense was the actor and our offense reacted to what they did. They basically dominated that end of the floor with their defense. On the offense end, they made three’s, and when they missed, they got a rebound, kicked it out and made another three. It was not very pleasant for us to say the least. But I do want to congratulate their seniors particularly. Jon Scheyer is a young man that I’ve really enjoyed watching him play except against us. To go from a quote shooting guard to one of the primary ball handlers and have seven assist and zero turnovers, that’s sensational. I’ve really enjoyed him as a college basketball player and think he stands for so many great things. Lance Thomas doesn’t shoot it very much, but he does all the dirty work and really helps their team. Brian Zoubek, especially down the stretch, tonight he had 13 rebounds, that’s three of the last four games that he’s had double-figure rebound totals. Their senior night was so emotional. It was a very positive experience for them and a very negative experience for us. A great senior night for them; their crowd was sensational.”

On what he said to his team after the game:
“There’s not a lot you can say. We got our tails kicked. I told them that if they take this and learn something from it and change, then you can still get something. But if you say ‘oh well,’ you’re not going to get any from it. You’re not going to get anything from it if it hurts and you don’t change. We’ve got to change our behavior. Even the last play of the game, I tried to run the play for James Gallagher, who hasn’t scored all year and we can’t even listen and pass the message along to the other people. If you can take something that’s this bad and hurt from it and learn from it and change, then you’ve got something you can take. But if you don’t change, you’re not going to get anything from it.”

On Duke’s chances to win the national championship:
“I said in the preseason and I still believe it, that this is the best Duke team they’ve had in the seven years I’ve been here. Mike [Krzyzewski] knows them a heckuva lot better than I do, but to me, they don’t have any holes. Their rebounding and their depth up front is so much, in my opinion, better. They have more of them than they’ve had in the past. Zoubek has really started playing and been a huge factor. The stats say they only had five blocks, but they didn’t give us anything easy around the basket. His improved play has definitely got to help them.”