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The Duke Angle From Operation Basketball

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If there's an early theme or two for Duke, it's: ouch! and: we have to defend better. Coach K had these comments:

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"Nobody had a complete grasp of what we all were doing. It was like, I think I’m supposed to be doing this, but what is he doing? With our team this year, all three of those seniors do have that grasp. I think our two juniors, Josh (Hairston) and Tyler (Thornton), do, too..."The ability to teach this team is easier. It’s just easier. It had nothing to do with a bad attitude (last year). It had leaders off the court, but it didn’t have a leader on the court. We have a chance to have some leaders on the court."

Mason Plumlee said "[w]e were one of the worst defensive teams, statistically, Duke has had in a long time," and Seth Curry added that "[w]e’ve got to have our principles down early on. We’ve got to have our defensive mindset. Last year, we thought about scoring first. This year, we’ve got to think about getting stops."

Then there are injuries. Marshall Plumlee will sit for a few weeks as he heals a stress fracture; Seth Curry has a less serious injury to recover from. That's not a situation anyone wants to deal with, but on the other hand, other people will get more opportunities early, likely Alex Murphy, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson.

Coach K also said this about the Lance Thomas situation:

"We continue to work with the NCAA. I'm not going to comment more and hurt the integrity of the process. When we found out about it in early September, we're the ones who contacted the NCAA. Duke is trying to find out what we can do to clarify the situation. We're going to proceed and let that process continue.''

And on Thomas talking to the NCAA he said that "[o]nce a youngster leaves your program they become what they call adults and adults have the right to make decisions. That's up to Lance.''