In the first half we played very well and pushed the team out, we got to the free throw line and took them out of their offense. In the second half, not as much; they hit a lot of threes. We got the win, but there's a lot of room for improvement.
When you get it down low, you've got to take advantage of the opportunity.
Obviously, you've got to be ready to play, because the other team is going to be ready to play, especially when you're playing on a big stage like this and the NIT. It helps us to play at a neutral site to get ready for the NCAA Tournament. And being on the road for the first time is a nice experience for all the young guys.
We had some team meetings and practiced on Thanksgiving. Coach [Roy] Williams stressed with us how much better we have to do on both ends of the floor. Offensively we've got to move and set screens for each other and execute a lot better. Defensively we've got to get stops. We've got to stay in front of our man and we all have to play together and talk. Those are the things he stressed the most to us.
It was a good experience for us to prepare us for the regular season and when we go on the road. This will help us in the long run.
I wouldn't say [Coach Williams] was upset. I think he has very high hopes for us and he understands how good we can be. I think he gets upset when we don't do things at our full potential, that's why he's a little more upset tonight than other nights.
It felt like home because we had a bunch of Tar Heel fans, so it wasn't too bad. I played here once, but the second time was even better.
After the game [Coach Williams] was in a pretty good mood, because he likes to win. He was like we want to come back and do a better job and repeat what we did today. He was kind of mad and frustrated with some plays. He just wants us to learn from our mistakes.
We just stayed together as a team. We got it started and just got everybody involved.
Coach made some rules: No more headbands.
After the Gonzaga game we had a bad taste in our mouths. We just wanted to come out tonight and forget that game by winning this game, and we did that. We had some bumps and bruises in there, but we got over it. At the end of the day it's all about the ‘W.' We've got to go back to the chalkboard and sharpen up on some things, and just get ready for the next game. That's all we can do.
The mistakes we made we seem to do the same things we did before. We kind of repeat the same plays over and over. That's kind of a frustrating thing to see as a coach and as a player. We have a lot of talent on this team, and our coach has high expectations for this team. We know how capable we are as a team, and we're just not putting it together out there. It's frustrating.
[Coach Williams] tells us how good we are, and we're getting a grasp of it, but it's going to come with time. We just have to get more comfortable with each other, and that's just going to take some time.
Coach thought we were getting too cute out there and he took away (the headbands).