Duke suffered their second loss of the season Tuesday night, falling to surging Clemson 79-72. Here’s what Coach K and players had to say about the game afterward:
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski:
“Clemson played a great game and have been playing so well. To beat NC State and win at North Carolina we knew that Brad [Brownell] team’s always play outstanding defense. Good tough, kids, good players and it’s tough to score against them — and they were that tonight. We knew coming into the game that the four and the five were the positions we had to defend. In our last game we didn’t do a good job at the four and the five and we didn’t do a good job tonight. [Aamir] Simms and [Tevin] Mack were terrific and it’s a different offense to defend, but Simms was spectacular tonight and how he controlled the game. We got knocked back right away. Our kids have to understand how hard it is to win and we’ve been winning, but when you’re in conference, people are hungry, and if you win a lot sometimes you’re not as much as the other team. We missed layups and then in the second half we started pressing and that got us a short lead and then we missed free throws that could’ve given us a two possession lead, but I’m not blaming our guys because Vernon had to work so hard for that. Clemson was more deserving of winning tonight. We almost got it in the second half, but overall they played better than we did.”
Sophomore Guard Tre Jones:
On how much of an impact Duke’s foul trouble made on the game:
“It definitely had a little impact, but we have a couple guys down already so we still had to play through foul trouble. We just didn’t do what we needed to do to win tonight.”
On how different players need to adapt with freshman Wendell Moore Jr. and sophomore Joey Baker out with injuries:
“Like it’s been all year – the next guy has got to step up. Whoever it is, all of us out there tonight needed to do more and so it ends up coming down to all of us.”
On what Clemson was doing offensively that was difficult to guard:
“I think it just comes down to us, really. It’s nothing that they did, really. They didn’t do anything special. They weren’t different than any other team [and] they weren’t better than any other teams that we’ve beat. It was on us and we didn’t come to play.”
Freshman Guard Cassius Stanley:
On how he saw the end of the game play out:
“We didn’t see us losing. We tried to do everything we could, we just had a slow start and they were a confident team.”
On if the team was affected by freshman Wendell Moore Jr. and sophomore Joey Baker being out:
“It played a part a little bit, but it’s just more on us. They were here in moral support and they tried to do everything they could to help us and they did. It just wasn’t our day today.”
On how difficult it was to play with four fouls:
“Honestly, I feel like me getting four fouls was the whole reason we lost the game, probably. I take responsibility for that. I could’ve done some better things. It was tough to play with four, it was tough to watch on the bench but I tried to do my best to cheer everybody on.”
- Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. led the Blue Devils with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, giving him his ninth 20-point game of the season. Carey added seven rebounds and two assists.
- Senior Jack White went 3-of-4 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from three-point range, for nine points. White is 5-of-7 on three-pointers over his last three games.
- Despite picking up his fourth foul with just under 17 minutes remaining in the second half, freshman Cassius Stanley recorded his fourth consecutive game in double figures with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
- Sophomore Tre Jones scored 17 points (6-of-15 FG) with five rebounds and four assists. He notched his 11th double-figure scoring game and eighth game of five or more boards.
Duke returns home to host No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, January 18 at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.