Quotes: Duke v. Michigan

Coach K and his players met the media following their victory over Michigan on Saturday

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski

On his overall impression of the game:
"This was a good win for us. I thought Michigan had a great game plan, and you knew coming off last Saturday when they lost to Harvard, they were going to be a different team. (He's) an outstanding coach and his kids were ready to play. What they did was really push the ball down the court. We wanted to press, and at the start of the game, we were caught in-between and our transition defense was not very good. We were running up while they were running by us. It took us a while to make that adjustment. We were a little bit fortunate that they missed some shots early. We missed some layups too. The score at halftime probably should have been 60-40 because we missed some good shots and they did too."

On the play of his team:
"Our bench was great tonight. Nolan (Smith), Taylor (King), Jon (Scheyer), Brian (Zoubek) in the second half and Dave (McClure) for a little bit, really gave us a boost. We got a lot of points from our bench. That lineup with Greg and Nolan, it was really the first time they've played together. Maybe I should do that more. Nolan, Greg (Paulus), DeMarcus (Nelson), Jon and Taylor were in the ballgame and they gave us a big boost. There were some scrappy exchanges down the court and they resulted in either a good defensive stop for us or a real momentum basket and that broke it open. I thought our execution on that last play where our guys got DeMarcus that three gave us a lot of momentum going into the half."

On why he called an early timeout:
"Our transition defense was bad. We would be back and a guy in a yellow shirt would run by us and it seemed to be ok, because "I have that other yellow shirt." And in transition, you don't have your man. You have A man. So, if my man is on that side of the court and I'm here, the other wing should take that guy. We call it "point and talk," and when you do that stuff, you come back wide in transition and on people. If you're talking and pointing, you're in a better defensive stance, and what we were doing is just coming running back and not doing that."

On the play freshmen Nolan Smith and Taylor King:
"I'm really proud of Nolan and Taylor. They didn't play well against Davidson, but they both had really good weeks of practice. Nolan had his best week of practice and he played like it. Nolan has the ability to create his own shot. He and Gerald (Henderson) are two guys on our team that can do that, and today he did that. He was a lot more aggressive."

On tweaking Duke's system throughout the season:
"We will do that throughout the year. You're always adjusting because players change throughout the season. If you keep them in a box and say you're only supposed to do these things, they're never going to improve."

Freshman Nolan Smith

"Today just felt like I brought a lot of energy to the team. We started off a little slow but the bench really helped out the team today in this win. It feels good. The team has a lot of confidence in me as a player and we just played defense and got easy buckets."

On being in the game together with Greg Paulus:
"We've been working on it in practice. Greg and I, we were waiting for the chance to play together so when it came today, he pulled me aside and said, ‘Let's make the most of this.' And we did – we went on like a 10-0 run, and it felt good playing with him. I can get off the ball some and he can get off the ball some, and we can just both be players."

On the key to the first half run when Duke built the lead:
"It was just the defense and just attacking the ball. As we pressured them, they started to get on their heels and that's the way we want everybody to play. We were up there pressuring the point guards and denying the wings and it led to easy baskets."

Freshman Taylor King

"I think we just tried to contribute as much as possible, especially the guys off the bench. With the different groups and different lineups we have in there, anybody and any team can get into a groove. And that's what we did. We started getting stops, the crowd got into it, and we made them call a couple of timeouts and that was good."

"It's just the way the game goes. Any guy can catch fire and I can't wait to see when everybody on the whole team catches fire because it's going to be dangerous. It's really exciting when one guy goes off and then the next guy goes off. It's a tribute to the other guys on the team."

"It was something that Coach emphasized before the game that he wanted everybody to go hard to the offensive boards. For me I try to do as much as I can to contribute and I felt like my jumpshot wasn't falling except in the second half, so I felt like I needed to get other stuff off the rebounds and at the free throw line."

Senior DeMarcus Nelson

"Defensively we gave up a lot of easy buckets and a lot of open shots and they missed a few. That's not who we are defensively as a team. So the coaches made an adjustment to the way we guarded them and the way we were going to defend their offense and try to cut down their dribble penetration, which would cut down on their open looks. Then we started cutting that down in the first half and getting easy buckets in transition."

On the contributions off the bench lately:
"They've been really big for us. Without those guys, we wouldn't have the type of success that we're having. This is a long season and on any given moment we're going to need somebody to step up. That's what we tell each other every day in practice – that everybody has to practice hard. And when it comes to the game, just be ready to play and do your job and just have fun playing out there. The guys that came off the bench really sparked us."

On Nolan Smith:
"Nolan is a good player. We've always said that. Nolan's a really good athlete – he's quick, he's strong and he understands the game. He really plays at a fast pace but under control, and tonight he was really efficient with his moves and was really sharp. He had a great week of practice and that's why he played like that today. For our team to be really good, we're going to need him to play the way he did today."

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