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Quotes: Duke 94, Maine 55
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/03/2016
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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement:
“Just had to meet my new boss. I hope I passed the test. That’s a happy time. We’ve had, I’d love to talk about the game, but before hand, it’s been a couple days of extreme emotions. Obviously, to announce a new president and to have the person that they wanted badly to accept, it’s a great moment for our university, for Vince and Annette [Price] to choose us and come on board. On the other end, we lost, really the best man I’ve ever met, I’ve ever been encountered with at Duke for 37 years in Keith Brodie. Our pins are for Dr. Brodie, the moment of silence was great… Keith, who worked at the medical center too, understood what he would call the levers of power throughout the university, where you could combine academia, medicine, and sports. And during his time, our school went from an outstanding Southern institution to an outstanding national institution. For me, he was an amazing mentor. As much as we’re in joy, we mourn the loss of this great man and empathize with his family. So anyway, to me that’s the most important thing. Today, about the game, we were supposed to win big, we did. You’re going to look a little bit crazy because two guys are out, they’re the guys who usually handle the ball. We rested Frank [Jackson]. Grayson [Allen] needs more than one game out, but hopefully he’ll be ready by Tuesday. We got a chance to play Marques [Bolden] for 12 minutes. Marques has not done anything for five weeks. We just got the go-ahead last night after practice that he’s clear, so we told him. He had a little bit of a shoot around. I said, ‘just don’t worry about it, let’s just get the rust off.’ With Jayson [Tatum], we got the go-ahead a couple days ago, so he’s only had a couple days of working and then he’s not working with the normal group. I was really pleased to get that amount of minutes. Jayson’s were cramps; it had nothing to do with injury. Marques just got tired and once we got to that point, we said that’s good enough. We’ve got to keep finding minutes for these guys as they, we’ve got to put this thing together while we’re playing games. That was good today though.”

On Amile Jefferson’s ball handling improvement:
“Well he can handle because, usually, although at the end of the game we had a different lineup in, there wasn’t another ball handler. But, you can take advantage of his matchup at times and put him out there and then put their point guard guarding someone off the ball, things like that. We have confidence in his decision making. Luke [Kennard] obviously played great, but Luke, Matt [Jones], and Amile, kind of held everything together. We’re much better, although they played hard and well, but the second half was better. I screwed them up to begin with. I thought I wanted a look at our zone press and with the new guys, I should have just put them in familiar territory. I screwed them up a little bit at the beginning of the game and then we kind of found ourselves.”

On Frank Jackson’s situation:
“We hope. We’ll know more as, we think he’ll be ready to play on Tuesday. A little bit of a sore, his foot. He’s played an unbelievable amount of minutes. Grayson, now he’s played hurt. We just felt there is no way you should play today. I think over the exam period is a time where, and then maybe Christmas, where we can get him closer to 100% and then hopefully work these guys in a little bit. It’s a lot of stuff going on. We’ve got a lot of balls to juggle, they’re all good, but we’d like them all to be healthy. That’s not going to, the world doesn’t stop for us to get healthy and we’ve got to keep going.”

Duke Graduate Student Amile Jefferson
On having freshmen Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden back on the floor for Duke:
“I’m so happy to have these guys back, to be playing along with Jayson and Marques.  We spend so much time [together] off the court, to be back on the court with them, it elevates our team.  Our team has a new happiness, a new verve, a new identity to it.  And then when G [Grayson Allen] and Frank [Jackson] get back, it’ll even be more.  Today was really fulfilling for our guys, just to have them back on the floor.”

“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help the team win, take advantage of my opportunities, finish down low, and really try to rebound.  I’ve got to make sure I’m always going to the glass.  It was a different dynamic for me, playing on the wing a lot, especially in the second half, so I kind of got lost going to the glass, but I’ve just got to keep doing that and keep finding ways to rebound.  I played on the wing more because Grayson [Allen] and Frank [Jackson] didn’t play today and then Jayson [Tatum] got hurt, so we were down a lot of guards.  We were really big at one point, and it shows the versatility of our guys.  We can really have a big lineup out there the way things are going right now.  But everyone just has to be ready.  Everyone has to be able to contribute and help us, but right now I think we can smile a little bit and be happy that we got some of our guys back.”

Duke Sophomore Luke Kennard
“Obviously a win is a great win for us.  That’s what we need, that’s what our program is based upon, and I think, with a couple of our top scorers out with Grayson [Allen] and Frank [Jackson], we knew we kind of had to pick up the scoring ability a little bit.  We found our scorers and we made plays.  I thought tonight was a great night for us.  We played well, especially in the second half and it was a great win.”

On having freshmen Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden back on the floor for Duke:
“We knew that they were going to be able to play tonight.  It’s kind of just a rotation that we haven’t seen before and it was a good rotation.  I’m just excited for everybody to get back.  I’m excited to be a full, healthy team and just step on the pedal and be who we’re going to be during the season.”

“I think we did a good job of getting our scorers the ball tonight.  We had a lot of guys kind of create for each other.  Amile [Jefferson] picked up the scoring, too, tonight.  He did great.  Matt [Jones], Jayson [Tatum], Marques [Bolden] got some throughout the game, and that’s what we need.  We’re a team with a lot of playmakers, a lot of scorers, and we’ve just got to continue to do that.”

Duke Freshman Jayson Tatum
When asked how it felt to get the start and be back on the floor for Duke:
“It was a great feeling.  I didn’t really care if I started or not.  I just wanted to get back on the floor and play with guys like Amile [Jefferson] and everybody on the team and just go out there just be back.”

When asked what his expectations are for the rest of this season:
“Staying healthy and just playing.  I missed playing so much.  I’m just looking forward to each and every day of practice and games and just being with the guys.  We’ve had a lot of adversity throughout this locker room, especially with injuries, and it’s just making us tough, making us stronger, mentally and emotionally.  When everybody gets healthy, we’re going to be good.”

When asked how he feels about his conditioning at this point and then the cramping he experienced in the second half:
“Not that far [out of shape].  Just early in the game, I think it was a lot that I was excited and the crowd and just my first time playing, so I should be good.  I knew it was a cramp.  I haven’t worked this hard in a while since I got hurt, so to go jump back in, I guess it’s expected.  But I’ll be all right.  I’m feeling good.  I was just excited to be out there again.”

Maine Head Coach Bob Walsh
Opening Statement:
“I was really impressed with the way our guys fought. Coming in here with limited personnel, our three most experienced players, including our starting point guard, have broken bones in their feet, so we are dealing with a relatively new group, and I thought we handled the atmosphere well. I thought we competed. I thought we played really hard and really connected. Obviously, their ability, their size, their talent, everything about them kind of wore us down and I was a little disappointed. I felt like they took our spirit away in the second half. But, I mean they are the elite program in college basketball and they are really, really impressive. Their size and their ability, the way they play together, it was just really hard for us to deal with for 40 minutes. Really proud for us to come in without our starting point guard and have six turnovers against their pressure, their length, their athleticism, and their ability; some really good signs for us. So impressed with Duke and what Coach K does and everything about their program, it is the elite program and I’m just really proud of the way we competed.”