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Listen to Audio (22:13)
"I don't know. Now we can go to the questions. The plan is to have him practice a little or a lot, just depends on how well it goes. That will be the first test. Then at 11:30 tonight we'll have the second test. Because by that time we'll know whether there's going to be any swelling or not. So he has to get through the first that he can do it. Get through the second without any swelling and see how he feels tomorrow. So it will be a game time decision more than likely."
Going on the premise that with each day you stay off an injury or don't play with it, it gets a little bit better. And the fact that Bobby and Larry have done pretty good jobs so far since Ty's been out, is there a temptation to even if he's available to play tomorrow to try to make it through tomorrow's game without using him so that if you do need it you can put him in. But if you don't you'll have him more healthy and rested for the next round?
"No, huh-uh. And try to take this in the right way. There was some thought process against Radford. A 1 seed against a 16 seed because we're more gifted. That doesn't mean we're going to win the game. But we were more gifted and there was some thought process at that point.
"I've never, ever been in an NCAA Tournament that I didn't think every round after that first round was going to go down to the wire. So trying to be sort of like sand bagging in golf. I mean, you throw a few strokes here and there, and when you get ready to play somebody, your game's not there.
"The fear for me is number one, that we have to play well tomorrow or it doesn't make no difference how Ty's toe feels. If I'm at Wilmington at Wrightsville Beach, I don't give a darn about Ty's toe at that point.
So for us it is not a consideration. It was a consideration during the ACC tournament. There is no question about that. And again, please put it the right way so it doesn't sound like I was overlooking Radford, but we were more gifted than them. So there was some thought process at that point but not now."
I might be getting the figure wrong. I think you said Ty told you he'd have to tell you to be 90% to play against Duke. Is that the figure tomorrow or would you accept something a little lower?
"You know, if I say that he'll hear it and say it even if it's not true. So it doesn't make any difference. It's a little different now because I've got the information to go by of practice today. You know, at that point everybody thought it was just going to be one of these 24-hour things. When we had pregame meal, I didn't think he was going to play the day of the Duke game, but he went the arena, went to the Smith center and starts moving up and down.
"Said it felt good, trainer said he looked good, and that was it. But I think today I'll have more concrete evidence or at least being able to see it with my own eyes a little bit more."
You guys really appear to have a physical advantage in the post with Hansbrough being as big and strong as he is, and Johnson being so rail thin. Are we making too big a deal of that or do you feel that's the case?
"I still think it's North Carolina against LSU. Never Nervous Purvis before you were born, probably, he took Louisville, and he got out on the court and beat your rear end. So I don't know I'd say the physical part of it. If you you want me to make it, I would say you are over-analyzing it.
"We had Brandon Wright a couple of years ago that, you know, he makes the post player Johnson youngster look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So it depends on can you play or not play? And he can play. And Tasmin gives him a load inside and they've got some guys off the bench that can do some things, too."
WAYNE ELLINGTON & DANNY GREEN
Listen to Audio (13:31)
Did you have a chance to get a good look at what Marcus Thornton did against Butler what were your impressions?
"Yeah, I got to see some clips today. I saw a little bit of their game yesterday. Yeah, I mean, he did a very good job. Had a lot of shots of the took some tough ones and made some tough ones. He's kind of like the fire on their team. He gets them going especially offensively. You know he's going to be a big time challenge for our perimeter tomorrow."
I wanted to ask you, last two years you came out of the ACC tournament as champions and went to the NCAA. You talked about building momentum. Can you carry that momentum over. This year you're coming out after losing the semis. Is it any difference at all? Or just totally irrelevant to what you're trying to do in the NCAA?
"Well, I feel like I think it's totally irrelevant to jump from our conference tournament to the NCAA Tournament. You know, we had a week off, and I feel like once you get into the NCAA Tournament it's where you build your momentum. That's where we wanted to start yesterday. We wanted to start yesterday building momentum and keep it running."
Q. You made a shot last night, and you came back down the other side of the court and could not stop smiling. It seemed like you had a lot more fun. Just talk a little about your performance and how much better that was last night?
"I wouldn't say it was a great performance, but a lot better than the past weekend. The games are more than just winning, we're having fun as well. But it's a lot easier to have fun when you're winning games. So we wanted to make it a point to work hard but also have fun as well since we're here."
That three that we're talking about, you hadn't hit many of those in the last couple of weeks. You've been struggling around the basket, too. The tips aren't falling, the put backs aren't falling. Any explanation for that?
"No, I would say rushing a little bit. Taking my time and finishing plays. But right now I'm putting momentum, we're trying to build momentum as a team. But our next focus is LSU and what we have to do against them. We have to stop them inside. The two big guns are Tasmin Mitchell and Marcus Thornton. And Thornton, he can put it up. He can fill it up outside. Try to challenge his size and limit him to one bad shot. And Tas, try to get him to do something different that he doesn't normally do."
Listen to Audio (2:56)
Any word if you will play against LSU?
“We haven’t talked at all about it. I’ve just been rehabbing. We really don’t have to talk about it to know that today’s practice is probably going to determine if I play tomorrow.”
Do you think you will be less than 100 percent if you play tomorrow?
What will you try to do today that you haven’t been able to do up to this point?
“Put more pressure on it, cutting back and forth and those kinds of things.”
Are you ready to get this behind you?
“Been ready. Once I got hurt, I was ready to get it behind me. I just want to get back to 100 percent.”
Is there any idea how this type of injury will react if you play tomorrow, or is it a wait-and-see kind of thing?
“It’s a wait-and-see basis, because if I do play, it will probably swell back up some. But we’ve got [several] days to rest until the next game, so I’ll be ready for it.”