Duke players felt 'disrespected' by Miami's floor slap

lkeeley@newsobserver.comJanuary 26, 2013 

— After Duke had dispatched of Maryland with a 84-64 win, Quinn Cook called it a “program game.” And he wasn’t the only one who referenced what had happen to Duke in its previous game in Miami.

“Everyone has to look in the mirror and say, ‘what do I have to do?’” Mason Plumlee said of the team’s response to the loss in Coral Gables. “We hate losing, naturally.”

It was the way Duke lost, though, that made the trip especially painful. The Hurricanes embarrassed Duke in a 90-63 win, and, late in the second half, they taunted the Blue Devils, too.

Leading 72-44, the Miami players slapped the floor after the set up on defense, mocking the Duke tradition that dates back several decades. Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Warren Sapp, a Miami legend, had told him to do that while he was shooting free throws on the previous possession.

Larkin said the next day that the Hurricanes didn’t mean to be disrespectful. But it was too late for that.

“That was just a slap in the face to the program,” Quinn Cook said after the Maryland win Saturday. “All the tradition that coach has built here, just for them to mock that, it was definitely disrespectful. We definitely took that to heart.”

There wasn’t much Duke could do at the moment because the competitive portion of that game was long over by that point.

“They embarrassed us on the court before they even did that,” Seth Curry said. “We can’t really do anything when we’re down 30.”

Duke will host Miami in Cameron on March 2. Think the Blue Devils will still remember the disrespect from earlier this week?

“Definitely,” Rasheed Sulaimon said.

“They beat the crap out of us,” Cook added. “We will definitely keep that in mind.”

Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

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