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Listen to Audio (7:11)
“Well, to say it’s extremely disappointing would be an understatement to say the least. Very frustrating. They were just so much more aggressive on the offensive boards in the second half. Three straight possessions, they missed shots, come off with the offensive rebound, score. We foul a guy on the three point shot, makes two free throws, misses the third, they come up with that ball, score two more free throws on that. Two free throws early in the second half, they miss. They get the offensive rebounds and score there. And then we were going down and turning it over early.
"And all of a sudden, whatever it was, halftime 14-point lead, we got to a point that it was a one or two-possession game and then we even missed a couple of free throws; that didn’t help us to say the least down the stretch. Seth Curry was big, to say the least. But we went two guards go flying up and not trying to black shots from the outside. Supposed to get a hand up, and stay in front and close out properly. We went flying through the air, and he made two baskets like that. And Nolan [Smith] was a load driving us to the basket, getting in the lane and making plays. And look at…we’re 0-6 from the three-point line in the second half. I’ve said it all year; it looks so much better when a ball goes in the basket. But we just gave them too many opportunities. I think they were so much more aggressive than we were the entire second half. And the aggressive team that plays with the most intensity can usually make up for a lot of deficits. And I thought they did that.”
On the play of Duke seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith:
“You watch Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith play basketball, and it’s a refreshing look to see two extremely talented seniors still playing college basketball. I didn’t like watching them tonight. But we better enjoy those guys while we have them around, because that’s not going to happen very much anymore. They’re fantastic players. And then again, Seth Curry was big time for them.”
On the first half of the game:
“We attacked better. The first half they did a better job of not allowing us to attack; in the second half probably too. We missed some shots. I mean Kendall [Marshall] was 1-for-7 at half. You know, we don’t want him to think that he’s got to score. But he had some good shots…would have been good for some of them to go in there. But you know, we attacked, we did some nice things. But they missed some shots in the first half. They shoot 33 percent in the first half, 50 in the second half. They didn’t miss some of the shots in the second half. But you can gain something from playing well at certain stretches, but I’m not really big into moral victories. We have to play a 40-minute game.”
On the difference between guarding Duke senior Nolan Smith in the first half versus second:
“Well, you know, Dexter [Strickland]’s our best perimeter defender, and he got into foul trouble and that hurt us. I don’t think he was as aggressive. Leslie [McDonald], Reggie [Bullock] and the other guys. But give Nolan [Smith] some credit. I think he was probably more aggressive in the second half, but you need to ask Mike [Krzyzewski] and Nolan that to find out for sure.
"But those guys, they keep coming at you, keep coming at you, keep coming at you, and you’ve got to keep coming back at them. You’ve got to keep coming back at them by scoring, not turning it over. But you’re not going to beat somebody like Duke if you give them five, I think it was five, different opportunities in the first 10 possessions of the second half to get second shots."
On Harrison Barnes defending Kyle Singler:
“You know, Harrison [Barnes] was on him, John [Henson] had him sometimes, Reggie [Bullock] had him a couple times. Harrison really worked really hard. You know, Kyle’s not going to go 3-for-17 very often. You know with John and Z [Tyler Zeller] around the basket, they can bother some shots. We didn’t give Kyle as many open ones as we gave Seth [Curry] and Nolan [Smith] and some of the other guys. We gave them more open shots. But you know, Kyle’s a great player. Kyle and Nolan, you’re looking at guys that I think are first team All-Americans, and again, I don’t have to enjoy them the night we’re playing them, but we should enjoy those kids. You don’t have that happen very often."
On what happened when Duke took the lead:
“We attribute that to two bad shots in a row, the first time that they took the lead. We lost our poise. We took a, well two possessions in a row I know exactly what we did. We didn’t get the shots we wanted. I’ve got to do a better job of getting the guys to be more poised.”
Listen to Audio (2:22)
On the rebounding troubles late:
“It’s very tough, and that’s just something we need to get better at. I made the mistakes, and I know I have to get better personally.”
On his first-half success:
"My teammates did a great job getting me the ball in a position where I could score. I was just trying to get offensive rebounds and score from wherever."
Listen to Audio (2:21)
On the second-half breakdown:
"I just think we didn't do that good of a team defense. The support wasn't there as well as it was in the first half. That's just something we need to work on. Watch the film and learn from our mistakes."
On his foul trouble:
"It was very frustrating. There are going to be games like that. I can't get frustrated too much, but frustration leads to a bad outcome. I think the refs were calling little fouls, but I can't blame refs. I can't blame anybody but myself. We've got to play better team defense. We've just got to get better."
Listen to Audio (1:23)
On Duke's comeback:
"We just lost mental focus on the things we're supposed to do, especially with them boxing out and holding them to one shot. And that really catapulted them back in the game. So we've got to learn from this. It hurts so much because we had them by the neck and we let them get back in it."
On Duke's 13-1 run to take the lead:
"To stop a run, you have to execute and get good shots. We were able to do that a couple times, but a couple times we didn't."
On moral victories:
"I don't put much value in a good effort. We have to win. We don't want to take any kind of moral victory. We're supposed to win that."
Listen to Audio (2:02)
On the momentum shift in the second half:
"The main thing was, Seth started to get hot and hit a lot of shots. We just weren't getting around screens and on the shot fakes, they kept getting us up in the air. It's just little things like that, that when you're ahead, you can't forget about those things that got you ahead. And they jumped out on us."
On the rivalry:
"That's the reason they call it the rivalry. It's a four-times-in-a-lifetime experience to play here. Once a year, you're going to play in Cameron. And once you do it one time, you know what you have to bring to the table in terms of mental capacity to do it. Now we know."
Listen to Audio (1:37)
On the loss:
"We had a great opportunity tonight, and unfortunately we blew it."
On Duke's comeback:
“Basketball is about runs. We knew that they would come out with extra intensity because they were down and on their home court, and we weren’t able to match their intensity.”
Listen to Audio (12:13)
“That was a heck of a performance by both teams. You talk about vintage Duke and North Carolina games, that was one of them. I want to thank our fans. They never let down on us and created an amazing atmosphere in here. Obviously it was a tale of two halves. They were just so fast in that first half I thought they knocked us back. We seemed scattered. We were ready to play and sometimes you get so ready to play that you go nuts.
"I just felt we were kind of nuts in the first half. Not for lack of effort or anything like that. At halftime – and I don’t usually do this – I usually just say something to them and let them relax a little bit or get their thoughts together. I must have talked to them for about five minutes. We didn’t yell or anything like that. We were just trying to say, ‘settle down, settle down.’ We’re a lot better than that. They’re really good, but we’re better than what we’ve shown and if we just play four minutes at a time and let’s execute.'
"And I thought our offensive execution in the second half was outstanding and so were the performances of Nolan [Smith] and Seth [Curry]. Seth started the second half and both of those kids were sensational, and our defense picked up.
"They didn’t get the fast breaks in the second half that they got in the first half. Part of that is because our shots were better and our shots were going in. They run so well off of missed shots and if you have a missed bad shot they are going to score on you. Our big guys played really well in that second half. They’re an outstanding team. We beat an outstanding team tonight and we played a great, great second half. I’m proud of our guys. We grew up a lot tonight there is no question about it.”
On this win meaning more than the 32-point win in 2010:
“I’m just glad we won. I’m not going to compare wins. I thought he was pretty happy last year too. A win over an outstanding program is a treasured win no matter what the score was. Our team is growing and this was a really big night for us. I’m really proud of my team on how they responded in that second half. It was beautiful the way they fought and I’m very, very proud of them.”
On North Carolina being as good a team that Duke has played this season:
“They were as good a team as we’ve played there’s no question about it. They have such good talent and Roy has them in a system that suits them so well. They run so well. Those two big guys, I mean [John] Henson has an impact that shows up in stats, but he has more of an impact than that. I think he’s really good. I don’t think there’s a more unique guy than him and [Tyler] Zeller gives them that steadiness inside. They’re all good kids and they play so hard and they play together and they’re unselfish. They’re really good and we were just a little bit better than them in the second half and thank goodness for us.”