UNC-Duke Postgame Quotes
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"Well, I was extremely disappointed to say the least, but I am not disappointed in the effort of our team. The intensity tonight was better than it has been all year long, but Duke gets that from everybody. You have to congratulate them. They made 13 of 14 free throws in the second half. We needed them to miss a couple of those to say the least. We needed to make a couple of ours. That is just picking one thing out. I think the biggest plays in the second half were when [Tyler] Thornton hit a couple of big threes. We weren't supposed be helping guard the ball and not sag back into help. He hit two open threes and one of them came off of an offensive rebound. We were still right there, get them to miss a shot. I thought it was going to be a shot clock violation, but he called a foul. It probably was a foul. I think it was a four-point game at that time. It put them on the free throw line, instead of it being our ball down four. It was our ball down six. I was really pleased with our effort tonight. As I said in the first comment, it was by far the best we have had this year. We didn't shoot the ball very well. I really think we are a good shooting team. PJ [Hairston] has been shooting the ball really well from the three-point line. He was 1-for-7. Leslie [McDonald] was 0-for-3. Both of them are good shooters.
"You have to congratulate Duke's perimeter defense, because they made the shots covered. They made it more difficult. I am not into moral victories, I told them that in the locker room, but I am pleased with the effort they gave.
"Congratulate Duke, there is a reason why they are No. 1 in the country, because they are really good. They got off to a great start this year playing the most difficult schedule in the country and they played great when Ryan [Kelly] went down. For two or three games they were all out of whack, but they have been playing great lately. We will get a chance to play them again. Hopefully we play a little better and they play a little worse."
On his decision to change starting lineup:
"I started to do it four or five games ago, but everybody is going to say you are going to put PJ [Hairston] in for somebody else. Nobody else knows my team better. It is popular to say that somebody else is supposed to be in the lineup. For us, he is such a good scorer and Duke's four man Amile Jefferson and Josh Hairston is not a focal point of their offense. They are a three-point shooting team and they throw the ball inside to Mason [Plumlee]. We hoped that PJ would be able to battle and guard inside. He did fine with that. They got a couple of offensive rebounds just on reach and Mason was able to cross the lane two times with that big jump hook. We don't have the size to defend anything like that. As I said, we started to make that change four or five games ago. I may start five different guys Saturday."
On what the team can take away for the rest of season:
"I hope they realize how much they invested and that it was also a battle. It is still a loss, as I said I am not into moral victories. It was there for the taking. They invested more and got more out of it."
On matchup problems when Duke went to four guards in second half:
"In my opinion it is not a matchup problem. Their guys made big plays. If you go back and look at it we helped on the drive attack. Thornton made two threes from the right side. It might have been three. One of those was a bad box out. We got them to miss the first shot and I am going to guess it was [Rasheed] Sulaimon ran all the way across the court and got the rebound right in front of their bench. It wasn't really a matchup problem, because we were small also. PJ was probably the guy that would guard Tyler at that time. We had one big guy and they had one big guy, Josh Hairston, at that time. Like I said, you have to congratulate them. They made some big shots."
On his starters' minutes:
"I was trying to win the daggum game. I don't make decisions based on how many minutes a guy has played. I am going to play the guys that I want at that specific time. I may play five guys 40 minutes Saturday, I don't know or 12 guys in the first half. We didn't have Joel [James]. Desmond [Hubert] came in and played a couple of minutes in the first half and played well defensively."
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski
"I just thought both teams played the way Duke and North Carolina teams play. They play so hard, and we did too. They started a different lineup and they really went away from the all the stuff they usually do in really trying to run it down our throats. Putting [Reggie] Bullock at the four, I mean those two kids, Bullock and [P.J.] Hairston are two of the best shooters in the country, and they put a lot of pressure on you. And then [James Michael] McAdoo, they are good. I think they are really good, and they are deep, and they're deeper than we are, so you worry about attrition. The pace of the game and the fouls, we just made some dumb fouls and got ourselves into a lot of foul trouble, you know our guys had to play with foul trouble. We turned it over more than we have the entire year, and with 11 first half turnovers, half of their points came off turnovers. We started the half, and Mason [Plumlee] got his third and we were down 38-31 and I subbed for Mason, I thought he was playing like he had three fouls. I thought McAdoo was just going at him, so McAdoo was either going to score or Mason was going to foul him. So we took him out, and Hairston and Thornton really did a great job for us. I think the hero of the game for us was [Tyler] Thornton. He would not let us lose. He was guarding the four, he hit a big three, and his pass to Quinn in the full court, knocked it out one time, didn't get the rebound but knocked it out so we got an extra possession. Just a terrific performance by Tyler Thornton. He got those threes, he and Rasheed [Sulaimon] and Seth [Curry], and then Seth hit another three, but down the stretch we hit every free throw. Our guys have been so good at end of game situations to step up and hit, there is a lot of game pressure, and I know they are tired. We couldn't sub as much, we don't have that many players. But a terrific win. The crowd was great, it's just a great win for us, I am really proud of the grit my teams showed tonight."