Post Game Quotes from Duke’s Win Over UNC

Photo: © Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


Opening Statement:
“Absolutely incredible game. To have an incredible game means you have great performances by both teams and Carolina was outstanding. I thought they were going to run us out of the gym; theircrowd was great—I don’t know what’s happened [to them] the whole year, but they were Carolina tonight. They were fantastic. Our guys weathered the storm a few times—the foul trouble and we went small and Tre Jones was magnificent in leading us. We were fortunate they missed some free throws and we made ours, and Tre made some big-time plays… We feel very fortunate—obviously very happy—but totally respect the level of game this was and the level of our opponent. I thought in the overtime we got that five-point lead and then Cole [Anthony] made two great plays, and it looked like we ran out of gas and they went ahead. Then in the last minute of overtime we had this adrenaline push by our captain and we were able to win… Proud of my guys… Terrific win for us and I know it’s tough for them. I thought they played great—not good, they played great and Cole is every bit as good as everyone has said he is. He was a bigtime player tonight.”

On adjustments after freshman Vernon Carey Jr. fouled out:
“We played some zone, we went small—we were having a tough time getting the ball into him anyway so we opened up the court to drive more and that worked for us… we were kind ofcutting into the lead but Cassius[Stanley] and Wendell [Moore Jr.] had to guard big guys and they’re good athletes and they did, but then those guys had to guard them [Stanley and Moore]. We were fortunate that we didn’t stop them but they missed so it turned out well for us.”

On if the team practices intentional free-throw misses:
“We talk about it but he [Tre Jones] made not a good play, that was an amazing play. That’s one of those clinic things. He was at another level tonight—we won because of that kid. I thought anything he did tonight might work. He was so good at time outs—we’re trying to get him to talk more and his positive talk, ‘we’re going to win; we’ve got this; you can count on me.’ The kids responded to him. We’ve been talking about it and now he learned it in combat, so-to-speak.”


On the play that led to his game-winning put back:
“I happened to get a hand on the ball [following Tre Jones’ missed free throw]. The ball went out, J-Gold [Jordan Goldwire] went and got it, got it out to Tre and Tre shot a jump shot. I thought it was going in, but I just keptseeing the ball keep going, I just started to go get it and I tried to make a play on the ball and the ball went in.”

On what it means to be a part of an iconic moment in the Duke-North Carolina rivalry:
“It really just means everything to me. [As] a kid growing up from Charlotte watching this game for 18 years of my life and getting a chance to be a part of it with a group of guys like this, and just the things we overcame this game meant everything to us. We knew this was a big game for us and this was a game that we had to win.”

On what sparked the comeback when Duke trailed by double digits:
“It all started with Tre [Jones]. Tre had that look in his eye. When he had that look, we knew that we could follow him to victory. He led us there today.”


On if he dreamed about hitting a shot like his jumper to tie the game at the end of regulation:
“A little bit. I didn’t dream about it – it [was] pictured in my head. Coach always talks about preparing for the moment and that’s a moment I wanted to be in is hitting a big shot like that in a big game like this.”

On if hitting a big shot like that felt better than he expected it to:
“It’s always better when it happens. With Duke being my dream school since I could remember, always watching these rivalry games, seeing Austin Rivers hit a shot here when I was at one of my basketball tournaments going crazy, watching my brother do what he did against Carolina – I just wanted to put my name in a game like that and I feel like I might’ve done that today.”

On when he felt Duke could win the game:
“Down the stretch in the second half, we were down, I attacked a few times, got a couple good looks and then for sure once we went into overtime, I knew we weren’t losing no matter what. I airballed two shots, they got a couple of their looks back, they had the momentum [and the] crowd back into it. We were able to still just come back and answer. I think that just speaks on the team that we have, the work that we put in. We showed how young we were a little bit there in the first half, I think, but the way we just fought in the second half, I feel like we grew up tonight.”


On if playing in a Duke-North Carolina game was everything he thought it would be:
“It was more, honestly. Walking out there the first time for shootaround, you get booed immediately. That was real.”

On how difficult it was to get a win in the Smith Center:
“You saw it – it was very difficult. It was one of the most difficult games I’ve been a part of. It was unreal to win.”

On how it felt to get a win in his first Duke-North Carolina matchup:
“It was great. We’re going to see them in a couple weeks and that’s going to be a good matchup. It was definitely great, and it’s always great to
win on the road.”

On how confident the team feels going forward:
“I think we feel pretty confident. We’re just worried about right now winning games in the ACC and trying to get the best record we possibly can.”

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