Post-Game Quotes

March 15, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  AP Action Photos 

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt

On Duke pulling away in the second half: “They made some plays. There were a couple of loose balls in the middle of the floor that I thought we had. Give them credit. One of the things I talked about before the game was the live ball turnovers. (Duke) and Kansas are the two teams that turn turnovers into points as fast as anybody in the country and that was something we really wanted to stay away from.”

On Duke shutting down the passing lanes: “We weren’t moving. We talked an awful lot about back screens early. We got some good offense by setting ball screens and flat ball screens, but then we hit that lull. In the second half, we started setting some of those flat ball screens, attacking the rim, getting to the basket and getting the ball inside which we forgot about for a little while in the first half. I thought our guys battled their tails off, but give them credit.”

On fatigue being a factor in the second half: “I don’t think that had anything to do with it. It was a game where the balls were right there. We were energetic and we distributed our minutes pretty well tonight. Even though last night Anthony (Morrow) and Jeremis (Smith) played over 30 minutes, the rest of our guys didn’t play a great deal of minutes.”

On the season: “I thought this team made steady progress. Jeremis (Smith) and Anthony (Morrow) deserve a lot of credit for holding these guys together through all those close losses. We got a lot out of this team. They played really well and I think everybody saw down the stretch that they played their best basketball of the season. I think that the credit goes to our three seniors.”

GEORGIA TECH SENIOR Jeremis Smith

On Duke senior DeMarcus Nelson: “He was just being a senior. He knew this was his last ACC Tournament, just like Anthony Morrow and myself. He just knew he had to turn to his team and be a senior and a captain out there like he is.”

DUKE HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI

Opening Statement: “We knew it would be a very difficult game. Outside of North Carolina, Georgia Tech was the hottest team in our league and playing the best basketball. Paul (Hewitt) has really done a great job with his team. They’re very much like the really good teams that I’ve seen over the 28 years in this league, where you have two seniors who kind of refuse to lose in (Anthony) Morrow and (Jeremis) Smith. I tried to tell our kids after the game that that is the way postseason is. Nobody wants to go away; you have to put them away. I thought our kids played a really good game to put away an outstanding team.”

On tomorrow’s matchup against either Clemson or Boston College: “If it’s Boston College, at least we have played them lately and with Clemson it seems like we played them a year ago. Clemson has had one of those magical years. Oliver and his kids have played so well and if they won some close games they could have won our league, that’s how good they’ve been. Boston College has one of the best players in America in (Tyrese) Rice and as long as he’s playing on their team they have a chance to win.”

On Duke’s bench play: “We’ve had a really good week of practice. We’ve been on spring break and I have actually worked them harder than I would normally coming into this tournament just because I’m trying to look ahead to next week when we won’t be on Spring Break. All the guys have really worked hard and I just wanted to let them know we have confidence in them and the only way you can tell them you have confidence in them is to play them. I thought the first half they responded really well to that.”

DUKE SENIOR DEMARCUS NELSON

On heading into postseason this year compared to last: “It’s a good win because it’s a step in the right direction for us in accomplishing our goal in winning this thing because that’s what we set out to do. We have to put this game behind us and get ready for tomorrow.”

On Duke’s style of play: “The way that we play is to drive and kick and penetrate the defense and kick out. That is playing to my strength, being the driver, and all the shooters that we have spacing the court out, those guys get shots. When we have a good mix of both things, I think we are a hard team to stop offensively.”

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