|Temple's Khalif Wyatt drives past Duke's Austin Rivers.|
Other times it means Rivers will offer assessments that are critical of himself and, if one conceives them broadly, his teammates.
But with Rivers, one always gets the sense he is speaking from the heart. In the aftermath of Duke’s 78-73 somewhat unexpected loss to Temple, Rivers’ emotion seemed especially raw. It appeared he was trying to process how the Blue Devils turned in such a tepid performance.
Among his observations:
* “We have to fight. When we fight, we’re a really tough team to beat. When we don’t, we’re very beatable.”
* “We have to come out strong. At halftime, we’re only down two. We come out like we’re down 30 or something and our heads are down for no reason. It was a two-point game. It’s a one-possession game, and we came out and we were slow. They just kept extending the lead and they were excited. They played harder.”
* “It’s frustrating because these are things we have been working on. These have been our main focuses. We’ve been working on this in practice about coming out strong, and being strong and physical and getting our rebounds and playing great defense. That’s a staple of Duke basketball. It’s frustrating that we go hours and hours and hours in the gym working on that every day, and then we fly out here to Philly, and we lose. And we don’t do those things. You wish you could do things over, but that’s not how it works.”
Rivers did not have an especially strong outing. He had trouble getting to the rim effectively, and just about all of his points came from the perimeter.
After one ill-advised drive, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski yelled at Rivers to settle down. As the Blue Devils begin their ACC season Saturday against Georgia Tech, it will be interesting to see how the team and Rivers respond.
-- Jack Daly