How does this game help with confidence, getting back into ACC play?
It's good. You get some shots to fall. Guys being comfortable with each other, I think that is a confidence builder.
What do you guys still need to work on?
Consistency on both ends, playing hard on every possession. I think we've done that for the most part. I think we lapsed a little bit against Clemson. Maryland is an experienced and tough team vying for first place in the ACC, so they will be ready for us. But I think this team is learning about the road, learning how to treat the road. Hopefully, we can go there and give them a good fight.
With the tough schedule you guys have played, is it nice to play a game like this where you are just better than they are, where you can have some fun?
It's nice to have fun. It's fun to play against the top-notch teams as well, but it is fun. It's fun for everyone to get to play, fun to share the ball, everyone scores, that kind of thing. That's enjoyable. So, yeah, it was a fun night.
David Noel had some pretty spectacular dunks, but yours got the biggest reaction of the night. (Laughing) I think it was the biggest surprise of the night. I think I dunked it, ran down the court, and everybody was like, 'Oh wait a minute--he just dunked it,' so they went a little crazy. They were a little shocked.
So are you going to buy the poster that comes from that?
The poster? I'll be the only one to buy the poster that comes out.
When was your last dunk?
High school--AAU ball. This was my first one here.
You guys had 31 assists on 34 baskets. That's the epitome of unselfishness. Was it as fun out there as it looked?
Yeah, it was fun. Tonight wasn't all about scoring. We were just trying to have a good time, trying to work on some things and trying to get better. North Carolina A&T is a great team--they are a good team and all--and we just wanted to work hard and play together. We were trying to execute our offense to get ready to go to College Park on Saturday.
Do you think you got some practical use out of this game?
We were just trying to run our offense and get better. This is a game to get better. I'm not downing North Carolina A&T, but this was a game to boost up our energy, to get ready for the College Park game.
So do you feel like this season is not over for you guys?
I know it's not. So many things are happening. The ACC is wide open. Anybody can win at any given time. I just heard that Clemson beat Virginia tonight, so it's open, wide open. Anybody can win. We don't think we're out of it. We're going to try to win these last five games. We've got to.
What are your thoughts on going against Maryland's big men, still without Sean May?
We've been playing against big men without Sean. We just have to play hard. We have David. We have a fast line-up. We have David down low. We have Jawad down low. We have fast guys that can get to the offensive boards, that can move around, instead of trying to fight with the big guys. We want to make them move, instead of just standing there and boxing us out. We have some athletic guys, so I think that can create some problems.
You guys are right on the cusp of making the NCAA's. Do you guys talk about that?
We talk about it a lot. We talk about what games we need to win, or how many games we need to win to have a good shot at getting in. We want to go undefeated for the rest of the year, but anything can happen. We've talked about it, and we have come to the conclusion that if we go out and give great effort every game and play our hardest, I know the wins will come and we can get into the NCAA's.
How many wins do you think you need to get? Is that on your minds?
It's on our minds a whole lot. That's one of the goals for this team. We don't want to be NIT pre-season and post-season champions. We are trying to go for the big dance. That's the goal for every college: to make it to the NCAA's. Once you make it in, anything can happen no matter what your record.
How many wins do you think it will take?
We have 14 wins now. I think maybe 18 wins will get us there.
With your tough schedule, was it fun to have a game like this where you are probably going to win, because you are that much better?
It's very important for a game like this during a tough stretch. It builds confidence for your team and individually. It also helps you to go out and have fun. Playing basketball is all about having fun. That's what everybody says: 'Just go out, have fun, and play your hardest.' That's what we did tonight. If we can do that every game, hopefully, we can pull out some big wins.
You had some spectacular dunks out there tonight, but Will's got the biggest reaction from the crowd.
(Laughing) Yeah. We have been waiting on that one all year. Will is a great guy. He works hard in practice every day. For him to get that type of play in this game is big for his confidence and things like that. It was fun to see. As you could see, I jumped up and down like I made the dunk. It was great to see him get a chance to show his dunk.