Post Game Quotes From Clemson

Williams, Redick, Ewing, and Coach K met the media after Sunday's hard fought game

DUKE HEAD COACH Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Statement
"I'm proud of my guys. This was a heck of a win. Clemson played great defense and I thought we played great defense. It was a real ACC basketball game tonight. Clemson was playing with great heart and it was difficult to score against them. It's apparent that we're a little bit undermanned right now. I'm very proud of my team. It was one of our better wins, considering everything. We were behind and we showed great determination. We out-rebounded them and they're the leading rebounding team in the conference. We played excellent defense on the perimeter and they just didn't get open looks. Our three starting perimeter guys only had one rebound in the first half. In the second half, they got nine. That was one of the big stats of the game. We're really pleased. One thing we do have are kids who have heart and play well together and they've shown that all year long. That was a heck of an ACC game. If that's how the whole league is going to be, you're in for a hell of a year as fans."

On Reggie Love and his injury
"I feel really badly for Reggie. I can't tell you how badly I feel for him. Any member of our coaching staff will tell you, not that he's the only kid who fits this description, but he's never had a bad day of practice with us. He has just been sensational as a kid and here he gets his opportunity and we work all week preparing him for that and all of a sudden he's gone. That's another thing that makes me proud of my guys. I know we've won a lot, so a lot of times you don't see things, but this is a heck of a win for our basketball team. We haven't had this much adversity in one game in a long, long time and we're just going to have to figure out how to use our team now with the guys we have."

On his team's offensive struggles in the first half
"I think most of it was Clemson's defense, to be completely honest. I thought Oklahoma played the best defense against us in the first eight games, but they only did it for about a half. Clemson played it all game. You could see Oliver [Purnell] was using his subs because he wants to keep them fresh defensively, which I think is good. We forced each other into over 20 turnovers. It was two really good defensive teams."

On Lee Melchionni and other reserves stepping up
"He made three huge plays. The three-pointer he hit that put us up, 40-38, was unbelievable and the charge he took. He also got three offensive rebounds, but he got one that kept the clock alive and gave us a new clock. Those plays by Lee or Dave McClure and Patrick Johnson, they give energy to the other guys because they're not usually the kind of plays they'd be expected to make. This was a game where every exchange was big and that's just the type of game we're going to have to play."

JUNIOR GUARD J.J. Redick
"It was a really physical game. It was a match-up of two teams that are very good in the halfcourt on defense. That's how the ACC is. This was our first ACC game, and a lot of them are going to be played this way - very physical."

"The guys they had guarding me did a heck of a job getting through screens. I thought in the first half I didn't get any clean looks. Everything was rushed with a hand in my face. I got my shot blocked a couple of times. In the second half I just tried to work harder coming off screens and free myself up a little bit. Also, when I did catch the ball, I tried to be more poised and slow down a bit."

"It was a battle out there. Every win this year in the ACC is going to be big, and we wanted to get off to a good start, and we did."

"I think a lot of guys stepped up and played tough. Lee [Melchionni] and DeMarcus [Nelson] having to play the second big [man position] the whole game, they both did a great job. The charge play that Lee made in the second half was huge. It's going to be tough for us. It's going to be a battle every night because we're playing without a couple of key guys."

SENIOR GUARD Daniel Ewing
"It was a physical game. But also, on the offensive end, it just wasn't clicking the way we wanted it to click tonight. Fortunately for us, we played good defense for both halves, and that was a big key for us to win this game."

"You can't overlook any team in the ACC. Clemson came into this game 9-3, so they had a lot of confidence coming in. They were playing well, and they're well-coached. And they kind of had an advantage with their size. They attacked us down low, like any other team would do, but we're a good enough team to pull out a good win."

"We had a good week of practice, getting back into a rhythm. We were ready to play today, but on the offensive end, it just wasn't falling for us. It's like that sometimes, and fortunately we've got guys that are good enough to step for us, like J.J. [Redick] did tonight, and make some plays for us down the stretch."

JUNIOR CENTER Shelden Williams
"This game was kind of ugly from the start. Both teams got off to a slow start. Both teams were trying to just work their way into it and were missing good shots. It seemed like the basket had a lid on it in the first half, and then we kind of eased into it late in the first half and going into the second half."

"Not playing for awhile, you've got all that anxiety built up, and you just want to go out there and do well, and sometimes you kind of hurry things. You try to get back into the flow, and hopefully these three games in a six-day span will get us back on the right track."

"They had a good team. They were physical. I guess a lot of people think we're not physical because we don't have the depth on the inside, but I think we showed some things out there that even though we're not that deep, we're still going to be there and fight for 40 minutes."

CLEMSON HEAD COACH OLIVER PURNELL
Opening Statement
"This is probably the way it's going to be in the ACC, I guess. I thought it was a very physical, hard-fought basketball game. I was impressed with the way that our young team came in and battled and played at ACC-level intensity. I didn't think that we followed our offensive game plan very well in the first half and we just wanted to space the floor and create space for Sharrod Ford in there and also create opportunities for driving lanes. We found ourselves talking about that at halftime, so I was disappointed in that because our defense was pretty good and yet we couldn't score. Obviously Duke has something to do with that. In the second half, it was going to be one of those games coming down the stretch that the team that made the most mistakes would lose and we made a few critical defensive errors. We were playing the ball screen with their four-man [Lee] Melchionni all game long to take away the pick-and-pop. One of our freshmen forgot there at the end and that was a big basket. We played the staggers on [J.J.] Redick, just following off hard and one of our freshmen forgot and got kind of bottled up in the middle of a stagger screen and, of course, he knocks it down. Duke's that kind of team. If you make critical mistakes coming down the stretch, generally they are going to make you pay for it. We fouled a few times that we just didn't need to foul and, of course, they knocked those down. I guess, all in all, for our first ACC game, with a young team, they acquitted themselves pretty well. Probably the most important thing is that there is a disappointed bunch in the locker room. They expected to come up here and win and they're very disappointed that they didn't do some things better and I'm glad they are."

On Clemson's level of intimidation coming into tonight
"They really haven't been intimidated in any situation this year, whether it be their first game, first road game, first nationally-televised game at South Carolina and nor tonight. We can go ahead and put that question to rest. I think they're not going to be intimidated or nervous in any first situation. There is no tougher venue to play in college basketball than this one.

On J.J. Redick's performance in the second half
"We let up a little bit. It's just hard. It's just so hard to guard him all night long because Mike [Krzyzewski] does so many things to give him opportunities to score. He's such an aggressive offensive player and so, if you let up, you lose focus for just a second, you play a ball screen wrong, he'll read it, he'll fade, he'll curl and he's a very good offensive player. I didn't see [Duke] doing anything differently, just doing it better."


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