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Quotes: Duke 74, Georgia State 55
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/09/2012
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“I just had a good experience out in the hallway talking to Coach Driesell. It was a neat thing. A Duke graduate who is one of the great coaches of all time for him to be here was pretty good. Overall tonight I was pleased, I think we did a good job against a team, Ron (Hunter) is one of the better coaches in the country and they play an unconventional [defense], which doesn’t mean that it’s weird, most people don’t play it. Changing zone defenses, and changing three-quarter court presses and they are good at it. That is how they won 22 games last year, and they control the tempo because they put four ball handlers out there. Overall I thought our defense was really good. I thought we broke down when we got that 21-point lead, got careless with the ball and careless on defense, but they had four assists and 16 turnovers and 55 points so our defense was pretty good. That is two games in a row, the exhibition game and this one that our defense was very good. [Tyler] Thornton was excellent. I thought he was a bit nervous against the zone and we had a couple early turnovers that hurt us, but he guarded Hunter well. [R.J.] Hunter is going to be a really good player. He came in averaging 26 points a game in the first two exhibitions and I think he had 14 but he had to do quite a bit to get it. He played well, but he didn’t have a great game. Tyler [Thornton] did a good job on him. Mason [Plumlee] was a force. I thought just a couple careless turnovers late in the game or else his performance was outstanding. Pleased with Seth [Curry], he played a lot of minutes. We will see how he responds to that. He has only practiced twice so that is the other thing about playing against the unconventional with all these zones and stuff like that this early in the season and not having him practice with the team, I thought we did a pretty good job overall.”

On different lineups:
“We are still looking at what our team can do. The four guys who would start are our two big guys, and if Seth [Curry] is healthy, Seth is going to start and Rasheed [Sulaimon]. We thought Tyler [Thornton] on [R.J.] Hunter was a good matchup, Tyler could start or you could start Quinn [Cook] or you could also start Amile [Jefferson] where you are a little bit bigger, so we will look at those different things. You are just going to have different lineups in there.”

On Making the Extra Pass:
“In the second half we really had some great sequences where we passed the ball, made extra passes, got rhythm threes. We shot the three really well. I thought most of the threes we shot we really good ones, a few went in and out, but they were good rhythm shots. I thought we did a good job tonight, we are going to have to keep getting better and keep managing Seth.”

On Freshman Energy:
“The two freshmen have been really good. Rasheed [Sulaimon] found out tonight playing against these zone defenses, how do you find your shot then. Against man he can find it a little bit easier, and it’s just a little bit more difficult, but his defense was outstanding and he made a couple nice kicks. That one sequence when we had a couple offensive rebounds, it ended with him driving and kicking and Tyler [Thornton] hitting the three. Amile [Jefferson] is going to be a force multiplied for us. His exuberance in the second half, Mason [Plumlee] blocked a couple of shots and he was already running down the court, he should have been getting the blocked shot. So with things like that it is like ‘yeah your exuberance is good, but let’s be exuberant after we get the ball. Those two kids are doing a really good job for us.”

On Mason Plumlee:
“We want him to touch the ball. Mason [Plumlee] can pass, although a couple of those plays you would question me saying that, but when he is strong with the ball down there, guys have to move once they hit him. It is not up to him to create the passing lane to the shooter. It is the shooters responsibility to create the passing lane, and I thought on two of his turnovers guys just watched him. He touching the ball has got to be one of the big things we do, he is an outstanding player.”

Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
“I felt like there was a lot left out there, a lot of points, a lot of rebounds to be had.  Overall, individually, I thought I played OK.  I thought Tyler [Thornton] was great tonight.  He was knocking down shots, he was all over the floor, and he was picking up their guards.  I think we showed that we have energy.  We want to be good, and we’re going to play hard.  Then we’ll just get better the more we play.”

On the difference between Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton running the point:
“They’re different players.  It makes a difference, maybe defensively.  Tyler may get after the guys a little more, but then Quinn gets a five second count tonight.  Those are uplifting plays.  I think we’ll figure that out more as we go along.”

On his taking more shots tonight against a zone defense:
“I think in the preseason I shot like 70%.  If I’m efficient, whoever is making the most [shots] should take the most.  It’s a little different [playing against a zone defense].  We had a week to prepare, so that got us ready for their zone.  But we play man defense and we’re used to going against man in practice every day, so our man sets are good.  I’m sure we’ll get to use those in our next game.”

Duke Senior Seth Curry
On the effects of being out of live action for so long:
“That showed in the first exhibition game.  I was really rusty.  It was good for me to get that out of my system and come out early and play well.  And my minutes will go up.  I was kind of in and out today, but my minutes will go up and I’ll get more comfortable.  The biggest thing is just getting in better shape so I don’t get tired and I’m able to play those minutes.”

“It was good to get back in my rhythm and play on my leg.  I felt good.  It was good to get out there and play well early and get off to a good start.”

On what guidance he’d give to the freshman after their first game:
“Just enjoy it and go out there and learn from it.  I can tell them stuff but they’ve got to go out there and experience it, and that’s the biggest thing.  Just play hard.  And they did a good job of focusing on the scouting report and doing a good job defensively.  They’re going to knock down shots.”

On the upcoming matchup with Kentucky:
“We’re really excited about it.  It’s going to be a good test for us and we’ll see what we need to improve on.  It’s good for me and the other guys and the younger guys to be on a big stage early and get that experience.”

Duke Junior Tyler Thornton
On playing against the zone defense:
“The zone is set up to get the offense to stand up and pass the ball around the perimeter.  This week the coaches stressed to us to attack and try and get the ball inside and then work the inside-out.  I think we did a pretty good job of that and everybody made plays and we played connected on the offensive end.”

On his shooting tonight:
“The coaches just emphasized in the pre-game, when we have open shots take them.  Don’t think about it.  That’s our shot – it’s a Duke shot.  And my teammates were giving me confidence and encouraging me to hit those shots, and I stepped in and knocked them down.”

“I tell the coaches, ‘Just put me wherever you need me, and I’m going to try to make plays on both ends of the floor and try to help our team win.’  I have great communication with the coaches while I’m on the floor, and I try to relay those messages to the other players on the team.  We listen to each other very well, and the communication on this team is great right now.”

“I think we played great on the defensive end.  They had some pretty good scorers around the wing, and I think we made it tough for them to get easy shots that they’ve gotten so far in the exhibition games.  Our big guys did well on the ball screen defense, and we got a lot of defensive rebounds and got a lot of stops.”

Georgia State Head Coach Ron Hunter
Opening Statement:
“I’m really, really proud of our young kids. I thought we would have a talented ball club, but you don’t know until you actually get into the grinder. I just told them, ‘You came in and you played the eighth-best team in the country.’ And they are the eighth-best team in the country. They’re a very talented team. For us, I don’t know if my freshmen will have an opportunity where they’ll play another team that talented their entire time while they’re here. But they fought. They fought. We got worn down. We wanted to keep it close. I thought our defense was there. Our defense got a little tired. We got a little worn down and Duke did what I thought they would do – they made shots. They missed the shots, we were fine. But I’m just really happy with the way my young kids played … I’m really, really pleased – I really am. Win, lose, or draw we knew we wanted a game. I wanted to see what kind of basketball team I’ve got and I’m just excited about this young group that I’ve got.”

On the offensive adjustments his team made in the second half:
“I don’t think the pressure so much bothered us – I think that their size bothered us. They’re bigger and stronger, and I think that’s what bothered us. I thought our game plan was perfect. We wanted to kind of shorten the game up a little bit. If we had easy looks, they were great. They got back in transition. I thought the best thing they did was their transition defense. We really wanted to try to score early if we could. But if we weren’t, don’t take bad shots. I thought our offense did, for the most part, pretty good. R.J. [Hunter] started cramping up a little bit so when he went down our offense kind of sputtered a bit. But again, I thought our bench came out, I thought [Cameron Solomon] came off and gave us a good job. And another freshman, Markus Crider, came off the bench and did a nice job. Again, we did exactly what I wanted to do. My game plan coming in was they would have to make 10 or more threes to beat us. That’s what we talked about – make them shoot from there. [Mason] Plumlee played well. He did a nice job. We weren’t going to double-team. That’s not what we do – we don’t double team. So again, I thought that our game plan was perfect for what we wanted to do. We just weren’t everything today.”

On the performance of his son, freshman guard R.J. Hunter:
“As a dad, he gets his allowance and as a coach, he has to keep working [laughs]. I’m proud of him. I know coaches aren’t supposed to say this, but as a father, I’m really proud. That was my son. That’s the first time I’ve ever coached my son in my entire life. I’ve never coached him in tee ball or anything. And so for me as a dad, I was really, really proud. To see your son, he’s out there battling, he’s got cramps and he wants to go back in. So as a dad, I was really proud. It’s the first time I’ve ever coached him in anything. He’s going to get better.”

On the importance of keeping it close early in the second half:
“I got in at halftime and I looked in our kids’ eyes, and I could see we were physically a little whipped. Again, when it’s your first game of the season and you’re playing on the road and it’s a little hot in here – that’s why we were cramping up – I could see it in our eyes we were whipped a little bit. I wish it was our ball because what I wanted to do was even if we took the shot clock all the way down, it just would shorten the game up. I saw Coach Krzyzewski walk across the court and he didn’t have a nice look in his eyes, so I knew at halftime they were going to have a good discussion. So I wanted to kind of extend it a little bit. But again, I knew we were tired. That’s why I just wanted to extend our offense. But we didn’t. We took two quick shots, Manny [Atkins] took two really bad shots and it just kind of led to some bad things.”

On what the team, especially his younger players, can learn from this game:
“They’ve got McDonald’s guys, we’ve got Burger King guys. I want my Burger King guys, for one night, to play like McDonald’s. And we didn’t. We played sometimes like Burger King guys. I kept saying in the timeout, ‘We’ve got to supersize it.’ But our supersize is different from McDonald’s supersize. So at the end the McDonald’s guys weren’t having it.”