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2017 Men's Basketball Banquet
Quotes: Duke 70, Miami 58
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/21/2017
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Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel
Opening Statement:
“First and foremost, I am really, really, really proud of our guys. We had a great week of practice, and I thought we were very, very prepared for this game. It did not show at all in the first half, and I don’t really understand why. But it didn’t. We came in at half time and we talked about how we needed life. We needed energy. We had none of that in the first half. We had bad looks, we weren’t tough, all of those things and that group that started the second half, they gave us life. They gave us energy. And our crowd gave us energy. Our crowd was amazing. They were amazing from the start. They wanted to give us life and they couldn’t in the first half. It was because of us, not them. But in the second half, we got each other going. For Marques Bolden, that was his best game in a Duke uniform. He is a really talented kid that hasn’t played as well this year. But I’ll tell you what: he’s worked his butt off this week and he’s had a great attitude and it’s great to see it translate into success. Frank Jackson was tremendous. His energy, his ability to attack, to guard, all of those things and he had four assists and no turnovers. And then Matt Jones. Matt is the epitome of a Duke player in that he is all about Duke and he is all in about winning. And for him to sacrifice once again with Amile [Jefferson] coming back and to come off the bench, he’s the guy I thought really gave us energy. And obviously with Amile coming back. To be able to play thirty-four minutes, we didn’t know that. Amile practiced a little bit on Thursday, tried to give it a go on Thursday, did a little bit yesterday and wanted to give it a try, give it a go. And to play thirty-four minutes and to have twelve rebounds still doesn’t quantify the stuff that he does for us. I’m really proud of our team. It was a total team win. Everyone fought, especially in the second half and we had to do that to beat a really good Miami team.”

On how he chose who would start the second half:
“We just went with guys that we felt were going to give us energy. And in the first half, I thought Frank did that and I thought Matt did that. And I though Marques did that. That’s what we felt. And we needed life. We needed it desperately. Those guys brought it and in doing that, they brought the whole team with them.”

On the team’s lack of assists in the first half:
“It was a lack of everything.  We weren’t tough, we didn’t do it together, we got down and maybe tried to do somethings on our own. Because our defense was so poor in the first half, we were not able to get out in transition like we were in the second half. I think it was combination of all of that. In the second half, I think we had eight assists on sixteen made field goals. That is very good.”

On how he balances thinking what Coach Mike Krzyzewski would do and what his own instincts tell him:
“In the flow of the game, I go with my gut feel. That’s one of the things that Coach [Krzyzewski] has told me repeatedly. Last year when we played Georgia Tech in the situation where he couldn’t be there and then this year is to trust my instincts. That’s something I don’t really have a problem doing as we are in these games.”

On if they were planning on having restrictions on Amile:
“No. No.”

On how vital this win was:
“It was a big win for us. Every one of them is. That’s the way our program is. All of them are must wins. Tonight was huge. We’ve lost two in a row, we’re at home, we had an amazing crowd and we preformed that way, especially in the second half. We were worthy of winning.”

On how Amile Jefferson contributes to the team:
“So much defensively. The very first thing is he is the best communicator we have. He talks non-stop and he’s very, very smart. He sees things as they are happening so he can make adjustments in real time. Some guys you can talk to on the bench or during a break in the action. Amile can do it in real time. He can see things, he can communicate it, he can make guys go. He’s an amazing leader. He gives us versatility defensively that we don’t have when he is not there. He is a guy in college who can guard every position. And so when he’s in, especially when we slide him to the five, we can switch everything. That takes away some of Miami’s strengths, you know, a ball screen. And then offensively, he’s such an intelligent player. Again, he scored five points but the plays he makes, the passes, the moving the ball, the screens, all those things. I’ve said it all along. The stat sheet never tells the whole story of what he does and the stat sheet is normally really good. He’s a guy that is averaging a double-double but that still doesn’t tell the story of what he does. He is as valuable of a guy, I think, as there is on any team in college basketball.”

On the difference in three-point shooting between the first and second halves:
“I thought we got better shots in the second half because we moved it. We moved the basketball, we had player movement, we got some off of our defense, some steals. Matt hit some Duke shots in transition off of steals and things like that. I just think we moved the ball a lot better in the second half and we took our shots.”      


Duke Graduate Student Amile Jefferson
“We fought tonight and the thing we can’t do is only fight for 20 minutes.  It worked for us tonight, but [Miami is] a really good team, and without Matt [Jones] spearheading that, it doesn’t happen.  But we have to put together full games, and no matter who’s out there, we have to have all our guys in.  That leadership from our upperclassmen, our older guys, is contagious and in that second half it really helped us to win this game.”

On what happened at halftime:
“A lot.  We got on each other and we decided to sink or swim.  And that’s what it was.  The coaches made a change and they put it on us to be Duke and to represent that name on the front of those shirts we wear – brotherhood, Duke, all in, those kinds of things.  And we didn’t do that in the first half and [Miami was] kicking us for it.  They’re a tough team.  We came out in the second half and we were tough.  We were tough because of Matt [Jones].  Matt made us all tough and when we play like that, we’re a really good basketball team.”

When asked if he felt better in the second half:
“I loosened up as the game went on and it got better.  And then the energy that guys brought, you start to forget about other things like pain.  You start to focus.  The way Marques [Bolden] defended the ball screen tonight was beautiful.  It was excellent.  And for Matt [Jones], what he did in the second half was unbelievable and it wasn’t about him making the shots.  It was about the heart he brought, the plays he made, the energy he put into us.  I love that kid.  He’s the epitome of Duke basketball and selflessness and all in.”

On the status of his recovery from a foot injury:
“My foot is hurting.  I know it’s probably a little swollen, just because I’m going from not doing a whole lot to banging with other bodies, and that’s really when you can test what you can do.  Running up and down the court is good and you can feel good doing that, but it’s not until you have 240 pounds land on you and having to hit that and go grab a ball or finish a play that you see where you are.  I’m getting there.  I’m good with where I am and I just have to keep fighting.  And that’s for everybody – we’ve got to just keep fighting through pain, through injuries, through distractions, through everything.  Everything has to be background noise.  The only thing we have to do is just be all in.”
    

Duke Senior Matt Jones
On the message from Coach Jeff Capel at halftime:
“He said that we needed to fight.  That’s kind of been our message all year, and in the first half we didn’t do that.  In the second half, we needed a spark and we needed it from our upperclassmen.  We’ve been there before and we knew that if we did that, then the guys would take our lead.  Luckily we did that.”

“I’ve just been working hard.  Guys are all confident in me and I’m confident in them.  I saw one [shot] go in and I knew we had nothing to lose, and that mindset kind of helped us out.  We couldn’t make a shot in the beginning, and the only way we could get back [in the game] was if we played defense and we made shots.  The more shots we get, the more chance we have of making them, and luckily a couple went in.  [In the second half], it was our shots – they were Duke shots and they weren’t anybody’s individual shots.  And we worked together and guys had confidence and they stepped up and they knocked them down.”


Duke Freshman Jayson Tatum
On what the feeling was in the locker room at halftime:
“Anger with the way we were playing.  That [first] half, the last two games, we were just fed up with it and enough was enough.  That’s what the second half was about – coming out strong, fighting, playing together, playing hard.  The crowd helped us out tremendously tonight and we fed off their energy and we just didn’t look back.”

On the atmosphere in Cameron in the early part of the second half as Duke took the lead:
“I think that was my first real taste of Cameron.  It was so loud.  That’s the loudest it’s ever been since I’ve been playing.  It was crazy.”

When asked what he thought turned things around for Duke collectively in the second half:
“It was just us coming together and saying enough is enough.  We know what we have to do and it’s just a matter of us all being in and being hungry.  We were hungry in the second half and when we’re hungry, man, we’re scary.”


Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga
Opening Statement:
“That was certainly the tale of two halves. I thought we executed our game plan very well in the first half: we defended, we rebounded, we used multiple ball screens to try to get to the basket, we finished around the rim, but the whole key is we didn’t turn the ball over a lot. When we ended the game, they scored 31 points off of our turnovers, so we passed the ball more to them than we did to our teammates. A tale of two halves. They did a great job in the second half and we didn’t respond.”

On sitting during the game:
“I was trying to communicate with my coaches as to what we could possible do to change the momentum. We just didn’t have any great ideas.”

On the turning point in the game:
“The first play of the second half. We weren’t sharp right away. The initial possessions, we got a rebound and outlet the ball to them. We didn’t defend them, they drove to the basket and we were not there to compete with them at the rim. They scored, I forget what the number was, but we had three points in 10 minutes, we were already down 15 with 10 minutes to go in the game. At halftime they had 25 points. They scored 25 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. We just didn’t show up in the second half to compete at a high level.”

On second-half performance:
“I think the guys must have thought we had won the game at halftime. They just really outplayed us in the second half. A guy like Matt Jones came in and turned the game around. He and Frank Jackson got them off to a great start in the second half. They kept cooking.”

On post-game conversation:
“I told them we gave up 25 points off of our turnovers in the second half. You can’t do that and expect to win. They scored more points off of our turnovers than we did in the second half.”

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