“Well we’re ecstatic that we won, very pleased that we won and State dominated us in the second half. They shoot 65 percent, we shoot 39 percent. They cut it down to 12 or 13 and we took it back to 20 or 21 or something like that. Then they kept making better plays than we made. In the first half, I was very frustrated because we didn’t finish plays at the basket. The second half we didn’t finish plays at the basket and we didn’t guard them either.
"When you go 17-for-45 in the paint, most of the time you don’t win but we caught State on a day where they didn’t make a bunch of their shots. At one point in the first half I leaned over at our staff and I said the only people shooting the ball worse than we are is them. You like to beat people where your defense has an effect on what they do. The first half I was really pleased with us defensively and then the second half I was not pleased. The backboards, 52-to-36, were big for us. Second chance points were big for us but we didn’t do a very good job defensively in the second half at all.
"One time we came down and Marcus (Paige) had a wide open three, Leslie (McDonald) had a wide open three because we got a rebound and then got that rebound and missed an eight footer. You’ve got to be able to make some shots but this is a pretty tough league and playing three games in a week is not conducive to being fresh I guess, but we won the game and we were fortunate that State didn’t make a lot of shots that they normally make.”
Comments on free throw success:
“We were more aggressive and got to the line. Except for James Michael (McAdoo), everybody shot them really well. We made a percentage in the second half of 15-of-17, which you always like. They were yelling at one time at the end to foul James Michael and we helped them. They didn’t foul him, we turned it over so they got a chance to go down without even worrying about him shooting free throws. 25-for-33 for us is needless to say better than we usually do and 15-of-17 in the second half, I’m ecstatic about.”
What does it say about the character of your team to bounce back to .500 in ACC play after the rough start?
“Well I think it does say something about the kind of kids that we have that when we were 0-3 or 1-4 our kids stuck with it, tried to do what we asked them to do every day in practice and they worked hard. I really believe we’re getting better as a team. I told them that this week that I think we’re really close to really becoming a good basketball team but we’ve got to take some more steps and got to maintain that intensity level for a longer period of time.
"I think it does say a great deal about the character of the kids we have that they didn’t get down when it was 0-3 and 1-4. They didn’t start pointing fingers at anybody else. They accepted the coaching that we were trying to do and they are getting better.”
Were you pleased with your team’s sense of urgency throughout today’s game?
“In the first half I was really because we really did a nice job defensively and we got lucky because they missed some shots too. I thought we were really active in the second half. We weren’t as active and then I didn’t think we had that sense of urgency and then we just made silly plays. I mean shying away from contact and we’re trying to run clock and we shoot a four footer and shoot it three feet and get a rebound and try to go back up and shoot it again.
"Let’s get the ball out kind of thing. Three on one fast break we don’t get a shot. Those kinds of things you can’t do in a close basketball game. Fortunately for us, I’m not trying to condemn State but they really helped us by missing so many shots in the first half. In the second half, they miss very many because they shot 65 percent.”
How do you feel like your team faired guarding T.J. Warren?
“The first half I thought we were fine. He had four field goals at halftime and two of them he picked up loose balls and laid it up. The second half I didn’t think we did nearly as good of a job. Leslie lost him one time completely. He goes behind him, it’s hard for me to figure out how you lose a guy that’s the leading scorer in the entire conference. I’d know at least what zip code he is but T.J.’s a difficult player to guard. He really is. He made a couple of tough shots spinning in the lane too. You’ve got to give him credit.”