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Listen to Audio (14:14)
“This morning, somewhere around 9am, I had received a message a little earlier to call Big Larry. I called Big Larry a little bit after 9am, and at that point, he informed me that Larry was leaving. We had a long discussion – most of which should be kept private – and basically there was no arbitrating, there was no trying to see if we could rectify anything. It was that was the decision that was made. He thought it was in Larry’s best interest… I was shocked and disappointed.”
Have you talked to Larry?
The timing would seem like there’s no advantage for him. Can you describe the thoughts on that?
Are you disappointed that you heard the news from Drew’s father and not from Drew himself?
“I’m disappointed in the fact that he’s leaving – that’s the biggest disappointment. Everybody has different feelings and different ideas, but… That’s probably best to leave it there.”
Did you in any way see this coming?
“No. As I said in the statement, the last four games Larry has been great. His assist-error ratio the last four games is 19-to-4. And he’s been the defensive player of the game in two of the four games, so it’s a big blow to our team. It really is. That’s a huge blow to our team. But no, I didn’t see it coming.”
So does Dexter Strickland move back to the point guard spot? What do you do now?
“My initial reaction is yes. But guys, this is something that happened five hours ago. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a game plan wasn’t built in five hours when there’s a huge curve ball thrown at you.”
Is this the most blindsided you’ve been by something?
Listen to Audio (4:15)
Did you see this coming?
“No. Even when there was the lineup change, he took it great. He started playing [well] and he was still helping me out from the bench as he was when he was on the court.”
How did you learn that Larry had left?
“Facebook. I got on Facebook this morning and I saw that one of my friends had tagged the article. It was surprising to me. It caught me offguard.”
Are you upset that you learned it from Facebook and not from Larry?
“Definitely, definitely. But it’s a decision he made. I wish him the best of luck in all of the decisions and where he ends up going from here.”
On what the team needs to do going forward:
“We’ve just got to get tighter. We’re playing our best basketball right now. We’ve got a tough stretch coming up in ACC play with Florida State and then Duke after that. We’ve just got to become a tighter team and almost play possessed with winning.”
On Larry leaving midseason:
“If it was up to me and I’m sure 99 percent of the people in the world, we would have liked to have seen him wait until the end of the season. But Larry’s a grown man. He makes his own choices.”
Have you spoken with Larry?
“I haven’t. I’m sure he’s being hounded by people, from family, friends, Facebook, Twitter and everything else. I think right now the best thing for him is just to have his space.”
Do you hope to talk to him soon?
“That’s not one of my main concerns right now. My main concern is just focusing on the people we have in the locker room.”
Listen to Audio (4:05)
On the timing of Drew’s decision:
“It’s disturbing just because it is the middle of the season, especially a week before Duke. It makes it difficult. We’ve got three big games coming up, so it’s tough to be able to prepare like that, but we’ve just got to prepare with what we’ve got.”
Is anger one of the emotions in play here?
“No, definitely not. He’s been one of our teammates. He’s been with us through everything. It’s disturbing and we’re probably a little disappointed in him, but at the same time, it’s definitely not like we’re mad at him or anything. It’s his decision and we’ll move forward.”