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Listen to Audio (5:17)
“Well first of all, let's be honest about things. We played decently on defense in the second half, but we faced a team that had three straight games in Florida and coming back. In the second half, it appeared to me, but you'd have to ask Tom about his team, but they seemed to lose their legs a little bit. There's no way that our defense caused them to shoot 20 percent [in the second half]. I hope that our substituting and I hope that us trying to force the pace and making teams go up and down the court, might have had something to do with it, also.
“But we feel very lucky, and we were lucky to get the schedule like this. We played Sunday, but it was at home. They played Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then come and play like this. They have some guys banged up to begin with, but we did some nice things – there's no question about it. Ty Lawson had 17 points, eight assists, zero turnovers and seven steals.
“Tyler Hansbrough had 25 points and 11 rebounds. Some of you may have seen – I walked out with about 15 minutes on the pre-game warmup clock to see if his ankle had loosened up. Make sure you get this right, as it got misreported the other day. The problem that we've been concerned with the last two games at least has been his ankle. It has not been his shin.
“He hurt his ankle in the Santa Barbara game and that's been more of a factor in deciding whether to play him or not play him. Sunday, in fact, at the start of shoot around on the day of the game, I thought he was going to play and it never loosened up and at the end of shoot around, I made the decision he wasn't going to play. It was looser today and it had gotten better for him.
“Right now the whole team needs to take some days off. We have exams coming up. Danny banged his hip again during the game and he was great as you may have seen or heard on Sunday against Asheville making the 3's. We took Ty out on the last possession of the first half because he rolled his ankle and put Larry Drew in, but fortunately for us, it was not a bad sprain. We taped him up a little tighter and he played well in the second half.”
Listen to Audio (3:04)
Do you use this game as a measuring stick?
“A little bit. Everybody is say how well we’re playing, but I still think we can do some things better, like Coach is stressing.”
Did your ankle bother you any tonight?
“Towards the end, but I fought through it and played.”
Have you had any pain with the shin?
“No, the shin is fine right now. So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully with this rest, everything will heal.”
Listen to Audio (3:04)
What were you thinking when you were up by 35 points?
“I really didn’t even realize that we were up that much. Once I looked at the score with 15 minutes left in the second half… That was very surprising. They’re a top-12 team, so it was real surprising to be up that much against a team like that.”
When you’re making your 3-pointers, does that make you almost unguardable?
“Yeah, that’s what I’ve been working on. Now I’m shooting over 50 percent from the [3-point line], so it’s going to be tough. They just can’t come out and sag back, or I’ll knock down a three. Just got to work on my mid-range game now, and I’ll be that much better of a player.”
Listen to Audio (2:15)
On what’s changed defensively for this team:
“To be honest, I’m not sure. We’ve just been getting after it in practice. I’m trying to set an example and Tyler’s out there showing everyone how to play. The freshmen are really picking it up quicker, and Wayne is even going harder. Every guy is really picking it up quick. Coach Williams tells us that we’re a lot farther now than we were at the end of last year, so if we continue to get better, we can be a really, really good defensive team.”
Can the defense improve even more when Marcus Ginyard returns?
“I think so, because his size and his quickness and his athletic ability can really cause some problems for other teams. So when we have him thrown into the rotation with me and Wayne and Ty and Will and Danny, we can really get after some guys.”