Quotes: Duke vs. Georgia Southern

The Blue Devils met the media after their 24 point victory over Georgia Southern

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening Statement:
"We played a really good team tonight. They were really prepared. The two games we've played were against really well-coached basketball teams. You could tell why Georgia Southern has won the Southern Conference for five straight years. They really execute well and their kids are unselfish and they have good ball handlers. It's tough to pressure them. I don't think we had as much energy as we had yesterday but I think a lot of that had to do with the way Georgia Southern played. They take the energy out of you. They did really well pressure-wise. We've been playing well defensively during the two exhibition games and the last two games and that won the game for us [tonight]. We have to keep growing and it's a lot nicer to grow when you win. We're happy to be going to Kansas City; we have a big game before that against UNC-Greensboro Thursday night. We've got a lot of games here – five in 10 days – to try to see how much we can grow as a basketball team."

On DeMarcus Nelson's role:
"He's developing his role. His role was he was hurt. The main thing is not to have him hurt. He was a really good player who was hurt and now he's a really good player who is healthy. I thought defensively he covered [Donte Gennie] really well and then when we were having a hard time with [Dwayne] Foreman at the point, we put him on him. He's just a good defensive player. He is solid."

On how the team played early versus how the team played late:
"I think you have to give credit to their defense. They did not give up fast breaks. They're quick and they got back quickly. They forced us to execute, which we didn't do. I thought their defense was very good. It's easy to say your offense is bad, but their defense is very good. We couldn't get easy stuff and it forced us not to communicate. I think it was mostly them."

On the contributions of the young players:
"In Brian [Zoubek's] case, a big guy is going to look as good as his perimeter is playing, offensively. He relies on somebody getting him the ball and when we're knocked out of our offense, he's knocked out of his offense. Gerald [Henderson] stepped up tonight and Jon [Scheyer] has been solid. Lance [Thomas] played well. I don't want to grade each kid after every game. Overall, we played well. We wouldn't have won if we hadn't played well. We just have to keep playing defense while we learn to play with one another."

Junior DeMarcus Nelson

"We felt like we came out a little slow. You have to give [Georgia Southern] credit. They came out, they hit some shots, they got some wide-open looks, and they knocked down shots. Early on, we weren't ready to play and it showed. We gave up a lot of open looks and rebounds, dribble penetration. Our offense was a little out of rhythm early, and that's the kind of thing that you might see from a young team – or from any team that played a game last night and had to come back. That happens to all teams, even the great teams in the NBA. We just have to learn from the experience and get better."

"I was just trying to help my team win early on, just make plays, and a lot of opportunities early on for me individually came and I just tried to take full advantage of them. Then after that, we kind of settled in, we got used to the way [Georgia Southern] played. This team was a unique team – they played four perimeter guys most of the game and they really tried to spread us out and get some dribble penetration. They had two really good shooters on the perimeter and they had a four man who could shoot the ball. So they really had it spread out. Give them credit. They knocked down some shots early on and they played us tough the whole game."

"Defense is the easiest way to get in games offensively, and early on when our offense wasn't really clicking like normal, our defense really kept us in there. Especially in the second half, our defense really cranked it up. I think we held them to 16 points in the second half? That's phenomenal. That credits all five guys on the court, playing with each other, helping each other out, and rotating."

Sophomore Josh McRoberts

"We didn't play very well in the first half. We played the last four minutes before coming into the locker room, but in the first half, they came out really hard, and we didn't match the intensity starting off the game. I was frustrated. We were just playing really poorly, and that's frustrating for everybody, but as a team we were playing bad. We didn't come out how we should have."

On Duke's improvement in the second half:
"We started playing better defense. They scored a lot of easy baskets early in the first half, and I think we held them to 16 points in the second half, so I think it really picked up."

On Gerald Henderson's contribution to Duke's second half turnaround:
"He was a big part of it. He came in and gave us a lot of energy off the bench. He was able to use his athleticism to make a lot of plays on both ends."

Freshman Gerald Henderson

"Coming off the bench, you want to get in there and contribute as much as you can and play as hard as you can. I felt like I did that today. We came out kind of slow, and I think the guys that came in off the bench gave the starters a boost."

"I think the defense kind of pushed me today. We always say that we're going to get our offense off of our defense. That's something that we live and die off of. I think I brought it on both ends today."

On defending Georgia Southern's athletic backcourt:
"You approach it like every other game – you attack them. Everybody knows how we play. We pressure, try to make them turn the ball over, and we could've done a better job today at that. We had a good defensive second half, but we're still getting better. It's still early in the season."


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