Listen to Audio (8:09)
“We’re very pleased, to say the least. Those of you that have seen us play a lot this year, we keep talking about the nights that we shoot the ball in the hole, we can be really good. I thought we shot it the best we’ve shot it all night long. It was 10-of-18 until Reggie missed that one there at the end. Kendall being 4-of-5, his only miss was one he probably shouldn’t have taken.
"It was a fantastic job by us in the second half. I was a little disappointed with our defense in the first half. They shoot 48 percent and we were fortunate that they missed some shots, too. But I thought our defense was much better [in the second half].
"We were good with the basketball. Silly backdoor passes – John’s – and then I told Kendall he must be paying the guy [in charge] of stats because of that pass that Kendall threw out of bounds 90 miles an hour off of [Zeller’s] hand. And they still had Kendall with no turnovers. Kendall likes the guy at the scorer’s table or whoever it was doing the stats. But Kendall Marshall was something else. To play 38 minutes, and yes, I can sit up here and nitpick all I want, but he was really, really good. I thought Reggie was really good defensively. I thought ‘Z’ and John weren’t nearly as effective defensively as they have been, but C.J. [Leslie] and Richard Howell are good players and they tried to take it at them in the second half. But we’re pleased to say the least about how we played.
"I got mad at a couple of the three subs that we had in there because it was a 12-point game and then all of a sudden it was a six-point game and they’re laying it up on the other end because we’re taking bad shots or turning it over, so I made the decision to go the last 10 minutes or so with the same five starters. I want to give my guys on the bench some time, but you’ve got to be productive when you get out there and we were not very productive, so we went with those five guys down the stretch. It’s a fantastic win for us. We’re extremely pleased.”
Listen to Audio (2:43)
On what sparked his play:
“I’d say it was confidence, that was the main thing, being able to come in here and play with confidence. My dad had a talk with me this morning just about being confident in my abilities. That’s the main thing I wanted to do to help my team is be able to come in and not turn the ball over and get the best shots available for our team.”
On the importance of making his first 3-pointer:
“Going into games, if I miss the first one or two, I’m like, ‘All right, that’s it. Tonight, to be able to see those first two go in, I think it really pulled the defense out.”
Listen to Audio (3:28)
On what UNC did well on Tuesday:
“I thought we did a great job of coming out and taking care of business. We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy, so we wanted to match it from the get-go. I thought we did a good job of that. In the second half when we had that lead, we did a better job than in the past of making sure we took good team shots, pounded the ball down low, making sure we moved it and then getting stops.”
Can the focus on the road be attributed to one player bringing the team together or is it a group effort?
“It’s a group thing. It starts on the defensive end. I thought initially out of the gate [tonight] we got stops and were playing our game, and then we let down and let them get back into the game and made some foolish plays. I think we corrected that better in the second half.”
Listen to Audio (2:43)
It seems as though this team has played better on the road over the past month than it has at home. Is there any reason for that?
“I don’t know. I think it’s probably just the focus. We do a great job on the road of just staying within each other and making sure we focus. It’s always nice when you get away from class and everything else and can just focus solely on the game.”
Have you seen Kendall shoot like this before?
“I’ve seen him shoot like this -- even in the summer, he was phenomenal. He’ll go out and make 10 or 12 in a row, and we sometimes wonder why he doesn’t shoot more. But with his passing ability, he does a great job taking the shots he needs to. When he gets on a roll, you’ve just got to let him go.”