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Opening remarks -
Needless to say it’s a much different feeling than we had Saturday against North Carolina State--- there’s no question about that. I was extremely impressed with how competitive our team was especially when you compare it to what we did last Saturday. I think that we’re very fortunate: Duke missed some shots--- 3-10 from the foul line--- that definitely helped us. I loved Reyshawn Terry, his effort, his defensive effort, his work on the backboards. I’ve been on his case since Saturday because he and Danny Green together played 25 minutes Saturday and they got one more rebound than my wife. I told him that several times since Saturday and he got 10 more rebounds than Wanda [Williams] did tonight. I think that really helped us. You just like what’s going on and you like the way that we kept attacking. We were down 10 a couple of times and I told our guys if we keep attacking and do a little bit better job of covering the screen on the ball and not hit every screen that they set that we would be there at the end, and I really felt that way. I just wanted to make sure that my club kept attacking and again we caught Duke on a night where their shots weren’t going in and we’re as happy as we can be. We shot almost 60% in the second half and I think at halftime they had two more rebounds than we did and we ended up with six more so we out-rebounded them by eight and it was a good game for us. It’s one of those wild games and a very competitive game and a very difficult game to play but the kids couldn’t be any happier--- that locker room is a happy locker room.
On Wes Miller's toughness in the second half -
Well I think Ty [Lawson] and Wayne [Ellington] and Brandan [Wright] had done great jobs for us but sometimes that experience on the defensive end of the floor is extremely important to you and so we went with a stretch there of Bobby [Frasor], Marcus [Ginyard], and Wes [Miller] as our perimeter guys and then we made a change that worked tonight--- it may not work another time--- but we decided to go with Reyshawn [Terry] and Danny [Green] as a forward and didn’t go with two big guys for a long stretch of the game and I think that helped us match up with them. We were behind so we had to try to do some things to see if we could make up some ground and again it wasn’t coaching, it was playing, but I think that that did help us. The toughness of Wes and Marcus one time--- they set three straight screens for him and he got over all three of the screens and was still there. I think that was huge for us and again better matchups. It’s one of those good nights for us.
On difference in second half in better shooting percentage -
Well the first half we took bad shots. Tyler Hansbrough didn’t go the free throw line the first half. Marcus [Ginyard] was the only guy we had that went to the free throw line and I’m not sure we ever even got into one-and-one. We were coming down and shooting too quickly. Reyshawn [Terry] shot a couple too quickly, Wayne [Ellington] did, Ty [Lawson] did. Q [Quentin Thomas] went down and shot it without any passes. We did talk about at halftime that we’ve got to move ourselves, move the ball better, get a chance to get the ball inside where Brandan [Wright] and Tyler and those guys could do something inside and hopefully get some fouls on their team. Again I think that’s one place that our depth does help is that we can withstand some things that are more difficult for some other teams to withstand. I like the fact that they had two different guys foul out.
On having any confidence in the last five or six minutes -
I don’t think as a coach you ever feel confident. When they missed the shot with six seconds to go and we got the rebound was the first time I felt confident all night. But during the course of the whole game you have things that you hope work and that was a little bit of that.
On it being a hand-to-hand combat game -
I think it was two teams that played as hard as they could play. I’m not saying that we played as pretty as we can play, as effectively as we can play, but I do think that both teams played exceptionally hard. When it’s two teams with great kids and great characters, that’s what you expect.