UNC-Duke: Mike Krzyzewski Quotes + Audio

- Inside Carolina
Posted Feb 10, 2005


DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke head coach addressed the media following the Blue Devils’ 71-70 win over the Tar Heels Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium…

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LISTEN (6:54)

Opening Statement
“This was a game befitting this rivalry, between two great programs. Their guys played their hearts out and so did we. It came down to one possession and our defense was great. Their kids never gave up. It was an honor to play against them. It was just good, clean and hard. This was a heck of a basketball game. Points were tough to come by. The defense by both teams was excellent, high turnover numbers by both teams, but that was forced by aggressive play. We were able to stop their fast break pretty well. They only had one bucket on the fast break. [Sean] May is great. He’s good. I mean, really good. I’m proud because we beat a really good basketball team tonight. They’re unbelievably coached and they’re just great guys. I have a lot of respect for Carolina’s kids and their staff. To win this game is terrific. Our fans were sensational. The students have been a major part of our winning games.”

On DeMarcus Nelson:
“It was obvious that DeMarcus just played at a level, or even a couple of levels, higher than he’s played. He’s played well, but he was great tonight. He had 16 points and four steals and he played almost 30 minutes. We really needed that. To win a game like this, at times you need something that’s different from what you normally do. A lot of times, in games like this, really good players cancel out one another because they’re playing so hard and somebody else steps up. DeMarcus did that.”

On Duke’s ability to cause turnovers and disrupt passing lanes:
“Some of that had to do with the fact that they had to run a lot more half-court offense. You’re not going to force those turnovers if they’re running their break and secondary break. We were fortunate tonight that we were able to get back and not commit too many turnovers where they had runs. We committed turnovers, but they didn’t have runs when they had the numerical advantage. Our defense usually has forced some turnovers and it did tonight. A few more than we could have anticipated.”

On Duke’s mental toughness:
“Our team has been pretty mentally tough all year. They have never made any excuses about injuries and depth or anything like that. They’ve really shown up to play every game and I thought that paid off tonight, having been in a lot of situations. We’ve been in a lot of close games, not just at the end, but at different points in the game. Guys have stepped up and when they didn’t, we learned from that.”

J.J. REDICK

“We were pretty patient on offense. We did a good job executing. We had a few dumb turnovers, but the main thing for us was just getting back on defense. They only had a few fast-break opportunities, and that’s because we hustled back.”

“We did a great job getting back. This game was extremely difficult to win. A game like this where there are two really good teams, there are going to be a lot of errors, and guys are going to miss shots. Both teams are pretty good in the defensive half court, but I thought our defense getting back was the difference in the game.”

“We’ve had a lot of tough games, and the thing we’ve done all year is just find ways to win, except for the two games we lost, of course. I don’t know if that helped us tonight, but it certainly helped that we had that experience.”

On DeMarcus Nelson
“I was so happy to see him play like that, especially in his first Duke-UNC game. I think they did a good job of containing me, Shelden [Williams], and Daniel [Ewing]. He was the difference in the ballgame. I’m just so proud of him. It’s been an up-and-down year for him, and that’s what a lot of freshmen do. My whole class, we had our ups and downs, and hopefully this will be a springboard for the rest of the year for him.”

DEMARCUS NELSON

“The crowd was tremendous. I got goosebumps all night from how loud the crowd was, and I think in that last possession, that 18.2 seconds, the crowd was the loudest I’ve heard since I’ve been here, and it was just such a tremendous atmosphere.”

On the final 18.2 seconds of the game:
“It seemed like a long time, and I was just hoping that that clock went down before they got a shot off. We played some great defense - J.J. [Redick] denied Rashad McCants the ball, Daniel Ewing played some great defense on Raymond Felton, and we made them try to do something that they weren’t ready for.”

“We just wanted to play defense. We have a lot of good players - J.J. [Redick] can shoot the ball, Daniel [Ewing] can shoot the ball, and everybody knows the beast that Shelden [Williams] is down low. So our main focus was to try and stop them on defense and then be precise on offense. But it was defense first, and that’s what won this game.”

“I just knew it was a great game for me once I was able to get out there and play with a lot of emotion and play with a lot of intensity. The crowd was great - it really helped me and gave me a jumpstart to help me get into the flow of the game, and I was able to make plays.”


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