A week after losing to Stephen F Austin at home, Duke defeated 11th ranked Michigan State by double digits in their first true road game. Here’s what Coach K and players had to say about the win?
Coach K’s Opening Statement:
We played so hard and we needed to, to beat them. The crowd was great. Tom’s teams are so good, and this team really advances the ball probably as fast as anyone in the country, and so overall, I thought we did a good job of getting back. Actually, we had a lot more fast break points than I could ever have imagined in this game and so much of that had to do with Tre (Jones) and how our big guys ran the court, especially Javin (DeLaurier). Javin had not played to the level he is capable until tonight. He was a difference maker for us. I thought our big guys did a very good job. Yeah, we won a tough game
Coach K On the Veterans Playing a Big Part in the Game:
It is a good point and Joey has just worked every day. He comes to work everyday and every time he is put in the game, he’s done well. In our last game against Winthrop, they are very good, they could be an NCAA team. Joey (Baker) and Jordan Goldwire were the difference and Jack (White) has been just solid. I think he had a couple blocks and three steals, and he had a big three, so everyone contributed. We needed to; they are a very deep team. The foul trouble that we had, especially in the first half, kind of can mess you up a little bit and they hit us with that run right away and I thought our kids really did a great job after the timeout of regaining poise and get control of the game.
Coach K On What He Saw from His Team Defensively:
We had blocked shots and got some turnovers. We didn’t go into the game thinking we’re going to block as many shots or get the steals. Our guys were
really tough in making an extra play. Like you were beaten, the team was beaten, but then we weren’t. We had probably about eight plays like that where there could’ve been scores for them and our kids just made that extra play. That was superb. That’s not coaching; that’s what I mean, the competitiveness that they had. They got beat and then they still recovered, which saved the game for us. Saved the game for us, no question.
Coach K On His Message to the Team Before Big Games Like This:
I just tell them, if you want to sing your song, you want to sing it in front of a big audience. You not only come into our program, but you’re coming to Michigan State’s program wanting to play in these type of environments. I didn’t know how our kids would respond. You can want and then all of a sudden you get and it can go sideways, but tonight, they wanted, they got and they responded. Cool thing; I’m proud of them for doing that.
Coach K on Becoming a Top Five Team:
This is a huge win, but that doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. We are placed in a very difficult situation, our conference put us in a situation where we will get back at 4 in the morning and literally, we are in the toughest week of our academic year, the week before exams. Two of our kids took tests last night here and now we got to go back and in the next day, Thursday, we fly to Blacksburg (Virginia). It is really not a good scheduling thing by our conference, and we will see how our guys react. Obviously, we are real pleased with a win and now we got to put that behind us very quickly.
Tre Jones on the Difference Between Last Week and this Win Tonight:
The way our team has come together. The loss last week can be really bad for teams. We know it’s early on in the year and we have a lot of growing to do. We came together as a team and the coaches helped us learn but also pushed us in ways we didn’t know we could be pushed. We came together as a team and came out on Friday last week, got the win under our belts and started preparing for this game knowing we had to be a tough team and play together.
Tre Jones on the Coaching Staff Pushing the Team:
The way we fight for Duke. The name, the university, everything that has built Duke basketball. Coach has been there to build it all. He’s been through it all and he reminded us of what that is. We talk about being a tough team and a defensive-minded team, and that’s the type of things that build Duke basketball. We had to refocus on that and get back to work.
Javin DeLaurier on the Message to the Freshmen Following the Victory on the Road:
They all responded as well as you could expect, especially with it being our first true road game. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be hostile and we did a good job of eliminating their crowd from the beginning by playing hard and taking control of the game. The second half, they came out and hit us with a couple punches, but we did a good job of responding. The freshmen played amazing tonight.
Javin DeLaurier on the Rematch Against Michigan State:
Obviously when a team beats you in the tournament and ends your season, it’s the game you think about the most working towards next year. It feels good to come and beat a really good team. It feels a little sweeter because they did beat us last year in the Elite Eight.