“I try not to have a whole lot of expectations as far as grading my team and I’ve never been a coach to look down a schedule and try and determine where you were supposed to or could be a t should be at a certain time during the year, because I think you set yourself up for failure.
“What we’ve tried to do is go out and put the work in practice every single day. I have been pleased with that kind of attitude. As far as our record, I don’t have any expectations. But I have been really pleased with the way they’ve responded with what we’ve tried to do.
“The biggest thing is this team has to come with a passion every single night. If we don’t come with a passion to defend and try to do the little things, we have no hope. You’re going to have some adversity during a game and it’s harder for an inexperienced player to handle that. And if you’re not focused and have that passion, you’re going to have so many negative thoughts.
“For us we have to have that passion and energy every night, and if we don’t it’s going to be very difficult for us to win.
“I’m in this thing for the long haul and patience is something I’ve got to maintain. And we’ve got to be aware of situations where we can teach the players something. For me I wanted them to understand that I was not going to panic and it was up to them.
“I’ve been asked who would be the ‘sleeper’ (in the ACC race this year), or who doesn’t get the most respect, and I’ve said all along Virginia Tech is one of the three or four best teams in the league and I believe that. I said that before they were a 45-footer away from beating Duke.
“[Virginia Tech] has tremendous experience with four of those guys playing so many minutes last year. They’re very athletic, they guard you and they share the basketball. I strongly believe they will be an NCAA tournament team at the end of the year.
“It is a challenge for us to get our teaching done in practice without taking their legs away, or by not making it so boring that they can't enjoy it and can have that excitement on game nights.”
“If we look at (the schedule) as 16 separate entities and don’t get too high or too low (for one game), I think we have a chance.
“I think we’re making progress – sometimes it doesn’t show on the scoreboard, but I think we’re moving along.
“I’m not shocked at all (by UNC’s performance so far this season). I’ve said all along, Carolina is Carolina. Noel and Terry were good players; they were just playing behind first round draft choices. Roy has a done magnificent job. His freshmen play as tough as any players in the conference, which is a testament to his ability to communicate and get those kids to understand what it takes to be successful at this level.”