Quotes: Duke v. Bellarmine

The Blue Devils met the media following the team's 25 point exhibition victory on Saturday

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening Statement:
"To have their team here - those kids are champions. They were champions last year. They have most of their top players back. For our guys to play against a veteran team, so well-coached and good kids, was excellent for our basketball team. We're young, we're very young. Even our older guys are young. I thought we adjusted well. We got off to a really good start and then it looked like we got really tired. Sometimes a young team, you get emotional - the anticipation for a game and while the game's going on. We were really tired. I didn't call a timeout. I just wanted them to first off all, experience not playing well and what it does, to see if they could figure it out. They didn't, but then we ended the half well. Then in the second half I thought we played really well. Our big guys defended out on the perimeter - that's an unusual thing. Last year, our guys could not do that very well, the big guys. I thought our big guys did a good job with that. In the second half, they just went up with the ball instead of trying to make reads inside. [Tyler] Thornton really gave us a big boost. When he's in the ball game, we just play better. He doesn't have to hit a shot - we just play better when Tyler's in the basketball game. Our bigs in the second half were excellent and we didn't turn the ball over in the second half. We played better defense. So we beat a good team. I've watched a few games of theirs from last year and was just really impressed with how they play. They're going to have an outstanding year again. Hopefully they stay healthy. I wish them the best - they're a good group."

On the team's improvement in the second half:
"I thought we talked better. If you're tired or you're distracted, it's not like you've got a bad attitude, but you're into your thing. To defend a team like that - most teams but especially with an open-middle motion - there needs to be a lot of communication. The older guys did a better job of that. That's where Tyler's communication was so good. Their kid [Luke] Sprague is such a good shooter. He's that four that can spread you and we started switching a little bit more with him. And then as the half went along, we didn't switch high. We let our guy through. We found shooters better in the second half. I thought our communication was just a lot better."

On Duke's substitutions:
"[Bellarmine] affected the flow of the game more than our subs. How did we get tired if we had subs? They were just really good. In the second half, we didn't sub as freely, and that helps. We're trying to find out about our team. We've got a young team. We've got a lot to learn about this team. We haven't been this young for a long team."

On the Blue Devils' offense:
"The second half was excellent - we scored 50 points. I thought in the first half, I think we had 12 turnovers and then we had three or four bad shots. So there were 16 possessions where we got nothing. In the second half, it's better there in front of our bench. We can help them. Saying that though, our defense in the second half was better and they were not in front of our bench. So they were talking better on defense, and our staff can help them out a little bit more on the offensive end when it's in front of us. We need to have that leadership out on the court. The other thing is Tyler played more in the second half, and that helps. Not everybody needs to shoot the ball. They need to touch it, and we made more passes in the second half. We just played better in the second half, and I think probably that's understandable. I know we were on a trip, but that was two months ago and that's different too."

On his conversation with Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport prior to the game:
"I just congratulated him first of all on being a championship team. It was an honor for us to have them here. He thanked us for scheduling the game. I think this is the fourth year we've tried to play the Div. II national champions. I just think it's good for us because you play against kids who not only believe they're good, they are good. And they're really well-coached. That was a good nice for us. And our preparation for them - I thought our kids handled adjustments at halftime well."

Duke Senior Miles Plumlee

On Bellarmine:
"It was a great opportunity to build as a team. They're a championship team. They're used winning, they play really sharp on both ends of the floor, and we learned a lot tonight."

On Duke's focus on rebounding this year:
"That's going to be huge for our team. That should be an advantage for us every game, no matter who we're matched up against. No one is going to be bigger. We've got to exploit that and just continue to build on that."

On being a senior:
"I've been so close with all of our seniors in the past that I know that it's just crazy. Everything you do, it's the last time you're going to do it, so that's what I think about. I'm doing my best to be more vocal on the court, bringing guys together, and just instilling that tradition we've had at Duke forever."

On the play of his brother, Mason:
"Mason did great. He started really playing aggressive and, when he got his looks, just taking it right to the hoop. That's just going to be big for us all season long."

Duke Junior Seth Curry
"It's fun being back out there in Cameron in front of all the fans. It's just another game for us to get better and learn what we need to work on and just apply that in practice and the next game."

On his and the team's poor three-point shooting performance:
"I had open looks. I just wasn't knocking them down. It's like that some times, but I'm just going to keep shooting. [As a team] a few shots were kind of forced, but other than that we ran the offense well, we set it up, and got the shots we wanted."

On what the focus was in the locker room at halftime:
"The big thing was just defense. We let them get open shots and get open threes, and that's what they were trying to do. We came in and talked about taking that three away. In that first half, we made a run early and they got back in it by making threes. And we weren't really talking on defense and helping each other."

Duke Freshman Austin Rivers

"It was amazing. There's really no better feeling than in front of a crowd like that. I think we played good - not great - but we came out with the W. I think as a team we got better. If you look at the first half versus the second half, it's two different teams. That's just because it's our first game with each other. So we're going to keep improving and keep getting better."

On the transition from high school to Duke:
"It's different. People are faster, stronger. But I'm not really worried about that. It's just about making the right plays. You just have to know when to do stuff and when not to do stuff. Coach really wants me to be aggressive, especially going to the basket. We have Andre [Dawkins] and Seth [Curry] that can really shoot the ball. Tonight people were struggling from the outside, so we just went inside. It's just all about adjusting. That's the difference between college and high school - just adjusting to things."

Bellarmine Head Coach Scott Davenport

Opening Statement:
"We are just so appreciative of the opportunity. We are playing one of the class basketball programs in the entire country and technically you could not simulate that in practice if you were the greatest motivator greatest tactician in the history of the game so it was a great learning day for us. Not in any way, shape, or form a negative. You break the basketball game down the way we look at the first half we have 10 assists we get outscored by five points. The second half we have two assists and we get outscored by 20. We have to play as a unit to make each other better. We did a better job of that in the first half than in the second half. Duke deserves a lot of credit for that. I think they did wear us down physically, which they are capable of doing that. They are world class athletes. In terms of their individuals, I mean, we did a great job. Overall we held them to 56%. We guarded the three point line at 2-14. We did get killed on the boards but we held them to four offensive rebounds on the second half. All in all, it was a good night for us. I am very proud of our guys. Most importantly, we played in one of the greatest environments that they will play in their entire life."

On how the experience will help them moving forward:
"The only thing you could equate it to would be that you are playing against athletes of the Kentucky Derby right there and as you are playing through the toughest conference that we have in Division II, we will be well prepared. That every time you make a mistake here it is exposed. That you're playing the upper echelon of division II or the upper echelon of any level of basketball, you make mistakes and you are exposed. This consequently was that at the highest level. You make a mistake tonight with the ball; it's a dunk at the other end. You make a bad defensive switch, it's a dunk. I mean everything, you are not strong with the ball, it's a dunk. They had 16 steals. We will break that tape down and we will learn over and over and over again. We live on that. It is a game of moments and those four-point swings are just devastating to a basketball team. When you turn it over and they dunk it, you would be better off if you kicked into the10th row and at least get your defense set. I don't know how many dunks they had but I can't wait to break the tape down and see what their shooting percentage is if you take away the dunks."

Bellarmine Senior Guard Brayden Hobbs

On playing in Cameron for an AAU game vs. tonight:
"Yeah it's definitely different. There is nobody here for the AAU game and you get out here and you've got the Cameron Crazies yelling at you. They did make a comment about my deer hunting so I was loving that. It was just a great environment and I'm glad I got a chance to play in that and against Coach K. It was just unreal, I mean, they are my favorite team so I really enjoyed it."

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