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Listen to Audio (6:42)
“Needless to say, we feel great right now. It was a great second half for us. I was extremely discouraged in the first half with our defensive play and all of our play the last four, five, and six minutes of the first half. But the second half we were really good offensively. We ended up shooting 59.4 almost 60 percent in the second half. We did try to open the floor a little bit more and be able to create some things for Ty [Lawson] to take it to the basket. I thought he was sensational.
"We got very balanced scoring and then we were fortunate because they missed some of the shots in the second half that they were making in the first half. The first half, they just took it right to us. When it was all smooth and easy and pretty we were really good, but then we had to get down and work at it little bit. They outplayed us that last 10 minutes of the first half.
"I said this week and I’ll say it probably till I die. I feel very lucky to be a part of this great rivalry. I feel that way win or lose. I felt that way last year at our place when they beat us. We try to tell our kids that it’s just one game, if we lost they weren’t going to make us stop and if we won they weren’t going to give us a trophy. It’s still a very happy locker room right now, there’s no question about that, but we also realize that it’s just one game, but we were really good in the second half.”
On adjustments in the second half to open the court for Ty Lawson:
“We just had to get more spacing and better movement. On the board we showed them two different scenarios where we had two post players standing two feet from each other and both of them in the lane. When a team is pressing you in a halfcourt pressure defense like we try to play as well, you’ve got to have better spacing.
"Duke does a great job of that and that’s the reason in the first half they were blowing right by us for layups and we didn’t have anybody in the help spot. So we got better spacing in the second half. I think Ty [Lawson] was a little more patient with what he was trying to do as well.”
On Duke missing shots in the second half and North Carolina’s defense:
“I think we were more into it cause we were sorry in the first half and that’s what I told them at halftime. I said we were going to come over here and guard people and show a sense of urgency and we didn’t do that on the defensive end [in the first half].
"The second half we were much better. The last four-and-a-half minutes we went to switching the screens on the ball, which we did last year and it helped us. I don’t think it helped us tonight because the only thing we did then was start fouling. But except for Bobby [Frasor] fouling Jon [Scheyer] in the corner, they had the opportunity to get two points instead of three. The things that we work on every day in practice, try to be a sound defensive team.
"The first half we weren’t sound on the ball. They went blowing by us and one time right in front of our bench Jon [Scheyer] has the ball and Bobby [Frasor] is guarding him and he went straight line right to the basket and Danny [Green] was outside the lane on the other side instead of being in the middle lane to help. The last play of the first half, we had a nice little switch out front. I don’t know where Danny [Green] got lost, but all of a sudden the guy he is guarding is [Lance] Thomas laying it up in the basket. We just played better in the second half.”
On Ty Lawson being patient and aggressive in the second half:
“Somebody would say that’s probably an oxymoron, but I think it is true. He was patient until he saw an opening and then he tried to take it. I think that was it. He still had five turnovers, which he usually doesn’t do that. I thought one of them was a foul at the end, but they’re good defensively. You’re not going to get the open looks. I think for us we hoped we would get better defensively. We didn’t show it in the first half, but we were better in the second half.”
On team’s foul shooting and foul differential in the second half:
“We were attacking the basket. We shoot 15 threes and they shoot 24, so we were attacking the basket more. In the last three or four minutes when we were spread and trying to run the clock and still try to score, I liked what we did. Danny [Green] took it to the basket and made a left-handed layup. Wayne [Ellington] took it to the basket and made a left-handed layup so we were trying to run the clock, but it wasn’t just threes and waiting until the last second on the shot clock.
"We had two huge mistakes. When Wayne [Ellington] shot from the corner and he missed, it was way too early and the time the Ty [Lawson] thought he got fouled it was too early to get in there as well. We are a good free throw shooting team, we are a good shooting team. Like I said, in the second half everything turned out good for us.”
On Bobby Frasor’s point contribution:
“Bobby makes three threes in the first half. That kept us with the lead there for a while and you go in at halftime and that’s nine points we don’t usually get. Wayne [Ellington] was 0-for-6, so now you look down there and he makes four field goals in the second half. Ty [Lawson] really gets into it.
"I told Bobby I was very happy for him because he’s been struggling shooting the ball and he’s been coming in and getting extra shots more than anybody with the exception of Tyler [Hansbrough]. He’s a youngster who cares very much about how we’re doing and he’s been doing some great things for us.”
On winning four straight in Cameron:
“Everything is possible, but I certainly didn’t count on it by any means. I did challenge our guys. I say one thing before Clemson every year. The streak is going to stop, but let’s just put it off for another year. I’ve only been around a few of those. I think we said something about it one time at one of the practices. Let’s go over and give it our best shot. If we lose, we lose, but let’s give it our best shot.”
Listen to Audio (3:16)
On overcoming the two early ACC losses:
"We had to regroup. We liked being under the radar. We didn't mind. We want to be the team everyone is talking about in March and April, not February."
What changed for you after halftime?
"Basically, just Coach let me drive the ball. When they switched on the ball screens, I had Singler and Thomas on me, so I could get by them easily. Also, we were setting a lot of ball screens for me."
Listen to Audio (3:34)
What defensive adjustments did UNC make at halftime?
"I think everybody got on the same page. We stepped out and started getting our support and helping with penetration and things like that."
How does it feel for this place to be silent after the game?
"It's a great feeling. That's something that we've talked about a lot. When you go in someone else's house, at the end of the day when you walk off the court and they're quiet -- that's a feeling you get when you come to a big place and win like this."
Listen to Audio (3:33)
What's it like to win four in a row at Cameron?
"It feels great. It's tough for somebody to say that they don't know what it feels like to lose at Cameron, because this is a tough place to play. A lot of teams lose here. They don't usually lose four games in a row to the same team. It's hard to beat a team four times in a row on their home court, because they make adjustments and usually have more motivation to beat you. But I think we came out with as much motivation as they did."
Did Tyler's late 3-pointer remind you of the one he hit when you were freshmen?
"Definitely. I kind of knew it was going in a little bit. I was hoping it was going in, and when it did, I was really relieved and happy. I was like, 'That's pretty much the back-breaker for them. And if keep playing smart basketball, we'll be fine.'"
Listen to Audio (8:22)
“[North Carolina] played a great game. I thought our kids played their butts off. Our guys were ready to play, but I thought Carolina had an A+ game tonight. They were incredibly efficient offensively, from the field, from the foul line, to get that many points with that amount of shots. And [Ty] Lawson was great. Lawson was a pro tonight. That’s as well as a point guard has played against us in a while. He played strong, smart, just puts so much pressure on you on every exchange.
"Again, I thought our guys played well. We did not hit shots for a short period of time there, and they did. They just got away from us. I want to thank our fans – they were unbelievable – and our kids are disappointed, obviously, because they really wanted this one more for our students and fans than even themselves. Carolina played great. And we didn’t play poorly, we played hard.
"I thought overall we played well, but we’re not as good as they are right now. They’re better than us, and sometimes a team that’s better doesn’t play as well as that, but they played that way too. It’s going to be difficult to beat them. We just have to keep getting better. We’ve come a long away from last Wednesday and we just have to keep improving.”
On the shot selection:
“We took too many quick shots. The shot wasn’t bad, as much as the quickness of it so we didn’t rebound when we missed. I’m not blaming them – but [Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson] had some open shots that didn’t go in. It’s just the way it is. Again, it’s how you’re taking them, and they took them with confidence. I don’t have fault with my team tonight. We were not as good as they were, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t good. Just have to keep going at it. It’s Feb. 11, just have to keep going at it.”
On Lawson’s play:
“He’s going to play basketball for a long time. He’s just really strong, and he’s strong with the ball. He’s in incredible shape. Even when you’re trying to corral him, he keeps the ball so low so he’s strong low. A lot of people aren’t strong low. He’s really good with the ball. He’s good – he’s really good, and he played a great game tonight.
"It was almost impossible for us to defend him on every exchange, and he gets it down there so fast that even if you try to change a defense or whatever, he beats your defense down. He’s a great weapon, because he makes other weapons better.”
On the rotation of Greg Paulus and Nolan Smith at the point:
“I don’t know what you’re looking for rotation-wise. We’re still finding out about our team. Sometimes when you have preconceived notions, you don’t allow the natural course of how things are developing to take place. As far as both of them, they had really good contributions tonight, and they played together, which is a big plus for our team because it’s something we haven’t had in a while – for over a month.
"There were a lot of good things for us tonight, just not enough good things to win. ... If we played poorly, I’d say it. We didn’t play bad. We played well. [North Carolina] was terrific, and we’re not that good right now. But, a lot of people aren’t that good. That’s why they’re one of the best teams.”