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“Well I think we gained what we thought we would. I told the kids it was a glorified practice, which was the way I looked at it. I wanted to make sure when we left the court that we’d try to improve, and I think we did that. I talked to them after the game about each and every one of them there were some things they could have done a heck of a lot better – and things they could have controlled. You may not be able to control the ball going into the basket, but you can control sprinting back and finding your man a little easier. You can control talking a little bit better. I think we gained some things. We need it. The scary thing is we’re going to play some bigger, stronger teams; and they out-rebounded us, which we can’t have. A couple of years before I got here the rebound total was bad. Both years we’ve been here, we’ve been on of the top 10 rebounding clubs in America, and we’ve got to make sure we dot that with a much smaller lineup than probably I’ve ever coached. But I saw some good things. I loved our unselfishness. We’ve got to make better decisions on feeding the post, because a lot of our turnovers were going inside. For the most part, I think we got some good things out of it. I played nine guys.”
On Tyler Hansbrough’s play:
“He is very active, but he’s not a great shot blocker. I’m a little bit concerned because we can’t have him trying to block, because he could get in foul trouble. But he’s been working extremely hard. He picks up faster on the defensive end than he probably does on the offensive side. Little things about posting up – I think he’s better in a lot of ways. He is an energetic kid. I said it this week he has more of an appetite for going after the ball than just about any freshman I’ve ever coached.”
On Hansbrough’s composure:
”He gets pretty fired up. He’s enthusiastic. He poses a little bit and chest bumps a little bit, but he’s pretty much in his own phase, other than that quick enthusiasm that he has. I think he’ll stay focused on playing and doing things we need him to do. And still a big key for us is keeping him out of foul trouble. He had one silly foul and one foul that was called and I thought it was a bad foul. He’s got to stay in the game to be effective.”
On subbing Bobby Frasor and Quentin Thomas at the point:
“I have no idea (who is going to start). I told them we were going to start one at the start of the game and the other at the start of the second half. I really haven’t spent one second on thinking about who is starting. We’re just trying to teach our principles.”
On playing this may people every game or if it was just an experiment:
“I’ve always played eight or nine or 10 guys. I’m too old to change, so I think we’ll always stay and play that many people.”
On what type of shooting team this will be beyond the three-point line:
“I think we will be fine. We were 3-for-9. A couple of guys may not have taken it. And I was surprised, because I really thought Quentin’s was a three to be honest with you in the first half, but maybe it was a college three and not an experimental three. But Reyshawn is going to be able to make some threes. Wes [Miller] is a really good shooter to have out in the open. Wes will be able to make shots. Danny Green can shoot the basketball. Bobby shoots the basketball.”
Tell us about Tyler [Hansbrough’s] performance tonight?
Tyler did a great job. We work on getting him the ball in the post in practice, so it’s definitely something we’ve worked on and he was able to finish, just like he does in practice. I told y’all he was a beast and he definitely showed that tonight.
Can you elaborate a little more on his intensity?
That’s why we call him “Psycho T.” He goes hard – he’s crazy about everything. When it comes to rebounding the ball and everything, he’s crazy about everything, so we call him “Psycho T” and he definitely lived up to his name tonight.
Where is this group defensively at this point?
We’re right where we want to be, I think. We definitely can take more steps forward. Fayetteville State is not the caliber of team we’ll play in the ACC, and we got some turnovers because of the lack there, but other than that I think we’re where we want to be – we forced a lot of turnovers, we got those guys to go backdoor a lot, pick up their dribble and almost got a lot of five second calls. At the same time we need to be disciplined to not reach as much as we were doing.
What did you think of Bobby [Frasor] at the point guard?
He’s pretty good – he’s definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with. He’s steady, backs up Q and that’s something we’re going to need … with him and Bobby we have a steady rotation of two good guards.
Where is this team as far as putting in plays?
We’re actually ahead of schedule. We worked on some things we hadn’t even put in there yet out there on the court tonight. We’re definitely ahead of schedule and that’s good for this team for us to stay ahead. … This game we got a big enough lead that we could experiment a bit on the plays we’ll put in so that helped us out a lot.
How comfortable are you in a leadership role on this team?
At times, when things are not going as well as they need to be, being one of the veteran guys I feel like it’s my job to get everything going. It’s all a team thing – everyone is helping out.
What is Coach Williams stressing in what he wants to get done in these exhibition games?
Just getting better – working on the things we’ve worked on in practice and handle the situation against different players.
How do you feel about where this team is now in terms of where it needs to be?
We definitely have some things we need to work on, but I feel like we’re working toward where we need to be. We have some flaws, but at the same time you can’t expect us to be perfect because we are an inexperienced team.
What do you think you need to work on before you get to the tough teams?
Just making the easy plays on the offensive end and not giving in on the defensive end when you get a little tired.
The defensive intensity does seem to be there already with this team …
Yeah, because Coach stresses that all day, every day – ‘It starts on the defensive end’ – when teams get tired at the end, who’s going to be the one to give in? It can’t be us. We always have to have that mindset coming in.
You leave here late tonight and then it’s back at practice at 8:30 a.m. – how do you get up for that every day?
We know we’ve got to get psyched up because it’s another opportunity to get better.