HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
Opening Statement: “[Brown] is a veteran team and well prepared. Even though they had a long layoff, Mike [Martin] does a really good job. They’re coming off their winningest season ever and they have older guys. They have seniors and two really good guys that could be All-Ivy in [Brandon] Anderson and [Tamenang] Choh. They didn’t play for 18 days and when you have a veteran team, you have a better chance of being you. We came back two days ago because I want them home for Christmas. We’ve had two practices and we got them up early this morning. We looked like we had not played or practiced for a while, especially in talking. We did not communicate well. We didn’t play well and they played well. In the last 15 minutes, we started talking and played really well. Thank goodness we were able to do it while the game was still going on. J. Gold [Jordan Goldwire] over these last two games has done a really good job. Not having Tre [Jones] hurts everyone and puts a lot of pressure on him. He knew we weren’t playing well and he sped up a couple times in the first half. To his credit, he stayed composed in the second half and I’m proud of him for doing that. Once it goes downward, it’s tough for some kids. His responsibility in running the team took over. Wendell [Moore Jr.] had four steals, rebounds and finishes. It was totally different than the first half. Alex [O’Connell] was 0-for-5 in the first half and hit that one and just hit, hit. Two of the better passes in the game were when he drove to the baseline and had bullet passes across. Joey [Baker] got starter’s disease. You get your first start and I could see it yesterday in practice … he couldn’t hit anything. I brought him over after practice and told him sometimes a really good shooter has to get all his bad shots out. It showed at the end of the first half when he took two wild shots. I told him after the end of the game to remember he’s a damn good player. It meant so much to him. We’re going through all those growth periods and thank goodness we were able to play well the last 15 minutes.”
On shutting down Brandon Anderson: “In the first half, we didn’t do a good job on him. Overall, our goal was to limit Anderson and Choh. Choh is predicted to be an All-Ivy League player and Anderson is their leading scorer. In the second half, Anderson didn’t get a 3 so that was good. I thought the job Cassius [Stanley] and Wendell did on Choh was the key to the ballgame. He was a target for us to try to take away. Eliminating him and not letting Anderson have the whole game. They scored 50 points so we had to do something good.”
On Tre Jones injury: “
We told him to not workout when he was home, so he wasn’t able to try the exercises. The first afternoon when we were back, we had no contact, just a lot of shooting and running and he did everything. He felt pretty good after but still not completely sure. I think he needs another day or two. I expect him to participate in practice with contact tomorrow.
On how Jordan Goldwire has developed here:
“At the end of the recruiting cycle, I think he was getting ready to go to Eastern Kentucky. We got in touch. He comes from a really good program, Norcross, so he played with Division I players and he’s a Division I player. He’s one of our better athletes. He’s as good of an athlete as we have. He’s hung in there and learned. Playing with the level of talent we have has helped him. He’s continued to become a better player and understands his role. He got sped up a couple times today but it’s so good that he was able to turn that around. It’s kind of like Alex [O’Connell] … they were juniors today.”
SENIOR FORWARD JACK WHITE
When asked about Duke’s shooting struggles tonight and if he was aware that Alex O’Connell’s three with 6:41 remaining in the game was Duke’s first made three of the game:
“I wasn’t really thinking about that, just while I was out there. We need to be a bit better than that, don’t we? For us, we’ve always emphasized our defense and rebounding, our talk, just things that we can control and that we can bring every night. We know that even if you get the best looks, sometimes the shots just aren’t going to fall, like they did tonight. Especially coming off a break, we’re still getting back into the swing of things a bit. So we just tried to focus on our defense and working the ball inside. Vernon [Carey Jr.] had another great game and Alex [O’Connell] picked that facet of the game up for us in the second half. We’ve just got to find ways to win ultimately, even if something’s not working for us, we’ve got to be able to adjust and still be able to get the job done.”
On Coach Mike Krzyzewski taking off his jacket leading into a Duke timeout in the first half:
“We just needed to step up and go to his level. The reason he took it off is that we weren’t playing how we should’ve been, giving open looks to [Brown’s] shooters and letting them get on the boards – things we really want to take away. When he did that, we just knew we had to lift and pick our game up.”
“When we’re all in sync and everyone’s having a good game, with all five [players] being a bit of a balancing act, once we get that and guys continue to get more comfortable and confident – I just think we’re nowhere near the team we can be. To be 11-1, we can’t get fooled by that. We know we have a lot of work to do, and we’re just going to keep working into conference play and keep taking it one game at a time.”
FRESHMAN CENTER VERNON CAREY JR.
When asked if the early start to today’s game had an effect on Duke’s slow start in the first half:
“I guess so. This is my first game ever playing at 11:30 [a.m.]. It’s a little difficult but you’ve just got to adjust to it.”
On Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s emotional outburst during a first-half timeout:
“It’s Coach K yelling at you and he really just wants the best out of you. He knows that we can improve a lot. Nothing’s personal with him. You just take the message and just do it, really.”
When asked if Duke was making it a point to feed him the ball in the paint in the second half:
“It was just the way it happened with the way the defense was playing one-on-one when I rolled. We just got quick passes to me and quick shots.”
BROWN HEAD COACH
MIKE MARTIN Opening Statement:
“I’m grateful to Duke and Coach Krzyzewski, their administration, for allowing us the opportunity to play this game. As a kid playing basketball growing up, this is one of the places you always see on TV, and it was a good experience for us to play in such a storied building. Our approach was we wanted to appreciate this opportunity but also really compete. I thought we competed well, I thought we played really hard, I don’t think we played our best, we missed some shots, but [Duke] clearly has a way of doing that to you. I felt we competed hard and could’ve played a little bit better and maybe it’s a different game down the stretch. We were at the under-8 media timeout and it was a three possession game, and obviously they ran away from us at that point.”
On whether the long layoff or Duke’s defense limited their offense more:
“I’d say it was much more Duke’s defense, if there was a pie chart – a much bigger slice of pie would be Duke’s defense. We [have many long layoffs], we normally play right before Christmas, the 22nd or 23rd. We were in a long exam stretch from basically after the St. John’s game on the 10th until the 22nd, so we’re used to those layoffs. I think it was much more Duke’s defense [that stopped us]. Their length, even when we got some looks around the rim or from three, I thought their length impacted us. I don’t think their length impacted our free throws – we’re a better free throw shooting team than that, but I think you’ve gotta give them credit for making us struggle on offense.”
On if his team found out that mistakes were magnified against a team like Duke:
“I would say that’s a big yes. But I know that, I’ve been around the block. The pressure bothered us even more than I thought it would, and I thought we should have made an adjustment even quicker on the press offense, but man, those guys close the gaps so fast. You’re not used to seeing [it, although] we did a better job of [dealing with] it towards the end. The guys, the freshmen, they kept playing. We missed a lot of open shots too, but that’s what you get when you sign up for this.”
On defending Vernon Carey:
“Obviously he’s a load inside, and they go to him and look for him, it’s a point of emphasis with everything they do. I thought our guys, like I said, competed really well, tried to be as physical as they could without fouling. We sent some double teams, I thought that maybe impacted him a little bit, we tried to limit his opportunities. And they missed some shots, I don’t think they hit the three until [Alex] O’Connell hit the three mid-way through the second half, so that helped us. I thought our initial defense was good, but [they did] what they do – they got offensive rebounds, but I thought they got way too many of them in the first half.”
On Duke’s depth without Tre Jones:
“[They have] so many different guys that can hurt you, I think clearly a better team with [Tre] Jones in the lineup and kinda [Jordan] Goldwire off the bench – although he was terrific tonight, defensively especially. But, you bring [Wendell] Moore, [Matthew] Hurt, and O’Connell off the bench, and there’s a lot of guys that can hurt you off the bench. The previous game against Wofford, [Joey] Baker comes off the bench and he obviously hurt Wofford off the bench, so they recruit really good players and they have depth, and if the starters aren’t playing great they have options off the bench.”
• Mike Krzyzewski is in his 40th season as Duke’s head coach, and his record is now 1,070-286 at Duke, and 1,142-345 overall in this, his 45th season overall.
• Today’s game marked the fifth meeting between Duke and Brown, with the series now 4-1 favoring Duke.
• Duke held Brown to 50 points, marking both a season-low allowed by Duke and scored by Brown.
• Brown scored 21 points in the second half – a season-low allowed by Duke.
• Duke’s 13 steals were one shy of their season high 14 versus Central Arkansas – seven different Blue Devils had at least one steal.
• Duke’s bench scored 34 points and has totaled 167 bench points over the last five games (32.6 per game). For the season, Duke’s bench is averaging 25.3 points per game, its highest bench scoring average since 26.9 by the 2007-08 team.
• Duke deployed its eighth different starting lineup in 12 games this season.
• Duke was 13-of-16 from the free throw line in the game. For the month of December, the Blue Devils are 53-of-66 at the free throw line (.803) – only nine power conference teams entered today with a better percentage at the line this month than Duke.
• Duke is now 988-223 when playing as a ranked team under Coach K, including 584-107 as a ranked top five team.
• Duke extended its streak of at least one made three-pointer to 1,071 games – the nation’s third-longest active streak.
• Duke is now 898-162 all-time when playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium, including 540-67 under Coach K.
• In this decade (since January 1, 2010), Duke is now 299-70 (.810) — the third-highest winning percentage and fourth-most wins in college basketball this decade.
• Tonight’s game marked the 462nd consecutive sellout at Cameron Indoor Stadium, dating back to Nov. 16, 1990 — the longest active streak (by time) in either men’s college basketball or the NBA.
• Nine of the 11 Duke players that played in the game scored at least two points.
• Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., scored 19 points – he has scored 11+ in every game this season – and matched his career high with three assists (Winthrop).
• Sophomore Joey Baker made his first career start and blocked a career-high two shots. He entered the game with one career blocked shot.
• Junior Alex O’Connell matched his season-high of 14 points (Colorado State). It marked his third double-digit scoring game this season.
• Freshman Wendell Moore Jr., scored 10 points with seven rebounds, marking his fourth game this season in double-figures.
• Moore had four steals to match his career high (Central Arkansas).
• Junior Jordan Goldwire’s last two games starting in place of Tre Jones: 12 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
• Sophomore Tre Jones missed his second straight game (mild left-foot sprain).
• Duke hosts Boston College on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 6 p.m. ET on ACC Network.