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Listen to Audio (19:04)
I know you’ve mentioned the story several times about coach Wooden and the note. At this point in the season are you surprised your team is fighting for the ACC title, basically on the last day of the season here?
“I don’t know BC that I would use the word surprised. I’m very proud of it, but you can’t be surprised if you never think in those terms. I’m very proud of what our team accomplished. I told these guys, I don’t you can probably ask them. I started saying it five or six weeks ago that we have big-time dreams and big-time goals, and they’re very realistic. And I really believe that.”
On how good this Duke team is:
“I’m very proud of my team. I just said that a moment ago, and at the same time I know that Duke is an unbelievable opponent. I mean said, and you guys can go back last year before the season started I said it was going to be in my opinion the best Duke team since I’ve been back. And I think they’ve proved that, and this time I said I wouldn’t be surprised if they were even better.”
On playing Duke for the ACC regular season championship:
“The fact that we’re here playing them, and having the chance to win a conference championship I’ll go back it’s an exciting time for us, and it means my kids have really done a good job.”
How much is depth a concern now for this game and going forward?
“Depth has been a huge concern for me all year. You know I’ve been I was concerned about our depth up front, and I was concerned about our depth at the point guard. Now I’m just concerned about depth everywhere.”
Listen to Audio (4:19)
What can you get out of the game tomorrow that prepares you for the rest of the road ahead?
“Momentum to go very deep in the tournament. This is one of the best teams in the country we’re going to play tomorrow. That’s a lot at stake, but just to be able to win this game, especially since we lost to them early. It’ll be huge for us.”
On how far this team has come:
“We’re very excited. We’ve worked all year to get to this point. And now we’re here, and being able to play in front of our home crowd, being able to play against Duke, a rivalry game there’s a lot that goes into it. But at the end of the day we have to put all that aside, and go out there and play good basketball.”
Listen to Audio (3:14)
Why do you think you guys have been able to keep moving despite the Wear twins leaving unexpectedly, Will Graves, Larry, there’s been a lot of turnover and yet you’re still here?
“We want to win. You know we have that will to win. We want to win badly, and I think that’s what’s eating at our insides is how people keep telling us with all these obstacles we can’t do it, but it means that much to us. Nobody wanted to go through what we went through last year, and we just wanted to come out on top.”
Is there any part of you that’s a little surprised given where people expected to be playing for the ACC title the last day of the season?
“A little bit. We lose to Georgia Tech by 20, we blow a 16-point lead to Duke, and back to back game early losses. People didn’t see us being at this point, and coach told us early in the season that if we kept fighting, if we kept growing as a team our potential was great, and we bought in. I’m a little surprised to see where we are, but not much.”
Listen to Audio (3:10)
On his prediction of a Carolina victory:
“By expecting you to say we’re going to lose I just think if we all play to our full potential there’s no team that can stop us. And like you say I just feel confident about my team and looking forward for tomorrow.”
Do you have any regrets about saying it?
“I’m not regretting anything I said. I mean I didn’t guarantee anything. I just said you know if everybody feels the same way, and as confident as I am we should win. And I stand behind that. I don’t regret anything I said.”
Listen to Audio (2:48)
On playing for an ACC championship:
“It’s great. I mean we’ve put ourselves in a great position. It’s what we’ve been working for all year. Unfortunately we’ve had a few games where we haven’t played as well as we’d like to, but we’ve put ourselves in a situation to have a chance.”
What do you feel like you have to do individually?
“Just anything I possibly can. I think it kind of goes along I think everybody this year has done a great job. We’ve just done anything we possibly can to find a way to win.”
Listen to Audio (2:08)
On how the crowd and momentum helps:
“I think it’s going to help us a lot. You know it’s always good to play in front of your home crowd, and to help them cheer you on. And I think that affects the way team, as much as it affects the home team.”
You had a great first half in Cameron, and then second half kind of struggled a little bit, seemed a little tense out there. How do you keep that from happening Saturday night?
“Just play hard. You know you can’t really determine what the game’s going to be like. You just got to go out there and play, and know if we keep playing hard, if we execute like we can I think we’ll be fine.”