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Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
On adjusting without Ryan Kelly:
“I think it is an adjustment process, because you went from depending on three seniors and bringing along Rasheed [Sulaimon] and Quinn [Cook], to where we are depending on three freshmen. You don’t hide a freshman’s weakness now against a stronger upperclassman. You are playing freshmen who didn’t play as much, whether it be Murph [Alex Murphy], Josh [Hairston] and Amile [Jefferson]. There are more minutes there. It is an evolving process all the time.”

On how much a No. 1 ranking plays part in the game plan process:
“For us, we never talk about ranking. Our opponent will talk about it, because we have been ranked pretty high, in the top-10, for years now. We have a long streak in that. The best thing is not to do anything about that, but to realize that the team we are playing against will use that, especially in the month of February and March, as a way to use you. They get a chance to get a huge win, a resume win. We are a resume win. We aren’t the only ones, but we are going get the other team’s best shot. It is not only their best shot, it is a hungry shot. It is a survival shot, a line in the sand shot a lot of times in February and March. That can make you tougher, it can make you weary going against that. We have to maintain a course of trying to get better. Each team is going to go through a periods of preparation of teams they are playing against. Different times in a season, you have weeks that are tougher to prepare for than others. It kind of evens out throughout the conference over time. For us, we are in a tough period. We played BC [Boston College] after a Thursday night game, BC played on Tuesday. We play Carolina tomorrow.  They haven’t played since Saturday. We play Maryland on Saturday and they don’t play this week. If we are able to do well in these three games it says a lot. It says a lot more than if we have more preparation and time to prepare. That is the way I have looked at the season all along. This is a hunker down type of week, with a snowstorm in the Northeast. It is three games in seven days, where we aren’t going to have as much preparation. It isn’t just about the rivalry tomorrow, the rivalry ends up being Saturday at Maryland. I have to look at this in segments. That is the way I have looked at every season since I have become coach.”

On comfort level of playing without Ryan Kelly:
“We aren’t as comfortable as we were with Ryan [Kelly], and we will never be as comfortable as we are with Ryan, because we aren’t as good as we are with Ryan. You are more comfortable the more talent you have. I was really comfortable in 2001 with five pros on the court and when you are healthy. Our kids have done a really good job of adjusting without Ryan, winning and playing really hard. I think we have played really hard. A few games we have played great and portions of games, unbelievable. There is more variance for performance playing without a very good veteran player. The more experience you can have, the less variance you get more confident. Our team is capable of having that level of variance still.”  


Duke Senior Mason Plumlee
On North Carolina:
“They are very talented and they have guys that can really score. They are one of the best teams in our league and we are going to have to get back in transition. Obviously North Carolina likes to push it.”

On Needing a Win:
“I would like to think that teams are going to have to match our intensity. We pride ourselves on playing hard, and needing the win. We need every win; we’re trying to get better. We have a good thing going on right now, really since the Miami game we have been playing well, so I would say that we need this as much as anybody.”

On Stopping James Michael McAdoo:
“[James Michael McAdoo] is a really aggressive scorer; he really looks for his shot. He is a good player. He likes a lot of jump shots so I will have to get out on him, like Howell I didn’t get out on and he was knocking them down, so I have to get out on McAdoo for sure. He is a good player, he runs the floor, so I’ll have to do a good job on him.”

On Changes since January:
“When we got back from Christmas, teams really started to double team me more, like we go into Davidson and I feel like on the catch every time there was two people there, and I think I have gotten better playing against that. That is one of those things, the more experience you get, the more comfortable you get with it, and I think I’m doing a better job with that now.”

On Getting the Ball More Often:
“I think a lot of it is getting opportunities. I think in the past if I started out that way, they might not throw me the ball the rest of the game, so I know that is not going to happen. I know Quinn [Cook] and Rasheed [Sulaimon] and those guys they still have confidence in me, whether I am zero for five or five for five they are going to keep feeding me and that is really the only way you can breakthrough is if you keep getting those opportunities.”


Duke Sophomore Quinn Cook
On Game Plan against North Carolina:
“First we just need to stop their transition. They are one of the best teams in the country in transition and if we just stop that and limit their athletes: [James Michael] McAdoo, [Reggie] Bullock and [P.J.] Hairston in transition, I think we could have a good chance. We just want to play our game. We’re good in transition as well, so we want to get up and down as well.”

On Matchup between McAdoo and Plumlee:
“It’s going to be fun. Mason to me is the best big man in the country and I think McAdoo doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I think he’s having a great year, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with, so it’ll be a dogfight down there tomorrow.”

On Remaining Focused against North Carolina:
“We have to remain focused. We can’t just think because of their record or their prior losses that they’re going to come in here and it’s going to be a blowout. They are a great team. People have seen glimpses of them against UNLV, they played well against Miami the first time, they have played some good games and they have a lot of talent, so we can’t come in here and think it’s going to be a blowout, we really have to come in here and execute what Coach wants us to do.”


Duke Senior Seth Curry
On Playing with a Lack of Rest:
“It’s not too bad. They are doing a good job of letting me get rest. That’s all I really need, rest. And then getting my shots up and focusing on staying sharp, so I feel pretty good right now.”

On Stopping UNC:
“I think we have to keep them off the three point line, try to take away their catch and shoots, so if we do that, and then stop them in transition, we should be fine. I don’t feel like they should be able to beat us off the dribble too much, we should be able to pressure them and do things like that. We just need to get back in transition.”

On Playing without Ryan Kelly:
“We are getting better. I don’t know how good we can be, but as long as we’re getting better and playing well  enough to win games, that’s good enough right now. We just want to keep making strides moving forward and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

On Mason Plumlee’s Passing Ability:
“I think he’s always had that, even playing pickup in the summer, he’s always wanted to make plays other than just scoring. Getting his teammates involved and getting other people open shots, so that’s  something about him that you don’t really have to teach him, that’s just something he likes to do.”


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