Quotes: Duke vs. Boston U

Coach K, Shelden Williams, Lee Melchionni, and Josh McRoberts spoke to the media following Duke's 17 point win on Monday.

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski Opening Statement

"They're a good team, and we expected that. They've done in their league what teams would like to do in every league, and that is establish a winning culture, so that when they come out on the court, no matter who they play against, they know that they have a shot at winning. Dennis does a terrific job of coaching this team. We were not able to see them at all because they just scrimmaged, and they scrimmaged well. They know how to run a good offense, they play good defense too.

"The bright spot is we won by 17 points. I think our guys sometimes put too much pressure on themselves that they have to be perfect or whatever because of what people predict them to be. They just need to play ball. I thought Boston University played outstanding defense, and offensively, we were putting too much pressure on ourselves. There wasn't that flow. A lot of that had to do with them, don't get me wrong. Historically they have played well defensively, and they did again tonight. But we had open looks that we were just trying to fit in. And our break looked like we have to score this time instead of just playing ball.

"Conversely, on the defensive end, we played very, very well. We forced 26 turnovers and held them under 50 points. In the last 30 minutes of the game, they scored 27 points. That's a great lesson for our team to learn is that you can win against a good team by playing defense when the other team is playing good defense, and it's tough to get good shots, and you're not knocking some of those down.

"Overall, I thought it was a great game for us. I'm not saying we played great, but when the other team plays their butts off, you're probably not going to look great. I just think that those kids from Boston University played their hearts out. They're really well coached and played hard. In this game, there's a lot of equalizers. If you play together and play hard and play good defense and take good shots, and they do all those things, you have to play every possession against them. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome. I thought it was a really good game for us to play, and my hat's off to them because I thought they were very good."

On adjusting defense against Boston's backdoor pass
"I thought we made good adjustments defensively throughout the game, but their offense is very well conceived. We probably would have gotten backdoored a few times no matter what, even if we had seen them play because they run it well, and they're very unselfish kids. That's why I'm pleased we forced the 26 turnovers. We played really hard. Effort was not the problem because we would have lost if we didn't play hard and we didn't play well defensively."

On Boston's pressure
"I think Boston University puts pressure on you in two ways. First of all, they just play good defense. And then secondly, you know this isn't going to be a high-scoring, run up and down game, so each possession becomes a little bit more important. So there's a little bit of game pressure on, and we haven't had that this year. Our two exhibition wins were just blowouts. I mean, I probably could have hit a three. Maybe not, but it's different circumstances. I thought we missed some good shots, but then again, you didn't have them that long. They were there, you take them. If you didn't take them right there, they weren't going to be there because Boston University was going to recover. There were smaller windows of opportunity to take those shots, and that's kind of the way it's going to be. This was more of a real game."

On Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus
"Josh really fed the momentum for us with those two offensive rebound baskets. He had 10 rebounds. I thought Greg played well, especially defensively. Offensively, he was a little bit cautious until he made a couple really good plays in the second half. That's understandable too. Our upperclassmen were playing a little bit cautious.

"It's that time of year. It's Nov. 14. It's a long, long season. These types of games will help make us better, there's no question about it. I didn't yell one time at my team tonight, not once because it wasn't a matter of effort. They were playing their butts off. It was more take it easy, have fun. That didn't work all the time tonight."

On J.J. Redick taking fewer three-pointers
"They closed out well to him, so the drives were what was there. I thought we missed him a few times in transition. That's one of his signature shots. When you're coming down the court, if you can flatten out a defense, he's going to float somewhere on the perimeter, and it seemed like four or five times we went to the opposite side. We passed to the wrong guy. Again, I think we weren't as alert coming down the court. And they recover quickly. There might be a small window of opportunity to shoot the basketball."

On DeMarcus Nelson
"I think DeMarcus is the perfect example that you can have a good game and really not do much of anything on the offensive end. He struggled on the offensive end, but it didn't affect him on the defensive end. Seven steals in a game is very, very good. I thought that was terrific."

Senior Lee Melchionni

"It was the first game and first game jitters. Maybe we were a little bit nervous. It was a good start defensively. That's what our team prides itself on - good defense - so we can go from there. As long as our defense is there, I think we'll be all right."

"You have to look at it as we're 1-0, we're in the next round of the Preseason NIT, and we're looking to advance. We don't take anyone for granted, and we played a good team tonight. We're excited to get a win."

"I don't want to take anything away from [Boston University], but I think we did miss a lot of open shots, and hopefully they'll drop for us in the games to come."

"This is like [the NCAA Tournament] where you lose and you're out. We want to win this tournament, we're 1-0 in this tournament, and we're looking to advance again on Wednesday."

Senior Shelden Williams

"They played well on the defensive end. It was the first team that we've played this year who was collective on the defensive end. They play team basketball on the defensive end, and that's something that we haven't been accustomed to in our first two exhibition games. They were a team who fought on every single play, every single possession. Even though they were down, they still kept fighting throughout the whole game."

"We couldn't get the ball going into the hole for us on the offensive end. It was kind of frustrating that we were taking good shots, and they just weren't falling for us. But one thing that we were doing throughout the whole course of the game was playing good defense, and we played well together as a team. We held them under 50 points, and that was one of the big things about this game."

Freshman Josh McRoberts

On his first regular season game
"It was exciting. It's something you dream about growing up. To finally get that under your belt, it's a great experience. I think it's always frustrating [to start the game out slow], no matter if it's your first game in Cameron or anywhere you're playing if you can't get your offense to fall. I felt like we were playing hard. That's the thing - we were playing hard and just couldn't get our shots to fall. So that's a little frustrating, but we just wanted to continue to play hard defensively."

"We've had a good couple of exhibition games to kind of get the nerves out, so I just go out and try to play as hard as I can. Boston [University] was a good team and well-coached. When I came off the bench, I just tried to give us a little energy, and I think I was concentrating so much on just playing as hard as I can and doing what I needed to do that I wasn't too nervous."


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