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On his toe injury:
“It hurts a little bit, but I’ll be ok. It hurts the most jumping, landing and when I come out of the game, but when I am out there I don’t really think about it. I just try to do what I can to help the team win.”
On quick start in first half:
“We moved the ball really well and got out and ran. Jawad, Sean and I really ran a lot better today and our teammates found us. Raymond did a great job of getting us some good looks.”
On Jawad’s leadership:
“I don’t even know where to start. I have learned so many things from Jawad. He is just a classy person and a big-time basketball player. I’d rather be around him off the court than on the court. Congratulations to him for hitting that milestone (1,500 career points) and today is his birthday too.”
On if the streak against Clemson means anything to the team:
“It really doesn’t matter to us. We just wanted to come out and play, and we just try to win every game.”
On if there was a conscious effort to take less 3 pointers and push the ball more inside:
“No, not really. We just wanted to pound them and get good shots. And most of our shots were inside so that’s what we took.”
On if it was important to come out strong after the first half in this season's earlier meeting:
“It was very key because we didn’t want them to stick around at all and think that they could play with us. No slight to them, but we just wanted to go out, jump on them, hit them, and just keep hitting them, and make the game a big game.”
Who do you pull for in the game tomorrow [between Duke and Wake Forest]?
"It really doesn't matter. People would think, 'OK, I'm going to pull for Duke, but it honestly doesn't matter. If Duke wins, great, that works out for us. If Wake Forest wins, OK, whatever. It's the same. It's not us playing, so I'm not really pulling for anybody."
You guys had a tough time with this team in the first half at Clemson. That was not the case today. Where do you think you've gotten better as a team since that first game?
Defensively. You know, we are just playing great 'D.' That's all I can say. That sums it up--just great defense.
How were you able to get out to such a good start?
Just pushing the ball, causing turnovers, making them take quick shots and getting the rebound and getting into our transition, what we do best.
On two 14-0 runs in the first half:
“We did a good job executing, but we were still kind of sloppy and committed a lot of turnovers. It was good for us to jump out to a 20 point lead at halftime.”
On team’s first half inside dominance:
“That’s just Sean May, Jawad Williams and Marvin Williams for you. They all are such talented players under the basket. All we really have to do is get them the ball.”
On rest of the season:
“We feel like we still need to work on a lot of things in order to become the team we want to be. We know it comes down to execution, focus and concentration, but we have to be ready to step it up when the big time comes.”
What was the key to getting the lead early?
It was due to our defense, getting easy steals, easy baskets.
You rooting for Duke tomorrow night?
I would say I am. I'm rooting for Duke. I want them to win
What is the biggest improvement defensively for this team, if you had to pick one thing, over last year?
Just consistency--last year guys were able to play defense, but we just weren't consistent. Some nights we'd play 'D' and some nights we wouldn't. This year, from the beginning of the season it has been drilled into our heads we have to play defense, so guys have been very consistent.
With the defensive boards there were a lot of chances for Raymond to pick up assists.
Yeah, that allowed us to get us to get into our running game. I think Clemson shot 33 percent for the game. Our defense was pretty tough tonight. Our defense was good down there. We just didn't shoot the ball well. Our defense is going to be OK.
That is four straight double-doubles for you.
I'm just trying to keep it going, knock on wood. At halftime it didn't look to good for me. I wasn't playing well and I wasn't shooting well. The second half turned around a little bit--got to the offensive boards. Four straight double-doubles--I can't complain.
Does that mean something to you?
Definitely. I go out every night trying to get 10 rebounds. Points don't matter to me with this team. I know the guys on this team--Rashad, Ray, Jawad--they look for me so I know I am going to score. I know I have the ability to score. Double-doubles do mean a lot to me. I've flirted with a lot earlier this year--14 and nine or whatever. I'm glad I'm putting something together right now.