Listen to Audio (7:09)
"We feel very fortunate. I think we played better tonight. I think we were more in tune to detail. We were much more active defensively than we have been. Let's be honest, they're not going to shoot 25% in the first half just because of our defense. They missed some good shots. At the same time, we shot 42% in the first half, and I counted five layups we missed. That's part of college basketball as well. For us to be a really good team, we've got to defend better, we've got to rebound better, but we did rebound better at times.
"For us, it was a good night - 26 (points) and 10 (rebounds) for Harrison. I did tell him in the locker room that he had 10 more rebounds than `wicked' Wanda tonight. I'm proud of him. John was active defensively. Kendall made some really nice passes. And I told him he made some I didn't even think about. One time he said, `well that was the only pass I could make to get to him.' I said, `well you didn't get it to him.' For us, we are very pleased. The rebound margin is pretty big, but you have to look at the points on second shot opportunities. The rebound numbers are misleading. We didn't finish some of those plays. Texas is awfully young. They're going to be a big-time club; they've got to grow a little bit more. But we're happy they weren't quite as big-time tonight."
On improvement from last game
"We were more aggressive, we were alert. We didn't miss 27 free throws, or whatever it was the other night. I think we were better in every phase of the game, and I expected that. We worked really hard and had a good practice yesterday morning."
On Harrison Barnes’ performance
"I told him I thought he'd be great tonight. I really thought that he would be more active than the last few games. At the same time, you only play 21 games. Everyone only looks at the points, but I look at what we're doing defensively, and I really thought he was more active tonight. If he's attacking the basket, I like that. I also like when he shots the three-point shot. He's got a wide variety of options, and hopefully we moving forward where we can use all of them."
Listen to Audio (4:42)
Playing a big game after two easy wins
"We have been in these situations enough to know we have to come ready to play in this type of game especially with everything last year and we haven’t beaten them the last three times we’ve played them."
On the defensive intensity
"We got a lot of stops and we started getting rebounds and pushing and running our break so that helps a lot."
"Coach has been stressing that the guards have to get more pressure (on defense). We can’t just rely on Z taking a charge or John cleaning off the glass. We have to take it upon ourselves to pressure up and get more steals. I think that’s what made a difference tonight."
Dexter and P.J. dunks
"Those are momentum plays. Passing the ball back to Dexter and Dexter getting a dunk. PJ getting a dunk. John too. That boosts our team moral. It’s hard to play against a team like that."
On why he wanted to beat Texas
"I’ll never forget that shot (last year against Texas). THat was our first time losing on a last second buzzer beater. I came off a double screen so I was going to take my first big shot. So I was happy and I thought we are going to win the game and we are going to get our first big win. Then end up losing like that. Definitely wanted to (win) and especially at home."
Listen to Audio (1:47)
On wanting to beat Texas
"Maybe my sophomore year, they kicked our butts and that’s been on my mind. Last year, Brown hit a big shot and put us away and we couldn’t come back from that. It was something that one, we really wanted to beat them and two, we are going home from Christmas so you don’t want to be sitting on a loss for the next five days. Both of those together, I think we had a great focus and a good attention to detail. We still have to get better and make sure that we continue that."
On the big time atmosphere and how the team responded
"It easier to get up for the big games. I think that is what we are capable of, but we have to continue to get better. We have to do that every game, we can’t just show up for the big games. It’s tough, but you have to do it."
On Harrison Barnes’ play
"We have always known he’s a fantastic player. He got into the zone and he was feeling good and hitting shots. And he was getting to the basket. We did a great job giving him space so he could get there. When they helped over, he made passes. I think he played fantastic."
On the effort to attack the rim
"We always try to do that. We know if do that, outside shots open up and our shooters did a good job with that. It’s what we had tonight and we took advantage of it."
Listen to Audio (2:26)
On the team playing a full 40 minutes
"We had a few lapses out there but if we can play this type of level all season, I think we’ll be fine."
"We got after it on the defensive end and got them to speed up. Granted they were a young team and they hadn’t experienced anything like that."
On giving Texas a little payback for the past two years
"Feels great. I know a few guys on the team and played with them when I was living in Texas. Coach Barnes and the whole staff, I know them really well. It is good to win against guys like that because they did beat us down the last two years."
On having fun playing
"It was a fun game. I said earlier we lost ourselves in the game. We had one goal and that was to win the game no matter what or what we had to do. That’s what happens when you are having fun."
"We were more intense, more prepared and came out that way."
On attacking the rim more tonight than in the past few games
"Be aggressive. It started with Dexter’s dunk, to be honest with you. We fed off him and off that energy and kept it going."
Listen to Audio (2:45)
On the 40 minute performance
"Our energy was there for the majority of the night and Coach was happy with that. I think we are all looking forward to going home and spending time with our families before we get back at it."
"We wanted to get out to great start. Coach made a point to us that he hasn’t beaten Texas since he got back to Carolina. He lost to them in the tournament and two years in a row - down at Cowboy stadium and last year in Greensboro. Coach doesn’t like losing so he was very pumped up for this game and we followed his lead."
On the defense tonight
"From the beginning, we knew defense would have to set the tone. One of the key points that coach talked about was their offensive rebounding and how hard they hit the boards. All credit to Coach Barnes, he does a great job of having them play hard and crash the boards. I think they had 14 rebounds in the first half, but I think for the most part we did a great job on that. We were able to neutralize JCovan Brown in the first half and he’s a tremendous player. He leads them and he’s one of their older players so that helped us out."
Talk about Dexter and PJ’s dunks
"It was all about getting stops on defense. Both of those came out of fast breaks. Dex swung it Harrison and Harrison swung it right back real quick and he was able to make an athletic play. PJ got on the wing and ran and I fixed it up to him. It was a little sloppy but he got there and finished strong and it really helped the crowd get into the game and got everyone excited."
On the offense clicking
"Coach talks about letting our defense make our offense. That’s one thing I think we did a great job of tonight. Getting stops against a team that crashes the board as hard as Texas does, makes it a lot easier to get out and run so we were able to get a lot of easy buckets."
Listen to Audio (5:17)
"I'm disappointed because we started the game knowing we were going to have to block out because of their length. The very first two plays of the game [John] Henson catches the ball in the block, and we just turned and acted like we were going to try to jump but just didn't do it. It's disappointing from our point of view, and all you have to do is look at our front line guys. When they have more offensive rebounds than we have defensive rebounds that's a major problem. Then when you look at our front line guys, Alexis Wangmene has no defensive rebounds, Clint Chapman had two, and Jaylen Bond - our smallest guy - had five. Then Johnathan Holmes had one, so that's a big problem right there.
"Our guards needed to come down and rebound and be a part of it, but our problem started on the offensive end. We just weren't disciplined on the offensive end - and that's my fault. I told them that we will get that fixed after Christmas because we are going to get the guys out there that understand that it's team game, and that we are going to really do the things that we practice. Not to take anything away from North Carolina, but we never gave ourselves a chance to win the game."
On where a lack of discipline was most evident
"Offense, no doubt. On the very first play of the game, we had talked about for two days what we wanted to run, and we don't run it. That's discipline, four guys know it and one guy doesn't. So, we have got to get somebody that is going to run our team and run our offense. We are starting three guards, so it's not like it should be a problem, but we are not playing with a purpose on the offensive end. We've got a long ways to go, but we've enough guys that want to do this thing and we'll get it fixed."