Duke head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Tuesday to discuss his team's upcoming game against Virginia Tech. Here's the transcript.
?"With Sean Renfree, I am going to wait until later in the week to make a decision. He and Anthony [Boone] are going to both trade reps and work, and we are just go to see where his health is. He had a good start to the week, and we will see as the week goes and we will decide who is going to start later in the week."
On the performance of the defense in the second half:
?"I think playing so many people is probably the number one factor. We've never had this many people play, and trusted as many people to play. So that does two things – makes you fresher in the second half, that's obvious. The other part that it does is it makes you practice better. Competition makes you better. You've got people trying to compete for playing time. Also, your practice is more energized and enthusiastic because guys are contributing and getting to play, so I think our preparation is better."
On the strength of the defensive backs:
?"We've said it all along – with Lee [Butler], Ross [Cockrell] and Tony [Foster], we've got three veteran corners. I'm very proud of Tony Foster. I think he's just played tremendous. And then Walt Canty is a four-year player. If there ever was a captain, he's a captain on the field and I trust him completely. And then you look at Jordon Byas. He's about as tough as you can get. And he's a great tribute to the program, a great tribute to his family and Jordon's one of those guys you trust. Dwyane Norman – how great is that for a true freshman to see those mentors. And then Brandon Braxton has made that switch. That group – and Anthony Young-Wiseman has been here a while now – that group has held up exceptionally well and they're going to leave a very large legacy for those that come behind him. Thank goodness we get a number of them back because we're going to lose some very good football players."
On the challenge Virginia Tech presents:
?"They're undefeated at home. When you look at Virginia Tech on tape, it's the Virginia Tech that we all know. Some hard knocks, some difficult circumstances here and there, but there is talent. It is a great program, you are right about that. What have they played for the championship in six of the eight years that they've been in the league? I have the utmost respect for Coach Beamer – he is the dean, not just of the ACC but nationally. He is what you would refer to as the top coach out there."
"Physical front on defense, and it is a great tribute to what North Carolina did last week running the ball like that. It is no easy task, but I do think this. I think it is important for our players to challenge our program and go up there and compete. We didn't do that two years ago, I remember very well. Our first year here we did on November 9th up there, but none of those games have anything to do with this game. But when you go to Blacksburg, you better bring your best chinstrap and you best bring your "A" game, because that is just the way it is."
On Noise at Virginia Tech
?"The best way to prepare for it is to take a group of players who have done it before, and to some degree, we are doing that. That helps. We went up there two years ago and got behind the eight ball pretty quickly, and you just can't let a game like that get away from you on the road."
On Quality of the Program
?"We have a lot of fight left in front of us, and we know that, but this team is capable of competing within our league, and it is a very good league. This team is capable of competing with most teams in the country, but what I will say about this, when you talk about turning the program, the program is where it needs to be. I would put our program up against any program in the country. People to people, what is going on every day, the quality of the people who work with our players, the quality of the program, and I have been doing this for a long time, is as good if not better than anything I have ever been a part of that, and I think we are all very proud of that."