Most including me would have given the Duke Blue Devils a pass if they’d lost this game against the number 8 team in the nation on short rest. With this teams history of slow starts, it didn’t seem to bode well for the Blue Devils but, well, Duke happened. Goldwire happened, Matthew Hurt happened.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 10 point lead with 10 minutes left in the first half but 11 Duke turnovers leading to 11 points for FSU allowed the Seminoles to trim the lead to 1 by the end of the first half.
The second half for the Blue Devils started much like the first half ended, the Blue Devis turned the ball over 4 times in the first 2 minutes of the second half, FSU was able to tie the game at 36 but a timely 3 pointer by junior guard Jordan Goldwire gave the Blue Devils a 3 point lead. The Seminoles and Blue Devils traded buckets with the Seminoles taking their first lead of the second half at the 9:20 mark at 52 – 50. Poor shooting kept the Seminoles from ever being able to manage more than a 2 point lead and a 3 point play by Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. gave Duke a 1 point lead ad the 7:16 mark that they would never relinquish. Duke would extend their lead to 5 which was the ultimate margin of victory.
The Blue Devils got a huge lift from Jordan Goldwire who matched his career high of 13 points, shooting 3-3 from beyond the arc. Duke also got a big effort from the bench. Alex O’Connell hit big shots when Duke was struggling from the field and ended the game with 7 points on 3-5 shooting. O’Connell also added 4 rebounds. Matthew Hurt also had a huge contribution in the victory, going 2-4 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line. Hurt ended the game with 12 points and 2 rebounds.
The story of the game if Duke had lost would have been the fact that they turned the ball over 21 times which led directly to 15 FSU points. FSU also had a 38-28 edge in points in the paint and a 17-7 edge in fast break points. Where Duke was able to best the Seminoles was in their shooting, the Blue Devils shot 41% from the 3 point line while FSU, who normally shoot it at a 40% clip in conference play, shot only 16.7% from beyond the arc. FSU also only shot 12-20 from the free throw line for 60%, 20% under their average.
Goldwire and Jones led the Blue Devils in scoring at 13 each.
DUKE HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
Opening Statement: “This has been an incredible 48 hours for our team. I got good guys, I got really good kids. We beat a heck of a team tonight after beating a heck of a team in an epic game 48 hours before. I don’t know where they got the energy the whole game to do this, but they did, they listened, they fought. We really played good defense. You could tell they will tire you out anyway because they play such good defense and they have depth, but at the end of the first half, you could tell we were tired, rightfully so. And in the second half, we were kind of holding our own, but when they went ahead 52-50, instead of waiting for the eight minute [timeout], we were ready to get knocked out and so we called a timeout, Alex (O’Connell) came in and Alex gave us five quick points, and that last 8:29 we were terrific. We were not tired, they talked, they made plays, Javin (DeLaurier) was spectacular, Matt Hurt, obviously the rebound and the free throws and then inbounding the ball, no mistakes. Wendell (Moore), who, I don’t think any of you in the audience have had a winning shot in front of 21,000 people against your archrival, but if you’re 18, how you handle that can be pretty tough, and he had a game like a kid 18 until the second half, and then that play he made in the full court just was spectacular. Switching (Jordan) Goldwire to (Trent) Forrest was a key because Forrest is a big-time player. They have big-time, but this kid, he’s a pro-guard, he can defend and get by you and he’s a veteran, and he and Tre (Jones) were going back and forth and that’s wearing Tre out, we needed him on offense and so the switch to put Goldwire on him helped. We did that with Cole Anthony in the last part of the game in Chapel Hill and that helped us there, so having those two guys being able to have each other’s backs is big, but they forced a lot of turnovers, I thought we weren’t as strong as we needed to be, but overall we were pretty damn strong.”
On the play from Tre Jones to Wendell Moore Jr. to Matt Hurt: “Those are like making plays that you don’t diagram. A real player doesn’t run plays, a real player makes plays. You run plays for people who aren’t players. That doesn’t mean you don’t run them for players too, but players make plays, and our guys are making plays, they’re making really good plays.”
On Javin DeLaurier’s contributions off the bench: “Yeah, I said him, didn’t I? I mean, Javin was terrific. His two-handed rebounds, blocked shots, free throws, and he’s been playing well, but you know, we could hardly do anything yesterday at practice with most of the guys, so we did with a couple of the guys who didn’t play as much really intense individual work, and I stay and I watch all of that stuff and Javin had an amazing workout. I brought him over after and said ‘Man, you’re going to a whole other level.’ In our game we have a thing called trust your work and in other words, if you’re working hard and whatever, when you get out there, trust it and he worked really hard and he trusted it. We needed a full day off. This is a nine-day period with three road games and this game, and our kids won all four of them. It’s a lot of travel, a lot of stuff. They’re really developing into a good team. I really love these guys, because it’s different guys. We don’t have a starting lineup, we have a team. Sometimes when you have a starting lineup you put a ceiling on the other guys in ego, in opportunity, in all that, and it hasn’t happened here with this group.”
SOPHOMORE GUARD TRE JONES
On Duke getting contributions from so many different players tonight: “It’s almost been like that all year – someone else every night is playing a big role for this team. Matt Hurt tonight played huge for us, after a couple of games not being out there. We have different guys every single night. It doesn’t matter. I feel like our depth is really big for us. We did get contributions from everybody tonight, which was huge. It didn’t matter who was coming in off the bench tonight – they were bringing something. If it wasn’t hitting shots or things like that, they were fighting on the defensive end. We knew we needed everyone tonight. We kept talking like that, talking to one another, staying in each other’s heads that we needed one another because it was going to be a long and tough game.”
On Florida State’s aggressive defense: “That’s how their defense is – they’re long, athletic. I think they were trying to wear me out throughout the game, but I was trying to do a good job to keep my composure, knowing that it’ll be a long, tough game and trying to save some for the end.”
When asked what tonight’s win shows about this Duke team, especially coming off the emotional win against North Carolina:
“I think that shows the mental toughness that this team has, being able to put that game behind us Saturday night [versus North Carolina]. Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] said it right when we got off the bus here. We were happy, celebrating, but we got off the bus and everyone was doing recovery in the cold tubs, things like that. We were all moving on to the next game. We came in Sunday, prepared, and everyone was in the right space. No one was on a high anymore, celebrating, messing around, giddy, and things like that. We all were focused on this game, knowing how big it was for us, how big of an ACC game it was. And I think it just shows the mental toughness that this team has.”
“Getting Wendell [Moore Jr.] back for that three-game road stretch and then coming home versus a tough Florida State team, I think we can use that to propel ourselves forward, but we can’t just say that. We’ve got to track it down, learn what we can do better in these past two games, and continue to work to be a better team.”
FRESHMAN FORWARD MATTHEW HURT
“Yesterday in practice was a tough one for me, but I deserve it. I haven’t been playing well the last couple of games. I just have to come out with energy, try to knock down shots and play some defense for my team. College basketball is a lot different from high school. There’s always going to be bumps in the road, but never get too low and never give up and keep working.”
When asked about his clutch free throw shooting at the end of the game:
“After shootaround today, me and Coach [Jon] Scheyer, I shot like 100 free throws, so just being ready at the moment when a moment is there for me … People just call me a shooter and a scorer, but I want to be more than that. I want to do the dirty plays, rebounds, deflections, all of that, just trying to make winning plays.”
JUNIOR GUARD JORDAN GOLDWIRE
“We knew that we had to move their defense because if we just let them sit there and we’re not moving, we’re stagnant, going against a set defense is not good. We knew we had to get good ball movement, get into the lane, catch and face, so that helped our offense.”
On his career-high 13 points tonight:
“My shot was just feeling good the whole day. I was able to get some work in with Coach [Chris] Carrawell before the game. We knew the type of shots that I was going to get and that [Florida State] might leave me a little bit, so just being ready to shoot, my teammates and the coaching staff have the confidence in me, so it felt good to see the ball go in.”
On preparing for such a quick turnaround after Saturday’s overtime win against North Carolina: “It wasn’t tough. You’re always ready to play when you have another game. We prepared well and we started the game out very well, so you could see that we were prepared. But we knew it was going to be a battle. I would say maybe a little fatigue played a factor, but not too much when you want to get a win.”
On the important of Duke getting off to a good start early in the game tonight:
“It was huge. We knew we had to get off to a good start because the last two games we got started off playing from behind. So we knew we had to get off to a good start and how important that would be, because playing from behind against [Florida State] is something that we couldn’t do. We knew that was huge for us and I think it helped us a lot.”
FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
“Obviously, we got beat by a team tonight that I thought was a lot more efficient than we were in the execution and the offense. We’re normally the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the league. We didn’t shoot well from the three – we shoot about 40% in the league from three. We didn’t hit our free throws and I think we gave up some offensive rebounds at tough points in the game. To Duke’s credit, I thought their defense had a little something to do with us not being quite as efficient on the offensive end. I thought we had plenty opportunity and I thought each time we faltered Duke made us pay. That’s what good basketball teams would do. Hopefully we can learn from this. I thought there were too many important parts of the game where they got two or three offensive put-backs after they missed and we had plenty opportunity on lay-ups. We didn’t shoot well on the perimeter. When you’re inefficient on all three of those areas against a really good basketball team who is playing really hard and defending you – something bad will happen. All the credit goes to Duke. Coach [Krzyzewski] had them really, really prepared from an energy standpoint. I thought we just didn’t do a good job when they did miss during critical points and coming away from the ball. They went really hard against the offensive rebound and I thought that made the biggest difference in the game.”
When asked about Matthew Hurt’s offensive rebound: “That’s what happens in a big game where everybody is playing hard. You’d like to be able to map out exactly how everything is going to go, but those are the reasons why teams come away with victories – because they’re into the moment, they get the offensive put-back, they get the block at the right time and all those things seemed to go Duke’s way tonight. They were probably locked in a little more than our guys. I thought our guys gave great effort. I thought we got beat by a team that was a little bit better tonight.”
On team maturity: “We have only two seniors on the team – Trent [Forrest] is one of them. Trent is our most experienced guy. He’s been around the longest. He’s our leader. He gave us good leadership, but I thought our inexperience showed. We have six players we’re trying to incorporate. We’re still learning, growing and maturing. “
When asked about pressure on Vernon Carey: “He’s a handful. I’m not sure you ever really… stop a guy like that. I think the attention we gave him opened up doors for guys who were coming off the bench and knocking down those threes. You give and take. You concentrate on him and all of a sudden you get (Alex) O’Connell and Hurt throwing threes from the parking lot. That’s kinda what happened, but that’s what a good team would do. I think Duke has done a good job of putting the team together that really has all the ingredients to win basketball games.”