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Coach Williams was talking about how he's letting you guys know that every night it is going to be tough in this league. How do you guys not get complacent when you are beating teams by 20, 30, 40 points?
We like to think about it as playing against ourselves. It's not always about the opponent. I think more times than not it is about us and the way we are playing. We are still playing against ourselves to be a better team and do things that we need to do the right way for the whole game.
The way you've won the last five game by large margins, is this the way this team can play throughout the year?
Definitely, I think so. It is something that's been happening a lot lately, and we are really just excited about the way we are playing right now and hopefully we can keep it up.
You've got two games now against the two biggest rivals. What do you tell these freshmen from what you learned last year about these next two games?
It's crazy--it's just like telling them about the ACC. Before we started playing in the ACC it was really hard to give them the words to describe it without really being in the situation, so it's going to be hard to really convey to these guys the intensity of these next two games. It really doesn't matter all season long; these next two games are always big-time games.
It doesn't matter if State's down because you know they are going to give you their best because you are Carolina.
Absolutely. It's going to be the same with Duke. I was telling the guys, 'It doesn't matter if Duke was 0-20 right now and we were 0-20. When we are playing [against each other] it's going to be a clash.'
When the play started getting more physical it seems like you guys responded to that, almost as if you are beginning to thrive on it more and more.
We are starting to see a lot of teams play physical at times. It just comes with experience. It's something that we may be getting used to, and we are just playing through it.
When you guys are winning by 20, 30, 40 points, how do you make sure that you don't just think you can do it every night and know that an opponent won't sneak up on you?
Coach pretty much keeps our heads on straight. It's something that we still look at things we did in the game and we want to improve on them. There are a lot of things tonight that we are going to take and look at the film and say, 'We can do this a lot better.'
Last year when Miami came in they outrebounded you guys and came away with the win. This year was completely the opposite. You outrebounded them. Is that something that you guys talked about going in?
Coach stressed that. [Dwayne] Collins is a really good offensive rebounder, and Coach put extra emphasis on boxing him out. Getting the rebounds was one of the emphases on the game.
Miami seemed to get a little heated out there at times. How do you maintain your composure?
You can't let that affect your game. You are playing basketball; you aren't doing anything else.
How comfortable have you gotten shooting that perimeter jump shot. You looked really smooth shooting those three in the first half.
Really comfortable. Coach has said I can shoot that shot, so I'm not afraid to pull it.
How comfortable is it knowing when you are out there you run the team, but Quentin [Thomas] and Bobby [Frasor] can too. Does it make it easier, more comfortable?
It makes it much easier and more comfortable. If I get into foul trouble I know they can come in and run the team just like I would. Bobby is a great player--gets assists, scores a lot. It's great having two point guards that come off and relieve me when I'm tired or in foul trouble.
Does it make it more competitive in practice too knowing that you have these two guys that are right behind you?
Yeah, it does because they push me and I push them so all three of us are getting better in practice. We are out playing hard against each other trying to beat each other up so we will be all right during the game.
How confident is this team right now? You keep beating teams by 20, 30, 40 points every week.
We are really confident. We have been playing well, playing defense really well and doing what Coach says so we are really confident right now.
Is it a challenge to maintain your focus a little bit?
Not really. Every team is good out here so it's not a challenge. We still have to play hard and, like Coach says, play against ourselves when we get up. We don't want to just go out and make turnovers at the end of the game and let them come back. It's not a challenge at all.
Have the veterans told you anything about these next two games with NC State and Duke and what to expect?
They are great rivalry games. They are our rival teams in the ACC, and their crowds will be wild. They are going to be talking stuff, so they said get ready for it because it is a new experience.
Is it exciting to know you are going to play teams in back-to-back games that are [a short bus ride] away?
Yeah, I've been wanting to play against NC State and Duke since I got here because I heard that they are the rowdiest games. I can't way for that.
What's it like to see your teammates who don't get that many minutes out there the last couple of minutes with the rest of you guys standing up there cheering? What's that like?
It feels good. [We] say Dewey [Burke] feeds Chapel Hill because every time he comes in he hits a three to go over 100 and get Bojangles. It's fun. Mike [Copeland] gets in and scores, Surry [Wood], all them so it is really fun for us.