We’re happy it’s over with, everybody had some fun, nobody got hurt, I didn’t embarrass myself too much in those 15 seconds, so as far as I’m concerned it was a good night. We’re anxious to get out on the court and practice tomorrow at 2-o-clock. I think the kids will be enthused about practicing tomorrow and I do think it’s good to have a lot of fun and that’s the way we open up the season. And to have 16, 17 thousand people here tonight when 24,000 students have gone I think that’s pretty doggone impressive and I felt really good about it.
How was Wes Miller’s impression of you?
Wes is really good. He even had the walk down when my back’s hurting sometimes. He’s really good. I knew what was coming when the coat started coming off, though.
When was the last time you danced?
Last year, this night.
Which player were you most impressed with?
David Noel or Rashad, if you’re talking about the dancing part. But the basketball I just kept watching the clock run, I wanted it to get over with. It does give the fans a chance to see Quentin Thomas and Marvin Williams play for the first time and that part’s good. But if I had to vote on the dancers I’d pick David or Rashad.
How much harder will you able to work with this team this year?
I think we will work harder and they will work harder regardless of how hard I push them because they’re more experienced and know what we have going on. We’ve got to really push. It’s been tough on Rashad this fall, he hasn’t been able to run the conditioning tests, and tonight during the layups you saw him shoot a lot of jump shots instead of trying to dunk it. So we’ve got to go easier on him and a little easier with Sean because of what happened the other night [groin injuries].
Fans are already chanting national championship before the first practice –
The expectations here are sometimes realistic and sometimes they’re not. … There are 325 or I think 326 Division I teams. Everybody tonight’s got a great attitude and will at practice tomorrow - everybody will be diving on the floor for loose balls and our challenge is to do it all year long. … Good thing about basketball is you don’t have to wait on the BCS to tell us what happens – in basketball you get to play it.
What’s the one thing you expect to see from this team that you didn’t see last year?
I hope you’ll see better play. That’s the bottom line. Particularly on the defensive end of the floor – don’t want to beat this to death, and there hasn’t been great improvement in our defense from yesterday at media day to tonight so I’ll say the same thing.
Is this more like the team you’d want to build?
I think so. They’ll be very unselfish and we have some talented experience and experience doesn’t mean anything if you’re not very good – and we have some talented experience out there. We need to stay healthy because I think you want your best players out there.
Anyone emerging as a leader in the locker room?
I have no idea. I spent more time in the locker room tonight than I have the entire fall. Those things don’t come up until you really get into games and practices. Fall period for a head coach is difficult because there’s so much traveling. I haven’t watched our guys play -- I did one individual workout and watched one more and other than those two days it was the first time I’d seen Marvin Williams shoot the ball in Chapel Hill.
How excited are you to get this season started?
I’m anxious to get started. If it ever gets to the point that I’m not excited to get started I’ll go to the first tee. I really do understand it’s a journey - it’s not just worrying about what’s going to happen at the end. It’s a marathon. We’ve got to be able to have that great attitude every day not just tomorrow like every other team is going to have. If you’re a college basketball coach and don’t enjoy these next five weeks then you’re in the wrong business because this is when we get to do what we like to do. This is when I get to coach, I don’t have to speak and do all those things you have to do – I just coach.