Here are some player quotes from Duke's media day. Click on the photos to see the full-sized version.
Any time you start out highly ranked and with the caliber of
players we have [getting overconfident] is always a possibility, but if you take
a look at last year at Duke, that's never been a problem wtih Coach K, that's
one of the things he brings to the table. I don't think that's going to be a
problem for us this year.
On the preseason - last year there were six freshmen,Â we didn't really
know what to expect, it seemed really hard, but coming back for your second year
you know what to expect, but at the same time, we've got the same amount of
[conditioning] and we're ready to go.
On starting - I think there's always competition. I think everybodys going to
push each other...it's only going to make us better. I think deep down there's a
lot of guys who want.to start, and if you don't want to start, you shouldn't be
here then...It's important to me [to start]. I didn't really give much thought
to coming off the bench this year. If that happens, if that's the role I'm put
in I'm gong to do my best but I feel like I've put myself in the position where
I should be on the floor at the beginning of the game and the end, too...When
Coach K recruited me, he never guaranteed me a starting spot. He told me I'd
have to come back every year and earn the position you were at last year and I
think that's much better for the team. When things are just given to people
because they are seniors or juniors...that's not good for the team.
On bulking up - I'm not jacked or anything, but I put on the weight that I
could, obviously I'm not going to be huge.
Shane Battier :
On the SBC - We want to convey that there are some
problems...we live the life daily..there's a lot being said by a lot of people
but not necessarily [by those who live it daily].
The three biggest problems that face college players -
Let me get my notes, there's a gamut of issues...If we could get back to
focusing on the student-athlete and not be so worried about numbers, about
ratings, about dollars I think we'd [get to the root of] our problems.Â
Last year we were primarily a half-court team and we would go full-court once
in a while. This year, we can attack people full length of the court for a
longer duration, and what that does is allow us to get out and break more and to
put pressure on the other team.
On 98 wins - I've been here a long time! (laughter).
If he's nervous watching Jeremy play football - yeah, a little bit. He's
feeling better (after getting his bell rung).Â Just those guys are so
big.Â He's always my little brother, the guy I used to give noogies to, and
headlocks when we wer elittle, and all of a sudden he's going against these
monsters...I understand how parents feel now.
Â I haven't really thought about after basketball because I'm here
at Duke now, and this is my last year and I want it to be best.Â I want to
have a national championship ring to show for it.
On being -preseason #1 - yeah, i think it's legit. We were one of the top
teams last year and we have everyone back except for Chris CarrawellÂ and
all the guys have improved, so I think we're going to be a good team, whether
we're #1 remains to be seen but I think we have [the potential] to do that.
On Shane's shooting -Â It's improved a lot. He's always been automatic
from the 3 point line, he shot something like 40% last year. I think he's added
a lot to his game.
On defense - I think it could be a nightmare for other teams because we have
players that can always score, but when you add the defensive intensity that
coach wants us to play with, there is going to be a lot more pressing, a lot
more picking up full court and trapping. It's going to be tough.Â We want
to get after it, when you play a pressing team that loves to press, those are
On Chappell's transfer - did it work out - That remains to be seen. If he has
a great, great year, gets drafted and goes into the NBA, I'd say, hey, it worked
out for him.Â He already has a championship ring so that'd be like the
cherry on a sundae right there. But if he doesn't have the year he wants to have
and kind of falls to the wayside, then hey, you never know what would have
happened if he had stayed, but I think you have to live with the decision he
made. I think he has the opportunity to really be good for Michigan State, to go
out there and prove some things he has to prove. We're still pretty good
friends. Actually I hung out with him this summer, we worked out. I think he
always had the ability to be a pretty good player. Now he has to go out there
and show everybody.
The freshmen - They're a great bunch of guys.Â Chris Duhon, Andre Sweet,
they're good guys, they can play the game. They both know how to really go out
there [and they'll find out what it's like] to be part of the Duke tradition
where the name on the front of your jersey really means something and you have
to play like that and remember that each day.Â They're going to be key for
us, especially Chris Duhon. He can handled the ball, shoot it, he knows how to
On playing the NBAers - guys you see on tv all the time, wow,those are my
idols, , Tim Hardaway!Â And then having the ball and realizing you can kind
of go around these guys sometimes, it built a certain confidence in myself. Now
when I play against guys on the collegiate level, it shouldn't be harder, it
should be easier, not saying that it'll be easy to get around everybody,
but...it was certainly a confidence builder.
On the Florida game - it's still with me now. There's not a day taht goes by
that we don't use the Florida game as a fire in our hearts...I think it's
something I'm going carry until we win it. You play against them last year and
lose by 8 or 9 points, then see them go all the way to the championship game and
then put themselves in position to win it, it's just like wow, maybe if we had
worked a little harder that day, or a couple of extra shots up before that game,
maybe we would have won it.
On expectations - I don't think our expectations have changed since last
year, maybe the media's have. Our goal is to win a national championship every
year. I think this year we'll work even harder than last year because we kind of
know what it takes now.
On being in Slam - Slam always makes me look like something I'm not, like I'm
this thuggish guy from the inner city, the hood...eh, I don't mind being in a
magazine like that, I think overall it was a fun thing to do.
On the conference this season - I think the ACC is going to be rough.
WakeÂ has everyone back, North Carolina even though they lost Ed Cota...State
has everyone back except Gainey, Maryland has everyone back...It's definitely
going to be rough.Â Last year we had a great team but we didn't know what
it took to be great.
On Duhon - yeah, Chris has been pushing me from day one.Â The kid, he
came here around 170, 175, and he 's around 188-189 now, and he's just solid,
he's a rock.Â It was weird because I was in the same position last year
where I came here around 170-175 and I came up to like 195, and I was solid as a
rock but I wasn't in half the shape that this kid is in.
On Shane Battier - He's like the poster boy of college basketball right now.
There's not one magazine that I get that doesn't have his face on it. I think
that's great, I think he's worked his butt off enough to deserve it...I think
Shane sets an overall example...it's his senior year, he's preseason player of
the year, hopefully national player of the year by the end of the year, it's
just a dream come true. It just shows you what maybe staying all the time,
putting in all the hard work, the extra shots after practice, and spending extra
time with the team, he's got a girlfriend for three or four years, he's not
talking about marriage but he thinks about it all the time. He's just like the
personal role kid and I think a lot of kids in the country look up to him. He's
a great person and a great player and I look up to him personally. Emotionally, physically,Â
I rely on him for everything...if I keep working hard maybe I can get to the
same level or maybe higher.Â Shane's the best thing I have to look at right
now, he and Coach K.
On Ed Cota - I was really shocked that Ed Cota didn't go in the draft. He
can't do the athletic things that a lot of point guards can do, I think he
always found a way to get his teammates involved in the game. I played against
Ed a long time ago and he really murdered me..I actually sat down and watched
one of his games in college about a week and a half ago, two weeks ago, and just
to see a lot of things he can do like runÂ a team, and when it came time
for him to score, when he was put into a position to score,Â that's when he
can do it.Â I think overall his main goal was to run his team and get
everyone else involved. I think that's what made him a great player. I really
looked up to him. Yeah, I admit last season...I played against him a long time
ago and I definitely had something I wanted to prove and I think I definitely
proved that last season in ever aspect that I tried. As I grew I started to
watch him play a lot more and I was like, you know, wow, I wish I could do it
like that, or better. And I kind of use him as an example too.
On Steve Blake - I got a chance to play with Steve in Brazil. I think he's a
good player, I think a lot of people don't look at him as the player he is, but
when it comes down to it, Steve gets the job done. He's really solid with the
ball, and I'm looking forward to playing against him. I think he's going to have
a goal to go after me and I'm definitely going to have a goal to go after him.
on having his family nearby - they defintely enjoy being down here. It's good
to be on the East Coast. Last year to go home I had to fly all day to get there.
Now I can just drive 25 minutes and be right there.
On the Pete Newell Camp - It was fantasticÂ I learned a lot of footwork
drills, and actually the whole camp was footwork so my footwork increased a lot.
I got to play against some of the pros at night and got a good experience and
learned a lot so it was definitely beneficial.
On getting cut this summer - I learned I had to work harder, to improve to
motivate - actually that did motivate me. At the time it disappointed me but now
I think it benefited me because it got the hunger back in me...it motivated me
to prove myself again.
on the freshmen [Duhon] is going to bring us a lot. He's a fantastic
guard.Â He's going to give us, he and Jason, the best backcourt in the
His toughest opponent - I think Brendan Haywood because of his size.Â
He's hard to move and he's athletic. I think he was the most difficult I had to
On working with Coach WojoÂ - Oh, it's fantastic. He brings so much
energy to the workouts it's fantastic. He tells us what guards look for when
they want to get the ball in the post. Last year we didn't have that.
On the reserves - they're going to see time this year. Casey and Nick have
improved tremendously. They're going to give us depth this year.
How Casey has improved - he plays with more aggression. He's stronger, he's
gained at least 10-15 pounds. I think he runs better than anybody, he just takes
off, he's like a deer.
On his weaknesses - I don't dribble that much, but my handle...everyone can
always improve on free throw shooting....