ROY WILLIAMS & KENDALL MARSHALL
Listen to Audio (9:18)
"We're pleased to have the win. We didn't play exceptionally well, but give South Carolina credit. They did some things that were difficult for us to handle. It was not our sharpest by any means, but again, you have to give them credit. They kept coming back. Early, it was a 15-point game and they kept coming back and making plays that kept us uncomfortable. I was never worried about the outcome of the game; I was just concerned with how we played. Our defense early -- we forced them into 17 turnovers in the first half, but they only had eight in the second half. I think in some ways, if you take out the first four minutes of the first half when we were really good defensively, after that we were better defensively in the second half.
"But you look down and [there's] four guys in double figures. P. J. gave us a big lift off the bench just like Reggie did last game. It's something we've got to have from those guys. We weren't as consistent and probably played guys a few more minutes, particularly Dexter and Kendall, but it felt like it was the right thing to do at that time. We've got to do a better job of getting out on the shooters and making sure that we do a better job rebounding the ball. Since the first game, we've been rebounding well until tonight.
"Kendall, I thought, was sensational. He had 14 assists and one turnover and six steals. Those kinds of stats -- it's really important for our team. To say that he leads us would be the understatement of the year. He's just doing a great job for us. We've got to get him to do a little bit better defensively, and I think he'll even tell you himself, but mentally he wasn't as sharp tonight as he has been. It's pretty doggone good when he wasn't as sharp as he has been."
On the initial defensive play:
"That's what it was -- defensive intensity. We got into the passing lanes and we got a couple of steals. We got a couple of dunks and got our crowd into the game. I do want to make a comment that our crowd is tremendous to travel all of this way across the country and to show in these numbers is very impressive and we appreciate that."
Listen to Audio (1:46)
What's the key to continuing your hot shooting?
"Confidence. Just be more confident in shooting it. That's the main thing that helped me today because every time I shot it, I thought it was going in."
On defense sparking his offense:
"Yeah, if I wouldn't have gotten those offensive rebounds, I don't think I would have gotten the two shots I got. Just hustle plays and doing the smallest things got me open shots."
Listen to Audio (1:28)
Coach wasn't happy with some of the play after the game. What do you need to do different next time?
"Pretty much what it was is that we've got to do what he says. We didn't do exactly what he said when he said and he's been saying it for a long time."
How close is this team to reaching its defensive potential?
"We're getting closer and closer every day, but we still have a long ways to go. We can be very, very good defensively, but we've got a ways to go."
Listen to Audio (1:07)
Coach had a strong message in the second half for the team. What was it?
"Just be more aggressive. Just play hard."
What keyed the initial defensive burst?
"Just intensity on the defensive end. That's usually how we get started. We need to start like that more."