Listen to Audio (4:36)
“Neither team shot the ball in the basket. I think it was an ugly game. Sometimes you have to win ugly if you want to have a great year… But it was, it was an ugly night. You look down and see 6-for-16, 4-for-12, 5-for-13 – I mean it’s ugly. And they’re 3-for-10, 2-for-11, 0-for-5, the same kind of thing. So give both teams’ defenses some credit, too. They were trying to make sure they made it difficult for ‘Z’ and John around the basket and still got to our outside shooters. Neither team shot it very well from three. What we were trying to do is the same thing – trying to make sure we were there on the catch when they were coming off the screen. We were trying to shadow and be there on the catch. C.J. [Harris] is hard to guard. I thought Reggie really did a nice job on him. We don’t want to put the guy on the free throw line, he’s shooting almost 90 percent and goes for 8-for-8.
“But I thought our work in the first half on the backboards was key and the second half we were a little more fortunate than they were, that’s about what it boils down to. Kendall made some baskets for us tonight. I’ve never been against my point guard scoring. It was fine for him to score tonight – I liked that. I thought ‘Z’ with 18 points and 18 rebounds was big.
“Harrison sprained his ankle and said he could play and our trainer thought he could play, so we tried to play him instead of letting him sit over there and get it get stiff. He’ll get a couple of days off now and hopefully will be ready to play on the weekend. But for us, fortunate to win and in order to have a great season, you’ve got to win some games ugly and that was an ugly win tonight. I thought both teams fought hard defensively.”
On playing against a zone:
“Our execution – we probably played against a zone more than we’ve played against a zone all year, so hopefully that will help us down the line as well. We’ve got to get better movement against it.”
Do you think the fact that the players had to create some of their own energy played a role in their play?
“As a basketball player, you’ve got to play. I would hope that my team would play really hard if there was nobody in the crowd. It’s probably not as much fun, but you’ve got to set habits and set standards of playing exceptionally hard regardless of what the crowd is doing.”
So do you think it did affect the team?
“I have no idea. It didn’t me. My God, if you’re a basketball player, play. If it’s on the [darn] playground, play. So I guess my answer is no, because I wouldn’t agree with that. That’s a bunch of horse manure. You’ve got to play basketball or don’t play.”
Listen to Audio (1:32)
How has this transition gone for you?
“It hasn’t really been a shift, just basically getting used to things real quick like at the beginning of games. So I’ve been doing pretty well and I’ve just got to stay consistent with it for the rest of the season.”
Did the three games in six days have an effect on the team’s play tonight?
“I don’t think it effected us any. We just get sluggish at times as a team and we’ve just got to be able to play 40 minutes worth of hard basketball like Coach always preaches to us in practice.”
Listen to Audio (1:26)
How's your ankle?
“I can’t really feel it – it’s a little numb.”
How did the injury happen?
"I was rolling down the court and I just rolled it. It was a freak accident."
On getting healthy:
“Rest and ice will hopefully make it feel better.”
Listen to Audio (3:15)
On his double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds:
“I thought I only had like eight or nine rebounds. I didn’t know until we came in here and they told me I had 18. I was amazed.”
Did the intentional foul and Wake’s 7-0 run to tie the game provide a spark for the team?
“Yes. We were trying after the intentional to pick it up a little bit. They hit a couple of big shots and then finally we got a couple of steals and got on the break. A couple of guys hit some threes, so it’s definitely nice when they can step up and hit those.”