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Quotes: Duke 93, Boston College 82
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/08/2017
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Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel
Opening Statement:
“Well, it was a really hard fought win for us. I thought we did some really good things throughout the game. I thought we were in a great game situation towards the end and there were a lot of learning experiences in this game for our team. I thought we came and we were ready to play and I thought we did a tremendous job of sharing the basketball, we were very unselfish and I thought in the first half we played good defense. There were a few times in the first half where we felt like we had a chance to get to maybe put them away and we didn’t do that. We relaxed a little bit and we let up. And that’s something we have to learn. You have to give Boston College a lot of credit. Those kids kept fighting, they kept playing and they put themselves in a position late in that game where it got tight. But again, our guys stepped up and made big plays, big free throws. Jayson [Tatum] made a really big drive and a big three. We were finally able to get some defensive stops and so it was a really hard fought, good win for us. An opportunity to learn and grow and get better and I thought we did that this afternoon.”

On what happened to Amile Jefferson:
“He hurt his foot. We don’t know the extent of if yet. We will hopefully find out a little bit later.”

On how it felt to see Amile Jefferson go down with the injury:
“It was tough. Amile is as important as anyone on the team. When he went down, a lot of stuff changed for us. When he was in there, he was playing great first of all, but he does so much stuff that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, and the stat sheet is usually always pretty good. But he still does a lot of stuff that doesn’t show up, and so it was a big loss for us but again, we did some really good things. Guys stepped up and we made some big plays.”

On if Amile’s injury hurt the team defensively:
“It hurt us offensively, defensively, it hurt us everywhere. He is a really, really important part of what we do and so it definitely really did hurt us.”

On the importance of Jayson Tatum’s big plays towards the end of the game:
“It was big for us. It was very big for us. He wanted to be in that position. Also, Frank Jackson stepping up and making free throws, Harry Giles stepping up and making two big free throws, Marques Bolden making two big free throws, those are situations that we can’t simulate in practice, and so again, we’ve got some great experience now. We would have liked to not be in that position but we were and we were because Boston College fought and they played hard and they kept playing. And they have good players. [A.J.] Turner, [Ky] Bowman and [Jerome] Robinson are all three really good players. And they have older big guys and so they kept fighting. But again, we did really good things throughout and I’m really proud of our team. It’s been a really long week. It’s been emotional, it’s been physical, it’s been all of those things. Coach [Krzyzewski] is always talking about energy cycles. We were at the end of an energy cycle and now we need to move on the next play, rest up, and get prepared for the next one.”

On what it was like to be the head coach in this game:
“It was different. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. But it was exciting and it was exciting because these are our guys and that’s what I’m about. I’m never into me. I’m all about our guys and this moment and stepping up and doing whatever I can for our program. And so we are in this position and we all have to step up and I believe we all will step up.”

On what area Harry Giles has improved the most in:
“Probably confidence. I’d say that is the biggest area where Harry has grown. If you think about that first game where I think he played three minutes, and so obviously his conditioning has gotten better, but I think even that three minutes gave him confidence. I think he was a little hesitant in that three minutes that he played in the first game because the last time he played a game, he tore his knee in the first minute and thirty-five seconds. And so I think he was a little bit hesitant. Then in the next game, he played a little bit more, against Elon. And although he didn’t play a lot of minutes, he played very well. He jumped out on the tape when we watched and went home for break and came back and we were able to get some practices in and I thought that helped him. And since we started conference play, I think each game he has gotten better. So there’s tremendous growth for him and we look forward to helping him do that.”

Duke Senior Matt Jones
When asked what has been most noticeably different with Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s absence:
“I guess just him being there physically.  But other than that, Coach made an effort to talk to us, to encourage us, and obviously he’s in heavy communication with the other coaches.  We know that and we’re confident that they’re all on one page, so whatever Coach Capel says is what Coach would say.  Guys are just confident in that and we’ll just keep the bus rolling until Coach gets back.”  

On how tight games like this one can help the freshmen adjust to ACC play:
“Any given night you can lose to anybody.  So for the freshmen to come out and know you can see them get their feet underneath them growing confidence and just being themselves ultimately.  When they’re themselves, everything else just happens.  We were definitely young today.  We’ve all been in their shoes, but you can definitely breathe a sigh of relief and think that since we’re up 25 in Cameron that they’re just going to lay down.  We knew that [Boston College] can be an explosive offensive team if they got – and they got hot.  It’s hard to snap out of that when you get in that mode, so we just have to watch film and stay on them really.”

On how Duke misses Amile Jefferson when he’s not on the floor:
“Amile is huge for our defense.  He mans our middle at times, but his voice is loud and you can hear it, especially when Cameron gets loud – you can still hear Amile.  And just his energy and his passion is infectious and we definitely miss that.”

Duke Junior Grayson Allen
“It was a good first half but we need two good halves in games, and, as you saw, Boston College is a good team and they didn’t quit tonight.  I’m thankful we got out to that lead that we did in the first half, because if we didn’t have it, they would’ve come back and got the lead in the second half.  We need to get better at finishing games and just keep it going for the whole 40 minutes.”

On what Duke did well in the first half:
“We made shots and our offense kept us going.  They were still able to score the ball pretty well, 30-something points in the first half, so we need to do a better job of defending.  Our offense kept us in the game the whole game, so defense is where I know we’d all like to see improvement.”

On what allowed Boston College to challenge for the lead in the second half:
“We stopped defending in the second half and we just got into a game of who’s going to outscore each other.  [Boston College was] playing free and they got hot and were shooting the ball really well, scoring the ball really well, and that allowed them to come back as we got cold.  Like I said, we can’t rely on our offense.”

When asked how not having Amile Jefferson on the floor affects Duke:
“He’s a leader and he’s very vocal, and learning to talk is something you kind of adjust to and you learn to do as you play more games.  So with us, with Amile out of the game, we know we’re losing a very experienced guy and replacing him with someone who’s very good but young.  With Harry [Giles] being the only big in the game or with Jayson [Tatum] moving to the four, it’s just learning to talk.  I know when I was a freshman I didn’t talk very much.  It’s very hard to adjust to and do that, but we need to keep the talk up even with Amile out.”

Duke Freshman Jayson Tatum
“We always can play better, especially that second half.  It’s just something that we can learn from as we keep moving forward.  There was a point in the second half where we got kind of stagnant.  We weren’t moving the ball, guys were getting offensive fouls called, we had turnovers, we weren’t defending on the other end.  That little stretch hurt us and gave them momentum and it carried to the end of the game.”

“We have a lot of young guys on our team so we’re all new to this – college and especially the ACC.  Everybody’s tough in the ACC, no matter home or away, and you’ve just got to fight both halves for 40 minutes.  We let up but we picked it up toward the last few minutes and we pulled out the win.”

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian
On turnovers:
“You cannot shoot yourself in the foot like that. Live ball turnovers for them gives them energy and allows them to do an unbelievable job in transition. A lot of the turnovers were weak with the ball plays. We talked before the game that you cannot be weak with the ball. Second half, we showed up and committed only five turnovers and we were allowed to drive the ball to the rim. We were able to get some stops and get out on transition and that’s the way we need to play.”

On Ky Bowman being a freshman:
“That’s a freshman on the road. They weren’t decision plays but rather ball handling mistakes, tips from behind. Things that he isn’t used to because he hasn’t had a lot of experience with that. That’s not an excuse for him though. I don’t ever use the excuse because he’s young. He isn’t young. He’s played 15 games. He just has to get better and he will. He played a great game and did everything we wanted him to do. His mentality is great. He will do what it takes to win. The thing about him is all good players have a genuine realness to what they’re doing out there. He never makes an excuse. He knows what he is supposed to do and takes responsibility for it. Because of that, he has grown and gotten better because he is taking ownership of things that don’t go his way. And that is a hard lesson to learn especially when you’re a good player in high school and then go to college. He has become a good player because he’s been able to do that. I think that spreads to the other guys.”

On freshmen performing at this level:
“Being in front of their family and friends is probably fun for them but they’re just trying to become great players. Jerome [Robinson] is trying to become an All-ACC player and Ky is trying to become an all-conference player as well. They like to come home because their family and friends can’t come see them in Boston. This was a game against a great team. The problem right now is they don’t realize how good we are when we play right. We just have to get over that mental hurdle and believe that for 40 minutes. Two or three minutes in this league is a lifetime.”

On defensive adjustments:
“They’re a hard team to guard because they have so many weapons. [Harry] Giles has definitely gotten better. You can see his comfort level progressing each game and he gives them an option when he’s healthy that they probably haven’t had. Getting out of transition is huge and keeping them off the backboard were keys. You have to score points to beat them because they are an unbelievable offensive team.”

On cutting the game to single digits:
“We felt good that we were playing well. Our guys went in and did what they were capable of doing. It’s not a surprise – we were trying to win. We had some opportunities when it got to six that we have to finish. If you want to win, we have to make those plays.”