Quotes: North Carolina 88, Duke 70

The Blue Devils met the media following their regular season ending loss to UNC.

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening Statement:
"Well, they were terrific. We were overwhelmed in the first half. They just played beautiful basketball. They were so efficient. They are a great team. They are not a good team. They are a great team. They played well. They played like it most of the season. I think what happens to us, we had some good looks in the first half, not that it would have cut down a 24-point lead by them. Our motto still is when we don't shoot well, we become a better defensive team. Their talent and our demeanor is a bad mix after we miss. You got to be a lot tougher because they are so good. [Kendall] Marshall is sensational. What a performance by that kid. He just had a magical year for him. He stirs the drink real well. In the second half, I thought we played a lot better. [We had] a couple of times to put ourselves into position to get a down into single digits. [We] missed free throws, not that it we would win, but it would have made it a little bit more interesting. So again, it is the end of the regular season. I am proud of our guys. [We are] 13-3 and 26-5. The better team won. My hats off to them for winning the regular season [and to] their class group. Now everyone is zero and zero again. We got to regroup and learn from the 31 games, and try to get refresh this week to go down to Atlanta and win some more before the NCAA tournament."

On Zeller's performance:
"Zeller has had a Player of the Year performance. I think First Team All-American type of year. The kid is a great player and great kid. He never seems to get tired. He has an amazing physical presence. He puts so much pressure on you the way he runs the floor, and inside, he is just a high percentage shooter. He is a great college player, and I think he would be a really good pro too. But I am not a pro coach, so we can all decide on that, but I tell you, he is a great college player. He has had a Player of the Year performance. His team has won the league, and he has shown up every night on a real high level."

On UNC playing screens to take away the three-point shot:
"Well I thought they played really good defense. I did think we had good looks though. But again, when you base your offense like we do on three-point shooting, you know some say don't, but that is who we are man. That is who we are, and if we are not hitting them, then, we have a much greater chance to lose. Their defense on the ball screen I think was very good. They played us until the end. They were terrific."

On the lesson they can learn from this game:
"Well first of all, we won't play them all the time. I think that is the very first thing. They can beat anybody. They were predicted to do that, and they can do that. We feel fortunate that we split with them. That was an accomplishment. If we got an opportunity to play them again, that means that we would play for a championship, so that means we would two games down there. That would be great preparation. There are going to be a lot of hungry teams in Atlanta for NCAA bids. This will be a hell of a tournament I think down there. A lot of hungry teams in our league are trying to make it."

On what UNC did differently tonight:
"Well I thought they played really well against us in Chapel Hill. We hit more. We never got down. I thought they got us down, and we got us down. We got to be tougher than that. You just have to hang in there. They were scoring on every possession. Initially, we got a couple, but then we missed. Then it looked like we put a lot of pressure on ourselves on our shot. I thought we were trying to be beat them and us. In the first half, it turned out to be 48 to 24. We only had a couple of guys who had rebounds in the first half. Second half was even. They killed us on the boards in the first half. They just killed us on the boards."

On Kendall Marshall getting a lot of heat on being a passer:
"I have never seen him get heat. That kid has been celebrated and should be. He has never gotten any heat from us. I just think he is a terrific player, poised, confident, understands the levers of power on his team and when to use them. He is the ultimate point guard. He was great tonight, but that is not the only time he has been great this season."



Duke Senior Miles Plumlee
"We got some good shots, but also I think we settled individually a little too much. I think we can get better shots as a team when we move the ball and when we hit inside, relocate, and kick on our drives. They did a great job of playing us for the drive and not letting us get to the hole. If we had done that, I think it would've helped a lot."

On this being his last game in Cameron:
"I just wanted to leave it all on the floor, play as hard as I can, and it wasn't until the very end - I still believed we had a chance to come back with this team. It didn't happen. Obviously it hurts a lot. You never want to go out on a loss. The only thing I have to say is the season is not over."

"I thought defensively, we didn't come out and fight them like we should have. We let them get easy buckets and let our offense affect our defense. We didn't come out to fight until the second half. You let a team like that get up by 20 points, you have about zero chance of coming back."



Duke Junior Ryan Kelly
"It's tough right now. A loss like that - there's not a lot of good things that come from it. It'll take me a day or two [to put it out of his mind], but it'll always be there. It's not the type of loss you're going to forget. But we want the opportunity to play them again, and we think there's going to be an opportunity to play them again in the ACC Tournament. We need to be ready for that, and we need to be ready for the beginning of the ACC Tournament. We need to be better to win a championship."

Duke Freshman Austin Rivers
"The way we came out at Florida State for revenge, [North Carolina] came out at us. I think they just wanted it. We wanted it too. To tell you the truth, we both came out fine. We missed shots. Their offensive rebounding killed us. [The rebounding margin] was like 32-15 at break. That's ridiculous. And it was not the big men's fault. I think it was more on us, just helping them rebound. That killed us."

"It wasn't our offense that hurt us. It was mainly our defensive rebounding. We played good defense. We played their best players well. Kendall [Marshall] had a great game - that was his best game. He had a wonderful game. But overall, we played them well. We just let them kill us on rebounds. If you give arguably one of the best teams in the country multiple opportunities on one possession, you can't win. That's why we didn't win."

"You can make runs and if you hit shots, things can go your way. You've just got to stick with what you're good at. We have guys that are three-point shooters, and then we have other guys that can do both. Tonight, it wasn't going for me from the three-point line, so I just tried attacking. I think I should've shot more floaters instead of just trying to go all the way. I think we should've attacked more. It starts on defense. If you fight them on defense, then you get in that fighting spirit like we did in the second half. If we would've come out in the first half like we did in the second half, it would've been a whole different game."

"Yes, we do [want to play North Carolina again in the ACC Tournament]. We've got to take care of business first because the ACC is full of great teams. Virginia can beat anybody. Florida State, Miami, they've shown they're capable of beating anybody. So we have to handle business first, but if we do end up playing them, it's going to be a battle."

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