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"Well, needless to say, it's very disappointing. You have to congratulate Wake Forest. In the second half, to make seven out of eight from the 3-point line ... It's strange, we take the ball out of bounds, throw it in the corner and shoot a three on the out of bounds pass, which I say we should never do. And we missed it, they go down the very next possession, they throw it from an out of bounds to the top of the key at the 3-point line, and they shot it and made it. It's something I don't believe in, but we did it anyway and it didn't go in, and they did it and it did go in. Just congratulate them. We're extremely disappointed, we're extremely frustrated. You can put a lot of emotion, you describe it how you want to - it's frustrating.
"It's something we haven't been through, it's something we're not enjoying going through. I didn't give them a long speech after the game. I told them, 'We have no chance if we fold. We have no chance if we give in. I'm not going to do that.' We're going to practice at 3:30 tomorrow and we're going to try to have a great practice. We're going to try to keep working every single day, and someway, somehow, try to find a way to fight out of it. It was hard for us, there's no question. The freshmen are trying - we had five freshmen on the court a couple of times tonight, but they haven't been through these wars yet. If I live long enough, maybe it will help us a couple years down the road, but I don't know if I can live through this right now.
"And let me say something, too - Ish Smith is a young man who has worked so hard on his game, for four years. He's really a gifted young man who is really playing well and did some nice things out there tonight. In the past, he hasn't been the threat for them that he is right now, but he worked hard and he is the threat for them. You have to congratulate their freshmen, too. Those two kids, (Ari) Stewart and (C.J.) Harris, they were 7-for-11 from the 3-point line themselves. We have to do a lot better job in a lot of areas. Our starting post players get nine rebounds, their starting post players get 21. We're 6-for-29 on the perimeter, and theirs is a lot better than that. Just congratulate Dino (Gaudio), he has really done a nice job with his team, and he's done a nice job every year."
Having never been in this position here before, do you think people will look at this as if the sky is falling?
"They could, we can't do anything about that. We're going to go to practice and work extremely hard tomorrow. Other people's outlook, we can't control that. We have a tough time controlling our own outlook. It's what it is - the ACC - and nobody feels sorry for you. We'd like to have some other guys out there, but the decision I made with Ed (Davis) I think is the right decision and with (Tyler) Z(eller) I didn't have a decision because that was already made."
What led to the decision for Ed to sit out tonight?
"He told me yesterday he felt like he was about 65 percent. And I didn't think it was right to play him unless he could tell me he was 90 percent. So he went out and said he had some little problems. I said, Give me a percentage,' and he said, 'About 80, 85.' And I just didn't think it was right to play the kid at that. We've got a six-day break here that hopefully will be really good for him. I was afraid that if I played him and he sprained it again it would be one of those nagging things. In the second half they killed us on the boards for three straight possessions and then they started making threes every time. It would have probably would have helped us to have him in there on some of those backboard plays. But still it's a game of basketball and North Carolina's team played Wake Forest's team."
What will it take to get this ship righted?
"I think we need to take things more personal on the court. We're North Carolina basketball, we're not supposed to lose. As soon as guys start giving their all on the court, I think we'll be fine ... To get three straight losses in a row is unacceptable."
You got your first start tonight, what was that like for you to fill in for Ed Davis?
"I've still got North Carolina on my chest and I need to produce like a North Carolina player and play like a North Carolina player. ... Making my first start, I was excited coming in and knew I had to produce. I think Ed would have disrupted some of Ishmael's shots and he would have given us a greater rebounding inside and scoring presence. Missing Ed is a huge factor. "
What was the mindset of this team in the locker room after the game?
"Everyone was speechless. Everyone knows we've got to dig deep right now and can't go belly up. We've got to keep fighting."
You said yesterday that you felt the team was lackadaisical in its approach. What do you think about how the team did tonight?
"I felt we competed in the first half. I just feel like we gave up too many open shots in the second half and Wake did a great job in their offense getting open shots, but we have to step up our play in defense and give it our all every game. You get knocked down, you've got to keep fighting."
Do you think this game would have gone differently if Ed Davis had played?
"I think he would have blocked some shots around the basket and his presence inside is always a major factor, but Coach wouldn't have given out 13 scholarships if we all couldn't play and we all should have pulled together and made a different ourselves."
Injuries aren't excuses, but how much has not having a full complement of players impacted the ability to practice?
"I don't think we've been up and down the floor very much in practice because we don't want to get guys more injured and you don't have your full team so you want to preserve people's legs - so it's definitely tough."
Is having some extra days off before next Tuesday at NC State helpful?
"I would love to play tomorrow. The break is not a good feeling because this loss and this feeling of how we played tonight is going to linger until we play that next game - we've got to use it as fuel to get better and use this feeling of losing to drive us to get better as a team."
Have you noticed a change in how Coach Williams is handling this team?
"In the beginning of the year he was doing a lot of teaching but now we're at the point that we need to know these things. Now it's a time where you just have to do what you need to do. ... It's tough. ... We've got to continue to fight and keep these guys' spirits up and know that everything is going to get better..."
WAKE FOREST COACH DINO GAUDIO
"I just think it was another hard fought ACC road game for us. I think our freshmen did a great job stepping up and shooting the basketball. When you have two freshmen shoot 7-11 from three that's pretty good. They did that before at Gonzaga and in a very tough environment, those two kids were our leading scorers. They're not phased by where we're playing on the road, whether it's at Gonzaga, Ari [Stewart] and C.J. [Harris] played really well at Cameron, and both of the kids played pretty well here. I think Ishmael [Smith] did a great job pushing the basketball and then when we didn't have anything, he got us into pretty good offense. Playing the minutes he played in the game we played the other night, he deserves a lot of credit as well. I think our defense was good for us again tonight, holding them to 36 and 23. You win in here against a [North Carolina] Coach [Roy] Williams team, it's a great win, and I'm proud of our kids."