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Quotes: Duke 91, Vermont 90
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/24/2013
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well, they were terrific and we were awful, and being terrific made us look worse. As a unit that is all of us. This was an unacceptable performance, and we were lucky to win. They played like the veteran. John [Becker] would have said they haven’t played like this, but they may have found themselves. They are a team that should be a NCAA team and win their conference. They had not been playing that way, and then they did tonight. We played like a team that thought we would just show up and win, and that’s how you get beat. We could just show up if they weren’t very good and win by 20, but tonight we played a really good basketball team that played at the top of their game. We did not reciprocate with the level of performance and with the level of effort, or togetherness, that we need. We are very fortunate to win. We played really young, and we are. As a staff we need to do better. This is all of our responsibilities. In our program we believe in collective responsibility. We win and we lose together. If we’re good we are good together, and if we’re bad we are bad together. You are going to have questions and you are going to pick parts of the game, and I am going to just tell you we were awful. Then you are going to say what are we going to do to correct that, and I am going to say we are going to try not to be awful. It is really as simple as that. It’s just not very complicated.”

On team’s communication:
“We didn’t talk because we didn’t think we needed to. I don’t think we respected them to the level that we should. When you are playing this game you should respect every opponent. They are worthy of respect because they are a really good program. But more than that, you should always respect the game. If you respect the game and you give your effort, preparation, fight, night in and night out, then you can look at anyone no matter what happens and say I respected the game and I gave my best. We can’t say that tonight, and that’s upsetting to me because there are not that many times that I have said that about one of my teams, but I’m saying that tonight because it is true. We need to respect the game more than we did tonight, not to put Vermont down in any way. I thought they were beautiful, and I think they are going to win a lot of games. I think they have a good chance to make the tournament and cause some trouble, but I am just talking about us. ‘Us’ is not acceptable.”

On whether there were warning signs:
“I thought we prepared well. We had those four games in eight days, and had a similar experience in the second half of the game against East Carolina. I thought we played well against East Carolina. We just couldn’t hit shots and they played great. When teams play against us, it is their day to play. Our team doesn’t understand that what they see in tape is not what they are going to see that night or that afternoon when a team is playing against because the team is playing against their history. They are playing against me. We have a good hand here. You have to play your hand every day because the team that plays against you is going to play their hand ultimately against you. We had off on Wednesday and I thought we had a bad practice on Thursday. Then we had a really good practice on Friday, and Saturday was a good practice too. A lot of times we don’t shoot here the morning of the game, and today we did. We tried to be really sharp and I thought we would be ready to go tonight, but we were not. In the second half when Jabari [Parker] stole the ball, we went up 61-49. Those are the kind of situations where we show our immaturity. Right after that was our worst. It’s just like kids. They got enough. They were thinking ‘now we got it, now we are good now,’ but no we are not good. There is 15 minutes left in the game, and they are shooting over 60 percent from the floor. We just got one steal. It’s not good. It wasn’t good tonight.”

On how to spread the floor in these situations:
“Nothing will work if you don’t talk on defense. You have got to talk. Someone says ‘go zone’ or ‘go this,’ and we are going to revisit my first three years here. Nothing works well if you don’t work well. Sounds like some parent talking to their kids, but I’m talking to myself too. We have to work well, and we did not work well.”

Duke Redshirt Sophomore Rodney Hood
“We got lucky.  We didn’t win this game.  We kind of deserved to lose the game and we got lucky.  Give credit to [Vermont].  They came in here and they played a really good game.  We’re not in a good spot right now, and we’ve got to change.”

“We’re not connected on the defensive end.  They really didn’t set any ball screens.  They were slipping and we weren’t talking and they spread us out.  Then in the second half, they started to get offensive rebounds.  It was just a bad defensive effort.”

“In the first half, we helped up the floor, especially when [Brian] Voelkel got the ball.  He’s more of a passer and we had him under control, but somebody still stepped up, and he was picking us apart in the first half.  In the second half, [Hector Harold] was hitting shots, and we over-helped sometimes and sometimes we didn’t help.  It all comes with talk – we have to talk better and we’ve got to change it now.  We’ve got to change it now.”

On Duke’s small lineup and the team giving up 50 points in the paint:
“We have to protect the basket by any means necessary.  This [lineup] is what we’ve got.  We’re not going to get two 7-footers the next day.  We’ve got to find out a way to get it done now.  This is the lineup we’re going to have, so we’ve got to get it done.  We’ve got to find a way to rebound the ball.  I don’t think defensively we’re a horrible team.  I think we’ve got to finish plays and we have to talk more.”

Duke Freshman Jabari Parker
“We’ve got to be ready, treat every team like it’s a championship team, a competitor.  Every team is going to face us like we’re the best, because on paper it says that and across our chests it says that.  We’re known for being historically great.  We just have to be prepared to treat teams, every time, to be competitors and be the best that we can be because they’re not going to shy up on us.”

“I think we practiced a couple of zone plays [in practice].  I think we kind of need to notice it from now on since a lot of teams are saying that we can’t really do well with a zone.  They want to keep us from going down the floor and playing transition.  Of course they’re going to slow the game down, but we’ve got to adjust and choose ways where the guards can attack the zone and score, and with me getting position in the post.”

Duke Junior Quinn Cook
On whether the new hand-check rules are affecting Duke’s defense:
“Not to me.  If you keep a guy in front of you, and if you have a guy behind you talking, and if you play together, guys are going to have a tough time putting the ball in the hole.  Forget the fouls and stuff.  If guys are talking and playing together, I think it’ll affect the offense.  But we’ve got to play 40 minutes of basketball where we’re all on the same page defensively.  The last two games we’ve struggled with that.”

Vermont Head Coach John Becker
Opening Statement:
“It was a great college basketball game tonight.  I’m really proud in the way our guys competed against a very good team.  We hung in there, hung around.  I asked the guys to take one possession at a time.  We don’t really play 2-3 zone, but we ended up playing 2-3 zone the whole second half.  We were able to stay in the game and make some big shots.  (Jabari) Parker was a stud in there, and he is hard to deal with on the glass.  We battled, and I’m proud of our guys.  We have a lot to build off of, and we want to thank Duke for the opportunity.  We will take a lot of positives out of this game.”

On scouting Duke’s defense:
“We watched the East Carolina game and the 2-3 zone seemed to work.  We knew they would be aggressive defensively and force us into one on one situations.  We wanted our guys to be aggressive and make plays.  We didn’t really run any plays.  We just ran a ball screen motion, and our guys did a really good job at finding each other.  Hector (Harold) had been struggling for us up until this point, and he did awesome.  We have been really shooting the ball poorly, especially in the last game we played at Wagner.  We just haven’t been putting the ball in the basket.  We compete and play defense every game and every day at practice.  Tonight the ball went through the basket and we were able to hang around with a really good team.”

On playing zone:
“We are trying to figure that out.  We had to play man there and they just spread us out.  That happened to us at Wagner also.  I don’t know, I hate playing zone but that is what we are going to have to do.”

On shooting percentage:
“Over 55% of our attempts this year have been at the rim.  Our bigs were all shooting like 40%, so we have missed a lot of layups, free throws and shots we usually make.  We had a lot of expectations coming in.  We were picked to win our conference, we have six returning seniors.  They came into Duke with no pressure on us, and we played like there was no pressure on us.  Maybe this is a lessoned learned for our guys.  Moving forward maybe we will play looser and more confident.”