“It was a big-time college atmosphere. It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world with all of the fouls and the whole bit against Wake Forest last night, but you just have to congratulate Wake. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Two or three weeks ago, I didn’t think we were the greatest thing since sliced bread like everybody was acting like and talking about going undefeated and now we’re probably not as bad as people are saying about us and I feel about us right now.”
Is Tyler Hansbrough being forced out of the post more, or is he just comfortable away from the paint?
“I think he’s more comfortable, there’s no question about that. Over the last three or four games, it hasn’t been great shooting nights, I don’t think there’s any question about that. But he is more comfortable out there. We want him to shoot that sometimes, but we also want to do a better job of posting him up low. That’s where we’re not getting it, because we’re not getting not only Tyler, but Deon [as well]. We’re not getting the guys into the proper spots, and are willing to accept what the defense forces them to from 10 or 12 feet out as opposed to getting low.”
On Ed Davis:
“I think I probably saw Ed in the spring of his sophomore year for the first time. I liked his ability to block shots. I liked his ability to rebound and his demeanor on the court – he just played and didn’t get into a lot of theatrics. I liked those things even better and got to know and like him as a kid even more, and so it just gave us a great match for all of those things he could do on the court and the character that he has.
“He’s done a nice job for us. He’s been asked to step up and play a lot of minutes as a freshman and he’s really done a nice job defensively and rebounding-wise. We’ve got to work with him and he’s got to work to be more efficient on the offensive end, but we like what we have.”
On Marcus Ginyard:
“Right now, what we’ve decided is to shut him down with the basketball practices [and] basketball games. We don’t have a set date – a week, two weeks, whatever. To try to get more rehab on that foot, and see if we can get more of his explosiveness back, more of his quickness back and get rid of some of that pain.
“What he gives us is that he gives us our best defensive player. He gives us a guy that’s going to take a charge, who’s going to get an offensive rebound, who’s going to get a key steal and who’s going to bother people with what he’s doing. He’s a total basketball player. Needless to say, we could use that right now.”
Is this downturn something you can brush off and just tell the team that it’s something that’s going to happen over the course of a long season?
“Well, I don’t know – I think that’s just accepting poor play. I think, again, that three weeks ago everybody was saying undefeated and 50 points better than everyone else, and I thought it was a bunch of hogwash. And now, when we’re sitting here at 0-2, I really don’t think we’re going to go 0-16 in the league, either.
“The bottom line is that we haven’t played worth a darn, and the other teams have had a great deal to do with that. I’m not one of those guys who thinks it’s just how we play. The other teams have guarded us better than we’ve guarded them, the other teams have shot it better than we have against them, and the other teams have handled it better than we have against them. So I think if you just say that it’s a lull and it’s going to happen, then that’s accepting it and I don’t think we want to do that.”
Is there anybody on this team that can potentially do all of the little things that Marcus does?
“[long pause]… Everybody could, but it’s just not there. Their personality is not that game, it’s not their niche. What Marcus did is like a Wes Miller [or] a Jackie Manuel – those kind of guys find a way to make you put them in the game, and to do little things, to come up with [plays].
“I remember we were at UConn and Jackie Manuel was throwing up into a towel on the bench, and he goes in and the first play he comes up with a steal and on the next one he gets an offensive rebound and then he goes back over to the bench and he’s throwing up into a towel again. It’s just a knack for those little things that everybody can do, but they just don’t do. You know, maybe Will Graves. Yesterday he came in and took a charge for us. He did a better job than he has done in the past on the offensive backboards, so we’ll see.”