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Listen to Audio (5:37)
Opening Statement -
"I feel like I have said this several times, we feel very fortunate to have won. We didn't play our best, but give credit to UNC-Asheville. They did some things that made it difficult for us. Garland and Smithson, the two guards for them, are two very good basketball players. I think they are fifth year seniors; they show experience and know how to play. I really thought they were a load for us. I don't think we really got them under control for any consistent portion of the game. Then we break out into a comfortable margin and all of a sudden we start missing shots and turning the basketball.
"I thought Ty Lawson was really good, defensively in the second half he was much better -- and seven assists and zero turnovers, which is pretty impressive as well. UNC-Asheville is a good basketball team. They had Tennessee 22-23 and I think the game ended up being a ten or eleven point game. They beat South Carolina at South Carolina on Saturday night.
"Everybody is going to ask if it was an emotional letdown after the big game against Clemson. I don't know if you can buy into that, it sounds like more of an excuse to me. We have to do a heck of a lot better job guarding the basketball, I feel like a broken record because I have said that all year long. I thought that was key and we didn't do as good as a job as we wanted to do.
"And then the big guy is a load inside there is no question. He blocked a couple of shots, but he changed about a million. It is hard to take your normal shots or go in there. I think Eddie [Biedenbach] has done a really nice job with this club and I will be really surprised if they do not have a really good year. We have got to get better; we have got to guard people better. ...
"I told the guys the non-conference schedule is over with and congratulated them. There are not many teams that I have coached that have gone undefeated through non-conference play. Now we have fifteen straight ACC games and we have to raise the level of our play."
On Tyler Hansbrough's dunk over Kenny George -
"Well, he should, I was on their case. If you have a guy who is 7-7 or 7-8 blocking everything you take in there you have to take it in strong or come over and sit with me. You can't go in with the finger roll, that went out with Ice Gervin."
On Danny Green's stat line -
"Again, he's got to get better defensively. I screamed at him about his close out -- you can't give the dang guy a ticket to the basket, we are not a bunch of ushers."
On the return of Alex Stepheson -
"I think he was probably a little anxious. He was gone a week and missed a couple games. I felt badly for him because he had five fouls called on him and they were not hard fouls. It was a frustrating night for him, but we are really happy to have him back."
Listen to Audio (10:01)
On the team's performance tonight -
"We definitely thought we didn't play Carolina basketball tonight. I think we followed up Clemson with another poor defensive effort, which was probably the most disappointing thing."
How much did Kenny George affect things for you?
"I know a number of occasions he made me turn around, and he was altering shots in the paint and giving us a lot of trouble. He was definitely more to handle than he was last year. He has improved and gave them a good edge."
Why do you think the team has been better in the second half defensively this year?
"Yeah, Coach Williams' halftime speeches ... but we shouldn't rely on Coach Williams to fire us up to play defense. The games that are coming up - these next 15 games - a poor defensive effort in the first half could be enough to put us away."
Listen to Audio (4:11)
How does your dunk on George tonight rank up with the dunk against Iona and the 360?
"I think it's second to Iona and the 360 would be third."
You said you felt like you could drive on him and dunk it ...
"I felt I had an advantage quickness-wise, but I didn't know if he'd be able to get it or not. It was just a chance I took and it went down for me and I was thankful for that."
Was that something you really wanted to try and do?
"Nah ... well, maybe a little bit [laughs]. You know, everyone on the team was saying 'Who's going to try and dunk on him' - but it was definitely in the back of my mind."
Listen to Audio (3:41)
What were your thoughts on the team's effort tonight?
"We had some moments where we had good effort and then a lot of moments where it was not what we want it to be. We know that - we could have played a lot better defensively, want to play a lot better, and will emphasize that in practice the next couple days ... especially with a big game coming up against NC State ..."
Are the mental lapses on defense a concern?
"Definitely coach is concerned about it and some of the guys are concerned about it, but I know a lot of our guys have confidence and on the big stage a lot of guys are going to step up, stay focused and come out with the win hopefully."
What did the Sunday night win do for this team?
"It was definitely an eye-opener, a wake-up call that these are big games we're coming into, no one is going to lay down for us ... "