DJ Steward: We've Got to Be Tougher as a Team

Freshman guard discusses what Duke needs to do to improve
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Duke has lost two straight, at Virginia Tech and Pitt. Freshman guard DJ Steward breaks down what the Blue Devils need to do to snap out of the slump.

“We’ve got to be tougher as a team,” he said. “We’ve been working on toughness a lot these last couple days – pretty much the whole week. We’ve just got to go out there and execute the game plan. The coaches lay down what they want us to do, but we’ve just got to go out there, execute the game plan and just follow what he says. We’ve got to trust his game plan and we’ve got to trust each other as well. If we go out there and trust each other, rebound and play tough, we’ll win these games.”

Duke has dropped out of the top 25, and any time the Blue Devils struggle, they get their share of criticism and celebration of their bad fortune.

“We try not to pay attention to it, but we’re going to see it, of course,” he said. “We’re going to take it personal. We’re going to lock in as a team and come together as one. It’s just us versus the world right now. Coach K says five players into a fist, we’re going to be very strong. We’re going to punch people with our fist.”

Steward and fellow freshman guard Jeremy Roach have teamed up to lead the Blue Devils backcourt.

“We’ve been pretty good, but we’ve got to pick things up,” he said. “We had a conversation, we said we had to be better, we’ve got to be together as one on the perimeter. We’ve got to lead the perimeter. We have talks all the time. We talked today and yesterday about us getting better and then leading the team. We’ve got to get people open, see each other, hit each other in the right spots at the right time and just feed off each other’s energy.”