Listen to Audio (9:06)
Opening remarks –
Well, we’re extremely happy with the W. It’s one of the competitive, ragged, grind-it-out, ugly, you get to put your own adjectives that you want in there, except there not going to always be really pretty. There always not going to be finesse, running up and down, lob, dunk, high five people kind of game. I’m proud of our team, look at it, you rebound badly in the first half, and yet two of the bigger plays down the stretch, is I think we had two offensive rebounds for baskets in the last four of five minutes, which did not enable them to cut into the lead significantly. I thought Wayne made a big basket from the corner.
(Inside Carolina audio is available to IC premium subscribers. To listen, you'll
need an updated version of Windows Media Player - click here to download the
But it was very ragged, I look down and we have 20 assists and 9 turnovers, and I thought we were really sloppy with the basketball at the end there, too casual. We knew they were going to try and foul, because they had some fouls to give. Fortunately we were able to make some free throws as well. You know there’s not many times you can shoot 37% and win and yet I’m very pleased with that. I’ve told all my teams about a team I had one time, we shot 29% on the road and won because we just out-competed the other bunch. And I’m not going to tell you we out-competed Kentucky because you don’t do that to a Tubby [Smith] team.
I really did like how we competed today and as I said during the press conference yesterday, I was concerned about a let down. I don’t think we were emotionally into the game nearly as much as we were Wednesday night. The crowd definitely wasn’t as emotionally into the game as they were Wednesday night. It’s only the second time in my entire career that I’ve ever stood up and waved at the crowd, try and wake them up. But it’s part of it, we told this team that we shouldn’t wait for the crowd to get us going, let’s get the crowd going. But we’ve got to do a better job in that, playing, coaching, cheering, standing up stomping you’re feet, we’ve got to do a better job of everything.
Reyshawn, I was really proud of him making some big baskets for us today. As everybody knows he’s been struggling. Played very well against Kentucky last year and played very well today, made some big shots. Tyler had a tough time last year and had a tough time again today, but still the bottom line is what he’s concerned about is that North Carolina had 12 more points. Ty and Bobby, 10 and 3, and 18 - 3 the last two games from our point guards. Bobby’s foot is not what was hurting him at the end. When he took a charge, he hurt his butt. You can say his posterior, you can say his behind, whatever you want to say, but when he took a charge he came down on his hip and that what was bothering him. The foot was not bothering him.
On Kentucky’s size -
Well I was mad at the perimeter guys in the first half, because with about 4 minutes to go in the half we had shot 2 free throws. We’ve got a guy named Hansbrough we weren’t throwing the ball to. Their size, I mean they’re big, Randolph is 6-11, 7-0, Jared Carter is 7-1, Stevenson’s 6-9 but he’s like Brandon with those long arms and they’re competitive guys. I mean when we threw the ball inside to Tyler he was having to beat three or four guys. He’s got to do a better job of getting it out a little quicker.
As I said before, I want him to challenge one guy and don’t even mind him challenging two a lot of times, but he’s got to get it back out a little bit quicker. First half we allowed their zone to make us be a perimeter shooting team. And we were fortunate also because they missed some shots themselves. We still have to get the basketball inside. We’ve got to run the basketball than we did today. We allowed the tempo to be a lot slower than I wanted it to be.