Is James Michael McAdoo far enough along in his maturation as a player to brush off his performance against Florida State Monday night?
“I think so. It was unfortunate, there was some weird things going on. It was one of those nights where life’s a diamond or life’s a stone and it turned up a bunch of stones for him. I think he can do that, yes.”
Do you think the momentum you built will only help your team’s confidence going into a game against a heated rival like Duke?
“Well we’ve played two more games so that part has helped our confidence, there’s no question. I thought we were really in a good frame of mind at that point too so I’ve tried to just blow that off and say hey, we’re going to play next week instead of now and haven’t tried to put too much thought into that and let them think about it. Just play basketball.”
Comments on rescheduling the game last week against Duke:
“You don’t have to sike yourself up, if you do then you’re not breathing. I feel like the dickens but I do feel like I’m alive. The frustrating thing is that you go through all the junk on the game day and the stress and everything and then you don’t get to play so you’ve got to do it twice for one game. That’s not fair, they did it last week and they’ll do it again tomorrow.
“I got on the phone with Mike (Krzyzewski) and he told me the problems they were having and the bus not being there and 15-501 is a parking lot. It wasn’t nuclear science, it’s just you can’t get here. If you can’t get here then we’ll take a forfeit and they didn’t agree to that. It didn’t take Mike long to say I’d rather not do that.”
Does you game plan change with Kennedy Meeks after his breakout performance?
“No, he’s big I’ve seen him a lot. He didn’t just come out the other night. He’s had some big time games for us. It’s a really difficult matchup for him because sometimes they go small and it’s really difficult for him but he also can present some problems on the other end.”
Do you pull out the same game plan from last week or do you tweak it after seeing them play a couple of more games?
“Well if they had done some things differently you might change it a little bit, but at this point in the year there aren’t too many things we’re going to do differently. Coach Robinson changed the scouting report because he had two more games to look at. He just added words or took out but he didn’t change the direction or anything like that. It’s basically the same thing we thought before that. They played last night with a tremendous aggressiveness in that first half. Georgia Tech had trouble making a pass and I think that was a really good feeling to be sitting on the bench and see how their defense was dominating the game, but they had done some of that before also. The answer is no, I don’t think it changes much.”
Is the preparation any different this week with four games in eight days or is it just more of the same from that standpoint?
“It’s a little different this time because we play at nine o’clock Thursday and noon on Saturday so there’s not as much time there so there’s not as much time there. We played at Saturday afternoon at one and then played Monday night so you have more time. This time we don’t have to travel so that’s easier right there. We took the day off yesterday so we’ll practice Friday before the Saturday. Today will be the first practice and only one we’re devoting towards Duke other than the one we did last week.”
Is there anything this team is doing this year guarding the three and is that a primary focus for your team tomorrow night?
“Well we better guard it better tomorrow night because I think they’re the best three-point shooting team in the country. They shoot 42 percent in conference games and we have no one individual on our team shooting that well. We think Marcus (Paige) is having a great year from the three-point line and he’s shooting 36 percent. Their whole team is shooting 42 and before the game scheduled last week they were shooting 43 percent in conference games. We’re emphasizing it a great deal. We’re trying to do a better job guarding the basketball so you don’t have to help as much and trying to do a better job on our close outs even though you didn’t notice that the first six or eight minutes of the Florida State game Monday night. The other thing is that we’ve been lucky that some guys have missed some open shots against us.”
What was the biggest difference for Meeks to thrive the other night?
“It was more the dribble penetration because he got really easy shots because he still doesn’t really post up aggressively enough, low enough. Marcus’s dribble penetration and his guy left him and Marcus found him for several of those. One play early in the second half he really made a nice aggressive move to take the ball to the basket too.”
Has Meeks made a lot of leaps in terms of playing at the desired pace you expect him to play?
“No. If he’d had run the other night he would’ve had a lay up in the first half and it’s the reason I took him out because he had a dead lay up and instead he gave us the six million dollar man run, which they never remember that program. So the answer to your question is no, he has not improved there.”
How do you go about working on that portion of Meeks’ game during the season?
“Well the other night, take his big butt out. That’s one simple way. He didn’t run and if he’d run then he would’ve had a lay up. Guys like to score. Sean May is the most coachable player I’ve ever had and the whole first year Sean didn’t understand what it was about running and he’ll tell you that. In the second year he did and I’m hoping Kennedy, Brice and everybody will find it over the summer too. It’s hard but it’s also hard when you’re sitting over there with me.”