Quotes: Duke vs. UNCG

Several Blue Devils met the media after Thursday night's big victory.

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

On the game as a whole:
"I thought we did a really good job today. Our kids played really, really hard. Some of the plays in the first half were terrific. What happens sometimes for our team is we're playing so hard defensively that we get a turnover or a rebound we force some action that isn't there. At times our offense sputters or we make a mistake. I like their team; (Kyle) Hines could be a really good player in our league and once (Ricky) Hickman starts playing, they're going to be a force to be reckoned with in their conference. I don't like to single out too many kids when I do this, but (David) McClure with 7 steals was terrific tonight. He played very well and we're going to need that."

On the effort in the first half on the defensive end as compared to the effort in the first 5-6 minutes in the second half:
"After we played our second game, I saw articles written about our team about inconsistency. What is consistency? What is consistent about a team that has never played together before? In order to get some frame of reference they have to play a lot of games. Then you'll find out. Maybe they were at an extreme playing with that effort and they don't know how to maintain that or maybe it is impossible to maintain, I don't know. Let's not be so quick to critique these young kids like you would a veteran team. I love my team. Let them grow. They're playing their butts off. In the three games we've played the other teams have not scored 50 points. I don't know if any of my teams have ever done that."

On the large lead:
"Teams aren't going to go away. They're playing Duke in Cameron. When you get a lead like that, some of those shots are free shots. It's not 52-52. So you have to defend even harder in those situations to try and stop some people. Overall I'm really pleased with my team."

On the amount of practice time between games:
"We've played these three games without practice in between. So one of the things about playing so many games is you lose practice time and our team needs to practice. We need to practice a lot so we learn about one another. I thought Gerald (Henderson) again played hard, DeMarcus (Nelson) has just been so solid with his four steals, he's just playing like a veteran, and the same thing with Josh (McRoberts). Josh had five blocks and seven assists. We need to have time to find ourselves, it's going to take a while. But as long as we're playing we have a chance to win."

On DeMarcus Nelson's health and Josh McRoberts' involvement:
"[Demarcus has] never been healthy enough. He's a really good basketball player. He just needs to get the experience of playing in games for a period of time so that he can find his comfort level. These three games for him have been very solid because he hasn't forced anything. They named him MVP for the first two games, I think it's an indicator that he's finding a good place. With Greg (Paulus) out, Josh has been on the outside a lot. We need to find a way to get him inside. Once Greg gets back into full shape, with Jon (Scheyer) and DeMarcus, we should be able to do a better job handling the ball."

Sophomore David McClure:

"I think for us to be successful this year we're all going to have to step up and make plays. We're a young, athletic team and the more people we have doing that, the more successful we're going to be."

"We were really excited coming out in the first half. One of our big points of emphasis this game was coming out and having a lot of energy. I think coming out with so much energy in the first half we might have let down a little bit. That's one thing that we're going to get better at as the year goes on is just maintaining [our intensity] throughout the game."

"I think we played tremendous [defense in the first half]. That really has to be the identity of our team this year. We have tremendous athletes and we're young so it's going to take a little time to get our offense flowing, but defense can definitely be a point of emphasis on our team."

"It's great. I put in a lot of work in the off-season, and it's just great to see our whole team playing as a whole like that. At one point in the first half, we had everybody all over the court. It's just fun playing like that. When people start playing like that, you don't even think about yourself. You just think about how well we were all playing out there. It was great for everyone."

Freshman Brian Zoubek:

"I think we made a statement with our defense. We really came out there and played really hard on defense for awhile. That just affects the rest of our game, so that's what we have to keep on doing every night. We really showed something."

On his success so far:
"You can't predict anything. I'm just trying to come out and help my team any way I can. If that's going to be points or that's going to be rebounds or that's going to be hard defense, I'm doing whatever. It's a lot better than I expected coming in here."

"The tough thing about playing so many games in a short period of time is you don't get to have hard practices where you can really run your offense and get into your offensive sets. I think that was one of the things - we were just rusty. We haven't run it in awhile. We haven't worked on it. One of the other things was that we were playing such hard defense that by the time we got to offense we were a little fatigued. But we're doing well."

On playing with Josh McRoberts:
"It's unbelievable playing with Josh [McRoberts]. He can play any position. When I go in, I like to play in the low post, so it's great that he can go out there with his vision and stay on the outside. We work really well as a tandem."

Junior DeMarcus Nelson:

"It was a great, great effort, especially in the first half and toward the end of the second half of this game. We really wanted to come out here and get better and set the standards for our team. And we just want to continue to get better game after game."

"Of course there is always room for improvement. We feel like our offense is going to come around a little slower because it takes time, takes rhythm, takes players continuing to get to know each other, and Greg [Paulus]'s absence for so long and now his coming back. Coach K gave us a new system to run, a new offense to run, and it's just going to take time for everyone to understand the concept and understand where each other is supposed to be."


The Devils Den Top Stories