What's the mood of the locker room after this game right now?
Devastation. I mean, after a loss like this you really don't know what to say or what to do. But you have to go back to practice tomorrow to get ready for N.C. State. We have to have a short memory about this game, and go ahead put it behind us right now. Once the clock hits 0:00, you have to put it behind us. I mean, it was a tough loss, but it's over now.
Talk about what happened on the bus ride over here, did that affect preparation at all?
It kind of took a lot out of us. We were real sluggish coming out of the gate…it was a long ride, most of the guys fell asleep and things like that. That's no excuse, really, but at the same time it did take a lot out of us.
Did you think the defense in the first half was as sharp as usual -- they shot like 60%.
They just did a good job of making buckets. Our halfcourt defense was great, but they made a lot buckets in transition, and they rarely miss. I mean shooting sixty-something percent from the field, that's great, you can't really ask for much more than that. They really came out and shot the ball well.
Did you feel at halftime y'all could come back and when?
Yeah, we really did. We came out with energy, we came out of halftime with big energy and made a little run. But they answered, Blake hit two back to back, he hit a 3 and then a bank shot, and that kind of ended our run. We came out with the energy and felt we could win the game.
It seemed like a couple of times Coach Doherty was yelling out calls and had a hard time getting your attention -- was it because of the crowd?
Yeah, it was mainly because of the crowd, they were pretty loud in there, and I think it was also fatigue, where we had one thing set on our mind and couldn't really focus on what Coach Doherty was yelling at us.
Matt was talking about things you might do that might get your heads clear in the next couple of days -- can you think of anything that would be particularly helpful?
I don't know -- maybe a day off (laughs.) That's the only thing I can think of. We just have to go back to practice and build on it, no matter what. No matter what he does to get our heads clear, I'm pretty sure we'll come back and play our game next game.
You're getting into a situation now where you may have to win the ACC Tournament to reach your goals -- if you have to go through Maryland, what would you take to them if you have to play them again?
We'll come at ‘em just like we did in the game, with great passion and poise…We've just got to play our game, play North Carolina's game. If we can do that, I feel we can beat anybody, even though we didn't show that tonight. It's hard to beat a team three times, I'll tell you that. If we meet them again, we'll see.
Were you guys embarrassed about how you played in the last 10 or 15 minutes?
I wouldn't say embarrassed, but we know we didn't play to our potential.
Have you ever lost a game like this at any level?
Do you feel like Blake's experience showed tonight?
Blake did great tonight -- I didn't guard him tonight, coach's decision, he decided to put Jackie on him and me on Nicholas… he had a great game, a great shooting game, he controlled the game -- he's a great player.
Do you see in Blake the value of experience?
They've got experienced players -- I'm not saying "I don't have experienced players," I don't want to play with any other guys in the country besides the guys I'm playing with now. He's got a couple of seniors on his team, a couple of big guys, they know where to be. They push the ball up the court and they know he's going to find them for open 3s, open layups, or something like that. They work so well together. They basically played together better than we did.. We didn't play too good tonight, we were just kind of tired and sluggish. We've got room for improvement, we've got to learn from this game and try to blank it out of our mind.
A couple of times your teammates weren't ready for your passes today -- any particular reason for that today?
No comment on that, I don't know what to say.
Talk about going against John Gilchrist:
I played against John a couple of times during the summer, but not too many times. It's going to be a great matchup and I guess I've got to look forward to it.
When you say you're upset [about the game], is "angry" too strong a word?
Yeah, "angry" is too strong. Just upset about the situation.
On his shooting-
I just want to be ready -- I want to be a reliable guy when I get the ball, to put in the basket…I have the confidence, it's just rhythm, getting good looks and things like that.
What happened today in the 2nd half?
They made tremendous runs, man. We made a run, and they made great runs, they kept pushing it down our throats. Defensively, transition defense I think was poor. We didn't have a great night defensively.
What was the mentality of the team when you were stuck on the bus…
We tried to use it as a reserve psychology thing—like "they're trying to set us up, let's get ‘em." Guys were sleeping on the bus and I woke them up. We came in yelling "we're here, we're here." We just tried to stay motivated because we're so young. But you can't blame that, the bus ride, but it was tough, it was definitely tough.
You really haven't had a loss like this this year -- are you confident you're going to be able to turn it around by the State game?
The quicker we put this behind us the better we'll be prepared for the game on Tuesday.
Do you think the team has done about as well as it could have since Sean went out?
Yeah, I mean I think everyone's playing hard. You see Damion Grant give us a big lift off the bench -- I think guys are stepping up nicely.