Quotes: Devils Talk Countdown to Craziness

Coach K, Nolan Smith, Josh Hairston, and Kyrie Irving talk about the season opening event.

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski Opening Statement:
"First of all I want to say thanks to all of the people who put this on. Our athletic department did a good job. And for all of the people who attended, I think it was a really fun night; one in celebrations of last year, but also one in anticipation of this year. I know I had a lot of fun watching and seeing the guys back. The only practice we've had is one or two hours the last couple weeks. For what they were doing, the effort was absolutely there. There's talent, and are young guys can play. And to know that our four newcomers can all contribute, we're going to have a deep team. It was unfortunate that Seth got eight stitches when he got an elbow right above his eye, but he'll be fine. Then we will get down to the business of practicing."

On Josh Hairston:
"He was real nervous to begin with. He had a few air balls. I think Kyrie really got him off. He can spread the floor. Josh is a good mid-range shooter. He just took easy shots and then made lay-ups. He's efficient, and that's who he is. We think he can help right away. There's not a kid on the floor that we don't think can help of those ten guys."

On Kyrie Irving:
"When you have a really good player like that, and he's young, you need to let him show you what he is capable of doing and give him encouragement to do that. You don't need to overplay or over structure him. Any lineup with those perimeter guys is feasible. The one thing [Tyler] Thornton can do is really play defense. He's a really good competitor and a good defender. There's not a kid out that there that's not capable of helping us to some degree."

"We want to know that the program is right for the guys who we've asked if they want to come. We never pressure a kid to come. I'm talking about recruiting in general, just so we don't twitter and tweet and go nuts. Every school wants to put their best foot forward, and we have a pretty good foot to put forward. So in general, that's why we have gotten kids over the years."

On having the night televised:
"I think it took a little adjusting to, especially with our young guys. This is an important night for us, just to feel this. It helps them practice better."

On coaching team year after they won national title:
"I think with any team, the biggest thing is to get them to play as one. To do that primarily on the defensive end of the court. There's always a challenge to take good shots, and to be smart. Play hard, play together, and play intelligently. That's our challenge, and you have to figure out how to do it with the group you have. That's what I do with any team I coach. I personalize the system to take advantage of their talents."

On staying hungry:
"I said that mainly to the crowd. We'll stay hungry. It's a lot easier for fans not to stay hungry. I'm hungry. I stay hungry all the time. In other words, not to assume something is going to happen. Winning a national title is not an easy thing. It's one of the most difficult things in sports because it's one and done. This team has the capability of developing into somebody that is worthy of winning. These guys work on their game all year long. Now it's time for us to coordinate those games."

Senior Nolan Smith
"It felt great to be back. It's been a long time since we've been on the court playing in a real game situation. It was a good feeling being out there. This team really competed tonight, played hard, and got after it. I think we showed we have a lot of guys who have a lot of ability to, one, score and, two, defend, so that was very exciting."

"I'm looking forward to seeing up and down basketball – offensively and defensively. We have plenty of guards and plenty of bodies to pick up full court defensively. We can really get after it defensively and we're also going to be able to push it down people's throats and score the ball."

"I've really improved on just changing speeds. Watching Chris Paul, talking to those guys and then having a chance to play against Derrick Rose, Chauncey [Billups], some of the best point guards in the NBA Watching them, they really change speeds tremendously. That experience was definitely beneficial to my game."

Freshman Josh Hairston
"I had a good time out there. All my points came from [Kyrie Irving], so I thank him for that. I told him already, ‘Thank you,' because he set me up. There were so many times when I felt like I wasn't going to get the ball and I wasn't open, and the ball just ended up in my hands. It's crazy how he's able to do that. I got a taste of that at USA [Basketball], and just for it to carry on over here, it's incredible."

"I was [nervous at first]. It was nerves. When we first ran out there, it was a lot of mixed emotions, and when I settled down in the second half I felt a lot better. Happiness, nervousness, it was just everything. Running out there and seeing everybody and the fans show you love – it was incredible."

"I was thinking about the game a whole lot. One of the things Coach Nate [James] told me before the game was, ‘Don't think too much. Just go out, play, and have fun.' And that's what I did in the second half. I could feel myself thinking about the game way too much in the first half, and I just relaxed and told myself I was just going to play and have fun. That's what I did."

Freshman Kyrie Irving
On his play tonight:
"I wouldn't call it deferring. I would just call it utilizing my weapons that I have on the court. Once you have Nolan [Smith] and Kyle [Singler] and you have Seth [Curry] and Andre [Dawkins], those weapons are just great. I have to use them."

"It was just great to hear my name. I did a little dance and the crowd was really into it, and I was just really excited. My adrenaline was pumping. Just to be in that type of atmosphere and actually see the Cameron Crazies getting crazy before the ball was tipped – I've been watching it on TV for two years now, so just to get a chance to experience it finally, it felt great."

"I'm finally here, and my journey can actually begin to where I ultimately want to be. Coming here was the best decision of my life, and finally I got my name called. I'm no longer a recruit. I'm a player at Duke University, so it felt great."


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