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Duke Player Quotes

NCAA First Round Preview


On playing more minutes during the ACC Tournament:

“It’s a part of playing basketball and isn’t anything completely foreign to me … Playing three games in a row, back to back to back, was a little bit different in that sense just because fatigue does come into the equation, but it does for everyone so you can’t really complain.”

On his two NCAA Tournament experiences and what he can pass on to the younger guys:

“My freshman year we lost in the first weekend and last year we lost in the Elite Eight so really just telling everyone you have to take it one game at a time. It’s got to be for the full 40 minutes and you can’t look ahead to the next opponent, because if you do that, you can slip up and lose. It’s March Madness for a reason and teams you never thought would lose go down all the time and we don’t want to be one of them.”

On not knowing who they will play until late Wednesday night and if that factors into preparation:

“Not particularly. That happens in the ACC all the time with the Saturday-Monday games or Saturday-Tuesday. You play and then you have two days to get ready, so we will find out who we play Wednesday and play on Friday. You have to move on to the next opponent quick.”

On what Sunday night felt like after losing to UNC a week before and not knowing where they would stand, to winning the ACC Tournament and earning the top seed:

“It was a great feeling. From losing our second game to Carolina at the end of the season to winning the ACC Tournament is a pretty big turnaround in a week. But obviously having Zion (Williamson) back is great as well so I would say it is a really positive turnaround from coming off a loss to winning the tournament.”



On what the conversations were when the moment came that the bracket was revealed:

“Same as they always have been. We knew that whatever seed that we were going to be able to get, you still have to win the same amount of games and it is still going to be a tough road no matter where you’re at in the tournament so you have to take it one game at a time and prepare for every game the same way and just know that its win or go home so you have to prepare for every game like it’s the championship.”

On the development of his offense later on in the season:

“When Zion went out, we definitely needed that. I wasn’t able to step up, and Coach (Krzyzewski) was on me about that for sure and my teammates definitely needed that from me. I could feel that. so going into the tournament and getting Zion back, teams were helping even more off on me and I know I really needed to step up and it was just the matter of time before I was able to do that.”

On remembering the atmosphere during the 2015 NCAA Tournament when his older brother Tyus played:

“It’s definitely different. It’s different than a regular game, the atmosphere is different, the energy is different, guys are playing harder and everything is on the line and just being able to see that at a young age – I don’t really know how to say it but I was only a freshman in high school at the time and I put out a goal for myself that I wanted to be in that moment one day and not that I’m here and I’m in that moment is going to be fun to partake in it.”

On what the older guys have said to the younger guys on what to expect:

“We have a pretty good feeling of what’s coming. All the guys have said that the energy is crazy and the atmosphere is a lot of fun but it’s win or go home and we know that so we all have the same goal in mind.”