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Clemson vs. Duke Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Jan. 24, 2010

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Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell

Opening statement: “I give Duke all the credit for their defense. I didn’t like our offensive approach. We had too many dry periods. Our defense was great in the first half. Your defense is really working if you only allow 23 points in a half. The beginning of the second half killed us. We turned it over too many times. We had 13 turnovers in the first 22 minutes. We struggled against their defense. We got the ball to (Trevor) Booker but I don’t think we got it to him enough. They were able to handle our defensive pressure very well. We had them tired at the end, but we just couldn’t score enough to get back into it.”

On offensive issues: “The tempo was too slow. We didn’t play the speed we needed to play to get the win. We defended well enough to win, but we let them control the pace. Most of our points come off of turnovers and when you only turn them over twice in the second half, you don’t score a lot of points.”

On sharing the load offensively with Booker: “We usually have a pretty balanced offense, because he draws enough defenders to spread the offense. We didn’t take a few wide open shots, and didn’t get that balance.”

On defensive pressure: “During the second half, Duke handled our pressure as well as anyone in a half. Both teams went after each other physically. We played defense well enough to win, we just couldn’t score.”

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Overall Thoughts: “I am proud of our men. They played like men tonight because we played men. This was a game where points were difficult to come by and I thought both defenses were outstanding. We just got a couple of breaks that made the difference. In a game like this there is not much to separate the winner and the loser. I think Clemson is a very good team and played their butts off tonight. I thought Lance Thomas was very strong tonight. He did a great job inbounding the ball and not making mistakes. I am proud of our guys.”

On the play of Clemson’s Trevor Booker: “You are not going to stop Booker. I think he is one of the best players in America and definitely one of the top players in this league. He has such a strong influence on the game and may be one of their best passers, but tonight he was not able to influence the game in that area.”

On low score of the game: “They played very good defense, too, and I respect Clemson and Oliver Purnell. We came in tonight and wanted to beat the press and score. Tonight the veterans did a good job of controlling the pace when we were not able to beat the press.”

On Nolan Smith: “He has been really good all year. He has the ability to create his own shot. He had 22 points tonight in a 60-47 game. That is about 36 percent of our points.”

On giving more effort after loss to NC State: “We have played good defense all year. This was a tough week for us with playing our most physical game of the year on Sunday. We were beat up and State played a beautiful game against us. We rested and prepared hard for this game.”

On parity in the league: “It is great, at least I think it is great. A lot of it depends on the amount of rest that each team gets because there is not much difference in the teams up and down the conference. That makes it really exciting for everyone, except the coaches.”

On a win fueling his team: “There is no question that teams gain confidence after a win. This is a really big win for us. We knew Clemson was going to be ready. The guys should feel good about this. It is nice to play on Saturday, because we now get Sunday off.”