Duke was held scoreless for the first 6:17 of the game and Michael Ojo did man's work on Jahlil Okafor, but in the end the Noles came up short. Here's what folks had to say:
Duke Head Coach, Mike Krzyzewski (turn up the volume):
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Coach K answered a few more questions after the video shut off:
--"Quinn [Cook]'s been terrific as a leader. I think he's our most valuable guy...He's been one of my better leaders that I've had at Duke and I didn't know that that would happen this year."
--"The thing that Dean did the best was he made men of the boys that came to him, and all those men revere him. They don't love him, they revere him. And that's his biggest accomplishment and he's done that better than anybody. You know, I'm proud to be able to say that I was his friend, and I love him, and I love what he built and how he did it. It's second to none. It's really second to none." --On what Dean Smith meant to UNC and college basketball
--"Yes. Yeah, I think it is. I think the coaching has been incredible. I think one of the best jobs that has been done with coaching is Brian [Gregory] at Georgia Tech...No body is letting you beat them. You have to beat 'em. You have to beat these teams. So much has been said about the guys who are already in the Hall of Fame, but you go 1 through 15, we got great coaches. And we got really good players...this conference is amazing. It's the best conference...we could have lost tonight, we could have lost to Georgia Tech last week...that says a lot about the conference. --On whether the ACC is as deep and competitive as he has seen it in a long time.
Florida State Head Coach, Leonard Hamilton:
--"I thought Duke did a tremendous job of taking advantage of some of our youthful inexperience. They did such a great job defending us in the first half, that I thought they created a lot of indecision on our part."
--"I thought the second half we settled down a little bit better and at least we got into what we intended to do offensively in the first half."
--"Like most great teams that are well coached, they found a way to counter every surge that we made."
--"Our guys kept fighting, I think we showed a lot of willpower."
--"They're loaded with talent. We got beat by a team that was a little bit better than us tonight."
--"We gotta find a way to win more games...We are passed the stage of taking moral victories. We have to overcome our shortcomings, mentally, emotionally, as well as physically. I thought physically we were invested. I just thought that emotionally we were a little too hyped up and I thought that we were so anxious, uh, that we allowed their defensive pressure to create some indecision. And we got to figure out a way to overcome that." --On what it means for his young team to come so close to winning a game against a top 5 team like Duke.
--"Coming close doesn't count unless you're playing horseshoes."
--"I think our defensive system has been fairly effective over the years. Right now we have not executed it nearly as well as I would like. Michael [Ojo] is a very good low-post defender. And because of his the way they use [Okafor] it was probably a little bit easier--a different kind of matchup than what Mike's been accustomed to. He's been chasing 6'8 guys around that shoot threes and drive the ball to the basket, this is the first time I believe in a long time he's been matched up with a legitimate low-post center...Okafor is 275 pounds, Mike's 300, so I thought they were probably a good match for each other. Offensively Mike is obviously not as far along as Okafor, but I thought defensively he could hold his own." --On whether he was expecting such a strong performance from Michael Ojo.
''You gotta gove Duke credit because they had a game-plan too. They did a great job of defending us. They trapped X, made us get the ball out of his hands...their men caused us to be indecisive and that's what experienced teams do...it was a great game-plan."
--"I think Robbie is like probably 95% of all freshman in the country: somewhat inconsistent. They're learning, growing emotionally...sometimes they can get a little hyped up, that's the nature of being a freshman. Same thing with Phil...same thing with X...they're learning in the heat of the battle and I think they're starting to respond a better, and a little more consistently." --On the increased production from Robbie Berwick.
Devon Bookert on the close loss: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tHoJoeE7qlo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Phil Cofer on the tough loss: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c947EbWE0o4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
More from Phil Cofer: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3U90M3XUy5s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
It's obvious that Ham is not satisfied with close losses or moral victories. Neither are the players. However, as a fan/analyst, I can appreciate the visible improvement we have seen from this team over the last 4 weeks. There has been increased intensity on defense, increased production from role players, and just overall better, more confident play. The youngsters are getting more familiar with the offensive and defensive systems and also with their own roles on the team. Now they just need to start trusting their instincts more and quit suffering from paralysis by analysis mid-possession.
The key to "moral victories" is actually applying the morals learned to the next game and taking care of business against teams you can realistically beat. Georgia Tech, as mentioned by Coach K, could easily have 3-4 more wins in the ACC. This is not an easy game tomorrow. But like Ham said, FSU needs to find a way to get the job done. Close only counts in horseshoes and (according to my Army vet father) hand grenades.