Quotes: Duke-70, St. John's-57

Several Blue Devils met the media after Wednesday night's victory over the Red Storm

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski Opening Comments
"I thought St. John's played very well against us. One of the things that Norm Roberts' team does is they really play good defense, and they pressure the ball well. The two kids who played very well for us tonight were our guards. Greg Paulus, that's the best he's handled pressure. He had seven assists and one turnover. And I thought Sean did a very good job. Daryll Hill got hurt late, but defensively he had him, and he was trying to stop penetration. I thought he did a really good job on that. Those two kids did a really good job against a team that does put very good pressure. Eugene Lawrence puts good defensive pressure on you, and Hill puts very good offensive pressure on you. Sean and Greg handled those two things very well. I thought the game was played at their tempo, and that's to their credit. They got us to play at their tempo. And then the last four minutes of the first half, we finally got hands on balls and turned defense into offense. In the second half, until the last few minutes, I thought we played very well. We scored off of our defense, and we executed very well and had a 20-something point lead. For the main part, I thought the second half was very good for us."

On assists
"Shelden Williams made a couple of very good passes. We were looking for one another. I don't know how they broke down, what we had in the first half assist-wise, but it seemed like the ones in the second half were better. I thought we cared for the ball well, but we let up a little bit in the first half once Lamont Hamilton got in foul trouble. And the kid Aaron Spears, from the tape I've watched, that's the best he's played -- the most minutes, and he got 12 first-half points. We didn't take advantage of the fact that Hamilton was out. Hill wasn't hurting us, and still it was a tie-game until the last three minutes in the first half.

On Josh McRoberts
"He didn't start the second half, so I wouldn't say our effort was based on Josh. I thought he played very well in the second half, and it started off because we got a dunk for him. We subbed him in and called a play and got him a dunk. I'm glad he got going then, but that can't be how you start playing because we're not always going to draw plays where you get dunks. I know you're going to say why not. Well because you can't do that. I don't know how to do that all the time. Every once in a while you get lucky."

On series with St. John's
You have two of the winningest programs -- two of the top five I think -- in the history of the sport. You have two of the greatest venues: the Garden and Cameron. You're going to have the chance of having really good games. If they're down a little bit, or people perceive them down, they'll be up, just like our series with North Carolina. Both of us haven't always been great, but overall it's great. You get in a series like that, and that's what I think the St. John's series is for us."

On St. John's style of play preparing Duke for postseason
"Historically they're going to have kids from the city. I've always been impressed with St. John's basketball because a long time ago I played as a player against them and Calzanetti and Warren and all those guys and coached against them. I just know that they're going to play a style that we may not see from someone in our league or some other non-conference team, and they're going to be tough kids. This team is a bunch of tough kids. All of them really go after balls well. When there's a loose ball or a rebound, they have good hands, strong hands. That's more of, I think, a city thing. So I know we'll play that style, and I think that style is great for us to play against. At times it's going to beat us, and it has, and at times we're going to beat it, but it's going to prepare us better."

On Shelden Williams and offense
"It's almost like we were waiting for a play to be called every time, and that lent to playing at a slower pace. We weren't sprinting down, crossing and getting into motion offense. Certainy, Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick have had better games. They did fine, but they can do better and have."

On Redick missing free throws
"I think in the games he thinks he hasn't played as well is probably when he's missed his free throws. What happens is it's so important for him for us to do well that I think he doesn't have full focus on the free throw. He has focus on how we're playing. What J.J. has done, which I think is terrific, is he has been able to be a great shooter while becoming a great leader. It's very difficult to do both because a great shooter and scorer needs such concentration that they can't pay too much attention to everything else. When he's moving around, it's different, but when he gets that stop action, he knows its 26-26, Coach is not happy, we're not contesting. He's thinking like a leader, and that's what I think is happening. The best way is just play our butts off and be in a good spot. I'd rather have him shoot less, because he's never going to be bad, and be the leader. We're not worried about records. We're worried about playing well.

On Greg Paulus
"Greg is a believer. I've been harder on Greg than any kid on our team. I need to be because he's that important. He's a tough kid, and he knows that he needs that, and to get some of the habits that he hasn't been able to develop fully. He has good instincts. He doesn't have great habits yet. He has great vision, but you need somebody to stay with it. He can't get a five-second call. I'm yelling at him to pick up his dribble. That's who I am. I coach the game like I'm a point guard. That's how I've done it for 31 years. That position has always been the position that I've wanted -- Amaker, Hurley, Pat Harris at Army, Wojo, Quin, Grant Hill for a year, Chris Duhon. At times I've had the point guard being a big guy with Laettner helping. He was a point guard out there, and Battier was a point guard out there. I know the success of our team, a big part of it is going to be how he and I connect and how quickly he feels my instincts in a ball game. Then he reacts to his instincts. He'll do things that I can't see because he's there. But while he's developing, he's got to see the things that I see and feel the things that I feel. It's a big responsibility because we don't want a system. It's a feel thing. It's motion. He's going to be a terrific player, and he has done a great job. We wouldn't be where we're at without Greg playing this well. And he wants that. He and I are real close, and if I'm on him, he knows I should be, and if I'm patting him on the back, he knows I should be. That has to continue to develop."

Senior Lee Melchionni

"We've been having trouble getting into games and just coming out with a vengeance. We just haven't been doing that. It's something we need to get better on because it's going to catch up to us here when we get into the ACC schedule. It's not that we played poor defense or we're playing bad. It's just that we're sort of out of sync. There's no energy and we're sort of listless out there, and that's something that there's just no explanation for. You should always play hard when you're out there."

"As a Duke team, number one in the country, you want to come out and play well every game, and tonight we did that in spurts but not for 40 minutes."

On the freshmen
"They're coming along great, learning every day. We've only played 11 games, so they're still young and still learning, but everyday they get better and it's fun to watch."

Freshman Josh McRoberts

On not starting the second half
"Obviously, I want to be out there on the floor, and I'm going to do what I have to do to be out there. I was a little bit disappointed, but in no way was it something I didn't understand. I totally understood and knew it was probably best for the team. I tried to just bring energy off the bench. That's what I need to do, bring energy to the team."

"Obviously we were sluggish throughout the first half from the start of the game, but in the second half I think we tried to come out and bring our energy."

"I think I have a good level of confidence. I think I'm realistic about it. I know I need to improve a lot for this team to be what we need it to be. I'm just going to keep working hard. I'm a confident player. I've tried not to [doubt myself]. I know it's a growing process in the first 11 games or so. I'm just going to try and build on it and try to become a better player."

Freshman Greg Paulus

"We shared the ball well today. We definitely want to have movement, spacing, and be precise on offense. If we're going down the court thinking one pass and up, we're not going to be very successful on offense."

"I think I'm growing more and more comfortable as the games go along, and I think that'll just happen the more we go on the road and the more ACC games I get under my belt and just go through the experience."

"I don't think it's going to be all pretty and sweet like it has been the last three games. I've made my share of mistakes, but the thing that I want to do is get better. I didn't play well against Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania, and I had a good opportunity against Texas."

"I've got some weaknesses and I've been working on them. They're still there, but I'm still just trying to get better. One of the things that I've been struggling with is being casual with the ball, being lackadaisical with the post entry passes, or passes on the wing. I'm just trying to be sharper with that, trying to get everybody on the same page."

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