Mike KrzyzewskiDuke Head Coach
"I thought our guys really played well today. Presbyterian with their quick guards can provide a problem. [Al'Lonzo] Coleman is an unusual big guy because he can put the ball on the floor. And I thought after the first eight minutes or so, our defense was outstanding. It was focused and we didn't turn the ball over. It's tough to single out any one individual, but Mason [Plumlee] is playing so well. He's really shown great leadership on the court and talking well. Austin [Rivers] today played a fantastic game. He guarded their leading scorer and he had 15 points, six assists, no turnovers. His assists led to 16 points. For a lot of players, they never learn to understand their impact on a game because they only see the points they score. His presence on our team means so much more because it can mean that other people can score, whether he's getting to the foul line and getting us into the bonus or he's making the easy passes that he made today. Four of them came for three's. So I like that a lot. And we got a lot of playing time for our bench. It was a good 24 hours for us. We got better as a team and I thought we used today very well and our kids responded well. I'm pleased and we've got a big game now on Tuesday night. It's a tough stretch for us."
On the team's passing:
"We were so unselfish today. We are not a selfish team, but at times we don't see other people because we get immersed in what we're doing individually. That's part of what a young team does. And if you can immerse yourself in what the group is doing, you'll make plays like that. So that was really big for us today."
On receiving recognition from his players after the game:
"You win because of those guys. Whenever an individual coaching honor occurs, it's because of your players and your assistants and the infrastructure you build. You're just the recipient of a lot of good things then because you're the head of it. Good players and unselfish kids win a lot of ballgames."
On being tied with mentor Bobby Knight at 902 career victories:
"Coach and I actually talked a lot ... We have a great relationship, so it's been a fun thing to do this. He says to me, 'Michael, can you tell your kids to win those three games real quick?' I said, 'Coach, yes, they're those first three. Every game's important.' He said, 'No, not for that. I'm getting tired of saying nice things about you.' And then he started laughing. He says, 'Tell your players I'm getting angry. Maybe that will motivate them.' I said, 'Coach, I've spent my entire life trying to make sure you haven't been angry. It started when I was your point guard.' Hopefully we can win these and get on to something new. It's kind of neat to have that relationship with him, and you guys should know that - what a good guy he's been to me and my family. We have a very loving, strong friendship. He's had such an influence on my coaching career, no question about it. That's one of the neat things. I said something similar when we were fortunate enough to win one more than Dean [Smith]. It was an honor to share that day with him because I think as highly of him as any coach that's ever coached. And I've learned a lot from him too, competing against him and watching him and handling the pressures of establishing a brand that is just never going to go away. It's always going to be at a high level, and it's because of what he did. I've crossed with a lot of great people."
On pursuing his 903rd career victory:
"It hasn't been a distraction for me except time-wise because I'm good about not making it that big of a thing. I know it's a big thing. I'm not minimizing it, but it really will happen and the development of my team will only happen right now. And I've got to do that. That's what you're supposed to do. It's hard to believe, really. Especially [since] we only won 38 games our first three years. We've had seasons where we've won almost that many, a number of them. So thank goodness for President [Terry] Sanford and Tom Butters, the boys who saw fit to have faith in me. I'll always remember that, and I'll always remember the commitment from this university."
On his relationship with Coach Knight:
"I love just talking to him because we can be completely honest with one another. He's brilliant. You learn when you talk to people who are really smart and who don't have an agenda when they're talking to you, except to tell you the truth. Think of all the great talks we've had over the years. When I was a player, I didn't necessarily enjoy all my talks with him. But those were good too."
Duke Junior Ryan Kelly
On Coach K's 902nd win:
"We wanted to win for Coach [Mike Krzyzewski], but we want to win every game. That's how we approach it and that's how Coach approaches it. He's just worried about the game at hand. Numbers are a nice thing, but we need to worry about our team right now. He approaches every game individually, and he's worried about our team. Numbers are something that he'll think about when he's done with his coaching career, but for now, we're just worrying about ourselves."
On the play of Duke's big men:
"We took good shots. We were strong with the ball. Our guards made good passes to us, and we finished around the basket. We need to keep doing that and keep improving. That's something we felt like we really improved on since last year, and if we can continue to do that as the year goes on, we're going to be pretty good."
On playing two games in less than 24 hours:
"We're young and excited, so we were good. This is just the first two games of the season, so everybody wanted to contribute and help our team win. These two games in a row, we made improvements from where we were before that, and we'll have another big test on Tuesday [versus Michigan State] with a very good team. We feel like we can get better every single day. We have a very high ceiling, and as individuals get better and our team comes together, we're going to be a tough team to beat."
Duke Senior Miles Plumlee
On Coach K's demeanor and preparation for the game tonight:
"That's the thing - he was the exact same coach we've had for every game I've ever played for him. The intensity that he has for a game like this - that means as much as to him - is the same intensity he has for every game we play for him. I think that's what makes him really special."
On playing two games in less than 24 hours:
"It was a really quick turnaround, but we tried to get through all their sets and their tendencies on offense. Really the defense was the biggest thing. That's what made our offense go so well - when we're working together on defense, we play together on the other end. This team has really worked hard on our conditioning, and I think everybody had good legs today."
Duke Freshman Austin Rivers
"I'll always remember this. This was a big night for him, and this is one of the games you can look back and remember. When people talk about the game where Coach K tied Bobby Knight, I can say I was part of the team that contributed to that. It's just amazing. It's just a good feeling. I'm just happy for him."
"Tonight I was aggressive but it was in a more calm fashion. Last night I was aggressive because I was trying to be aggressive. Tonight I was aggressive because that's me and I let it come to me. I didn't come out and just try to over-make plays. And I didn't have any turnovers tonight, where last night I had more. I was just calm and relaxed, and I let it come to me."
On the upcoming matchup with Michigan State:
"It's just something that I've only thought about - Madison Square Garden, Duke University, Michigan State. And you've got teams like Kansas and Kentucky playing after you. 903 wins [for Coach K]. Anything you could possibly think of as far as a dream for a basketball game, it's there. I'm just going to go in there calm and collected, just enjoy the moment and play as hard as I can for Coach and play as hard as I can for the team and the whole Duke nation."
Presbyterian Head Coach Gregg Nibert
"We saw the game last night with Belmont and it looked like they were playing off the Plumlee guys and making them beat you. And I said we're going to try the same thing. Their inside game is the best I've seen in a long time. We've got some pretty good big guys too and the way those guys scored, Mason [Plumlee] and Miles [Plumlee] 6-for-8 and 6-for-9, and Ryan Kelly at 5-for-8. Their inside game was tremendous. I didn't have anything else in. I wish I had a little bit more zone or something else in there to stop something, but it was like going to a knife fight with a toothpick with some of those guys out there. It was tough. My hat is off to Coach K and I know he challenged those guys. We know how great their guards are and we tried to go in there and hope that the big guys beat us. And they not only beat us, they did a tremendous job."
On what it was like playing this kind of atmosphere knowing that 902 wins was on the line:
"It was absolutely incredible to be honest with you. We're the smallest Division I school in the country. We're in the transition, this is our last year in the transition and we play in the Big South Tournament next year. It was a dream for us. We came here three years ago when Al'Lonzo [Coleman], Josh [Johnson] and Pierre [Miller], those three redshirt kids, were sophomores and to bring a team back in here with all the nostalgia and hoopla. You know years ago we got 1,200 students and we were playing a NAIA and Division II schedule and to think that Presbyterian would be playing Duke and Coach K in Cameron Indoor I told my wife I'm pinching myself to think how far we've come in the 23 years I've been here to be able to do this. It was tremendous excitement."
On trying to penetrate and kick against Duke's defense:
"We tried to do that because we felt like we wanted to spread them out and then penetrate and kick. As I said, I know he's challenged them and they were really guarding the ball and not getting beat on the ball. We've got some pretty good guards in Pierre [Miller] and Eric Washington and Khalid Mutakabbir. I think they just did a tremendous job defensively just trying to do those same things. They guarded us. Al'Lonzo [Coleman] is a tremendous post player. He had ankle surgery in January and we didn't know if we were going to get him back. He's probably about 50 or 60 percent. He's our go-to guy and he had a tough time. He's probably about, like I said, 50 or 60 percent. But going down there on the side, he's 6-7, 250, and when he ran around one Plumlee he ran into another Plumlee and they're 6-11 and 6-11 down there inside on a 6-7. They just did a tremendous job on Al'Lonzo. But he is a heck of player and he's our go-to guy. They did a good job of double teaming him and he wasn't as effective as he has been in the past. Their post interior defense and their post interior offense were I think the key to the game and I think it takes them to another level in terms of being a top two or three team in the nation. When you have inside and out and the guards they have and the inside game that they played tonight, both offensively and defensively."
On how tough it was coming back from playing last night:
"Well it wasn't tough. I told our guys if Duke did it then I said we'll play a six o'clock game and I think we got into bed earlier than they did probably last night. I was hoping the game would go into overtime to be honest with you. Or two or three overtimes. We thought they would be fatigued. Our starters played maybe 15-20 minutes last night so we felt like that was kind of an advantage. We wanted to go at each other both 1-0. When we got the game schedule I had already scheduled the game on Friday night and I said we'll keep it and we'll move it up an hour and get in here even earlier."
On scheduling the game:
"I want to thank Coach K for helping us out. I know Art Chase is the SID here and he used to work at Presbyterian. I called him to see if we could get the game scheduled and Art went down there and talked to Duke's basketball office. That was really neat for us to be here with the timing of everything. The Lord had this time for Presbyterian to come in here, the smallest Division I school. But I'm gonna call Art now and get on him for helping us schedule this game because it wasn't quite as fun as I thought it would be."