Part I (8:21)
Part II (8:31)
Part III (8:36)
Would it have been fine with you if Ty Lawson had been named ACC Tournament MVP -
Yeah. I think defensively he was really good both last two rounds, and he wasn't bad in the first round. But against Boston College and NC State it was extremely important for us to get that part going. When you go through a tournament and your assist-to-turnover ratio is 20 to 4, you play well on the defensive end and you score well; you've done everything you're supposed to do.
On Reyshawn Terry -
Anytime that somebody plays for you, trusts you and believes in you, gives you 100 percent, and tries to do the things you want him to do; then there's a special bond there. And Reyshawn's situation is another one, because quite honest, I didn't think he was quite good enough. And so he's worked himself. And the second part is he went through a couple of years where he didn't get rewarded, and he kept working. That trust, love and respect goes in both directions. I think as a coach you have a warm place in your heart for guys who just keep working. Both of our (scholarship) seniors – Reyshawn and Wes [Miller], completely opposite body types and athleticism – they both have really worked very, very hard. That creates another way of strengthening that bond. It's hard for me to tell people goodbye. It's hard for me to think I'm never going to coach a guy again.
On his early relationship with Terry -
I asked him what his goals were, told him how difficult it was going to be, and that I was going to push him. And I promised him nothing, except an opportunity and that I would be fair with him. Each and every month, I would see something else, and I would say, ‘Hey, you may have a chance.' But what he did last year was just…if I'm not mistaken, he had the biggest improvement in the league in terms of points. I don't believe I've ever coached anybody that had that big of a jump. Tyler [Hansbrough] and David [Noel] were very consistent…you could count on them every night. And there were times when Reyshawn was playing well that we were really good. To be able go from not playing at all to being extremely important to a team's success – that's a big-time jump.
On the vast differences between the 2005 team and this one -
That team was a very experienced team that had been through a lot of turmoil and a lot of adversity. And all of a sudden, they got together collectively from the start of the season on – especially the first week of the tournament. We got Rashad [McCants] back. We had gone through four or six games without him. We bring him back for the ACC Tournament, and we're awful. That's not Rashad's fault. We had won six and a row, won the regular season and won a very emotional game over Duke. But we were awful in the tournament. Then we had a couple of days to refocus. We went to Charlotte and played great. This team didn't start out with any of the experience or the turmoil or adversity. It's an extremely young team. That team just got on a tremendous run.
On Hansbrough's situation regarding the mask -
We're going to practice this afternoon, and we're going to make him have the mask on. We will possibly have a new mask for Thursday night. Right now, if you hold a gun to my head, I would say he will have one on.
Will there be any changes to the mask?
We're going to paint Zorro on it (laughs) ... no, I have no idea. You've heard me say before, 'The doctors don't try to tell me to play zone, and...' The doctors have a guy they send the mold to, and he's a specialist. I'm not like those who call into call-in shows or question things. Tyler will have an answer. He's the guy who has to wear the thing. I don't have an answer. He's the only one wearing it, and he will have to make the determination whether it's clear, or it's blue or pink, or if it has two eye-holes or three eye-holes. I see what the sucker looks like when he puts it on and walks out. I don't think it will be the one he wore walking out to the bus the other day (rubber nose and glasses).
Do you think your team is playing its best basketball right now?
For a three game period, I would say yes. We've had some great performances. We played pretty doggone well. A lot of people have said, 'Well you didn't do this, or you didn't do that.' But give the other teams some credit. State made a great run ... Boston College, Florida State. What's amazing to me is somebody will have a hard time convincing Jimmy Boeheim that he shouldn't be in the tournament, and I would agree. And somebody will really have a hard time telling me there are 65 teams in the country better than the five lowest seeded teams in this league when you watch what North Carolina State did. If they have Engin Atsur the whole year, they're probably an NCAA Tournament team themselves. They beat North Carolina, Virginia Tech three times, Duke once, Virginia ... so they're good.