Not a bad way to celebrate a birthday ...
"Definitely not. This was my best birthday present yet."
What did Coach Williams tell you at halftime?
"At halftime he just wanted us to dig deep, it was a gut check -- contain your man, make big stops on defense and we'll be fine on offense."
Did you feel like sometimes you had them guarded well and they made some real tough shots?
"They made a lot of big shots, especially in the first half. We didn't play our best defense in the first half, but they were just knocking down a majority of their shots."
On the point guard play -
"Bobby hit some big shots and Ty with his penetration -- you saw how fast he was up and down the court -- really opened up a lot of things up ... That was a big key. Somebody moving that fast you have to worry about containing him and it opens up the lane."
You had some frustrating moments early where you took a lot of contact - how do you fight through that?
"You can't lose yourself. You want to play within the game and do your job, and if you allow things like that to aggravate you and get frustrated then you don't play your game."
On the experience of a big game -
"This is a great experience for us young guys, really for the whole team - it's a young team. All the guys enjoyed it. I can't say anything more about it - I'm speechless ..."
You hit three big shots in a row in the second half - was that the goal to get the ball to you or did it come in the flow of the offense?
"When Tyler went out I knew I had to step up and make some players on the inside. We were going small, so I had to get in there and try and help this team. So I knew I had to just make some big plays."
On the team's play -
"We didn't play perfect tonight, but we played better together. You can see that our intensity is just so high when we're playing together, everything goes so much smoother when everybody is worried about North Carolina first."
Is getting offensive boards something you've been focusing on?
"It's as easy points as you can get. A lot of people don't think of it as that, but if you go every time you can get that easy offensive rebound and put back and can be a big momentum swing for your team."
Did you feel any pressure for your first start?
"Nah, I was ready for this game. Big game, No. 1 team in the nation, I was ready for this."
What defensively did you change to stop them on three-pointers in the second half?
"Instead of going over the top of the screens, we went under. ... The screen, with the big man up top, was hard to get around sometimes so we just had to force the issue to get around him."
On the game and atmosphere tonight -
"Coach told us he watched the Kansas-Florida game and that level of intensity they were playing at was different from where we were playing. Tonight we stepped our level of play up and that's how we need to play every game. ... That was fun. The freshmen, I've never seen them so into the game and so emotional."
What was the level of concern with their three-point shooting in the first half?
"Coach told us they were 8-of-13 from threes and were killing us. Second half we really got down, the last eight minutes especially, we really got after it and forced them out of their comfort zone."