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“We’re extremely happy to win to say the least. It was our first game of the year in a true road game and I think that’s a big win for us. I think it was something we felt good about, if we could go out and withstand some of their runs. We were up six, or whatever it was at half, then we come out and all of a sudden they make it a one-point game…I think they scored six or seven in a row. I loved our maturity at that time. I didn’t call a time out; I wanted to see if our guys could handle it themselves and I think they did that.
“The second half, our emphasis was to get much better shots than we took in the first half. In the first half we took 14 threes and at the end of the night, I think we only took 18. So the kids did a nice job of listening to what we said…we shot 50 percent in the second half.
“Offensively, I think the biggest thing that bothers me is to look down there and see 23 turnovers. We usually don’t handle the basketball like that, but give credit to Indiana’s defense. This summer when we had the ACC meetings, the TV people came to us and said, regardless of who it is, 69 percent of the time, the home team wins. So going on the road in college basketball is something that is huge for us.
“I was ecstatic the way Marvin Williams bounced back. He got four stitches over his eye late in the first half with about seven minutes to go and he ended up with 12 rebounds – his first double-digit rebounding game.
“I liked the way we handled a great deal of adversity. I don’t think Sean [May] was tight coming in; I just think things didn’t go well for him. He got in foul trouble, and then Marvin had to go get stitched up. We were able to handle that adversity. Byron [Sanders] and David [Noel]…Noel has been doing some nice things for us and I was pleased with the way he played tonight. But overall, I thought we had to defend their 3-point shots, and they made enough of them to scare us to death. We were able to block one, and a guy missed a couple there at the end and that helped us. The most impressive thing to me is I think we made our last eight free throws. We had missed a couple before that.”
How many positions did David Noel guard today?
“David and Jackie [Manuel] both have a lot of versatility. David crosses the line, and what we mean by that is, we have perimeter players – 1, 2, and 3 – and post players – 4 and 5 – and David guarded both a post player and a perimeter player tonight. David really gives you tough match-ups, because he’s a perimeter player, but sometimes he plays the 4-spot. He creates some problems for you and I think he did that tonight.”
What did Sean do or say to convince you that he wasn’t coming out tight in this game?
“I just watched him play. He had a couple of unfortunate things – a block and a charge went against him. He’s going down the court on the break and the guy’s bumping him and he pushes off. It could have very easily have been called right before that. But I really didn’t think that he was pressing or anything whatsoever. I do think that Indiana’s athleticism with D.J. [White] and Pat Ewing surprised our guys, because we haven’t faced anyone this year that can go up and block our shots.”
When the officials let them play like they did tonight, do you think that is an advantage for your team?
“I didn’t think it was tonight, because I thought Indiana was quicker to the ball. I thought the home crowd a lot of the time really gives you a little extra energy. We do have some depth, and our depth saved us tonight; again, with Sean in foul trouble, and Rashad [McCants] in foul trouble, and Marvin with the eye cut.”