Duke-South Carolina post-game quotes

Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening Statement:

“Just really proud of our team in terms of our resilience and our consistency through the whole game. We tried very hard to focus technically on what we wanted to do and I thought, obviously, Becca [Greenwell] led that with the intensity and immediacy and the attack mode and all the things that she did on the floor, as well as Oderah [Chidom]. Oderah is just so hard to guard and she’s crafty around the basket. I thought Kyra Lambert was huge for us. I thought Erin Mathias was also huge for us using her length. It was very difficult to defend those post players. They have very good post players and they’re very tall and strong and what not, and I just think we learned a little bit about our interior defense and the things that we can do and grow from. I think we did a pretty good job with the guards, as well, but for the most part, just a good team, a game to grow from. There’s a lot in this game that we can grow from and that’s really important.”

On Duke’s early 16-5 deficit:

“Oh, I thought, I saw everybody, well, a little bit, they weren’t happy because we can play certainly a lot better, but I saw a very focused team. I just, we kept, it’s a marathon. These games, this is not a sprint, these games are marathons. So, we just had, we had to reboot a little bit and I thought the leadership on the floor, Becca’s and Kyra’s and Oderah and everybody, Lexie [Brown]. I thought there was good, great poise because it is a marathon. These games are very long and they’re very physical.”

On Leaonna Odom’s energy:

“She’s the fastest player on the floor. I mean, she’s, her speed and quickness is, well, it’s something to envy. Right guys? The team knows it. The team has been talking to her and pushing her and one of these days she’s going to really get the whole everything together. But we’re very proud of her. She stepped up hugely, using her strengths. When she plays at that full speed and quickness, she is difficult to guard because no one can stick with her and that’s where quickness can trump height on occasion, if you’ve got somebody who can run the floor like that. I mean did you see her take off when she had the breakaway? I was laughing at it though; I’m like ‘Hmm I wonder how long it’s going to take for her to get there because she’s so fast.’ I know that the team appreciates her, enjoys playing with her and we’re enjoying her growing her game.”

On Duke’s defense holding the team together:

“That’s a really important message. Holding this team to 63 points, I think they were averaging 76. That’s a really great message that defense and rebounding can control a game and that your offense can go south. Look at our numbers, I mean we are a team that has a lot of assists. I mean, eight assists is not us. There’s a lot of growth and development we’ll be doing with that. Sixteen turnovers is not us either. So our offense can go south on occasion, but if your defense holds and you rebound, well you’re pretty much all set.”

On Duke’s defense frustrating South Carolina:

“We’re working on our things as much as possible. I mean, this team can play matchups, two of them, and also man and press and lots of other things. So our intention was to take away the inside passing angles to those post players. The team did a fantastic job doing that. I’m looking at points in the paint here; you know coaches are always preaching that, 42 that’s a 10-point difference in our favor. That’s the game right there. Defensively, we not only had to contest and extend and attack on the shooters, but there was the inside passing angles that needed to be played. The posts did a fabulous job playing them and the guards did a fabulous job changing how they played different people. It’s not a technical thing; it’s a player thing. You see what I’m saying? I mean, like, it’s a player thing. It’s executing the game plan and paying attention to who is in your area and how to play it. I thought the team did a great job with that.”

Redshirt Junior Guard Rebecca Greenwell

On Duke’s ability to come back from the 5-16 deficit early in the game:

“I think it was just little by little. We were just letting them do little things that we had to stop them from doing. But we just had to keep coming back and go to our strengths. Really, we knew we just had to control the tempo. By the first quarter we got back at it and the rest of the game I think we did a great job at that.”

On South Carolina leaving her open:

“I just tried to play within the offense. Lexie [Brown] called a few great plays that I got some wide open threes off of so I guess I have to thank Lexie for that, for calling those smart plays.”

On how much confidence and momentum she gained from making those three point shots:

“A lot. I really just tried to focus on the defensive side and getting stops and that really pumped me up. I think just seeing the post get stops like that, it fueled energy throughout the entire game.”

On what this win meant to her personally:

“It just feels great. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to win a game as much as I did tonight, but I’m just really proud of how we had a full team effort. Everyone did special things. The defensive side of the game for us was just incredible. I was so proud of everyone. It just feels great to get the win so that’s all I really care about.”

On how much confidence this win gives the team:

“I think it just shows that we can play with anyone out there. We knew that from the beginning of the season but now it’s just showing it to others.

Senior Forward Oderah Chidom

On facing South Carolina’s post players:

“We knew what we were up against. We watched a lot of film, us in the post. We knew it would take a team effort, it wouldn’t be one person. We did a great job of following the scouting report, getting in front, limiting their touches. We knew A’ja Williams was strong with her left hand, trying to shut that down and just constantly being aware of where they were on the court, talking them through whenever they’d cut and it was just an all-around team effort.”

On her mentality in the game:

“Similar to Becca, I just really wanted to win this game and I was super focused. I wanted to make a statement and South Carolina is a great team to do it against.”

South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley:

On defensive changes:

“I subbed. I did something that I don’t normally do, so I will take the hit on this one. I went against my normal substitution pattern because I am just trying to grow our bench a little bit. That was costly because they did go on a run at that particular time. They got momentum and we could never get it back.”

On issues getting ball to post:

“I thought we forced it a little bit. I thought we needed to make one extra pass to get it inside. Our post players are so comfortable with the high-low look, but the one extra pass to get it inside was what we were stressing in our timeouts, trying to get our post players to do that. I think it is a great game for us to understand that people can take our high-low look away initially and somehow we have to hide it or delay it a little bit.”

On defensive focus:

“We weren’t disciplined. That’s what it’s called. We played undisciplined defensively. We wanted to stay really close to [Rebecca] Greenwell because we know what she is capable of. Obviously she made us pay. She got into a groove of the game and it was really hard showing her different looks. We have to be a little more disciplined. We knew coming into the season that we would take a hit defensively. Sometimes when you are winning and beating top-ranked teams, you can’t give that lesson to your players because they think ‘hey we are winning we are doing it the right way.’ In our coaches meetings we knew that this is our nemesis to be able to defend the way we’ve been defending in the past, and if not that way, just a different way to get stops.”

On absence of Tiffany Mitchell:

“We are going to focus on this team. I can’t go down memory lane, obviously. She is a three-time All American but we have to figure out a way to get those contributions. Let’s not kid ourselves, I haven’t kidded ourselves about what our team is. We are still a very young unit. We are inexperienced playing together and though we’ve camouflaged some things by winning some big games, when you strip us down we have to be able to defend. That is my biggest question mark coming into this season and I know this will be a lesson for our team. We will be better because of this.”

On fan base:

“I think we travel extremely well. This is a place in which our fans like to come. They came in numbers. It is unfortunate that they couldn’t will us to another road win. We are really fortunate to have the type of fans that we have and the support that they give us.”

On turnovers:

We have been a team that hasn’t turned the ball over a lot. The way you address them is that you look at every single one of them and you keep looking at them and looking at them until they get tired of them and see different options. I think if we can fix our defense, the turnovers will help themselves.”

South Carolina Players A’Ja Wilson and Allisha Gray

Junior Forward A’Ja WIlson

On defensive performance:

“I just feel like we just had defensive slip-ups. I thought we had a lapse where I guess we weren’t disciplined on defense. They just really scored a lot off of our turnovers as well. That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you.”

On rebounding from this game:

“I’m not really concerned about anything, I think we are just going to get back on track. This is a good learning lesson for us. I’m not concerned about this team, I feel like we have a great team, so we just have to keep moving and use it as a lesson and just learn from it and grow from it.”

Junior Guard Allisha Gray

On offensive performance:

“I mean with the zone, it was kind of hard, but the way they play up front. The way the zone was, it was kind of hard.”

  • Courtesy of Duke Athletics