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Listen to Audio (9:03)
"I thought two things in the second half were really big for us. We had eight turnovers at half and in the second half we only had one, which really helped us to be very efficient offensively. I think that that was probably the biggest part of the game and we were able to withstand the fact that we didn't do a very good job of guarding them on the other end where they shoot 64 percent the second half, which I would guess maybe the highest I've ever given up at least it's been since yesterday; that's for sure.
"But, you know it was 18 or 19 or something like that and I think we quit two or three minutes before the game was over with and you've got to congratulate State because they kept playing and we didn't. But again, we were efficient offensively, didn't turn it over, got shots, and made shots. The good news is we shot 62 percent in the second half; the bad news is they shot 64. One of the things I put up on the backboard was `we must win the rebound battle'... yet I thought they got too many second shots in the second half."
On shooting inside the paint:
"We'll we tried to do that the whole half. We talked about at half time that we had three free throws. Our shot chart was all jump shots. Deon was shooting twelve- and fifteen-footers. Tyler was shooting twelve- and fifteen-footers. So, it wasn't just at that point, we had tried to do that the whole second half."
On his feelings about the team's progress:
"I like the progress of our team better than my descriptive phrases. But, it's the ACC; it's not easy. Regardless of what you think, North Carolina can't make somebody turn it over fifty times in the ACC. Regardless what you think, North Carolina can't shut out somebody in the ACC. Regardless of what you think, this is a tough league; it's not just about North Carolina. It's about the other teams. You know, [Javi] Gonzalez is shooting 25 percent for the year [from the 3-point line]. He makes four out of four in the first half and you go back on tape, he shot the last one between these two fingers of Ty Lawson.
"You cannot play it any better. We have to give the other team some credit and that's what we failed to do. But, am I happy with our team? Darn right, because we started out 0-2 and everybody was abandoning ship and these kids were tough enough to handle the adversity; handle the adversity of some injuries early, handle the adversity of some injuries late. I'm as proud as I can be with everything except our press."
Listen to Audio (2:40)
Does it ever get old beating N.C. State?
"Never. It's a rival. It's a big game every time we play them. It's bragging rights when we do play them, because I know a couple of players on the team, so you're going to talk trash afterward."
On winning big despite letting N.C. State shoot 54 percent:
"It's tough. We just outscore people sometimes. That was the case today. They played real well, got the shots they wanted and knocked down those shots, so some nights you've just got to work on defense – work better on defense – and not let teams shoot that well."
What is it about the Wolfpack that makes you have such a huge game?
"I just came out to play tonight. I hit some shots. I worked on it in practice, just preparing myself well for this game."
You seemed more in the flow in the second half. What was different?
"Honestly, I wasn't happy with my first half performance. I just got it in my mind that I was going to play better in the second half."
After what happened the other night [against Miami], obviously you had a headache. Did it take you a little while to get over that?
"Yeah, I think first of all, not practicing, it kind of gave me my legs back. But also against Miami, I was hit, and I was dizzy. I was kind of in the zone, I wasn't really in the game in the second half. But I got some rest, got over it, and feel a lot better."
State is physical against you, as are most teams. But there doesn't seem to be quite as much help defense --
"At times, I think they may have been concentrating on our outside guys tonight because they've been playing so well. But also, I think State sometimes likes to play man up, so that worked well."
Listen to Audio (8:15)
"I thought we had a good first half, we came out with good energy and kept ourselves in the ball game. Second half, they made their run, we made a couple of turnovers, a couple of second shots for them, and they were able to pull away from us. I thought all in all it wasn't bad. I thought our guys gave a pretty good effort, but we turned it over a couple of times crucially and gave them an opportunity to get out and run on us."
On Javier Gonzalez's play:
"He definitely had a heck of a first half, and I thought he played well for us, really, the entire game I thought he did what he had to do. We all know, as we talked about in the locker room, Carolina is going to come out and put a lot of pressure on you those first five minutes of the second half, that's what good teams do. We talked about that, and we talked about trying to apply pressure on them.
"They got up on us a little more, didn't allow Javy to get those shots, got up on the wings, tried to deny a little bit. In fact, we came out first play and got a back door, tried to take advantage of their pressure and relieve that a little bit. I thought Javy played well, I thought he played well, but this is an experienced team, it's a team that knows how to win, and they know those times when you have to turn it up to try to get it, and they did in those first five minutes."
On Carolina's play at the start of the 2nd half:
"It's the mark of a good team. It's a team of guys that understand the importance of making a run those first five minutes. They've done it so often, they know, and they impose their will on other people. You've got to be tough mentally and physically and endure whatever is happening out there on the floor, physical, fouls, whatever it might be, you've got to endure.
"They know how to win. Once they get you down, now they're going to execute you. Same things that we talk about when we get a team down, now you execute and force that team to defend. It's amazing how you get open shots when you're left to defend. Now, they have a lot of weapons, too. They've got No. 1 through No. 5, any of those can score the ball. That makes it a lot easier I think."