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Impressions on the exhibition:
“The first thing we have to do is that we have to stop fouling so much because they shot over 50 free throws, and we can’t really allow that to happen if we want to be good. We’ve only practiced three days. We have three freshmen who haven’t done anything with us until three days ago. We knew it was going to be ugly at times, but I was impressed with how hard they worked [and] I was impressed with the unselfishness. We’re by no means where we would like to be at the end, but we were taller and more gifted than the Bahamas team. They did a great job of driving us and getting to the free throw line.”
How’s it feel to be back in the Bahamas?
“I love the Bahamas. If they let us come every year, we’d come every year. But we can only do it once every four years.”
Does anything on the score sheet stand out to you?
“Yeah, they shot 53 foul shots. If we let a team shoot 53 free throws at our level of play, we’ll lose every night. But our freshmen got their feet underneath them – it’s the first time they’ve been out in front of any kind of crowd, so I think that’s good for them.”
Will seemed to play with great effort and energy. Have you seen that during the first couple of days of practice?
“Again, we’ve only had three days of practices, but Will’s been a really good leader. I was trying to give him fewer minutes than the other guys because he just ankle surgery this year. And then Justin’s got plantar fasciitis and then we were in so much foul trouble, there were some weird alignments out there to say the least.”
What kind of things do you look for in a game like this?
“Just to get used to playing together and getting used to seeing how hard you have to play. And the other thing is to have respect for the other guys. None of our guys knew who the other guys were, but a couple of them got dunked on and those kinds of things. One thing I always say is ‘Respect everyone and fear no one.’ But I really wanted us to play as hard as we could defensively. We didn’t do a great job of that. And I really wanted us to share the basketball and I thought we were good at that.”
How is Larry Drew’s ankle?
“We did allow him to warm up. He has to feel great tomorrow or I’m not going to let him play tomorrow night, either.”
Listen to Audio (2:53)
What are your impressions from tonight?
“It’s definitely good to get out here and play with the freshmen in a game setting, because pickup is not the same as a game setting. So it was definitely great to get out here and see what it’s like to play with them.”
How has this trip been thus far?
“It’s been a lot of fun. We practiced early and we went down the slides at Atlantis and just hung out with each other for a while, it’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Seven Tar Heels collected four fouls or more tonight. How often have you heard that?
“Not very often, especially when there are only nine of us playing. They called a lot of fouls, but it’s kind of what we expect when we go in someone else’s gym.”
Listen to Audio (1:39)
What has been your impression of the freshmen over the summer months?
“I like all of them. I like their attitudes and they’re willing to work hard. They’re very good listeners and all of them bring something different to the table. They’re great people to be around.”
As an upperclassman, how have you tried to become more of a leader for this team?
“ I just try to be an extension of coach on the court, talking them through where they’re supposed to be on defense, letting them know what they’re supposed to do on offense, so that they don’t have to run to coach and ask him questions all of the time.”