Joey Baker on Darius Perry Incident: Just Making Sure Everything Was Good
Duke had a big rally after Joey Baker and Louisville’s Darius Perry went nose-to-nose, each picking up a technical foul.
Perry went to the floor and got tangled with Cassius Stanley, who ended up straddling him as he threw a pass down court. Perry stood up with Stanley on his back, dumping the Duke freshman to the floor.
Baker immediately rushed Perry and stared him down as Louisville players separated the two.
Despite the run following the incident, Baker wasn’t sure it provided motivation for Duke.
“It could’ve,” he said, “but it was really not a big … nothing too serious. I mean, I’m good friends with Perry. (I was) just making sure everything was good.”
Baker said the Blue Devils needed to focus on coming out fired up, instead of falling behind early.
“Just coming out ready to play,” he said. “We can’t wait to have a play like that. We can’t wait 10 minutes into the game to get going. We have to come out ready right away. We got into a hole and tried digging ourselves out. We did a good job the rest of the game, but it’s tough against a really good team like Louisville.”
Louisville was physical with Duke in the paint early, forcing several Blue Devil turnovers.
“I think they were collapsing harder than we anticipated,” Baker said. “On drives, there were four or five guys there. It took us longer than it should have to adjust to that and play differently, I guess. So going forward, we’ll learn from that, hopefully, and be better going forward.”
The two-game losing streak is a blow to the Blue Devils’ pride.
“Our locker room and our coaching staff is full of winners, so it’s not a good feeling losing two in a row,” Baker said, “but we have areas we need to get better, and that’s what we’re going to focus on. We can’t worry about what’s in the past. We still have games to play. If we get caught looking in the past we’re not going to be ready for our next game on Tuesday.”