UNC-Duke Postgame Quotes
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
"Well, obviously we played really well tonight. Really well. Our defense was outstanding. They're a great team. They missed some open shots, and we defended well, and didn't give up a lot of second shots. [Seth Curry]'s performance in the first half was excellent. He was just the best player on the court in the first half. In the second half, we had the best player on the court: Mason. In a game like this, [Reggie Bullock] could take over and be the best player on the court, or [P.J. Hairston]. It just turned out that those two halves, those two kids were the difference makers for us. Really happy for our team, and we've got to keep getting better. We've got to keep making adjustments to [Ryan Kelly] being in the game, but I'm pleased with our defense."
Regarding Ryan Kelly's Impact on Defense:
"He's tired right now. Those are a lot of minutes, and guarding those guys, they're such good players. There is more movement. [Ryan Kelly] has been a smart defender, and he talks well. We're a much better defensive team with him in. Also, they missed some shots, and we did too. We're fortunate when that happens. Ryan helped us more defensively today than offensively."
Regarding Ryan Kelly's Unity in Offense:
"We're going to hopefully keep getting more comfortable. The only way to develop instincts is to perform together. And it doesn't just happen in practice, it has to happen in the games. We have to keep getting more comfortable. I thought [Tyler Thornton] did a great job for us tonight. He had great toughness and defense. We inserted him into the lineup-I think [Reggie Bullock] is one of the best players in the country, not just the conference. Just a terrific basketball player-and we needed someone who would make him work and hopefully make it more difficult for him, and [Tyler Thornton] had that assignment."
On team unity:
"I don't think we have the best team in the country, by far. We have a good team, but the best chemistry. They really enjoyed playing with each other [during the first fifteen games of the season] and we're trying to develop that again. It doesn't just happen, but I'm proud of the guys when Ryan was out to keep the ship afloat. It could have sunk very easily. Ryan came back to a group that had lost its spot, but still had its confidence.
On Mason Plumblee in the 2nd Half:
"When you've got a guy with a hot hand like [Seth Curry] in the first half, you've got to keep getting him the ball, and our guys did that. They're unselfish. But the second half, that was a man's half. Mason was superb in the second half. He's had an unbelievable year for us."
On Ryan Kelly's Return:
"I think Mason really benefits from having Ryan back, because it makes it tough to double. If he's one on one in the post, he's pretty successful. I thought he showed tremendous poise."
UNC Head Coach Roy Williams
"It was an exceptionally tough day for us, to say the least. I was really proud of our students and fans that stayed around till the end. I'm a little disappointed in those that left. I thought that they would have stayed around and listened to our seniors. You can't really complain about those people, but I am really pleased with those students that did stay. It was tough. I know it's not easy to sit there after someone kicks you in the rear end like that. They (Duke) played well. They got off to a good start. It reminded me of us playing at their place last year. Never letting them get back in the game and that's basically that's what happened today. They made all their shots early. We didn't make very man shots. One of the characteristics of this team the last three weeks was that we made shots. Duke's defense was stronger than our offense and Duke's offense was stronger than our defense was. We just have to congratulate them. They played a heck of a lot better and they were by far the better team today. We didn't play nearly as well to say the least. You shoot 27% and they shoot nearly 70% in the first half, it's hard. Every streak has to end. 10 years as Coach Smith's assistant and 25 years as a head coach, this is the first time we've lost a game on senior day. I keep telling myself, we don't talk about it, let's put it off one more year. Dexter (Strickland) and Frank (Tanner), particularly Dexter, I would of really liked for Dexter to have that feeling of walking out there and standing in the crowd with a much different atmosphere than it was today. Seth Curry was a huge factor early. He toyed with us. He had any shot he wanted. He was 8-10 in the first half and he didn't shoot as many or make as many or shoot as well in the second half. Mason (Plumlee) was a load for us in the second half and they just made more plays. At the six or seven mark I really thought we still had a chance. P.J. (Hairston) made that three which I think was our only three of the game. We didn't get stops the next two possessions and one of them was an offensive rebound. It's not a very good feeling. I don't want this game to define what this team has done. This team has done some good things. This is the youngest team I have ever coached. We get to play again, and that's what they need to focus on. We need to make sure this doesn't define what this team is."
On poor field goal percentage:
"You go back through the whole course of the season, we didn't shoot the ball well early. It's been a fear all the time. Changing the lineup hasn't made us the rebounding team or defensive team but it did make us the strongest offensive team offensive team. We go by a few games down the stretch because we competed but coaches always have fears of what can happen."
On the outcome of the game:
"[We're] more disappointed than anything. We've been playing well, very well, and today we didn't play as well as we possibly could. Duke came out, hit some shots, and we couldn't hit anything. They shot 70 percent in the first half. We shot 27. So that kind of summed up the first half of them making shots and we weren't."
On Duke's successful shooting:
"It's always frustrating to see the opposing team make shots and us missing, but we continue to fight and we still try to fight the entire game, even though this is probably by far one of the worst shooting games we've had this year."
On the effect of the loss:
"I feel like we're going to come out more hungry. Whoever we match up against in the first game that we play in the ACC Tournament, I feel like we just need to come out. The end of the season is coming, so this will add fuel to the fire for us to come out with more motivation and more of a sense of urgency and be able to get it done."
On Seth Curry:
"He was hot. I was just trying to contain him. I did a terrible job on him in the first half. He was making some tough shots. I wasn't sliding my feet quickly enough. He's a good player. I just played terrible defense in the first half."
On Roy Williams's apology for the loss on senior night:
"He apologized. We could have done better, but you can't blame it on him. You can blame it on all of us as a team. We just didn't compete as much as we should. We just made little mistakes on defense and on offense that cost us the game."
On the outlook for the rest of the season:
"It was a disappointment. I'm frustrated, but you can't dwell on it too much. The good thing about it is we have another chance in the ACC Tournament, so we've got to move on, learn from our mistakes and just get better as a team."