Curry speaks about Duke’s first two games in the NCAA Tournament:
The first two games we have had have been good starting points for us in the tournament. Two good teams that really pushed us, played their best games for the most part and games we had to really grind out, especially against Creighton. Going up against Michigan State, they are one of the best teams in the country and very psychical and have a lot of great players so we have to be ready and we have to be on top of our ‘A’ game. Be ready for the physicality and it’s going to be a fun game to play in.
Kelly discusses his 36 point game against Miami:
I was pretty happy about it to say the least, especially with the win obviously. I didn’t really know when I was going to play. I decided the day before. Really only got one 20 minute practice in the day before and just said I was going to go for it. Thank goodness the ball went in the basket.
Krzyzewski gives his thoughts about why he hasn’t left Duke for another coaching job:
That and I really do love Duke and I love college basketball. I think if your family was spread out all over then somebody might be living in L.A. and somebody might be living in Denver and Dallas and Chicago. That is the criteria. How crazy is that? I would’ve been moving away from my daughters instead of my daughters moving away from us. That was part of the decision making process, there’s no doubt about that.
Rivers discusses hitting a game winning shot on North Carolina:
It was just an amazing feeling. It was a big team win. I think everybody contributed to the win and just to get the win at North Carolina, versus a great team, meant a lot. Everybody stepped up and when that ball went through the net I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking man. Everything went so fast.
Krzyzewski gives his thoughts on how Duke has played during the season:
I like the fact that we’ve won 19 out of 23 games against an extremely difficult schedule, one of the top schedules in the country. I’m not happy with the way we’ve developed. Based on that schedule, we should’ve learned more, so that we wouldn’t be inconsistent from game-to-game and within a game. We can play really good basketball at times, or for a game, and then all of the sudden not play well.
Kryzyzewski gives his thoughts on why people hate Duke:
To be quite frank with you, there are more people who love Duke. We’re as popular a team in the United States, but we are also a hated team because we have won and it is okay. I had John Thompson on my Sirius XM show and he talked about anger based on competition, it’s competitive anger. I am okay with that, with somebody saying I want Duke to lose because they have won. When you attack the standards that our guys have had, that’s a different type of anger and then you should get help because then you got a problem, and it is not my problem, it is your problem. But competitive anger I’m good with.
Singler speaks about the challenges of being the defending NCAA basketball champions:
It definitely takes a lot of energy, takes a lot of focus. It kind of just shows Coach’s level of leadership and just his preparation that he makes us understand the value of each game. … I’ve kind of grown up with that my whole life. … I think it’s something our guys are used to.
Singler talks about Duke’s chance to repeat as NCAA National Basketball champions:
Whenever we take the court as a team, our main objective is to win a basketball game. Now that we’re in the tournament, I think we’re in a good spot as a team. We’re playing well. I think winning championships really marks you as a basketball player and just as a sports person. I think we have the team to win another championship.
Laettner speaks about playing against Michigan in 1992:
Well like I said, Coach K is an amazing coach and he got at us every second of the way and he would never let us think stuff like that. He would make us think, these guys are good, they can beat you and will beat you if you are not on top of your game, so let’s practice and be ready to have a hell of a fight and hopefully we will end up on top. Sure, did everyone know they were brash and, that may be the farthest we would go with it, you know, they are cocky, they are young, and they are brash. Big deal, let’s go out there and beat them.
Williams talks about an upcoming game with Duke:
If we make a bunch, and I mean a bunch, of shots. A bunch of 3s, a bunch of dunks. … You’re not going to beat Duke in a 50-, 60-point game, because they’re going to score a heckuva lot more than that. You’ve got to score and you have to play defense and do those things, but you better be willing to score. The games that we’ve beat Duke, we’ve been able to put the ball in the basket. … That’s the only way I think you can beat Duke.
Curry talks about how his season with Duke is going:
Yeah it’s been up and down throughout the season so far just trying to get used to my role and not knowing how many touches or how many shots I’m gonna get every game. Just trying to stay ready, get my work in every practice, and just come into the game ready. Ready to make plays so I knew my opportunity would come and I’m just happy I’ve been able to make the most of it.
Lavin speaks about St. John’s defeating Duke:
Always helps, like jumper cables, when you get a big win. It’s important for the program, for your kids, for your various constituencies, former players and alumni and of course the St. John’s basketball fans. … This was really a positive step in the right direction and it puts some wind in the sails for our team.
Smith talks about the level of competition Duke faces:
If you look on paper, you can kind of think there’s a huge gap between us and the next team, but, as players, when we take the court, there’s no such thing as a gap in the ACC. … We have to always be ready to play. In the ACC, road games are tough, fans are always ready, teams are ready. I think there’s still a lot of good teams in this conference.
Krzyzewski comments on Irving’s injury:
The latest is the same and it’s he’s going to be out an extended period of time. We’re having him see a couple of the best people in the country. We have one of the best people in the country right here at Duke in Jim Nunnely, and he’ll see a couple other people over the course of the next several weeks. We have a course of action in seeing people and while he’s seeing those people, he’s in a position where recovery is taking place. However, it’s a very sensitive injury and there’s a few different methods you would go about in treating it, and we want to make sure that the method we’re using ensures his career.
Izzo discusses losing to Duke in a close contest:
You think he’s a hell of a player, that’s for sure. Irving is a great player and we made him even greater than he is. I say that only because … he got 13 [points] at the free throw line. You can’t let that happen, that’s for sure. On that night, he played very well against a very good player and I think it was maybe more him than us. … I was actually quite pleased with our defense other than our turnovers which led to poor defense.
Curry comments on what he expects his role to be on Duke’s basketball team:
He hasn’t really talked about the rotation, but I’m just gonna try and go in and get as much playing time, earn a starting spot, and stuff like that. I’m just gonna go in and do what I do. Be aggressive on the offensive end, put points on the board, and defensively put pressure on the ball like all his guards do.
Singler talks about returning to Duke for his senior season:
Well there were a few. The main ones were I just really liked it here. I felt like if I left that I would kind of miss out on my senior year. I think just coming back I will improve as a basketball player and just being around people that I like. I don’t feel like I want to leave. I don’t feel like I am being pushed out or anything and just the guys that we have back I think that we have a really good chance of repeating what we did this year.
Kryzyzewski speaks about his strategy in the final seconds of Duke’s NCAA championship victory:
Well, first of all, you can do it a number of different ways. And each game, you have to know what the game has done thus far. And the last 9 minutes of that game, Zoubek played with four fouls; the last 5 minutes, Lance Thomas played with four fouls. Going into overtime, for me, is a conservative way of looking at it. It’s not an alternative. I did not want to go into overtime. If we hit the free throw and they somehow hit a three, then we’re okay, we don’t lose. I wasn’t thinking for this game in that way.
Kryzyzewski talks about Duke’s upcoming game against West Virginia:
I think you have to go into a game expecting that you are going to win, and, if you don’t you have lost already. You have to prepare like you are going to win. Do you like expect that it is going to be easy or whatever? No but you have to go about it feeling like you are going to win and I am sure that Bob is going to do the same thing with his team.
Kryzyzewski talks about how complete Duke is this season:
I think it’s more than fair. Whether we win the National Title or not, I think we’re competitive. It’s such a hard thing to win. This team has a chance. It’s not a great team, but it’s a very good team. It can play defense and it’s really together as a group. It can score enough points and it can rebound. It doesn’t play all aspects of the game – it’s not a pressing team, we can’t force tempo and stuff like that. But it has a chance. It’s been awhile since we’ve not had a hole that someone can exploit.
Kryzyzewski comments on an upcoming game against Villanova:
They’re playing their best basketball of the season. We’re actually pretty similar. We’re perimeter oriented, both of our teams. Neither team has a real strong low post presence, although (Dante) Cunningham. Their perimeter is outstanding, (Scottie) Reynolds being the key guy. He can put up 30 points on you.
Wright compares Villanova’s style of play to Duke’s:
Yeah, I do. I think they spread the floor and really space well like we do. They’ve got a lot of very skilled players like we do. Defensively, they try to be very aggressive, more in the half-court kind of like we do. They are, they’re very similar teams.