Listen to Audio (11:25)
“I think that, for us, it was a very disappointing last couple of seconds to say the least. It was a big time college basketball game, there were some very talented and gifted youngsters out there really playing hard. I thought two or three occasions during the game both our teams were spent physically. It was such a crazy game, it’s a one point game and we have a chance to win, we miss a dunk in the second half and a dunk at the buzzer at the end of the first half, it would have been nice if those would have gone in but they missed some plays just like we did.
"I was really proud of my team, we were down four or five and Harrison (Barnes) made a three on an out of bounds play, Reggie (Bullock) made a big three in the corner and John (Henson) made two big free throws that got us right back and gave us a chance to win the game. At the end you just have to congratulate (Anthony) Davis who blocked that shot, it was a big time play on their part. They had the ball with 48 seconds so we knew they were going to take a shot, we hoped to defend it and have one shot, down one as it was, and instead we fouled, it was the right call, we did foul but they missed the free throws so they still gave us a shot to win at the end.
"The second half was the story of (Doron) Lamb, (Darius) Miller and (Michael) Kidd-)Gilchrist, I think they were really focused for them in the second half and I thought all three of those kids hurt us. Darius inside, Kidd-Gilchrist taking the ball to the basket and rebounding it, Lamb made two big shots back to back. They are a very good basketball team; we think we are very good as well. We didn’t play nearly this well last Saturday night, UNLV had a lot to do with it, but I cannot fault my team’s effort tonight. We had a silly turnover on an inbounds play down on the end which can’t happen in big time games.
"Again for us, those guys that made big time plays down the stretch I was really pleased with them but we have to play better, early in the second half, the first three or four possessions we didn’t get what we wanted and we gave them layups. At the 12-minute timeout I told them who was doing the scoring for them and it was Teague and Kidd- Gilchrist and the guys taking the ball to the basket so our defense had to get stronger. You look at the stat sheet and (Kentucky) shot 56 percent in the second half but they were a little more patient with it than we were. That’s a reason they were able to come from behind and get the win.”
On the Kentucky-North Carolina series continuing:
“I’ve been asked this question a lot and I’m sure Cal has been asked it a thousand times more than I have, I love these kind of series but everyone has to understand the landscape of college basketball is changing. We’re sitting here at 16 conference games and maybe the next year we’ll be at 19, who knows. I love games like this but North Carolina and Kentucky didn’t play for about eight or nine of ten years, I wasn’t at North Carolina at that time but both schools survived.
"Am I interested in continuing to play Kentucky? Yes. Am I interested in making a concrete statement up here? No. John and I should have an opportunity to talk about that and see what else we have on the schedule and I think that’s what John has been eluding to this week, I think he has more questions about it then I do. Regardless of what the Kentucky fans say about who they’d like to get rid of we have to save this thing too, it’s a two-way street kind of thing.”
Listen to Audio (2:30)
Rupp Arena was rocking after Kentucky went up 9-3, but the team didn't appear to be fazed:
"Not at all. We came into this game very focused and we knew the task at hand. Some on this team have played here before, so they knew how loud it could get. They warned us about it ahead of time. But it was a game we were ready for and we weren't going to give up in the first two minutes."
On attacking the hoop:
"I tried to stay out of there as much as possible, but it is different. When you have two front lines, Carolina and Kentucky, like this, I think it was hard for both teams to get shots off in the paint. But they did make it tough for us on the inside."
Listen to Audio (2:27)
On whether he thinks his team can forget about this game and just look towards the next one:
“Not at all. This is a very good team. This would have been a very big road win for us. That fact that we couldn’t execute down the stretch is kind of alarming.”
On what happened during the stretch in the second half where UNC struggled:
“We hung in but we took some tough fadeaways. I took some shots that were a little difficult for myself and I know some of my teammates did too. We just have to work on getting better shots."
Listen to Audio (1:56)
On the difficulty that Kentucky's length presented:
“The only difficult part was if you didn’t have the right position. Length wasn’t a huge problem for us. We shot well from outside, so I don’t think it was a huge problem for us.”
What did you learn from today?
“I think we got to be able to play 40 minutes. We had a couple of lapses throughout the game and the younger guys are getting better at it too.”
Did they do a good job of not letting you go up with the ball straight up?
“They did a great job of getting there, almost before I got the ball. So it was tough, normally you have half a second to a second to see it coming, so they did a great job of getting there very early and getting me in tight traps.”
Listen to Audio (2:54)
What led you to think that you would not be able to play today?
"Just because at first there was so much pain. I could barely move it. I had treatment on it and I started to move it better. And then it was like, 'Well, you're going to try out for practice and seen how you do on it and I'll let you know then.'"
Did you think it was broken on Wednesday?
"Honestly, I did. I thought it was broke. I couldn't move it either way. I was just sitting there with ice on my hand in the Wisconsin game with a towel over my head, just saying, 'Please don't let this be broken.' When I went to the doctor and he told me it was sprained and a bone contusion, I was probably the happiest person alive."
Listen to Audio (9:21)
After the game you seemed like you were kind of at a loss for words. When you were approaching Roy, what was going through your mind at that time?
"I have all kind of respect for Roy. He has been one of the nicest people to me throughout my career - when I was at UMass and Memphis. Not only is he a great coach, he and his wife Wanda are just terrific people. I don't like playing people that I like. Now I've got to go down there, he has to go and get on a bus, he lost. I know what that feels like, especially a game as hard-fought as this. That's why I kind of go down, and Roy, I feel for him because I'm in this profession. It's tough."
What adjustments did you make defensively in the second half?
"Well, again, we got on them at halftime. They got six 3s. Make them shoot 2s. They did at the very end, but they got 3s which closed the gap. I thought Anthony Davis did a great job. I thought Terrence Jones did a great job defensively.
"It's amazing, they have seven blocks, we have six blocks. You're talking two heavyweight big, long, tough teams. We just happened to be that team that's a little bit younger. We're just an inexperienced team."