Quotes: Duke v. Cornell

The Blue Devils met the media following their victory over Cornell on Sunday afternoon in Durham

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening statement:
"I thought we played against a really good basketball team today. You can see why they're the favorites to win their league. They're very well-coached, poised, and I think they were real loose. Sometimes teams come in here and get real tight and at other times, they get so loose that they're not afraid to lose, not afraid to fail and not afraid to make mistakes. In this case, I think that's where Cornell was, and that's really good preparation on their part. As a result, we have to be real sharp because the crowd and the venue have no effect on them; it's even uplifting. But we did, at times, do that very well or else we wouldn't have won the game.

On Duke's slow start:
"Early in the game, we didn't get loose balls. They were really quick to the ball, and they probably scored half of their points in the first half off those times we didn't dive for the ball."

On playing their first game after a 17-day break:
"We've had a long break. I don't know if we're in game shape or game talk yet. We weren't communicating very well out on the court. At stop actions, you could see us – we just weren't sharp. Not so much X's and O's, but we've got to get back to playing basketball, being sharp and doing these things. And they are a good team, so they put you in that position. With that long of a break, you've got to get into the habit of doing that again."

On the physicality of Cornell tonight:
"They're a physical team. They've got some big guys and some older guys. They did a really good job. I have nothing but admiration for how they played."

On whether the lack of three-point buckets is a concern:
"If we want to win by just shooting threes, then we're not going to win very much. We'll analyze if they were all good shots – probably a few of them weren't. We have to have balance. I'm more concerned about some of our finishes. We missed six or seven shots today that were right there. When you miss a three, that's one thing, but when you miss something close, it gives your opponent energy. You have to finish at the line and finish close to the bucket. That's what championship teams do."


Senior DeMarcus Nelson

"Coach is right – I think our communication was lacking today, on both ends of the court, defensively and offensively. We have to do a better job of that as a team. It starts with guys like me, the older guys on the team, to make sure and enforce that everyone's talking on the court. Talk is something you think is not a big deal but it's huge in the game of basketball."

"I don't think [talking] comes natural for all guys on the team. When I was younger in my career, it was hard for me too just because of my personality. I'm more quiet and subtle, but on the court you have to do what you have to do to help your team win and for your team to get better. Talking makes the game so much easier and it gives your teammates confidence. Something so small can play a big part in the game and it's something that we have to look at and attack and address."

On his highlight reel dunk that gave him 1,000 points for his career:
"Once the game started I wasn't even thinking about that at all. It wasn't something I was playing for or even was aware of during the course of the game. I was just competing and trying to win. It was a pretty good play to do it on. I was about to pass it to Nolan [Smith] to do a give-and-go but the guy was kind of shading to his side, so I just took another dribble and went airborne."


Sophomore Gerald Henderson

"We just didn't come out with the type of intensity and defensive intensity that we wanted to. That was a game that Cornell could've won. We just didn't play the way that we had planned on playing. Going into the game, especially coming off a loss, guys are ready to play and get after it out there. The result of the game – we won the game – but we didn't play with the kind of excitement and intensity that we wanted to come out with. You have to give Cornell credit. They're a good team and they played well. We didn't play the way that we wanted to."

"[Communication] is something big for us. It's been big for us all year. If we talk it'll make things a lot easier for us defensively, just being on the same page and everybody moving as one. Today was a perfect example where we didn't have really good talk, leaving guys open and not running the plays that the bench wanted us to. That's something that we need to keep working on as a team. Some guys aren't naturally really vocal people, so you have to bring that out of people sometimes."

On the upcoming matchup with Temple in Philadelphia
"It should be a fun game, playing against some guys that I worked out with a lot this summer. It should be a good game for us, especially leading into the ACC [regular season schedule]. We feel like the game before we should be at our best, so we're looking to go up there and play really well."


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