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Part I (9:02)
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Well, this feels pretty good, there’s no question about that. I couldn’t be more proud of the kids that I have and what they’ve done. You also have to be really proud of North Carolina State and admire and respect what they did. Coming to play for four days was phenomenal, and Brandon Costner had a big-time day for them, but I liked our guys too. When it got down to a one-point game a lot of teams could have given in because we had missed either three or four from point-blank range from two or three feet, and then they’re making their run and got it within one. Then after that we did a much better job with our execution. They had to start fouling, we went to the free-throw line and made foul shots. Ty’s (Ty Lawson) the only one that missed a single foul shot and that always tells how tough a team is, so I was extremely proud of the team at that point.
On Brandan Wright being MVP -
Brandan being the MVP I think was so well deserved, I think that was big. Reyshawn (Terry) was on his case in the second half and I let him sit there for a long time and he came back in and made three big plays in a row for us.
On the play of Wes Miller and Tyler Hansbrough -
I thought Wes (Miller) was huge at making those two threes for us right before the half. Tyler Hansbrough doing what he did today, and I think if you just sit back and think what I talked about the whole time, as a post player he’s got to turn and find the rim quickly with his back to the basket and he’s got that mask on and that’s an obstacle. That’s not as bad for a perimeter player because he’s looking straight at it. Tyler goes to the free throw line looking straight at it like a perimeter player and he makes 11 out of 11 and I think you’ve got to congratulate him and his toughness there, but loved what our team did.
On the team’s goals coming into the weekend -
We set a goal to come in here and win the tournament and I told the guys we didn’t set a goal to come in here and be here Sunday. We set a goal to win the tourney and it’s a good feeling.
On Reyshawn Terry’s potential -
He has such ability if he can just stay focused and stay in the moment and not worry about what happened on the last play. I just didn’t think he was into it and we always talk about not fouling jump shots and I thought he loafed back a little bit, fouled the jump shot, so I just took him out. He had missed two box outs in a row, but also with that ability you’ve got to give it a chance. I can let him sit there all I want and at the end of the game say hey, if you had played we would have done better, but it doesn’t do any good there. I have been one for my entire life to give people chances and I think for him it’ll always be. He’s been there with me since I got there and I pushed him probably as hard at least as any player I’ve ever coached. He’s just a phenomenal youngster that I’ll keep giving chances to, and I just love him to death.
On winning first ACC title -
It’s another achievement and accomplishment for me, my team, my coaching staff. For Coach Williams, he hasn’t won this since he’s been here so it’s another jewel to go in his jewelry box. Like Wes (Miller) said, Coach said we can enjoy it until midnight and then we’ve got to focus on the NCAA Tournament, but it means a lot to this team and this organization.
On returning to the game following benching -
Coach said he would like to see me play. He’s always been on me, pushing me to the limit, trying to push me to be the best player I can possibly be. He’s always going to tell you, if you’re going to be in the game I’m going to coach you no matter what, so he never gave up on me. He gave me another chance like he always does. My teammates had confidence in me, my coaching staff had confidence in me, so the opportunity came for me to just throw down the shots.
On beating a strong North Carolina State team -
Coming into the game we knew they were a little tired, but we knew they weren’t going to give up and it was going to be a dog fight. We’re going to make our runs and they’re going to make their runs, but it all boiled down to who was going to get the stops and be the toughest and most poised at the end, and it showed today.
On winning first ACC title -
That’s the one thing we haven’t experienced since we’ve been here. I won the regular season in 2005, and obviously I won the NCAA tournament. For me, I grew up in the state of North Carolina, lived there my whole life. My dad’s been taking me to the ACC Tournament - my mom tells me I was there when I was one year old - so it’s means the world to me. It’s something I always dreamed about as a kid. Going to these games as a kid is one of the things that inspired me to want to work at the game and play the game, and I really can’t describe with words how it feels. The other side of that is that we’re not done and we know that. We have a lot of work left ahead of us, so we’re going to enjoy this until midnight - I think that’s coach’s rule - and then we’ll be preparing for the NCAA Tournament.
On his MVP performance weekend -
I was feeling good as a player. Coming out of the Duke game I thought I played well. I thought we had a lot of momentum coming into the tournament and I just felt like I had to really step up. With Tyler (wearing) the mask it’s definitely hard to see with his back to the basket. Peripheral (vision) is really tough.