“Well, it wasn’t a very good night for us and I have to congratulate Indiana and boy I’d love to watch them play if it wasn’t against my team. I looked down the lineup and Cody Zeller and he’s family to begin with. He’s really a load to handle and two other guys that I didn’t even hear of when they were in high school just kicked our rear ends. You look at [Jordan] Hulls that’s really something. 5-of-8 from the floor with eight assists and zero turnovers. Yogi [Ferrell] with six assists and one turnover, but [Victor] Oladipo, man, what an aggressive basketball player he is. You look down here and it says he had one block, he had zero steals and I felt like he stole the ball from us ten times and laid it up. His energy level for them on the offensive and defensive end of the court I think was really something.
“We talked about they were really a good team and I think they are and then [Will] Sheehey comes of the bench and gets 19. One of the few times I ever look at the score in the first half it’s 31-31 and then we just have a drought and we don’t put the ball in the basket the last two or three minutes of the half. I took Marcus [Paige] out because he already had two fouls and didn’t want to give up his third foul and then we start the second half and Steve [Kirschner] told me this, I knew we didn’t make many of them, but he said we made one of our first 18 shots in the second half. Against a very good team you can’t go 2-for-7 to end the half and 1-for-18 to start the second half. I’m pretty good at math, that’s 3-for-25 and you can’t do that, but they were really more aggressive. They were quicker to the ball.”
“They have 21 assists and we have eight. We have a young club, but that’s an excuse sometimes. We’ve got to play better. For us to come in and have a chance to win we knew we had to play really well, but I thought we could do that and in the first half even when it’s 31-31 some of our baskets were really hard to get whereas some of there’s I thought were a little bit easier to say the least. They had 16 points off of turnovers in the first half I think it was and they were just more aggressive.
“If you like Indiana basketball, you had to enjoy the night and I like Indiana basketball, but not nearly as much I like North Carolina basketball and so we’ve got a lot of work to do. Got to get things going a little bit better together. Every kid is a good kid and when we’re down they think they can score a basket that is going to give us 25 points in one shot and the more mature you get, you get down, you play better, you play stronger together as a team and good things can happen for you. I thought we would make a comeback in the second half and it just didn’t get going for us, but I think it is more of a case of our kids trying to do too much right now.
“I think they really care. I like my team. I don’t like the way we played tonight. James Michael [McAdoo] and Reggie [Bullock] are the two guys with the most experience. One of them went scoreless in one half and one of them went scoreless in the other half and I think you give credit to Indiana’s defense because they really did try to focus on those guys and do a good job with them. For us it was a tough night to say the least. I had four freshmen in the game at the end. I didn’t play the walk-on’s so I am going to apologize to them, but I just want our team to get better and letting the freshman be out there on the court and give them some more minutes, I thought that would be better for them and be better for our team.”
With such a young team do you worry about the effect a game like this can have mentally?
“Yeah. They better worry about what kind of effect it is going to have on me. That’s what they better worry about.”
Did you like your team's ball movement and quality of shot tonight when the shots weren't falling?
“No, I think their defense was a lot more aggressive. Their defense won the battle against our offense and we sort of panicked, but I do think again it’s our guys, I don’t think they’re selfish, but they think ‘Oh, I can do this’ and you take it upon yourself and that just makes it even tougher, but we turned it over sometimes during that stretch too, but you can’t go 3-for-25 on the road against a pretty doggone good team and expect to be very successful.”
What is the key to correcting the problems preventing offensive rebounds?
“Part of it is ‘want-to.’ Part of it is experience. Part of it is quickness. Again, I really believe Victor, I thought he had six offensive rebounds and 44 steals because I felt like he came up with every loose ball, but a lot of that is experience of understanding what is going on, but we are who we are, so we got to get better with what we have. They had 15 total offensive rebounds. We had 14, but the problem is they turned theirs into 19 points. We only got 10. We get one in the second half, James Michael gets it and throws it out to Reggie and he’s wide open from three, but he decides to pump fake and dribble in and takes a contested shot so you don’t get any points by that. He hurt is hand during the game so I tried to take Reggie out and give him a little more time, but still it’s North Carolina playing.”
Last week you took issue with your team's toughness. Was that an issue tonight or was it just a matter of the way you played?
“A little bit of both. Toughness can be shown so many different ways. Again, I think toughness is the mental approach that ‘okay, we’ve missed three shots in a row let’s make sure this is a great shot’ and I think we rushed them a little bit tonight.
“One time we have a defensive call and we were supposed to switch and Dexter [Strickland] didn’t switch and then he’s yelling at somebody else and he’s not yelling at him because he’s a bad guy. He’s the one that messed up the defense. He’s yelling at him to try to get him to learn, but he’s the one that made the mistake to start with. The mental part of it is you just got to lose yourself in the game and Dexter is not a bad guy. He is one of our leaders. He’s probably the toughest guy we have on the team, but you can’t make those kind of mistakes and be as strong as you need to be.”
On Brice Johnson:
“He was in the right spot at the right time which is okay. A lot of guys have made their living doing that and I hope that he can, but he and Desmond [Hubert] were two guys that probably didn’t do a good job and letting Cody have the breakaway’s too and twice they called a double on Cody and one time he left and one time Desmond left. If you’re going to call the double you got to stay there and so a lot of it is just inexperience, but Brice has an ability to score if you get him the ball, but he’s one that has got to be not just mentally tougher, he’s got to get physically tougher too, because a lot of times you have that basketball and you can’t let somebody else take it from you.”
Last year the blowout loss at Florida State was a turning point for the season. Can this game have a similar impact?
“We’ll find out. I’d love to say, ‘yes that’s what’s going to happen’, but we’ll find out.”
What is the teaching moment tomorrow at practice from this game?
“If they survive that will be the teaching. The good news for them is that we’re getting close to the exam period and a couple of things are going on tomorrow so the greatest thing that’s ever to a North Carolina basketball team at this point is that we have no practice tomorrow.”