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Quotes: Miami 90, Duke 74
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/14/2015
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Well they were terrific.  I thought [Angel] Rodriguez was sensational.  He not only scored, but he controlled the game.  It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen in Cameron from an opposing player.  Their whole team played well, but he really set the tone in how well he played.  He was great—not good—he was great.  We’re not a very confident shooting team right now.  In the ACC if you draw stats up, we’d probably be shooting 37%, and you can’t win doing that, and the free throws.  We’re just not as confident as we have been.  I think that’s part of being young.  We’re playing real well, and adversity hits and you start thinking a little too much.  In the first half, if we hit our free throws, we’d have about a 10-point lead at half time, and it’s a very different game.  Maybe it’s a different game, but at least we’d have a better chance.  You can’t keep doing that, and missing open shots, and our defense has been nonexistent for two games.  I’m not sure if, with a young group, if they hit the wall a little bit.  It’s a long year, and those three kids haven’t been through it.  Obviously we are deserving of losing.  Miami was great.  Even the way they handled it when we tried to come back—they kept good composure.  They had big shots too and they kept that lead.  Boom, boom, boom and it’s a double-digit lead.  Anyway, we have a lot of work to do.”

On defensive flaws:
“We gave them runouts.  We’ve been giving more runouts.  I think part of that is missing shots.  It only takes a fraction of a second when you’re watching and the shot is missed, and you’re thinking about that missed shot and not thinking about getting back.  We did that a few times, and you give people runouts or dunks and you get a level of confidence.  Rodriguez is tough to handle.  There’s no question about that.  We have to learn from it, and make appropriate changes, and just keep trying to get better.”

On team effort:
“We have good effort.  Our guys came to play.  They’ve practiced well.  I just don’t think we’re confident right now.  I’m not saying we have no confidence.  Confident when we shoot it.  I just don’t see it.  I don’t feel it, and that happens.  It can happen to a baseball team with hitting, and I think it can happen with a younger group more than an older group.  If that had happened to a veteran team, they’re going to play harder defensively or rebound and execute.  They know if we’re not scoring many runs that we better do something, or do something else.  That’s a part of learning.  I’m not totally surprised with us losing—not tonight—I’m just saying losing.  Because I’ve never felt we’re a great team.  I’ve felt we’re really a great group of kids working our butts off, winning some big games and stuff like that, but we’re not that team yet.  Maybe through the adversity that we have had and will have, we will be afforded the opportunity of doing that.  When you have a group of youngsters, you’re trying to cram three or four years of stuff in one year, so this loss was like a year.”

On gaining team confidence:
“There’s always things to do.  The first thing is to accept full responsibility for what we’re doing, and we do.  Coaching staff, players—we’re all responsible for it.  Then you try to figure it out.  I don’t know that answer right now.  I love my team.  I believe in my team.  I’m disappointed with how we’ve played in conference, and we’re going to try to do all that we can to change that.”

On confidence causing recent losses:
“I’m somebody who has coached a lot of games.  I’m not saying that I know it better than you.  I probably do, but I’ve been through these things.  To be quite frank with you, nothing surprises me because I’ve had just about everything happen to me as a coach, and most of it’s really good.  I just have felt since Christmas that there’s something missing with our group, and I’ve said it.  I’ve said to the press.  I’ve said it to my team, and when you’re still winning, you don’t necessarily believe it completely, but I’ve felt it since Christmas.  I haven’t been able to figure out how to change it.  We’re all on the same page now after two losses, and after getting our butt beat.  We didn’t just lose tonight, we got our butts beat tonight.  In some respects, some of that is good.  None of my teams have won here without losing.  You just can’t lose that much.  The taste of losing has to be distasteful, and you try to figure out how not to have that taste.  If you become really good, then you got it and that’s what I’m going to try to do with that group and we will see how successful we’ll be.”

Duke Senior Quinn Cook
“They’re great players, especially their guards.  [Angel] Rodriguez, [Manu] Lecomte, [Sheldon] McClellan, they made plays and they kept the pressure on us.  They played great basketball tonight.”

“[Miami] came out and took it from us today.  All credit to those guys.”

“To hear Cameron like this is not a good feeling.  We don’t like that feeling.  We’ve just got to get back to that sense of urgency and we’ll be fine.”

“Just making tough plays, boxing out, helping Jah [Okafor] and Amile [Jefferson] on the rebounding, taking charges, playing together – all the intangibles basically weren’t there for 40 minutes.  We’re going to be fine.  We’re going to take the hit, take all the negativity that we’re going to get, take it in stride, and just move on.”

Duke Junior Amile Jefferson
“[Miami] played really well.  They hit a lot of three’s.  It was the second game in a row where [the opposing] team shot 50% from the three-point line.  They were able to get in our paint, they had really good guards, and they fought.  They hit shots – they hit a lot of shots.  It was tough for us to get into a rhythm tonight and it hurts.”

“I’m really disappointed.  This wasn’t the vision that we had but this is reality.  We’ve got to find a way to get better.  We’re a good team and we know we’re a good team, but that’s not good enough – just being a good team.  We have to do the tough things, dirty things, we’ve got to get up in guys, and we’ve got to get back to the way we were playing.  It’s tough to do that.  We’ve got a couple of days off, but it doesn’t get any easier, the teams don’t get any easier, road games don’t get any easier.  We’ve got to figure it out – together.”

“Our effort was ok.  Our backs got against the wall and it was tough.  It was tough tonight for our guys.  They hit a lot of shots, and those three-point shots are deflating plays, and they kept knocking the wind out of us.  Teams are doubling Jah [Okafor] really hard, and he’s handling it beautifully.  I don’t know another player that could come close to handling it how he’s handling it.  But we’ve just got to figure it out, especially on the defensive end, as a team.  We’ve just got to get better from this.”

Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga
Opening Statement:
“Coming into the game we had a lot of decisions to make on how we were going to defend them.  We observed the first couple of opponents in the ACC all double teamed[Jahlil] Okafor. Watching a game on TV is not the same as playing in a game. Our observations told us we had to do the same, or at least to start the game that way. We made the decision to put Omar Sherman on Okafor to start, and to let Tonye Jekiri, the tall guy, to come set the trap. That leaves opportunities for Duke to hit some three’s. Okafor was very good at attacking and then you leave [Amile] Jefferson wide open to get rebounds as he did. By the time the half comes its 35 to 34 and you have to decide do we stick with that or not. We elected to start the second half doing the same, but our intention was to only to do it once or twice then play straight up. Offensively, our goal was to set as many screens per possession. Our guards are best when they are on the attack. The ball screen gives them a chance to get free just a little bit and attack the big. Manu [Lecomte], Angel [Rodriguez], and Ja’Quan Newton are very good at it. We just kept trying to keep that going throughout the game.”

On the film from NC state game:
"NC State is very different as their guards are very big. They are good at dribbling and shooting. So if you go behind the ball screen they can hit a three as Angel did twice in a row.  If you fight over the ball screen they have a chance to attack the big man.  They did that and got fouled.  Once they get a sense they can do it, they share that confidence. Angel did it, then I told him to let Manu do it for a while. It leaves out some of the guys until the defense adjusts. Then you throw a lob to Sheldon [McClellan], and then hit Omar [Sherman] for a three. You have to have balance. Tonight we had that.”

On the fast break:
“We are best in transitions. Okafor is really good in the open court but mostly it’s guards running the fast break.  We have great guards. We have five or six guards scoring, and that’s a lot of different guys you have to worry about in the open court.”

Miami Guard Angel Rodriguez
On the dribble penetration:
“From the moment we started preparing to play Duke we were talking about the way we played defense and the way we like to play offense.  We felt like it was a great matchup and they were going to allow us what we wanted to do.  We have great guards and great bigs. Our bigs did a great job of setting tons of ball screens and our guards did a great job of using them and making good decisions. It was a great team effort.”

On dominating the perimeter:
“We all have confidence in each other. Sometimes guys play good and sometimes guys play bad. Manu had a heck of a game.  We have a lot of confidence in him and everyone on the team. It is just a matter of somebody stepping up.  In the beginning of the season I said the beauty of this team is one person can step up during a game and the next game somebody else will do the job. Today Manu did a great job.”

On losing to Eastern Kentucky:
“I think it was a humbling experience. With so many new guys on the team, sometimes it can be hard to handle success. In the beginning of the year we had a lot of success. Everyday no matter who you play you have to come to play. Thanks to that we are getting better, and better.”

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