On the importance of rebounding collectively as a team entering the NCAA Tournament:
"Well without even knowing who we played, after Friday night's game I told our guys that we had not done a very good job of rebounding down the stretch. 41 points off of offensive rebounds against us the last two games. You can't do that and win. Even if we were playing Providence or anybody else, it would be probably the number one thing that we have to work on.
"It's everything. We weren't boxing out as well. We weren't going to the boards as well. We weren't getting off the box out when the other team had the inside position. It was just not doing a very good job. It's basically what we consider one of the foundations of our whole program. I've talked about that as being the most important thing there is in the game of basketball. We've led the nation in rebound margin before. We've been in the top 25 to 30 teams several times because I think it is really important. We just slipped."
Do you feel as if complacency may have settled in with your team after streaking through 12 straight victories?
"You guys ask about and everybody was wondering about it if we were going to get complacent. Human nature says you tend to slip if you allow them to slip and I did a bad job because we slipped in an area that I think is extremely important."
What stands out about Providence after reviewing their tape?
"I haven't done that yet. C.B.'s (McGrath) got Providence. We found out Sunday night that we were playing them and I've been working on North Carolina. I know Ed's a good guy. We enjoy each other's company. He's not the best yoga participant in a yoga class that I've ever seen, but other than that he's a really good guy. You look at the stats, they've had the same five starters for 34 games. That's pretty impressive. His club has done a nice job, but gosh they've played six overtime games. It's a team that's played great down the stretch and maybe in their mind they felt like they needed to play great to get into the tournament. I don't know, but their rebounding and free throw shooting—They're one of the best shooting free throws—Cotton is one of the best guards in the country, but I'll know more about them between now and Friday."
How has the intensity in practice been leading up to the first game in the tournament on Friday?
"I hadn't noticed a lack of intensity beforehand but the player's opinion is okay too. I thought yesterday's practice was one of our best practices of the year and I told them that we needed to do that four days in a row before we're going to gain something from it. Hopefully it'll be the same way today too. Down the stretch, we were fighting so many battles ourselves between trying to get them rest. We went through one stretch where we played seven games in 16 or 17 days so we were trying to get some rest but also stay sharp too and that was a tough thing."
Is Marcus Paige's thumb a concern?
"No, it's not a concern. He said he felt great yesterday. I'll be curious to see how it felt today after practicing on it last night, but he didn't even wear the tape on his thumb yesterday. I was more worried about his thigh."
Was there any lingering illness with Kennedy Meeks?
"No, just bad play."
What's it going to take to get Leslie McDonald back into a groove within the offense?
"If we knew that then we'd do it immediately. He's got to play better. He's got to make some shots and be more effective for us. I thought he had a good practice yesterday. The whole thing is that we had a good practice yesterday. We've got today and tomorrow and then we'll practice out there some on Thursday. Everybody's got to understand now that if you don't play well then you don't get a do over. If you don't play well now, you go home."
Do you plan on showing game tape of some of the positive performances this season?
"Yeah, and we're thinking about doing some more things like that but the biggest thing is just to invest more. You can't watch the first 30 minutes of the Pitt game and think we were investing as much as we need to invest. Then I think after that, they invested quite a bit but you can't spot a really good team 19 or 20 and expect to come back just because it's your right. I think if we invest more and then mentally show them some things that might help them too."
Comments on handling the weekend after an early exit in the ACC Tournament:
"We'd been to the finals three straight years and I'd like to stay in there a lot longer. I didn't like coming home but it was what it was. We tried to give them Saturday and Sunday off, especially Marcus but everyone we gave the time off. We brought them in on Sunday and watched tape and had a meeting for about an hour and half. Then we went to my house for the selection show and tried to use the time to let them rest but also focus on two of three things that we thought were important and get them to be ready for practice."