home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 12, 2015

Quinn Cook

Mike Krzyzewski

Marshall Plumlee


Duke – 77
North Carolina State – 53

COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We beat a really good team tonight.  I thought our guys were unbelievably ready.  They played outstanding defense, and we shared the ball well.  To have six guys in double figures and 14 assists and only five turnovers.  It's just an outstanding game.
You play State, and they had a tough game last night against Pitt, and they played great.  It's tough to do it two nights in a row.  So, yeah, we had an advantage in that respect.  I'm glad that they're going to be an NCAA team.  They deserve it, and hopefully we get a lot of those teams in there.  Any questions?

Q.  Quinn, I'm sure after he had that 34‑point night containing Cat Barber was probably a priority.  What did you do and Tyus do to make sure he didn't get any points tonight?
QUINN COOK:  Just make him work.  He had an outstanding game last night.  His last ten games he's been averaging 17 points, so he's a hot player.  One of the hottest players in the country, so just wanted to make him work and not leave him because he's been shooting the ball.
But you also have to respect his first step.  He's one of the tougher guys to guard.  Myself, Tyus, Matt, Greyson, we just wanted to make him work and not leave him.

Q.  Coach, can you talk a little about the boost that Marshall who had a career high and Grayson provided you off the bench?  They both provided huge minutes for you guys?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Yeah, they were terrific.  Absolutely terrific.

Q.  Mike, in a tournament in which you hope to play three games in three days, how big was it tonight to get the minutes you got from Marshall, Grayson, and Amile and your bench?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Good point.  Good question.  Our eight guys have been playing well.  We played‑‑ when we won our last regular season game during that time at Carolina, the guys on the bench were on the court.  So we've been seeing it happen.  Marshall‑‑ you know, Marshall was very precise in his screening and rim running.  He was powerful when finishing.
I had concern coming into the game because Quinn's been sick for a few days, and he didn't practice at all one day, and limited the next.  So he gave a gutty effort tonight, and just got to keep getting fluids in him.  But, again, Grayson has been coming on like crazy.  Not the dunk, but the offensive rebound basket I think was probably for us the best play of the game.  Just such a powerful play.

Q.  Again tonight you used a lot of zone.  You've done that all year.  What is it about this team that's made that defense so effective for you this year?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, they play together.  So any defense that you put out there, we did something a little bit different tonight with the zone press and the half court.  They picked it up really well in our walk through today in our game preparation.  So they've done that throughout this last couple months whenever we've done something a little bit different defensively.  They believe in it.  Look, they make it happen, so thank goodness they're playing that hard.
We played really hard, especially in that first half and the three‑quarter court press and back into a zone.

Q.  First time you guys played N.C. State, it seemed that you guys were really looking for an identity.  Is this the brand of basketball you want to be playing especially this time of the year?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, the first time we played State we were undefeated, so that was a pretty good identity.  We lost that identity really quick because they beat the hell out of us, and they played great.  What we're doing is maturing as a basketball team, and you don't do that until really you get into conference play.
So, look, State's a terrific team.  I think Mark's done an unbelievable job with his kids.  They have good unity.  You have those three guys on the perimeter, they can really score the ball.  It's obvious that Cat is hurt.  I think that back from last night, so he probably wasn't a hundred percent, so we're lucky that he wasn't a hundred percent.

Q.  Quinn, could you talk about your defensive play this season and maybe how much you've kind of embraced that role as a stopper this year?
QUINN COOK:  I just was tired of coach getting on me in film about not playing defense.  So it took me three years to finally realize I needed to play defense.  I mean, it's fun.  It's fun.  I've learned to enjoy playing great defense and my teammates have helped me.  I'm never playing by myself out there.  Guys like Marshall, Ja, Amile, they're always talking to us.  Every day we're working at it, and we're all getting better, and we take pride in our defense.

Q.  Marshall, your role is such that you do a lot of things that don't get noticed very much.  How fun was it tonight to get a few highlight reel moments?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE:  It was a lot of fun, and it made for a great team win.  Everyone on the team does a really good job of picking you up when you're down and being enthusiastic and encouraging one another.
So even in those moments when I'm maybe not making highlight plays but doing the right things, I have guys on the bench, guys on the court who are really encouraging me and keeping my head high.

Q.  Coach, you used to play everybody twice.  Now you don't do that any more, obviously.  Do you even talk about that any more?  Notre Dame, you lost to them there.  You really bludgeoned them pretty good in the first half in Durham.  And you lost to State the first time, and in the first half of this game it looked like you guys may have been eager for payback really?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  I think we're eager just to be in the tournament.  Certainly if you have a double round robin, they'd have to add about eight games to the NCAA for our league, but that's how you get a true champion.  Those return games whether you won or lost, are always‑‑ were always some of the best games in the league.  I mean, if you go back‑‑ because everyone's so competitive.
But our guys, I think, primarily it was we needed to get off to a good start in this tournament.  This tournament means a lot to us.  I was really concerned.  I'm surprised that we won the way we did because I think State can beat anybody.  I think‑‑ I like how Mark has put his team together.
Watching them last night, I'm a little bit surprised we were able to play the defense we did tonight against them.  That's why I think they were probably a little bit tired.

Q.  Marshall and Quinn, you guys were 6‑6 in your last 12 postseason games, and this team definitely feels different than that.  What are some lessons learned or what's different about this year's team?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE:  I feel like we've really focused and prided ourself in preparation.  I think we can attribute tonight especially to preparation.  We had a game plan.  In a short amount of time we were able to come together, listen to coach, and show some discipline by executing it in the game.  So I'd have to chalk that up to preparation.
QUINN COOK:  Preparation.  Playing with a sense of urgency, especially the older guys who have been here.  Postseason we didn't play as well as we wanted to, so we get another chance this year for the guys who returned.  Our younger guys they've bought in since day one.  So we're playing with a sense of urgency and remaining hungry.
I think we play our best basketball when we have a chip on our shoulder.  We're playing our best basketball right now, and guys keep wanting to get better, and I know we're not satisfied.

Q.  You are either going to get Notre Dame or Miami.  That's two of your three losses.  What have you learned from those games against those two teams?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Well, we haven't played Miami in two months, so I haven't been watching them at all.  Notre Dame is one of the most explosive offensive teams in the country and a veteran team.  And I don't know their exact record, but I think they've won 25 or 26 games now.  So either one will be a tough assignment.  We're happy we're playing on Friday.  It will be a late game though.  We have to adjust to that.

Q.  Mike, why did you go to the defensive tactics?  Did you think it would be something you'd be able to use the whole game?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  We were hoping.  Yeah, we just felt we were going to try to stop their penetration so the three‑quarter court worked in that respect.  Then with the zone we tried to defend their three perimeter guys with our four perimeter guys, and have Ja or Marshall protect the basket.  And these guys did a good job of talking.  So outside of Turner, we lost Turner a couple times, but the first half was way beyond our expectations, let's put it that way.

Q.  Grayson's an example of rapid, late‑season improvement, but the other three guys were pretty productive right out of the gate for you.  When you look at them, all four, do you see a lot of things that they do better now than say back in December?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:  Yeah, well they do everything better.  Part of that is just the experience of you know who you have to play against.  The caliber of player brings out your talents, and it does with other teams in the league.  Our guys are good learners.  Our upperclassmen, these two guys, Quinn has been our captain and he's done that.  But Marshall pushes Ja every day.
When I look at the freshmen developing, I think Marshall over these last three and a half weeks has really improved.  I mean he has such complete focus, and it's had a big, big bearing on our success, especially in each practice.  He brings this enthusiasm and sharpness that is so good.
Grayson's a good player.  I mean, these guys love Grayson, and he's fearless.  He can shoot and score, and he's just been given more of an opportunity now.  But he's been ready for the opportunity now.

Q.  When you guys played them the first time, they basically doubled you in terms of points in paint, and you guys kind of reversed that tonight.  What was the biggest difference for you guys in terms of keeping them out of the paint tonight?
MARSHALL PLUMLEE:  We played a team defense that required us to talk.  And when we're talking, we're a better defensive team.  So whenever there is a weak spot in the zone, we talk, we'd compensate, and it was just a lot of movement, a lot of activity especially in the first half.  And we were able to work together to protect our paint from penetration from low‑post entries, and it worked out in the end for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297