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Quotes: NC State 84, Duke 82
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/23/2017
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Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel
Opening Statement:
“First of all, congratulations to NC State. They were terrific, especially down the stretch. They made every play, they made big shots. Give them credit for their poise. Dennis [Smith, Jr.] was tremendous all game long. He is a very talented kid and he played lights-out basketball tonight. He did it in every phase. He scored but in the second half he really got his guys involved. [Maverick] Rowan made some huge shots down the stretch, two big threes. We had done a pretty good job on him for the game but he is such a dangerous player and he has been shooting the ball very well recently. And I thought their two bigs, [Abdul-Malik] Abu, but especially [Ted] Kapita, really, really gave them a lot of energy and played great. And so again, give them credit. It is very disappointing for us. We had some opportunities there but we didn’t capitalize on them. We couldn’t make a shot in the second half. We got some good looks, we have to finish those. And then down the stretch we couldn’t come up with a stop. Again, they were terrific and we have to keep working to get better.”

On how he felt about the looks they were getting in the second half:
“We got good looks during that stretch. We got good looks. We got some wide open threes with no one near us. We got some drives to the basket. We got good looks I thought throughout the second half. Some were rushed, a few. But I don’t think many. I thought we got some clean looks during that stretch.”

On if there was a way to diagram a play with five seconds left:
“No, you just have to go. You have to go. We didn’t have a timeout to diagram a play.”

Duke Senior Matt Jones
“We couldn’t make the play that we needed to make in order to put them away, and they made every play they needed to make.  I think it started with me. I didn’t do a good job of playing defense, and I think that carried over to everybody else.”

On defending NC State’s Dennis Smith, Jr.
“It was tough.  He was quick and he’s a really good player, and he made big plays.  You got to tip your hat to him.”

“I think we have to find [a killer instinct].  As upperclassmen, we can’t expect the young guys to have it right off the bat.  It starts with us, so I just have to do a better job of leading down the stretch.”

Duke Sophomore Luke Kennard
“We couldn’t answer.  We had open shots.  We had great shots and we didn’t hit them, and that happens sometimes.  But when we’re not hitting shots, we’ve got to get stops. Credit to [NC State] for executing well on the offensive end.”

“I think we’re still going the right way.  In the first half, we played great basketball.  I thought it was really, really good.  In the second half, we still played well.  And then we got a lead and kind of got comfortable.  We have to be a team that closes out leads when we have them, and we just couldn’t do that.  It all came down to the defensive end.  We just couldn’t get stops, we turned the ball over a couple of times, and [NC State] executed from that.”

Duke Freshman Jayson Tatum
“This is just something we’ve got to learn from, especially getting stops in the second half.  That played a part in it today.  NC State played great.  They made plays but we’ve got to get stops.”

“That last play, we have five seconds left so I was just trying to push it.  It was a bad play on my end.  I should’ve probably just kicked it ahead after I got the rebound.  It’s just something I can learn from.”

NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried
Opening Statement:
“Let me just start off by saying I’m just really, really proud of my team. I just couldn’t be more proud. We’ve taken a few hits, obviously, and I think it shows a lot about character after you take a few hits to come and win a game like this here. I thought our guys dug down deep and Dennis [Smith, Jr.] made some sensational plays, but I think a lot of guys stepped up and made big plays for us. It was a team win, a lot of guys contributed so I’m thrilled for my team. It gives us a little confidence now moving forward. I’m still learning about our team, I’m still trying to figure my team out and who needs to play. But our guys did a great job, I’m very proud.”

On Ted Kapita’s performance:
“There’s an old saying that says ‘Have a hunch, bet a bunch,’ and I just had a hunch. He needs to play. He’s done a good job. He missed a lot of games early; he’s kind of been behind. I felt like he deserved a chance so I made the decision to bring him off the bench first and really that was some of Beejay Anya’s minutes. I thought he came in and gave us a great lift. He played really well in just about every phase of the game. I’m still learning about our team. I wish I had every guy from day one, I didn’t. We will do the best we can about it. Ted [Kapita] came in and gave us great minutes.”

On Dennis Smith Jr.’s performance:
“Well, I just think Dennis [Smith, Jr.] is such a competitor. He is a fierce competitor and he wants to win every time. I think the game at North Carolina hurt him bad. The fact that we’ve lost some games has hurt him bad. A lot of pressure is on him. He is also just like me, we’re learning our team. He’s a freshman point guard and he is learning all about our personnel and we haven’t had everybody from day one. That’s not easy for a point guard, plus a freshman point guard. I think he has that look in his eye sometimes where you just can tell that he is going to play at a high level. He pretty much has for us most of the time this year. Today I thought he was spectacular.”

On team rebound from previous loss:
“It was really yesterday. This tells you something about him and something about our whole team. We get beat by Wake and we are grumpy. I can understand the Wolfpack fans are grumpy, we’re grumpy too, all of us. Dennis [Smith, Jr.] came right in yesterday, they all did, and they had a little bounce in their step. We came over here and practiced last night and guys were listening, guys were encouraging each other. Dennis was and as a coach it makes you feel good that your team doesn’t walk in pouting the next day. They bounce back and they’re reaching to the next challenge. I had a good feeling about today, you never know.”

On coaching Dennis Smith Jr.:
“Well, it’s hard because he’s used to being able to just dominate almost any game. Teams have done a lot of things to try and slow him down. He’s learning, and I remind myself that he’s young. He’s sensitive like everybody, he wants to compete, he wants to do well, and he was just terrific today.”