UNC-Gtown: Doherty Press Conference

UNC-Gtown: Doherty Press Conference

Opening Remarks-

Well, we came up short against a very good team. I'm proud of our guys for fighting back. They had us down, what – 10 points? And our guys came back and had a chance to win. A couple of turnovers, missed foul shots cost us. That's a good team out there – a very good team. I thought their changing defenses got us out of synch a little bit and my hat's off to Craig [Esherick] and the Georgetown team.

Looking back on the season-

I think that the experience that we've had here … first at the beginning of the year when we had a full squad, what we did was pretty special. I thought that's a sign of what we can do. And then after Sean's injury, I felt like we've gotten better and better and had some of our best basketball played late in the year. Wins against Duke, Maryland and then the games that we won here in the NIT, I thought we played very well except for the exception of today. I don't think we played awful today, I just think we didn't play great, so I think that's one year of maturity, a healthy team with the addition of at least one prospect, maybe two, I think we'll be that much better. A year more mature – I think maturity is a big thing. How to handle the ups and downs, the stress of a college basketball season. The youngest team in major college basketball and maybe the fourth toughest schedule and enduring an injury … I think 19 wins is … I'm proud of our guys.

Was the unity level of the team good at the end of the season?

What do you think watching the games? [Reporter - I'd say, yeah] Yeah, their play doesn't lie. It's tough to fake that. There was a play in the Wyoming game where Melvin fouled [Danta] Richardson and all five guys got together, huddled up and had their arms around each other and we weren't doing that in November or December. It's good to see that growth of a team coming together. The quotes in the paper today about why're we're playing better and why are we shooting better. Well, guys know their roles, guys are screening, guys are faster, guys are playing together. This is a pretty close team and they've grown as a team and grown as individuals.

On whether the missed foul shot late by McCants was deflating-

I think it could have been, it certainly could have been, but we'd still have to stop them on the other end. You make the foul shot and they score, you're down one instead of down two. I guess …

What sort of things was [Gerald] Riley doing, besides making good plays?

They found him and he's their best outside shooter. And without looking at the tape I don't know if he did anything special or if we lost him. But he got on a bit of a roll there … the thing about him is that he's 6-6 with long arms, so it's tough to get to his shot.

What did you tell the guys in the locker room after the game?

I just said that I'm proud of them. I'm proud of what they did this year. The youngest team in major college basketball, fourth most difficult schedule in the country and enduring an injury to Sean May … I thought we did some good things. Some real good things. I'm very proud of them as a team and the growth I've seen in some of the individuals is pretty special.

What did you try to do against [Mike] Sweetney tonight?

We tried to double him. We wanted him to get the ball off the block. If he got the ball off the block we didn't want to double him. We didn't want to foul him, and in the second half we didn't foul him – we didn't put him to the foul line. I thought we did a much better job on him in the second half, but then Riley got going a little bit. If he got the ball deep on the block, we wanted to send Jawad at him. If he got the ball off the block we wanted to just play one-on-one.

Georgetown remind you of any teams you've played?

I think it reminded me of Wake Forest. Wake Forest has long, interchangeable parts, change defenses, keeps you off balance, they switch from regular man to zone, they trap out of the zone. So I think their length and aggressiveness did bother us – traps on the wings obviously caused us some problems which is frustrating, but when you have quick turnaround, you have to prepare for them and they have to prepare for us, I admire what they've done. They had to go to Tennessee, to Providence, they got home late after the Providence game, they bus in and got in at 2-o-clock. Didn't have a shootaround and came in and played with a lot of energy. I'm real impressed with what Georgetown accomplished.

What are you going to be doing this next week?

Oh, I'll probably take a little time off and then probably meet with some of the players and then do whatever it takes recruiting-wise. We don't have a lot of scholarships, so we hope to close out maybe one here then work on the underclassmen. So, take a breather, spend time with my family, go to the beach, then visit with the kids about the summer plans and things like that.

From a psychological standpoint for next season, how important was it to have these three games in the NIT instead of having the season end with a loss to Duke?

I think that's important. We got a tournament feel. Look at the … no offense to the NIT, we all want to play in the NCAA Tournament … but look what the NIT – having the opportunity to play in the NIT brought us. How about the crowds? That's been unbelievable. How about the play? You know you've seen guys grow before your eyes. Whether it be Raymond, Rashad, Melvin or Jawad or David … this NIT, I appreciate it. It provided us a great opportunity to play and for our fans to celebrate Carolina basketball.

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