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Jan. 31, 2015

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett Quotes

On Duke making shots to end the game:
“In a game like that, it was hard fought. We certainly weren’t perfect on our end. It comes down to making big shots and plays. I thought we let them get rhythm shots. We didn’t really close out and try to distract the shot. That’s something we have to do. There were just enough of those to hurt us.”

On Virginia offense:
“There were a few possessions where I thought we were a little stagnant and didn’t get the looks we wanted against their zone. Still, we got to the rim and got some rhythm shots at the mid-post. I thought there was enough offense there to win that game. At the end, you have to come up with some tough stops. Those errors and breakdowns cost us.”

On Duke’s transition offense:
“They pass up the floor quickly. Sometimes we forced a bad shot and they were attacking down the floor. Those transition buckets were a result of us forcing and not getting back.”

On defending Jahlil Okafor:
“I thought we did a pretty good job on him. Our trap was good. We tried to make him work but you can see how capable he is. He had a few offensive put-backs that were significant. We did a good job, but not a good enough job on the other guys.”

On looking ahead to upcoming games:
“I’m frustrated right now because this game was within our grasp and we couldn’t finish it. No question, North Carolina will be charged up. That’s the beauty of this league. It’s like the old Big East. You better be ready to lace them up every night. You hate to give up a game like this on your home floor, but I told our guys – `It’s what you do from here on out.’ I think our guys understand that.”

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Quotes

Opening statement:
“It was a heck of a game. They are so darn good. Their crowd was great. What an amazing setting to celebrate their basketball program, which should be celebrated. I thought our effort was outstanding and I thought ours was too. We just won a really tough game. I’m proud of my guys. They’re so big, strong, and deep. I thought at the start of the second half they wore us out. We were ready in the first half, I thought we played better than a one-point lead in the first half. But I thought that in the second half they took over. I thought Jahlil [Okafor], who didn’t have a great first half, had a great second half and gave us a physical presence inside. The zones we used helped us, where we didn’t have to match up with their physicality. Because we rebounded defensively we were able to push the ball up the court and get some open looks that our kids knocked down. Quinn [Cook], Matt [Jones], and Tyus [Jones] had some huge 3’s after we had not hit 3’s. We were good. I told them that that’s the best one we were going to get. Going small we just ran motion. Our guys were patient and did good things. I thought Tyus’ 3-point play [was big], they were ready to lower the boom on us and I thought that kept us in the game. It was a hard fought, heck of a game. They’re very good. They’re so deserving of everything that’s been said about them. Today we were able to do a little bit more and win. I’m proud of our guys. It’s been a hell of a week for us, with three road games in six days. We started with my thing at St. John’s, such an emotional day. Then we went to South Bend, I thought we played winning basketball there. And then we came here. For our guys to have the wherewithal and toughness to win tonight says a lot about them and our team.”

On transition baskets in the first half:
“Our guys really attacked the basket. Justise [Winslow] gave us an amazing verve right away and he set the example of taking it hard. That was one of his best games. We weren’t able to do that in the second half because they hit everything. But then we got some defensive boards, especially out of the zone where we could run a little better.”

On Jahlil [Okafor] being hard on himself:
“He’s a great player. He had a really good game, especially in the second half. If he doesn’t have that physicality we’re going nowhere. He had six offensive rebounds. We knew the double was going to come. I thought that in the first half he was just playing for the double instead of posting hard. He took away his offensive move before the double. Jeff Caple said some really good things to him at halftime to get him going. You practice against it, but don’t let them just do it. In the second half he posted lower and responded really well [to the double team].”

On missing the first nine 3’s and making 6-of-8 to finish:
“I didn’t think we took bad 3’s. We’re smaller than they are. I think you look at their length while your shooting sometimes. When we got the 3’s in the second half they weren’t as much in front of us because they were in transition. They had a little bit better window. Thank goodness for us.”

On the team’s response to Justise Winslow’s flagrant foul:
“That was an unfortunate thing. I think it was the heat of the action. He went so strong that whether he got fouled or not there was a lot of contact. They did what they had to do. They took the lead, I think they were up by 11. Then we had that, so it was two big things that our guys had to get over. And they did. That says a lot about them.”

Virginia Junior Guard Malcolm Brogdon

On how Duke got back into the game late:
“I think they were hitting tough shots. I think they hit four big shots from the perimeter at the end. The majority were contested. Our defensive plan going into the game was when [Jahlil] Okafor got the ball, the guard would choke down and help out. But he was making good passes and they were hitting shots.”

On Duke Guard Quinn Cook:
“He’s very poised. Tonight, he didn’t shoot a lot. But coming down the stretch he made big plays for his team and knocked down open shots. Tyus Jones, I thought was very good. He was very poised for a freshman. He reminds me a lot of London [Perrantes]. He made big shots, big plays, big assists. I thought they played well.”

On playing North Carolina on Monday:
“When you lose a game, you want to get right back into it. The fact that we are playing a UNC team that is very good this year, one of the highest level teams, that’s nothing more than we could want.”

On Virginia’s uncharacteristic defense:
“They had a lot of transition buckets, I think 8 or 10 points. That was way too much. Coach Bennett really took note of that and talked to us about it at half time, and told us we needed to clean that up. If we did that we could be successful.”

Virginia Senior Forward Darion Atkins

On his big start:
“My main focus was to stop Jahlil [Okafor] and defend him the right way. I was really confident on the offensive end. I felt like no one could guard me and was just aggressive from the jump.”

On playing North Carolina on Monday:
“We just have to get rid of this, put it behind us and get ready for North Carolina. It’s a great challenge and I hope we can come through.”

On no longer being undefeated:
“There’s frustration. I think we should still be undefeated, but it is what it is and we will keep going.”

On what the loss feels like:
“When you play 20 games and win 19 of them … I guess we’re just not used to losing, and we lost.”

Virginia Junior Center Mike Tobey

On tough shot at the end of the game:
“I was trying to get fouled. That was a terrible shot.”

On Duke’s 3-pointers at the end of the game:
“We were really choking hard on Jahlil (Okafor), and he was doing a good job of kicking it out to them for a three. They had some pretty open threes.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard London Perrantes

On game outcome after being up 11 points:
“Yeah it’s stunning, but if we had started the game off how we started off the second half then I don’t think we would have been in this position. We dug ourselves into a hole, and we got out of it for a little bit, but they made plays down the stretch and ended up beating us.”

On the second half:
“They were knocking down shots towards the end. We need to learn from this. I don’t know exactly what happened right now because I need to watch film, but we shall learn form this and play well on Monday.”

Virginia Junior Guard Justin Anderson:

On game outcome:
“Our transition defense began to slip. Once we got that back, we didn’t do a good job of defending their threes. Four-of-five, that’s tough. Normally that goes on our side.”

On losing a game from lack of defense down the stretch:
“It is weird losing that way, because that is who we are. It took a little bit out of me at the end. My stomach is still hurting, but at the same time that’s not our championship game. We have to take this game, watch the film and learn from it. We will practice and be ready for Chapel Hill because that’s not going to be a let off.”

Duke Senior Guard Quinn Cook

On the victory:
“Coach kept confidence in us, and as a player that is very helpful. We believed in each other as teammates and stayed together.”

On Virginia’s defense:
“A lot of credit to the Virginia defense, they made us work. We have not played a defensive team of that caliber this season. We stuck with it, with unselfish play and we did not force anything.”

Duke Freshman Guard Tyus Jones

On the victory:
“We had heart and believed in one another. It comes from Coach and our guys. Everyone on the bench has the heart to play for each other. After the tough loss in our last game we knew we had to bounce back and regroup. I am very proud of our team and how we fought.”

On Virginia:
“Virginia is a very good team, credit to them. They played extremely well, but we knew we had to come together. Our goal was to get a win. We had to get a win.”

Freshman Forward Jahlil Okafor

On the atmosphere in JPJ:
“The atmosphere never bothers us, we are focused on what’s going on the floor.”

On the significance of the win:
“This was an undefeated team, one of the best teams in the ACC and the country. It is very satisfying. We knew we could beat this team and we played great tonight – we played together.”

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