|Click the player names to hear their postgame interviews. To listen to these audio clips, you must have Real Player installed on your computer. You can download Real Player's free software here.|
ROY WILLIAMS (6:23)
"Well, first of all we know it's better to play Georgia Tech without B.J. Elder and Ra'Sean Dickey and them not having their full complement of players. We remember what B.J. did to us last year, particularly down in Atlanta. It wasn't the prettiest game in the world, but I was very pleased with our guys, because in the past those ugly, competitive, hand-to-hand combat kind of games maybe we wouldn't have perservered. But I thought tonight we did a great job on the backboards. You know, in the first half, we had fifteen more possessions than they in the first half and we only had five points on offensive rebounds because we never could put the ball in. We kept getting offensive rebounds, kept getting offensive rebounds, but couldn't finish the play. So we talked a little bit in the second half about just taking another split second, and if you have to jump up in the air and move the ball around sixteen times before you shoot it, that means it's too crowded, so get the ball back out and let's let them play defense a little bit more. But five guys in double figures, I like that. I like Rashad got in foul trouble and came back in and went up and made that big block. He had four blocks for the game. I don't think Jackie's going to go 1-8 very often. You know, Raymond 3-11, Sean 3-11. But you've got to give credit to Georgia Tech's defense. I think they're one of the better defensive teams that we've played, and that really made it difficult for us. We were a little sloppy there at the end when we got that working margin. But we kept being able to get some plays on the offensive end and keep it fifteen or twenty-two or whatever it was. But again, I love winning some games like this. Everybody loves when everyone's running, everyone is dunking, everyone is high-fiving and all that stuff. But I like to win some of those games when it's ugly. Again, I think you have to congratulate Tech for being able to make it that way. Jarrett Jack is a big time, big time player. He's very difficult to keep out of the lane, when he gets to the lane he's able to find some people. But again, I like what our kids did."
On what the team's poor shooting and significant lead in the first half tells him:
"It means we've got to shoot a whole heck of a lot better. [Laughter] I think again, that was the backboards. Again, we had fifteen more possessions. That's like them giving us the ball fifteen straight times and seeing how many points we get. And then we start alternating. So it's a huge advantage. But we couldn't finish the play. Schenscher is part of that. Their strength is part of that, their defensive ability and their jump and athleticism. We were around the basket, but we couldn't finish the play. I was hoping we'd do a better job of that in the second half."
On Tech's poor first-half shooting:
"Well, I think one thing we were doing there is we were fouling them too much, not stopping dribble penetration. Even it'd be one of our bigger guys against one of their little guys, and they'd pump fake, pump fake, and then we'd foul the guy. If we'd kept them off the free throw line in the first half, I would have been ecstatic about our defense, because we were able to force some turnovers in the first half. We're getting better, but I told my team I still don't think we're nearly as good defensively -- I told Paul [Hewitt] I don't think we're as good defensively as they are. But we're getting better, and the kids are buying into it."
On the Tar Heels' low loss of ball:
"Well, we were getting shots, and there's no question that's important. We weren't running the ball very well at times. But yet Raymond made a couple of threes. David Noel made a three. Melvin made a three, and then the three right before the half was important to us as well. But you know, at the end of the half, I had Sean, Rashad, and there was a third player I can't remember who it was who had two fouls. I know I held out Rashad and Sean the last 3:33 in the first half because I felt like with the tempo of the game, there were going to be a lot of possessions, and there were going to be more opportunities for them to foul, and I wanted to get to halftime with those guys with just two. But you know, again, it was just one of those ugly games where you've got to get it in the hole more than they do."
On the team's unselfishness:
"Well, a perfect game to me would be every basket to be directly related to an assist. I got really upset during the first half of the Maryland game because of the fact I thought we were going a little too much one-on-one and selfishness. I got on them and after that we played very well. Tonight we had two plays where a guy should have just passed the ball. If your teammate is open just throw him the ball. It's a pretty easy game to me. If I'm guarded and my buddy isn't guarded, give him the daggum ball. So I think if we play like that…and, then I'll tell you another thing. Everybody says 'They just run,' but I thought we did some nice things in the halfcourt. You know, we moved it around, got it inside and got fouled ourselves. The first half, they made more free throws than we shot, but in the second half we were 19-23, so that was good."
On preparing for Wake Forest:
"I want to enjoy this one. Georgia Tech's a big time fricking team. I feel good about this. They're not St. Mary's Sisters of the Blind or anything like that. But it is a huge game for us. Tomorrow we'll evaluate this tape, we'll work on some things in practice from this game, and we'll start working on Wake Forest on Friday."
PAUL HEWITT (4:33)
"We got beat by a very good team tonight. Throughout the two days in preparation for this game, we talked a lot about not giving up lay-ups in transition, especially because of what happened last year and not giving up second shots. Those were the top two things on the scouting report. They just beat us to a lot of balls on the offensive boards. They had 17 offensive rebounds in the first half and they just put us into too big of a hole. I love the way our guys battled back. We actually pressured them; I didn't think we were capable of pressuring because of [Raymond] Felton. We were able to force some turnovers late in the game, but it was certainly too late."
On the challenges of Carolina's depth:
"They've got good players and they are tough to beat in this building when they have good players. Honestly, I didn't sense the depth at all wearing us down, I just thought they did a great job on the offensive boards."
On how Carolina's defense differs from last year:
"Well they are forcing more turnovers, that's the big thing. It didn't plague us throughout the game, but early they forced a lot of those turnovers in the middle of the floor that they capitalize on probably better than anybody in the country. When they get those steals in the middle of the floor, they are just really good."
On how the absence of [B.J.] Elder affected the Yellow Jackets' game plan:
"Not much honestly. It did not affect our game plan much at all."
On if the Tar Heels were better in person:
"They're an outstanding team, maybe the best team in the country. But it's one of those things and this is not a slap at them at all, but we had some guys who didn't play as well as they are capable tonight and they'll tell you that. Now, Carolina had something to do with that. Like I said, they could be the best team in the country. Them, Illinois, and Wake Forest, from what I've seen on tape, in my opinion, might be the three best teams. It's one of those things, but you've seen Jarrett [Jack] play better than he did tonight. Don't be deceived by the 24 points. We have some guys that can play better. Now, Carolina probably had something to do with them playing bad."
DAVID NOEL (1:31)
"It's a great feeling knowing that we can win a game dirty. When we get down and dirty and still win the game, that's saying a lot about this team. And we're definitely coming together. "
On the team's defensive improvement:
"I think we did pretty well. Like I said, we finished a lot of plays by boxing out, keeping them off the boards, things like that. It definitely wasn't our best defensive performance, but it was okay. "
On the key to shutting down Tech's perimeter game:
"Just getting a hand up on every shot. Coach always says if you get a hand up, no matter if your five feet away from them, it can distract their vision, and they can miss the shot. "
On winning this style of game:
"I think we could have won [last year]. We won a lot of games like this last year. We won nineteen games, so it's not like we did poorly. The margin may have been less or something like that. But it's definitely showing a different character for this team, that we've grown a little bit, and it's helping us out a lot in this area. "
JESSE HOLLEY (1:55)
On making a quick impact:
"Man, it was great. It was a great feeling. When Coach Williams started walking down the bench, and started grabbing guys and started pulling guys out, and I was like kneeling on the floor, "Come on, come on." And then he pointed and me and I got up and ran to the table. Those guys were giving me little laughs and jokes about that, so I was all smiles when I got to the table. I was trying to hold it in, but those guys are just so funny to me. So, I mean, it was amazing. "
On the differences he sees in this year's team:
"Completely night and day. These guys this year, and like I said before, those are the same names we had on the roster last year. But for some reason these guys understand the concept of what Coach Williams wants this year. Unselfish play, hustling both ways, offense and defense, and playing team basketball. And that's the way we're going to play week in and week out. And hopefully we'll bring the ‘W's week in and week out."
On the team's unity:
"Those guys have always been together, but the unity, it's understanding the concept of what Coach Williams wanted. Last year we always said ‘Yeah, we know what he's talking about,' but we never executed it. Now this year we're actually executing what he wants. And you can see, it's just so hard to stop."
JACKIE MANUEL (0:44)
On staying focused:
"This is only the beginning. This is not March. So we can't say "This is the last game, this is the big game." After this game, we've got Wake, so you've got to stay focused."
RASHAD MCCANTS (2:42)
On preparing to play against Justin Gray:
"We wanted to go to the same school, because we wanted to play with each other. Me and Justin played like me and Raymond play now. Playing against him now in the ACC is such a delight to watch, because he's so good. Nobody really knows his full potential. But it's going to be a special game."
On sharing Gray's excitement about the matchup:
"Oh definitely. Justin is like my heart. Man, he's like my brother. It's the same way. You know, when you're playing against your brother, you don't want him to win. You don't want him to win because he's going to brag about it.
On conversations with Chris Paul before the game:
"It was a friendly conversation, basically. You know, you guys are really nosy."
On concentrating on his all-around game:
"My main focus this season is to prove that I can dominate a game without scoring the ball. I'm just trying to make my defensive effort consistent throughout the season without hesitation or without thinking about it. You know, just totally lock down my opponent, rebound the ball, pass the ball to my teammates. You know, encourage my teammates as much as possible."
On rating his performance:
"You can never be pleased with yourself. There's never an offseason. There's never an off day. There's never a break. There's never a timeout. So you can never be pleased with your peformance. But I've definitely improved."
SEAN MAY (1:10)
On the team's execution in the halfcourt:
"Yeah, I think our halfcourt offense flowed pretty well tonight. We were changing sides, getting some different looks with Rashad in the post, David posting up some and floating out. So our halfcourt offense is getting better. We're going to continue to work on it, though."
On gaining familiarity with Coach Williams:
"Just you know, having another year under him. Knowing what he wants every day in practice, the kind of effort, the type of things he wants us to do every day. You know last year, we just thought, "Here comes Good Ol' Roy," and it was just magically going to flow together. But it didn't work. This year we're doing a great job adjusting to everything. It took some time to take care of that."
On the impact of the bench:
"Our bench is probably the biggest reason why we're winning games right now. Reyshawn, Marvin, Jackie, Dave, they're all coming off doing things, and they're not trying to do too much, that's the key. And right now our defense is the reason we're winning games."