Quotes: Duke vs. Georgia Tech

Coach K and several players met the media following Duke's victory on Sunday in Durham

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening Statement
"That was a great basketball game. [Georgia Tech] is good. They're better than they were when they beat us down in Atlanta. It's hard for me to think that our league won't get nine teams in the tournament. We've played against really good teams. This conference is so good and all these teams better get rewarded. Kids in this conference are really playing their butts off, top to bottom. I think it's been the most competitive conference – not just the race for first place but in games – that I've ever seen. Our guys did a great job defensively, forcing turnovers and turning them into points. I think each team had a hard time scoring against the other team's half-court defense. They're really good defensively in a different way than us; they're athletic and long and it's tough to get by them. This was such a big game for us. We haven't been home for a while. The last time we were home was against North Carolina and everyone was crazy. Now the tents are down and it's a Sunday afternoon. I wanted our sixth man to be hungry. I thought the crowd responded well to it."

On getting his 700th win
"I had no idea about 700 wins. We're 6-6 in the conference; I just want to get to 7-6. I was shocked at the end of the game when that happened. I don't read our press notes. I think I know my team well enough. I do watch the standings of the league. That was a nice surprise."

On the team's improvement
"We are better. The league has made a lot of teams better because you really have to show up hard for every ballgame. I think the league will make a big splash in March. Our league has shown up very, very well. Georgia Tech is really good. There were two huge stretches for us [today] where our bench really came through. Against Florida State, we got in all that foul trouble and weren't able to sustain that. To me, that was big. At the beginning of the second half, we didn't come out with the defensive intensity. I think that sometimes when you're in a physical game like this there is too much time between rounds. You lose a little bit of your edge. We put in Lance [Thomas], G[erald Henderson], Marty [Pocius] and Dave [McClure] and they brought us back. Then Greg [Paulus'] three was huge. He was a tough kid today."

On DeMarcus Nelson
"He's been a really good defender for us. That's why we put him on people. Looking back to last year, I would have loved to have had him all year so that J.J. [Redick] wasn't our defensive stopper. That's part of the game. He's made the most of it this year and has been a real good defender."

On the last few games
"I thought we got better during those four games. We played winning basketball except for in the first eight minutes at Maryland. If you watch the Carolina game, we played winning basketball. We missed free throws and they're obviously really good. The other two games we had a shot at winning. During the second half at Maryland, Josh [McRoberts] asserted himself and used that as a springboard for Boston College. We were getting better and you have to keep letting the kids know that. Everyone else is talking about losing streaks and polls and superficial stuff that really is not the right thing for us to talk about."

Sophomore Josh McRoberts:

"[Coach K closing in on 700]...It is something that he would never bring up to us. I kind of knew about it in the back of my mind, but I didn't think about it. It came to me at the end of the game how special it was."

"I didn't do a great job today [breaking the press]. I was coming open as Greg (Paulus) was being trapped and I had a chance to handle the ball and help him out."

Sophomore Dave McClure

"There's a grid-lock right now at the top [of the ACC] and we're trying to sit there and get our momentum going."

"It's hard not to hear [the comments of "Duke's in trouble"] but we try to use it as a springboard and give us momentum. We know what we need to do and we're not going to be that Duke team. We're going to come back strong."

Sophomore Greg Paulus

"We didn't execute as smoothly as we wanted to in the second half, but our defense didn't stop playing. As long as we're playing defense we could hold the lead that we built in the first half."

"I had a couple of shots go down for me [in the second half] and I had some good looks. The shots were there and I was taking them."

"Anytime you get a win it's a good feeling and we just need to build on what we just did."

"We understand that we have a couple of road games coming up and we're not looking for three out of four, we're focusing on one, the next one."


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