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Quotes: Duke 83, Wake Forest 63
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/05/2014
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“That was really a good win for our team. I thought Wake was extremely well prepared and they reacted in great fashion with the loss of one of their best players in [Codi] Miller-McIntyre not being able to play. [Miles] Overton stepped up right away and got eight quick points for them. Their [Devin] Thomas did such a good job of being kind of a point-center at times, just a good basketball player. We had a tough time defending them, especially for the first 12 minutes. And then the last eight minutes of the first half we really started playing well defensively, and then our execution on offense was outstanding. In the second half, we were able to maintain that double-digit lead. I’m proud of our team. We won the game tonight. We beat the emotional hangover of being in two amazing games last week, and especially the game over the weekend where we lost a very difficult game on a controversial play at the end. I’m not sure any of you have ever been in those situations, but as a participant, you don’t realize the emotional impact it has on you. We’re a tired basketball team. We need to take tomorrow off and get refreshed and get going again to get up to Boston on Saturday night.”

On Tyler Thornton’s defensive performance:
“Tyler really played like a senior captain today. After Overton got started, he then really turned it up and forced some turnovers which turned into buckets. A couple of Jabari [Parker]’s buckets were off of Tyler’s defense. He just set the tone. He set the tone for us. He’s been that kind of guy for this whole four years, and hopefully now as we’re entering into the last stages of these seniors’ careers, they step it up even more. He certainly was a big factor for us tonight.”

Duke Graduate Student Andre Dawkins
On the play of Rasheed Sulaimon at point guard:
“He’s very versatile.  He has a great handle of the ball, and he’s also good at finding guys.  He has great court vision.  Most of the time, you don’t really have to yell his name – he knows where you are. It’s not surprising, his ability to handle the ball and his ability to get to the basket and make plays for other people.  It’s a lot easier when he’s attacking.  They’ve got to make a decision to help or stay with me, and then it’s either a layup for him or an open shot for me.  I don’t think other teams want either one of those.  All I have to do is catch it and knock it down.  He does all the hard work.”

On his strong shooting performances lately:
“It’s just a product of a lot of shots taken.  I take a ton of shots to the point where I just get really comfortable with it, and it’s like second nature.  So when I’m out there, I’m not thinking about what I’m doing shooting – I’m just shooting.  It’s a lot of hard work in the gym and focusing when I’m working out, so that way when I come to the game time, it’s just natural.”

“I think our confidence was pretty high going into [the Syracuse game] with the five wins we had in a row.  And we were right there and almost pulled that one out.  We feel like we didn’t play our best game, and we were still almost able to get a win.  Our confidence is high right now.  Coming into this game, we just really wanted to get on to the next thing and just focus on Wake Forest and get this win.  We’re glad we were able to do that, and now we’ve got to get a win at Boston College.”

Duke Sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon
When asked if his early-season struggles may have actually been a good learning experience:
“I just kept working hard in practice and Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] gave me a shot tonight.  They say everything happens for a reason, so I guess it is [a good experience].  I just try to continue to work hard.  They say good things come to those who work hard, so I guess that’s what’s happening now.”

On whether the slow start tonight was related to Duke’s hard fought game at Syracuse on Saturday:
“It was a pretty hard and emotional game coming off Saturday, but it’s one thing that we had to do.  We just had to swallow it and keep moving forward.  We had a little bit of a lull to start the game [tonight], but once we settled down and just really got back to our style of play – and that’s pressuring the ball – we kind of really opened up the game.”

On playing point guard:
“Growing up, I always worked on my ball handling, and in high school I played point as well.  I haven’t played it in a while, but I kind of got back into the swing of things when Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] put me back in there in practice.

“One thing about the game on Saturday – it just really let us know that we can play with anyone in this country.  Syracuse is a unanimous number one team in the nation right now, and we pushed them all the way to the very end, and two of our key guys were in foul trouble.  That just lets us know that if we play with a sense of urgency each and every game and utilize each other’s talents and play with each other, we can be very special.”

Duke Freshman Jabari Parker
“[Wake Forest was] enthusiastic to come play in Cameron today.  I think it took us a while to get it going, especially me defensively.  I think I didn’t do a good job of defending the post, and it really did show.  They had like 16 paint points to our two.  But in the second part of the first half we really got through it, we started playing defense, and we picked it up.  And then we were able to extend the lead.”

“[The win tonight] just showed that we can get back going, everything is in the past, and we can bounce right back.”

On the value of strong performances from Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon:
“It gives us another life, another strength, and shows that other people can play.  People expect me and Rodney [Hood] to do most of the scoring, but when we have other guys coming off, they can do just as well.”

On Tyler Thornton’s play in the latter part of the first half that sparked Duke’s run:
“It was really exciting.  A lot of people should give him a lot of praise and a lot of credit for the lead that we ended up getting because he put a lot of defense on them.  And then his energy rubbed off on us.  Our energy in the second part of the first half really gave us that glimpse of what we needed to do in the second half, and our defense really picked up.”

Wake Forest Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik
On the game as a whole:
“Give Duke credit. They’re a very good basketball team. We fought; we had a bad stretch there. I think we were up five points there in the first half. We had a bad stretch there and that gave them separation. It was an uphill climb from then on and that just shows you how important each and every possession is. To have five straight turnovers in that time and a 12-1 run, that’s a big difference, obviously, especially in a place like this. We are really trying to attack the rim and just get the ball to the paint. We’re much more effective when we get the ball to the paint and play the inside out. We felt like we could attack the rim on them and get to the free throw line. They do an awesome job shooting threes. We just lost our poise there for a few minutes and you just can’t do that.”

On freshman guard Miles Overton:
“Miles (Overton), as a freshman, has been working really hard. He hasn’t really played a lot, but he’s really put in extra time with his conditioning and his film study and getting in the gym. We’re seeing the benefits of that.”

On sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre:
“We made a decision this morning. It’s too tender and he would not have been effective. We didn’t want a slip back obviously with a lot of basketball left to be played and how important each and every single game is. We just made a decision. It wasn’t really Codi’s decision; it was more of the medical staff.”

On Madison Jones:
“To have played 40 minutes and to only have turned the ball over two times, and to keep us in our offensive rhythm he shot 49 percent. (Madison Jones) did a great job.”

Wake Forest Sophomore Guard Madison Jones
On Duke’s defensive pressure:
“They do a great job defending the ball and going out there and denying. You just have to stay poised when you’re playing against them, you can’t let them speed you up or anything like that. These guys stay disciplined and I feel like at times we were at the start of the game. At times we did a great job of getting the ball to the side and not letting that pressure rattle us, but we had a stretch where we turned the ball over and that really hurt us. We just came out with a really good effort and they did come back with the same. We just have to keep up our effort.”

On losing Miller-McIntyre:
“We came in to the game playing hard and playing with a tremendous effort. Of course losing (Codi Miller-McIntyre), everyone knew they had to step up and bring a little extra defensively and offensively because he really helps us out, especially on the offensive end. We definitely had to play harder losing him, but I feel like we also had the same mindset and played our game.”