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UNC-Duke Quotes
Release: 03/04/2017

North Carolina 90, Duke 83 • March 4, 2017

Postgame Quotes

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams


Opening Statement

“It was a big time game. I don’t know how many lead changes, but there were a lot of them. When the score was tied, the timeout before, I told Justin [Jackson] to take another split second, to get set a little bit more. I think he did that. He made the three at the top of the key, and that gave us a three-point lead. Then when we went up six, they cut it back to one, and that’s when Joel Berry made a tough layup inside. Joel scored seven in a row. We really want to do a much better job inside the paint area than we did over there. I think we did that. Again, Joel Berry shooting five for five from the three-point line. You’ve always heard me talk about balance, and I think we had to have that. Needless to say, he’s the only one that made one until Justin made one at the top of the key. Isaiah [Hicks] was big. We kept him out of foul trouble today. Twenty-one points, nine rebounds, and a missed dunk. I told him about that too. If you can’t dunk, don’t try, but I really believe he can. It’s a big time win. We lost our first game in the conference season at Georgia Tech, and we did not play well. Our activity level was not there. Our focus was not there. Our effort was not there. Our brain was not there. Since then, we’ve played pretty well. A couple of teams, Duke at Duke, Miami at Miami, Virginia at Virginia, hit us right in the mouth, but we’ve bounced back and played some better basketball after that. Our defense is very frustrating. We kept getting them on the free throw line. They shoot 35 free throws. When the other team shoots 14 more free throws than you do, that usually means you lose. We were able to make some at the end when we got the lead. Our defense was good at times, but at times it was ugly. They’re an awfully powerful offensive team.”

On the inside game

“We are better when Isaiah is playing and playing well. Needless to say, if you’ve got 22 minutes played and scored 21 points and have nine rebounds, he’s playing and playing well. I screamed at him one time because Jayson Tatum takes one dribble and drives in and lays it up. It’s a hard matchup, but he’s good enough to do it. He was big for us tonight. That area of the court was big for us tonight.”

On winning the ACC regular season title

“Winning the league and winning it by two games is something we’ll always be proud of. I think it is the best league. Top to bottom, there’s no other league in the country like it. Now we’ve got to back it up and do in the postseason what we did last year. We showed everybody that we’re the best league last year with what we did in postseason, and I up until this point we’ve shown that we’re the champions.”

On defending the three

“That was one of our biggest emphases. They made 13 threes in Durham. It was a huge factor for us. They didn’t seem to shoot it as well. I think we did bother them. [We did it with] a little more effort and a little more intelligence.”


Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening Statement

“I think this game was very much like the first game in that both teams were worthy of winning the first one and both teams were worthy of winning this one. I thought our team fought like crazy, and they did, too. [Joel]Berry was amazing. I mean, he played really well the whole game, but in the first half, you know, he was amazing – how well he played and shot the ball, but again, he’s capable of ‘amazing’. There’s few players on the court who are capable of ‘amazing’. Really I thought it was a possession by possession game. I don’t think there’s a pivotal point or strategy. They made a couple more plays than we did. We missed some free throws. [Justin] Jackson’s three was huge. It put them up by three, and then he made a really good play where we took away his three on his pass to [Isiah] Hicks, and they got six points on two possessions. If any aspect of the game, that was probably a part of it, but still in the last minute and a half, we had a chance to win. Missed a couple shots, and they made good plays. So, congratulations to them. I really don’t have much else to say. I mean, you can ask questions. I just thought it was a really good game, and congratulations to them.”

On Duke’s improvements

“Yeah, we’ve been getting better. Since I was out for those two games, Wake and Notre Dame, I think we’ve won nine games since then. We’ve had as tough a schedule or the toughest schedule in the league, especially on the road, and for our guys to respond that way and really be in a position, you know we’re really in a position to win. You know, we’re also in a position to lose a couple of the close ones. Whether it be a Syracuse or Miami or tonight, we play winning basketball. As long as we keep doing that, Frank [Jackson]’s getting better. I thought Grayson [Allen] moved a little bit better tonight. He’s still not there, but good stuff, Luke [Kennard]. It’s a physical game as far as trying to get your shot off, and we are getting better. We are getting better. We just have to keep going, and we’ll try to do a great job up in Brooklyn and be ready for the big tournament the week after.”

On difficulty defending UNC

“Well, they were difficult to defend last time, and that means they have another really good player. To me where they really have improved is having [Theo] Pinson there because Pinson is an outstanding defender, and he doesn’t really have to shoot the ball. I mean, he must’ve had six or seven assists. He’s an easy guy to play with, a great athlete who does dirty work, and I think that makes their team better. Him in the lineup, and nothing against Hicks; Hicks is good, too. One of the biggest thing that I’ve seen from watching tape and that is Pinson’s presence there. It helps.”

On this game’s momentum

“They’re really good, and we’re really good, and we both have great programs, and the coaching staffs are pretty good for both. We understand who we represent, they do and we do, and so both programs bring it in a very clean, good, hard, and it’s really great basketball. It’s been an honor to be a part of it.”

“Congratulations to Roy [Williams] and his kids on the regular season. It’s well deserved. Thanks.”

UNC North Carolina Men's Basketball

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