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Cut: "Duke Has To Face Reality"

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Tuesday to discuss his team's rebounding effort following the game against North Carolina and how the Blue Devils will prepare for Pittsburgh.

OPENING STATEMENT: It’s an interesting thing when you face Sundays that aren’t pleasant. You can tell that it’s something we’re, thank goodness, not used to. When you do that back-to-back, you look at yourself and your team. You face the realities of things you have to address. You really look hard at the tape, and at everything.

The most important thing I’ve learned through the years is to react and correct. Win or lose, you treat them the same. You try to never overreact. We’ve tried to take a realistic view of what we have to do to be successful. We believe we have a process and we believe in that process strongly. You don’t go changing everything you’ve ever done and overreact.

I feel good about our Sunday and Tuesday. We need to have a great Wednesday. We’re working back in the right direction one day at a time.

Q. On Pittsburgh:

COACH CUTCLIFFE: We’re playing a really gifted and good Pitt team. Pitt is well coached. They play really hard and physical. They have a lot of weapons on their entire team. They’re outstanding in the kicking and return game. They have an outstanding quarterback who is playing better, better and better. They also have as good of a receiver as there is in the country. They have a defense that you can’t name individuals because they’re all playing so well.

There’s a reason they’re 4-1 in the ACC. They’ve done it on the road. They’ve played well on the road. We’re very aware of them.

Q. On The Duke Defense:

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I think it’s getting back to the reality. You don’t give somebody confidence. You earn it. You have to face the reality of what we didn’t do well. We’re not going to overreact and try and fix everything at one time.

There were some things that were very evident to me Sunday morning. I didn’t watch the film Saturday night. I didn’t have the energy or focus on it then. I watched it early Sunday morning by myself. To me, it was more clearly evident of what we could do and correct than I ever dreamed. If you want to be confident, earn it. That’s been the message. That’s how you develop. Hopefully we can earn that back as we move through Wednesday.

Q. On The Pittsburgh Games Being High Scoring Recently:

COACH CUTCLIFFE: There’s no question that the defense is very aware of it. We have many of the same players. We’ve had a very difficult time with Pitt. You either concern yourself and worry about that, or accept a great challenge. You should be excited about that kind of challenge. You have an opportunity to right something. The best way to do that is to be your best.

Q. On This Year’s Senior Class:

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I’m going to cry. I don’t like saying goodbye. Senior Day is when it’s the last game of the year is a little more difficult on a coach.

I’m very appreciative of this class at Duke. They have earned a lot of respect from their peers who they’ve played with and their coaches. They’ve led us in a really good manner both on and off the field. It will be an emotional time, not only for our players, but for their families, too. So many of them are so close to their families, loved ones and siblings. We lead the country in good parents. How cool is that?

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