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Do you think the young players fully understand the UNC-NC State rivalry?
Probably not. They understand State kicked our tails last time, but they haven’t been around enough to understand the rivalry.
Does some of that have to do with players not remaining in college as long as they used to?
I think when the changeover is pretty quick, you don’t build up those animosities, those jealousies, those feelings you have for the other team. It probably means more to you when you go out into the work world or the NBA.
On remembering what happened in Raleigh -
As a coach, I haven’t forgotten. They kicked our tails, but we didn’t play with near the intensity we wanted to from beginning to end. [Only] some of those shots were well-guarded ...
On team focus -
Before the Virginia Tech game, I thought our guys would have pulled the nails out of the floor. So we’ll have to wait and see. The first possession of the game (against State), they made us play defense for about 30 seconds, and then they get a dead layup. We came out and didn’t have the focus that we needed to have defensively. We never did establish it basically the whole game. They acted offensively, and we reacted defensively the whole game.
More on State -
They've got big guys who are really good passers. [Ben] McCauley is own of the best passing big men in our league. They have a really heady, savvy, intelligent point guard who has played forever. He has an understanding of bounce passes and the screen and roll. Their five is as good as anybody’s five, and they play so well together. They just don't have the depth of the other teams.
On Sidney Lowe’s coaching style -
I see very fundamentally sound offensive basketball.
On comparing this team to his previous UNC teams -
The first year it was different. The second year we had to get over how good ‘I’ am, to how good ‘we’ are as a team. Last year it was pretty easy, I give credit to the kids and so many were from coach’s families. This year, those guys have continued to lead the freshmen. The freshmen with all the acclaim they have gotten…they almost bought in immediately. I don’t think I’ve ever had a struggle with this team. This team pretty much every game has really come to play. But the games we have lost have stood out like a sore thumb. I make a lot of references to the 2005 team because that group was made up of very strong individuals who came together.
On Bobby Frasor dealing with this season -
He is a really tough kid, so I assume a lot. But I always ask him how he’s doing, too. Here’s a guy who started every game and was the quarterback, then he has the injury and another guy is doing it. I think it has been a very difficult year for him.
On how Frasor’s foot feels -
The pain has pretty much subsided. I ask him and he says, ‘It’s fine; it’s fine.’
On Lawson facing adversity after such a successful high school career -
It was tough for him (in the loss at Virginia Tech). He has always been able to get it done. But I hope it will be positive. You can’t just get by with the gifts you have. You have to put in the work. I think he can go way past phenomenal.
On the importance of good perimeter shooting -
When we’re making outside shots, we’re very difficult to guard, because we can score inside and get guys in foul trouble. I’ve been looking for that balance all year long, and we’ve had it some.
On being mentally ready for the game -
I hope we’ve learned our lesson versus Virginia Tech. We had two very good practices before Boston College, went in to a tough environment, and we were able to do some nice things.