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Duke Blue Devils vs Binghamton Bearcats postgame press conference

Posted Friday, March 20, 2009

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Greensboro, NC - The Blue Devils beat the Bearcats, 86-62. Here are the postgame quotes from the Duke Blue Devils vs Binghamton Bearcats press conference.

DUKE QUOTES

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I thought our team played well. They're good. Really quick. You know, very, very quick, and they took the game to us in the first half.

I thought they played really hard. I thought we played well in the first half, but in the second half I thought we played extremely well. Especially those first five or six minutes. The key guy for us was Lance. I thought Lance played one of his best games, and there in that stretch of four or five minutes, he made some really big energy plays. On the boards, got a big offensive rebound, kicked it out to Jon, I think that put us up by 14. I may be wrong on that score. But it was a big momentum play.

Then on the defensive end, just seeing like Lance had tremendous energy, and our whole team fed off of it. Nolan coming off the bench was outstanding. Elliot made a few really big-time decisions. Good decisions in how he moved the ball, instead of taking the quick shot. It led to three buckets for us.

So, overall, I'm really pleased with our performance, and no one was hurt. So it's off to Saturday.

Q. Number one, are you back to 100%? And obviously, in the next match-up, Abrams shot the lights out in the game tonight, what problems does that present?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: You know, we don't know. It's better not to ask Texas questions. They don't -- and I don't want them to be making statements that they're not prepared to make. Let's talk about tonight's game. I'll talk a little bit about Texas because I know them. They're going game to game. Just answer the first part.

NOLAN SMITH: Yes, I am 100%, and I feel great right now.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: You can answer it longer if you want. I didn't mean to scare you. Or dominate the microphone (laughing).

Q. From a Binghamton perspective, their foul trouble there off the start. How much did it look like it kept them kind of rattled and helped you guys kind of get your groove from the line?

JON SCHEYER: Well, yeah, that's a big thing for us. I don't know if there were six fouls they got pretty quickly. But for us it was a big thing. We just wanted to drive the ball and get to the free-throw line, obviously. Because when a team gets in foul trouble like that. But it was good to get a good start in the game. And I think Fuller had two fouls maybe early, and he's a really good player for them, and that's big for us.

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I think that was part of their attack though. They're not accustomed to doing. They attacked us with all, they took -- that's what I meant, they took the fight to us. I admire the way they did that.

Q. I was just wondering if you could talk about the defensive pressure that Binghamton's guard put on you guys, and maybe compare it to the other guards that you've played against this season?

NOLAN SMITH: The Binghamton guards, they played great defense. They really got after us, and they tried to pick up full court through most of the game. So it really forced us to handle the ball better and be sharper with our offensive possessions and take care of the ball. So they played great defense. You know, they have great guards, and we had to really be ready to play on our perimeter side.

JON SCHEYER: One thing, they don't have just one guard that's pretty quick, they have a bunch of guards. So no matter who was guarding me, bringing it up Nolan or whoever it was, pretty much anybody could pressure the ball and attack us like Coach said. That was one thing many teams don't have, and they had tonight.

PHIL WARSHAUER: We'll continue with questions for Coach Krzyzewski.

Q. On a night like tonight where you've got six guys in double figures, and Kyle's the only guy that shot double-digit shots, it seems like it's getting evenly distribute kind of the way you want it right now?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't know how I want it. I want to have more points than them. Tonight though because of -- Binghamton played their hearts out against us. So they continued to put us in a position where we had to make an extra pass. I thought we haven't been put in that position very much. Then our guys did that. I think it's a result it was evenly distributed.

I mean Lance, at 14 points, he's 5 for 5, and 5 rebounds. I mean, it's because of making that extra pass and how they were going after us. I think it lends itself more to having balanced scoring tonight.

Q. Reflect on that first five minutes in the second half. 17-2 out of the gate. What did you instruct them at halftime? What did they execute well and accomplish other than sending most of the Carolina people home during that first five minutes?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I thought there were a large portions of the first half where they were -- not that we weren't playing hard, I thought they were playing harder than we were. That's what I meant about taking the fight to us. I'm not sure -- we respect them. We prepared for them just like we prepared for anybody.
But coming off the ACC championship, and, you know, you're bigger. I thought they knocked us back a little bit. Then we regained it, got a double digit lead and they came back at the end of the first half.

We didn't want to go and have another half like that. We said we need to have the first 4 minutes and come out of the gate not only play tough defense, but really attack the offensive boards. They did that to the highest level for that 5-minute period, and it just broke the game open.

Q. Coming in, Rivera their leading scorer averaging 20 points per game. He got the 20 points, but it wasn't in the fashion of 20 points that was really going to hurt you. He got a lot of those not where they were important necessarily in the game. Were you pleased with how your team played defensively on him tonight?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I thought we played very well defensively in the second half. Rivera is a big emphasis for us, the biggest. He's got a good -- he's a hungry scorer. He has a passion to score. And Mayben does, too. Those two guys are good. That's why they were at higher majors before. They chose an outstanding school, and they're champions.

I told our team in preparation for this that this team was a championship team that we're playing. Regular season and tournament. So they were winners. That's what makes this tournament so exciting is that more than half the teams that are participating in the NCAA Tournament are champions. They've won a league or their conference tournament. This team personified that. They have a lot of pride.
We did what we did fine against them because we outscored them by 20 or whatever. But that kid's a good player. He's a really good player.

Q. I wanted to ask you about facing Texas. You've obviously studied a little bit of them?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I haven't studied them, but I know just because Jeff played against them. I watch them play a little bit.

Q. Just the challenges you're going to face on Saturday?

COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Very first thing, Rick is one of the best. They have a tradition of excellence. That was established a little before him, but he's taken it to the highest level.

Abrams is just a great shooter. I mean, he -- and from deep. I don't know how many ended up. I was watching a little bit while our kids were getting dressed, and he had like four or five straight to break the game open. I don't know what he finished up with. And Pittman inside is huge.

Damian James is that four-man that is so athletic, and can go off. I know against Kansas, at Kansas he had like a 20, 24-point half against them. So it will be, you know, you think of Duke and Texas, you don't think in the round of 32, you know. That's a heck of a match-up. It's an honor for us to advance and to play them.

End of FastScripts


BINGHAMTON QUOTES


COACH BROADUS: I'd just like to start off by saying that's a very good Duke Blue Devil team. They proved and showed why they were number one for a few weeks in the country this year.

They just wore us down. A good ballclub, ACC championship. They're going to go a long way in this tournament. People are already saying they're going to lose in whatever rounds. I tell you, they're good, and I don't see them losing any time soon. They've got really good shooters. They've got good players. They've got McDonald's All Americans and a great coach.

We gave it our best shot. At the end of the day, they were the better team, they wore us down, and there was nothing we could do. I'm proud of my guys. We left it out on on the court, and we had a great run this year. 11 straight, American East Championship regular season tournament. We gave it our best tonight against a very good Duke Blue Devil team.

We knew at some point it was going to have to end. Like I told my guys, I'm proud of them. Why not lose to one of the best in the country? And I think Duke is one of the best in the country.

Q. Just kind of talk about first of all what was working so well for you guys, and in the first half you were able to keep it close and keep it within shooting distance of them?

D.J. RIVERA: We played tough defense in the first half. They missed a lot of shots in the first half. I don't know. We just kept in there. We didn't want to go down big before halftime. We tried to stick around with those guys. They're a talented team, and we did a good job in the first half.

REGGIE FULLER: Well, I think we were just focused and locked in the first half. Of course they didn't make the shots that they did in the second half.
But we knew that we just had to make it a close game in the first half. We didn't want to come in at halftime and come back from a large deficit. So we knew what we had to do on the defensive end.

Q. How much did the early fouls and the number of fouls early on, how much does that hurt you guys?

D.J. RIVERA: That's something we really can't control. It goes your way, it may not go your way. Like I said, it's something you can't control. So we couldn't really worry about that that much.

Q. In the second half especially the first couple of minutes when they went on on that run, what was the biggest difference, do you think?

REGGIE FULLER: They made shots the second half. That's the biggest difference for us. They made the open shots. They made hard shots. They just made every shot.

Q. The first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history. What does this team now take from this week and this experience and put towards next year?

D.J. RIVERA: This is a great year for us. It was a learning process. Like you said, it's our first trip to the NCAA Tournament. It was a great experience, you know. Me and my team just took all the good out of it, and learned from our mistakes and things like that. Hopefully we'll be back here next year.

Q. It's your last game playing for Binghamton. Can you just talk about the emotions and thoughts that are going through your head right now?

REGGIE FULLER: Well, I gave it a good run the two years I was at the school. Like Coach Broadus said, you have to go out sometime, and luckily we went out to a good team, a good university today.

Q. Obviously, like you said, they were hitting shots during that run to start the second half. But were they doing anything better or differently defensively in that run to kind of keep you guys from scoring?

D.J. RIVERA: We just didn't make shots that we normally make. They're a great defensive team. They take you off your sets and things like that. We just didn't make shots that we normally make, and they got off to a good start and we didn't.

PHIL WARSHAUER: We'll continue with questions for Coach Broadus.

Q. Like I asked the guys about Duke's run to start the second half, on both ends of the court, what did you see going on that was different from the first half?

COACH BROADUS: The way they came out, and I emphasize at the half, they're going to come out with a lot of fire. Because I thought we kind of sustained a lot of things that they were trying to do in the first half. I told our guys the first five minutes would be critical, and they did everything I thought they would do.
They stepped it up defensively, and they made shots. I mean, they got separations just like that from us in the first five minutes of the second half. You know, we were playing uphill from there.

I just thought by them playing so many guys, we were way down at some point and they didn't. I tell you, looking at this it states 23-8 from the bench. The bench is that good. They have a lot of players, and that's where the separation came.

Q. I just want to ask the two questions I asked the players. What did you see, how did you see the early fouls affecting the team, and two, what do you see this team taking from this experience?

COACH BROADUS: Well, the early fouls, you know, you can't control. That's the way we play. We're going to on get fouls. We've had fouls like that all year, and we can't complain about that. We try to play aggressively defensively. We just, five guys had five fouls in the first five minutes.

We've been used to it. We just got to suck it up and just play hard and just play smarter. What was your second question?

Q. Just what this team now takes from this?

COACH BROADUS: Yeah, like I told them in the locker room, this is when you get better. You take off a few days. You get your classroom stuff in order, you know, because you've been on the road a lot. Then you get better. This is the off-season. You get in the weight room.

What we take from this is as we're getting better. We know we belong here. We have to keep getting better. We have to keep working. Now that awe have that bullseye on our back, teams are going to be gunning for us next year and we can't take no one for granted. We have to step up and make ourselves better, more so than anything else.

This is when the off-season is when you get better, you don't wait until the next year.

Q. What must be done to sustain the success you guys have had?

COACH BROADUS: Well, like I said, the off-season guys got to put a lot of time into the weight room. Individual workouts. The new guys next year, the older guys have to be better leaders. Now they know what to expect, and they've got to make sure these guys that are coming in be ready for the task. Because, like I said, the league that we play in, it's going to be really good. The American East is really a good league. We have some good teams, Vermont, Boston, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Hartford, Maine. Did I miss anyone? Albany. So, no, they're a good ballclub. Albany's a good ballclub, all of them. Albany's a NCAA ballclub, and they've still got players from their team.

The league is a good league. It's an up-and-coming league. I think we've raised the bar this year. Just hoping everyone on our team understands that. No one's going to sleep on us anymore. We've just got to be better.

Q. In the first half kind of you guys shot the ball well, a little sloppy at times, what did you see you guys doing well in the first half?

COACH BROADUS: That's how we play. You know, I sit there and get frustrated. But that's how we play, you know. One guy gets on a hot streak. I think at one point, Tiki got on a hot streak and we fed off of it. We were 7 down. We never could get closer than that. I wish we could have gotten a little closer to I change the way I wanted to do things.

But it wasn't permitted, so we just had to take what they were giving us. Just how the ball bounces when you're playing a good team like Duke. You can't get all that you want.

Like I told on our guys we weren't going to change anything because we were playing Duke. We had to stick to what got us here. Just wasn't good enough today. We weren't good enough. They were the better team.

Q. What happened on the technical foul?

COACH BROADUS: I just was saying to Tony that I thought our guys were taking charges and calling it tight on the other end. I just said please call a tech. You know, when you're dealing with professionals like those guys in the bigger league, you know, I guess me coming from Binghamton, little Kevin Broadus, and they listen to Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams and some of the greats, they're not going to take it from me.

So he just gave me a technical. So I guess I should have said Mr. Green, instead of hey, you know, that was -- but that happened. It was the heat of the battle. And it was a technical.

Q. Did you think anything of Tiki kicking the ball the final 2 minutes there right before you took him out?

COACH BROADUS: Oh, no. He kicked his leg out trying to -- he didn't do it purposely, no. That was part of the play, you know. Kids do that. It wasn't like he was kicking it in frustration, no. That wasn't something he was doing to show someone up or anything.

 
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