Duke basketball players express same troubling comments as head coach after UNC loss

The Duke basketball captain and star freshman echoed its head coach after losing to North Carolina

Feb 3, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cormac Ryan (3) reacts
Feb 3, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cormac Ryan (3) reacts / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Jon Scheyer delivered shocking remarks after the Duke basketball lost to North Carolina on Saturday night that his team did not compete to the level that was necessary to win a game like that.

It was 100-percent true, but still startling to hear that publicly from the head coach.

However, what was more surprising was that two Blue Devil players echoed the same senitiments as the second year head coach after the 93-84 defeat.

“We just got out-competed, out-toughed," captain Jeremy Roach said. "It’s very tough, especially in the rivalry.”

What makes the comments more confusing is that most of the Duke roster knows what it takes to win this game. They returned nearly the entire group of players that swept the Tar Heels a season ago.

Granted, North Carolina is vastly improved from last season after they became the first team ever to be ranked No. 1 in the Preseason Top-25 Poll to miss the NCAA Tournament, but the intensity of the rivalry is still present regardless of what the records are.

Jared McCain, who was playing in his first edition of college basketball's best rivalry, didn't hold back either.

“It hurts. This is the game, when you commit to Duke, it’s the big game you look forward to," he explained.

"It’s crazy to think that we don’t come out with energy and go play as hard as we can. So, it sucks.”

McCain is certainly not to blame for Duke's misfortunes, leading the team with 23 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-18 shooting.

“They out-competed us, for sure. They got those 50-50 balls and it translated...We didn’t compete. That’s what it came down to.”

No. 9 Duke (16-5, 7-3 ACC) will return to action on Wednesday, February 7 (9:00 p.m. ET, ACC Network) against Notre Dame (7-15, 2-9 ACC) inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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