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Quotes: Duke 79, Georgia Tech 57
Thursday 01/07/2014  -  Duke Sports Information
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Obviously we played an outstanding second half. I don’t know if it was the weather or the start of school – a lot of it is Georgia Tech. They just controlled tempo really well in the first half and played good D. We seemed dead. We didn’t have the life that we normally have. We’ve had great practices. We weren’t playing like we practiced. But so much of the time that’s the other team and how they’re playing against you. They’re a very physical, strong team. We really had problems in that first half. Defensively, we gave up a lot of drives and still we were up by one. But if the game kept going that way, we weren’t going to win this game. I thought in the second half – and I’m not blaming the crowd, believe me – the crowd was better, we were better. Defensively, we just played very well in the second half. And then I thought Jabari [Parker] gave us a couple of really big plays right at the start of the half. We got some offensive rebounds and scored, and then we executed well. They’ve outrebounded every one of their opponents, in every game and we outrebounded them today. So the rebounding was excellent. Amile [Jefferson] was outstanding in that regard. Our execution down the stretch was outstanding. It’s Wojo’s [Steve Wojciechowski] scout, so he made a great suggestion toward the last eight minutes, to go into a set that incorporated Rodney [Hood] in a ball screen. And then popping out. It was a great suggestion and it turned out four three’s. He had four three’s from that. Again, I feel good. Our first ACC win. I think wins in the conference are going to be tough for everybody. Every one you get, you should be thankful for, and we’re thankful for that one.”

On handling Georgia Tech’s offensive penetration:
“They did some interesting things, which I thought hurt us. They missed some shots. I thought Brian [Gregory] did a really good job of attacking us and the lineups that he put in, we had to make decisions. If you keep Amile, who’s playing well, and Jabari in the ball game then one of them is going to be on [Jason] Morris. And then [Quinton] Stephens is actually a perimeter guy – he’s one of their best shooters. When we had Amile out, Jabari ended up having to cover [Daniel] Miller, who’s one of the better post players in the league, a fifth-year guy and a good player. It was a really different game in that second half. And we just hit on a lineup that was able to defend. I thought Amile really helped us. Rasheed [Sulaimon] had a good game. Everyone who played in the second half played well and we were able to overcome the foul trouble that Jabari had.”

On Jefferson’s matchup with Miller of Georgia Tech:
“I think he just used his athleticism. They weren’t playing the way they normally play. Sometimes when teams play us they don’t run what they normally run. Today they just went to ball screens and opened, bringing Miller away from the basket and then rolling him down instead of just posting him every time. Amile then was just a constant physicality. He was out on the court and took him down, sometimes you were able to get in front of him then. So he was able to use his athleticism a little bit more than if they just went to power, a power thing where I’m going to post him against Amile. Our game plan changed from the one that we had because we were anticipating that, how we were defending that. So we had to change that during the game because of how they changed. And again, I think the things that they did were really good and tough for us to defend.”

On Parker’s growth process:
“It’s unfortunate that the way our game is, men’s college basketball, puts so much on some of these young, extremely talented players to produce at a level that they’re not ready to produce at – but they will produce at some time in their life, hopefully while they’re here. They’re good – [Andrew] Wiggins, [Julius] Randle and Parker. They’re 18, 19 years old. They’ve never played at this level. They’ve never played the physicality. They haven’t been as closely scrutinized as everyone’s closely scrutinizing them. They’ve been promoted and marketed as way beyond what they should be. But that’s the way it is. So it’s difficult, it is difficult for him, and those other kids, too. We have to understand that. People ask me, ‘What’s wrong with Parker?’ What’s wrong with him? He’s played great this year. He didn’t play well in the last game, he played pretty well tonight, a little bit better. It’s a long season. [Derek] Jeter doesn’t hit .950. And he’s there every day. LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], and all these guys, they lose, they play poorly. But in college basketball, those kids, it’s like no, they’re supposed to be instant. It’s not instant. Nothing is instant. And so I’ve got to make sure that we don’t let that pressure get to him, to where he loses the ability to have fun. He plays the game because he has fun playing it and he’s a great kid. Still a kid. And he’s not surrounded by [Mason] Plumlee and [Ryan] Kelly. In some respects, he’s a little bit out of position because if I had a bigger team, I’d be playing him on the wing, which is probably eventually what he’s going to do. So he’s learning a whole bunch of things. As he’s doing that, we’re still Duke and everyone expects us to be perfect, win everything and look great while we’re doing it. And it doesn’t happen that way. This is a work in progress and I want to coach him that way, without putting that extra pressure on him.”


Duke Junior Quinn Cook
On the play of Jabari Parker:
“He’s unselfish.  He’s going to do whatever is working for him.  His shot wasn’t going, so he gets to the paint.  That’s why he’s so good, because he can do both.  He wants to do whatever it takes to when.  That’s why he’s such a great teammate.  He’s very versatile so when he sees those centers [guarding him], he wants to get to the basket.  He’s very smart and his basketball IQ is great.  Everybody gets caught up in the hype of scoring, but he played a great game defensively.  People aren’t going to talk about that, and reporters aren’t going to talk about that.  But he played a great game defensively so he’s happy and Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] is happy with his performance.  Just because he scores 27 and then 25, people get caught up in the hype.  We have a lot of scorers, and he’s fine seeing Rodney [Hood] score and seeing Rasheed [Sulaimon] score.  Jabari is going to struggle - he’s going to struggle at times.  He can score with the best of them and everybody’s seen it.  But he’s [also] playing well defensively, and he played a great game defensively tonight.”


Duke Redshirt Sophomore Rodney Hood
“I took open shots.  My teammates did a great job of getting into the lane, and [Georgia Tech] converged, especially when I was at the four spot, and I just knocked down shots.  They left me open.  I give credit to Quinn [Cook], Rasheed [Sulaimon], and Andre [Dawkins] for finding me when I was wide open on that left wing, and I just knocked down shots.”

On the difference between Duke’s level of play in the first half and second half:
“It was just a mental adjustment.  We were dead in the first half.  We didn’t play like we just came off a loss.  In the second half, we just came back and played hungry, and we played together.  Offensively, I think we played well together, especially in the second half, we kicked the ball.  In the second half, we just played man-for-man.  We didn’t trap anymore off the bigs.  We just went man-for-man and went from there.”

When asked what he thought contributed to the first half lull:
“That’s something we’ve got to figure out.  That’s a big thing we’ve got to figure out because we’re going to Clemson – and for the rest of the year – but especially we’re going into Clemson and they’re not a pushover.  I don’t understand.  As leaders, we take that upon ourselves to fix that.  Everything’s not going to be pretty.  Every game we’re not going to hit every shot.  We might miss defensive assignments, but we’ve got to be able to pick it up like we did in the second half.  That shows our maturity.  If this was early on in the season, we would’ve been in a dog fight for the rest of the game like with East Carolina or Vermont.  But we showed great maturity, we got stops, we scrapped for loose balls, and we pulled it off at the end.”


Duke Sophomore Amile Jefferson
“They were a lot bigger than us, and at times we played really small – we played Rodney [Hood] at the four.  It was just finding a body and blocking out.  And after you block out don’t just block out, but block out and pursue.  For me, I was able to grab some balls, get my hands on some balls and pull them in.  It was a real fight tonight.  We fought for 40 minutes.  In the first half we were a little dead, but in that second half we came out and we really fought them.”

On Duke’s lack of interior size:
“It’s something that we just have to learn to live with.  This is the team we have.  We’re really athletic but at certain points we’re going to be small, so we have to really stick to the fundamentals – blocking out, hitting people early, getting position before they can because most times, especially at that five position, we’re going to be a lot smaller.  We’re going to be giving up size, so if we can block out, that is really to our advantage.”

On the difference between Duke’s level of play in the first half and second half:
“I think it was just knowing that we’ve got to fight.  Every time someone plays Duke, they’re going to give their all and if we don’t give it back, the score is going to reflect that and it’s going to look like it did in the first half.  Just like last week in South Bend [vs. Notre Dame], we got a 10-point lead, 60-50, actually it was the exact same score, and we let up.  Tonight we didn’t.  We kept our foot on the gas because we knew that this was a must-win game.”


Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory
Opening Statement:
“You have to give [Duke] a lot of credit because I thought in the second half they played with great intensity and great energy. I told our guys that I like the team that I coached tonight a lot better than the one on Saturday. At the same time, we need to keep improving and keep getting better. Again, you have to give Duke credit because they played well and shot the ball well… They’re a good team, they share the ball well. They had 12 assists. I thought we did some good things and made progress especially with the involvement of this team with Robert [Carter Jr.] out. We did a lot better. Every decision is so important when you play a team like Duke on the road. They take advantage of every mistake you make and that’s something we need to improve on. Some good things to build on, but we’re not satisfied.”

On Rodney Hood:
“Obviously Hood is an exceptional player and really gives you a tough match-up because they played him a lot at the four tonight. He just gives you that flexibility, he’s tough enough to rebound and it’s tough to defend that.”

On the difference between halves:
“They hit a couple of shots, but a lot of it was based off of some dribble penetration. We can’t go 0-6 from the free throw line. Obviously, they got to the line a lot more than we did. You just have to guard the ball better against them. They hit a couple of threes and we had a couple of good looks, but didn’t finish them. It was a little bit more on the offensive end first and foremost. We didn’t get as good of looks, we didn’t break them down, we took the first opportunity instead of looking for the second or third. We were pretty good in that first half. The other thing is that we didn’t defend well that second half. Duke had 36 percent in the first half and 58 percent in the second half. They hurt us on the dribble drive. They make a couple of shots, then we get stretched on defense. We have to stick to the plan. You have to guard the dribble in order to block their threes and we didn’t do a good job in the second half.”

On Georgia Tech’s offensive play:
“We need to be more aggressive in driving the ball to the basket. I thought at the end of the first half we had two possessions where we took two step-back shots. One, that’s a low-percentage shot. Two, you’re not winning on the road, you have to be attacking all the time. You have to do that with poise and precision and good decisions. That’s the challenge. I think that’s why they’re good, because they challenge you for forty minutes to make good decisions.”

On Redshirt Senior center Daniel Miller:
“He’s as good as any center in the league because he rebounds the ball and defends extremely well. He shoots the ball well and helps us in every aspect, every phase of the game. He helps us against pressure, alleviates pressure. He’s turned into a very good player. I’m proud of his effort.”


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