Quotes: Duke-97, Florida State-96

Coach K and several players met the media following Duke's thrilling victory on Saturday

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski:

Opening Comments:
"It was just another Saturday afternoon game at Cameron. I am proud of our guys to win against a team that played so well and so hard. Just to find a way to win is noteworthy. You can break down x's and o's and all that. They had more energy than us. I don't think they necessarily wanted the game more than us because I think both teams wanted it the same. They were really ready to play. We overcame one of the great performances of an individual that has been done here in the last five years. (Al) Thornton's performance was nothing less than spectacular. We had no answer for him. He seemed like he never got tired and every time they needed a bucket when we got a little bit of a lead Thornton would do something. (Jason) Rich was really poised when he went in to the low post. Their team played great. We were just able to find some ways to win. Obviously we are exhausted, we feel good but are exhausted. I am proud of the fact that we found a way to win. DeMarcus' (Nelson) performance was a big factor for us. He is obviously not in shape because of his injuries but if we didn't have him today then there is no question that we would have lost."

On physicality of the Game:
"We are not the most physical team so especially the last two ball games they have been more physical games. J.J. is the brunt of that. That is why we end up shooting free throws because we are going to keep running stuff for him and if you are going to be physical with him then at some time you are going to foul him. It takes its toll so we need to find a way to make sure he doesn't get worn out. That is why DeMarcus' performance was important. They were coming after us and when they scored they usually scored on drives with a numerical advantage. We were backing up and didn't have a chance to have a guy come in and try to slap it away. They were isolating us and they really tried to push it down our throats. It was a good gameplan, especially with the schedule we are playing this week. I have been worried about this game for a couple of weeks. As soon as the B.C. game ended I told my staff that nobody would know it, but this would be one of the toughest games we play all year."

On if Duke will struggle with quick players like Al Thornton:
"That always would be a worry. There aren't many players like him. He is one of the best players in the country. He has high energy and is at that position that we have used so well for 20 years. He is a mismatch at the four. DeMarcus, if he was in shape, could stay with him a little bit better. DeMarcus was giving everything he had. Thornton was spectacular. That is why winning a game against a team that played so well and that kid's performance is certainly deserving of winning. Both teams deserved to win today."

On teams spreading the court against Duke:
"We are going to play man-to-man defense and we are going to play it well. Our season is not about the season, it is about the end of the season. You develop by playing well, by getting beat, by not looking good, by looking good, and if you continually camouflage a weakness than you never correct that weakness. We are going to keep working on correcting that weakness without forgetting our strengths that were able to be better than the weakness that we had."

On Shelden Williams guarding Thornton:
"That is the matchup I would have liked. You don't get a good feel for him until you play him. As soon as I saw, Shelden was the guy who had to play him. We didn't get him prepared to play him like we wanted to. I would have had him match up against DeMarcus in practice. He did o.k. but nobody did a good job on him. You need some power because that kid is not just athletic, he is strong and strong-willed. That was an incredible performance by that kid and our kids too. Shelden playing with four fouls down the stretch. We went into him more down that stretch than we have ever. Shelden was the story of our game. J.J. was obviously great too but Shelden was really good."

On how Greg Paulus played down the stretch:
"He played good. He had big free throws. We still would like somebody to take control of our team better. It is hard for a freshman to tell people what to do, especially when they are seniors. That is the thing we need out on the court. I can't run the team from the bench. You have to have somebody running the ship. It has to be a team effort and should be helped by the seniors. Knowing time, score and what we are in right now, all those types of things. We are not as good as we need to be in that. That is the area to me that is the most important because it sets up all the other areas."



Senior Shelden Williams:

On his stealing the inbounds pass late in overtime:
"I saw them looking over to the back, and fortunately I was [in a spot] where I had a lane and could shoot the gap and get the steal, and that produced two free throws."

"They were a very hungry team. A team like that, playing like that - I hope they play like that for the rest of the season. They're a great basketball team, and if they keep playing with that confidence, they're going to be tough to beat down the road."

"I think it says a lot for our team that we came back from them having a lead throughout the course of the game, and for us to go back and forth, battling it out during the last few minutes of regulation and also in overtime says a lot about our character and our toughness as a team."



Sophomore DeMarcus Nelson:
"There were numerous plays that Shelden (Williams) made down the stretch that were winning plays. A guy like Shelden Williams is always going to make plays like that with blocks, just stepping over and showing his presence to make an offensive player alter their shot and miss a shot and give us the rebound. He's a great player. You expect that out of him."

"They were a very athletic team. Their wings were athletic - obviously (Al) Thornton is a great athlete and their big man in the center was athletic. It was definitely a hard fought game. Those guys were everywhere, on the glass, in transition, getting into the lane, things like that. A team like that, you just really have to fight them every single play. You can't take plays off because if there's a jump ball, most times an athlete is going to get it. If there's a sprint, most times the athlete is going to win it. That's just how it is. We didn't have quite as many athletes on the court to match up with those players, so we have to be a hard-nosed team and do the little things to make plays."



Senior J.J. Redick:

"It's always exciting to play in a game like that. It's even more exciting to come away with a win. This team has been very resilient this year. We've had our back against the wall in a lot of games. You know we're 21-1, and it's a team that could be 16-6 easily. We've just found ways to win games. Today you have to give Florida State a lot of credit. They played an amazing game. The last 10 minutes, it really was just an amazing basketball game."

On his big three to put Duke up three in overtime:
"It wasn't any set or anything. It was just out of motion. Things broke down, we were getting into motion, and I was just moving without the ball and I lost (Jason) Rich. Shelden (Williams) was popping to get the ball, and I think he screened at the last minute, and (Diego) Romero was just a little late getting out on me. (Al) Thornton came down the next possession and shot a three, and I thought it was going in, the way he was playing. I knew there was no way we could let up until that final buzzer."

On the upcoming matchup against North Carolina:
"Carolina and Duke - it's obviously the best rivalry in college basketball. The tradition, the players, the coaches - there's such a long line of history between Carolina and Duke. To be a part of the rivalry and to play against Carolina is always an honor."

"Florida State is a Tournament team. I don't care what people say. They're a tough team, and they have a lot of talent. (Al) Thornton is one of the best players in the conference. I expect them to finish the league with a winning record in conference and make the Tournament. They're a good team."


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