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Listen to Audio (11:17)
Opening remarks -
First half I thought we managed to keep the game within reach. The second half I thought North Carolina did a very good job of getting the ball to Hansbrough and Wright and we really didn’t have an answer for them. Hansbrough especially was a little physical, more physical than we were tonight. That depth: two big kids came off the bench. They don’t have great stats, but I thought they wore on us with their physical bodies and fatigued us more than we would probably like to admit just from their physical stature and size. We had a stretch there when they extended the lead to about 16, we had about 4 possessions where I thought we rushed the offense and took about 2 or 3 quick shots, and I think they extended the lead more and it was very difficult for us to dig out of that hole. They became more patient and tried to keep our most experienced players off the court. They did a very good job of being very patient, moving the ball, making the extra pass. They were able to extend the lead from there. Normally, you try to give some sort of rational, reasonable explanation when you lose a game. The truth of the matter is we got beat by a much better basketball team, a team that played better than us tonight, that had a couple of guys that we really didn’t have an answer for on this particular evening, that being Hansbrough and Wright. They were two guys that were very difficult for us to defend this evening.
On not having an inside game -
That’s what happens when you don’t have an inside attack. Unfortunately for us this year, this is the first time I think I can ever remember in coaching, in my career, we didn’t have the inside game to balance out the perimeter game, and that’s part of the reason we’ve had a difficult time and a rash of turnovers because people feel comfortable putting a lot of pressure on us far out on the floor without us being able to throw the ball inside to a post guy like Johnson was for us in the past. WE are not the kind of team that can attack consistently from the dribble from that far out on the perimeter. Defense is going to rotate and take that away from you, and that’s been a problem for us, especially when you’re playing against teams that have as much quality in depth as we faced this evening.