On his move to make the lineup change after the road loss at Miami:
“We didn’t play very well at Miami. We were sitting in the locker room and I said, ‘Guys I’m gonna do something.’ We talked about it at that time that neither Marcus (Paige) and Dexter (Strickland) were shooting a great percentage. Our fifth starter, one of the big guys wasn’t giving us a lot offensively and James Michael (McAdoo) wasn’t shooting the percentage we wanted him to either. Everybody wanted me to take Dexter out of the lineup and put P.J. (Hairston) in and I didn’t think that was what was good for our team. Our staff met on the Saturday after the Miami game in the locker room and then again on Sunday and talked about a lot of things and looked at a lot of things. That was part of it. The biggest part is just that everybody has gotten better and improved and everybody’s understood a little bit more about the sense of urgency we talked about all year long.”
On the consistent scoring ability of the trio of James Michael McAdoo, P.J. Hairston, and Reggie Bullock:
“You go back to our prior game and we had five guys in double figures. I think Marcus and Dexter have really been playing well for us on the offensive end as well. Neither one of those guys are going to put up 25 or 30. Marcus eventually may be or Dexter could, but it’s not going to happen as often as Reggie, or P.J., or James Michael. That’s just one of their gifts. We need all three of those guys to score. It helps us a great deal, too, when Leslie (McDonald) comes off the bench. Like he did at Georgia Tech, I think he made four threes for us and that really helps us as well.”
Do you think the recent streak of forcing team’s to shoot low field goal percentages is due to better defense or just missed shots?
“Well [on Sunday], let’s be honest I thought they just missed some shots early. I didn’t think that our defense caused them. I think they’ve shot well against us in twenty nine games. It’s something we try to emphasize and we have not done a very good job of that. Again, we’ve made them turn the ball over. What would really be a problem if you were not getting any turnovers and letting them shoot a high percentage. What I really like to do is hold them to a low percentage and get turnovers as well. We haven’t done a really good job of defending the three point shot particularly.”
On outscoring opponents 113-52 in points off turnovers over the past six games:
“I hope we do that the next two games, too. I think that would help us a great deal. I would take those stats. That’s for sure.”
Have you ever seen quite a play like the Joel James play in the FSU game where Joel was on the baseline on the right and was attempting to pass it to the left wing and the ball got tipped in the air and went in?
“I don’t remember ever seeing one like that. As soon as Joel took two steps down the court he raised that hand. He wanted to get credit for that basket and I thought that was the best thing. The rules have changed the last couple of years. In the old days he would have gotten credit for the basket but the rules have changed. Now they just give you the team basket. You don’t get an assist, don’t get a shot attempt or anything. I told Joel today that I have seen some of his shots that look bad but that was the worst one I had ever seen.”
Thoughts on Larry Fedora standing in the student section during the Florida State game on Sunday:
“I thought it was great. Somebody told me beforehand. I didn’t see Coach (Fedora) go over there. I looked over there one time and I didn’t see him and then something happened and I forgot all about it. And then I saw him in the tunnel after the game. He was waiting for me in the tunnel and I thanked him and told him I thought it was great and the whole bit. It was neat. He’s a little wacko. We sort of fit together sometimes.”
Comments on the frequency of court storming in college basketball this season:
“There’s so many good teams. You know last year, I really felt if we were healthy that us and Kentucky and Kansas [and] there were probably three or four other schools that I thought could win the national championship. I’m not so sure that this year that there’s probably 12 to 15. There’s so many good players spread out. Its college basketball is what it is. I’m old fashioned in some ways. I’m also dumb. I remember when I was an assistant coach and we lost a game. It was at Notre Dame and they stormed the court. I told Coach Smith I wish one game we’d lose that they didn’t have to storm the court. That’s just a dumb naïve young assistant coach is all that is.
"Coach Smith looked at me and said ‘You know if they’re storming the court after they beat you then they haven’t beat you very often.’ Then I said I really liked the fact that they stormed the court. When we were at Kansas we had it a lot. We’ve had it a few times here as well. I’m not bothered by it as much as many people. It is college athletics. I’m not one of those guys to think we ought to hang people up by their toenails just because they run out on the court. It does get dangerous.
"There’s no question about that so I can see those issues. The Southeastern Conference has a penalty. I would hate for us as the ACC to go to that kind of thing. I think there’s an issue with visitor team safety. There’s no question about that because we had a bad thing in Las Vegas. Allow me to get my team, my party, my cheerleaders, my managers and everybody off the court safely. I think that’s a big concern.”
On Senior Night in the Smith Center Saturday night against Duke:
“It’s always something that it’s really very hard for me. The feeling that you realize it’s the last game you’re going to coach certain players on your own court. But we play Wednesday night. We’ll think a little bit more about that one when Wednesday’s game is over with.”
Update on J.P. Tokoto's bruised right hand:
“J.P. was able to do a couple of things today at practice. He was not able to do the complete practice. He’s still got quite a bit of swelling on top of his right hand. It’s difficult for him to dribble the ball and difficult for him to shoot the ball. He hurt it missing a dunk in warm-ups for practice on Saturday.”
Thoughts about the contest against Maryland Wednesday night in College Park:
“They did a great job when Duke played there. The stands, the students, and everyone who choreographed what they did. It was a fantastic atmosphere. I feel like we’ll get the same thing up there. Mark (Turgeon) has done a great job with his club. Alex Len really is a load for people. He can score. They have about six big bodies that they can put in against you up front. They’ve got five fouls a piece and they get a bunch of rebounds. And with their guys on the perimeter they’re a really good basketball team.
"They’re fighting for position in the NCAA tournament. Most people would say we’re already in but I don’t listen to them. I don’t know. The fact of the matter is that our want to better be as big as their want to or it’s going to be a long night. Our kids know that so we’ve got to go up there with tremendous incentive to play and play our tails off.”
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