March 13, 2005
Championship Game Quotes
Duke 69, Georgia Tech 64
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
I'm speechless. It was survival. This is what this team has done the whole year. I don't know what to say. I'm astounded that we are the ACC Champions. We beat a team with a lot of heart. We needed a lot of heart to win. I'm so proud of my team. Not just for this game, but for the entire season. They have found ways to win and have incredible heart. We beat an outstanding team today. For us, the key was we played very good defense today and played really good defense all year. Obviously we got into some dire straits with ball handling and fouls. Our big guys helped a lot with that. They just showed a lot of poise. We are really tired and happy and very appreciative of the fact we are champions of this great conference.
(On whether he was concerned about fatigue among his players)
I wasn't concerned too much about fatigue. We are very, very well-conditioned, as well-conditioned a team I have ever had. Johnny Dawkins, my Associate Head Coach and our staff, starting in August, put these kids through rigorous training. We even did it this week, early in the morning, just to get into peak shape. Tuesday morning we had a heck of a conditioning workout, not for punishment or anything, but just to maintain our edge. It has paid off.
(On Shelden Williams)
For me, I don't think there has been a better defensive player in the entire country as far as his impact on our team. We don't have the depth out on the perimeter where we are pressing like we have in the past. This team has relied on his shot blocking. That is one of the reasons why we have been such an outstanding defensive team. We can stay with people on the three-point shot. We know our basket is protected by him.
Duke guard Daniel Ewing
(On winning the Title)
This is the way to go out. Hopefully we can build on this and have some bigger wins in the near future.
Last year we were in the same situation and didn't deliver towards the end. We worked on that prior to the tournament; game situations and finishing the game off. All of our guys did a good job with rebounding, finishing shots and hitting free throws.
(On expectations at the beginning of the season)
I don't think anybody thought we would be in this situation. I don't think anyone thought we would be that good this year. We set goals for ourselves. This is one that we set and it feels good to reach it.
It's the standard that we set for ourselves. Today was a championship game and our guys gave a championship effort.
Duke forward Sheldon Williams
(On motivation heading into the NCAA)
This has really motivated us. We are in position to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That is one of the things we talked about. We wanted to come out here and play hard against some tough ACC teams and we walked away from here with an ACC Championship.
Duke junior guard J.J. Redick
Today was a great moment for our team and a great moment for our guys. For me it's pretty personal after what happened last year at the ACC Tournament. It meant a lot to me to win this championship with this group of guys. They're the best teammates in the world, we have the best coaches, and it just meant a lot.
(On his shooting today)
Today was a good day, but it wasn't an unbelievable day for me. I missed my last few shots and a couple of those came up short. I guess it was a little bit of fatigue, having played 40 minutes on two straight nights.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
I'm proud of our efforts to battle back into the game. They did an outstanding job defensively. Towards the end of the game we started to get some looks, but we couldn't knock those down.
(On Jack's injury and decision to re-enter the game)
First couple times when he came back it looked like he was hobbling a little bit and I thought he was done for the day actually. He just told me he was fine and wanted to get back out there. I'm glad he did and I'm glad he convinced me to put him back in because he went out and made some big plays to give us a chance.
(On shot attempts at the end of the game)
We got some excellent looks. Anthony Morrow one time at the top of the key, Will Bynum had one and even a pull up that Will had when it was a two point game I thought was a great shot. He got in the lane, elevated nicely and it was clean. Again, I thought their defense was outstanding and in the second half we did a better job of moving the ball. We only had nine turnovers and I'm pleased with that. We just didn't make some of our shots.
(On using this loss to prepare for the next tournament)
We just have to come back and prepare to fight through even more adversity. That's all. It just prepares you to fight through even more adversity the next time around.
(On Shelden Williams' performance)
He is the guy who allows them to do what they do offensively and defensively. We hear about Redick, rightfully so, we hear about Ewing, rightfully so, but Shelden Williams is the answer to the whole thing. At least that's what I think.
(On the poise of freshman Anthony McHenry)
He comes out of Charlotte-Latin and is very well coached, so Anthony is a kid who doesn't get shaky in situations like that. He made a big three and he had a good look from the corner and didn't look jittery at all. He's going to be a good, good player for us.
Georgia Tech guard Jarrett Jack
(On the injury)
It's just a sprained ankle. There's nothing that is going to keep me off the court. I'm going to do whatever I can to help my team. I went to the bench and got re-taped, then went back to the locker room to try to get loose and then just did my best to play through it. It was painful, but we've fought so hard all weekend I didn't want to let my team down.
(On the disappointment of the loss)
You can use your disappointment as some momentum. We came out here and showed that we are one of the best teams in this league and that we can beat any team in this league or the country on any given day. If this doesn't get you riled up and ready to go and get the next game then I don't know what will.
Georgia Tech guard Will Bynum
(On the disappointment of the loss)
We will use this game as motivation. Hopefully we'll get into the tournament and we'll use the bitter taste left in our mouths from this game as motivation for the next.