March 9, 2007
I thought we got thoroughly outplayed in the second half. They continued to shoot the ball well, but the reason they shot the ball well was because we stopped defending. We stopped doing the things we had been doing in the first half. They become very, very dangerous because they have five guys on the court that one, control the tempo and so it becomes a little more difficult to wear them down, and two, they spread the ball around and share it. When they do that, it makes it a lot more difficult. When we started to give up the lead, what you need is a response. We just took our medicine and never responded. As a result, the score is only an indication of our lack of energy, or whatever adjective you want to use. Especially obviously in that second half.
On J.R. Reynolds' shooting performance:
I told you guys a couple weeks ago that he's been hurt. As a result he doesn't practice a whole lot, if at all. He's a shooter without his rhythm who needs his rhythm. The shots that he takes, he had a number of open ones that he ends up missing. It's the third consecutive game he made three baskets - it was 3-for-15, 3-for-14, 3-for-15 - and again, if we continue to have to rely on him as we have all year long and he's not ready to play physically, then it hurts us.
On the team's lack of energy:
All you have to do is look around at games that are going on now and will be going on next week. As we've been talking about for two days, this game today, games yesterday and the day before, tomorrow - whenever -are not games that are played on paper. They're not played with records. They're played with competitiveness. If you don't compete, I can guarantee you the other team is going to figure that out. They're going to compete. We stopped competing, they kept competing, and they never gave up down 14. As a result, they put it to us.
On the parity of the ACC:
The conference is pretty tough. Any night, any team can win. If you don't bring your game, you're probably going to be in trouble. We played good for a half, but we didn't seal the deal. So they came out with a lot more energy than us in the second half. From the first play on, they won most of the possessions throughout the half and that's why they won the game.
N.C. State Quotes
I thought that was a great ball game for both ball clubs. I think we certainly played a lot better in the second half, we made a few adjustments defensively, and more important I guess offensively. We shot 73 percent in the second half which got us up to 53 percent for the game, and I thought our defense was much better. They shot 32 percent in that second half. We had several guys who just picked it up and played well for us. One guy in particular who is not here, who made probably some of the biggest plays of the night, was Bryan Nieman with the charge that he took, got his hand on a loose ball, stole the pass that gave us momentum, and then these two gentlemen beside me (Brandon Costner, Gavin Grant) of course played a pretty good ball game.
On the job N.C. State did on JR Reynolds:
He's a heck of a player and we wanted to just try to make it tough for him. We told Gavin (Grant) and Courtney (Fells) and Bryan (Nieman) - whoever was guarding him - just try to make it tough for him, try to limit his touches, not allow him to get those looks. He can really make tough shots and we just wanted to always be near him and really try to take him out of it. I thought these guys did a great job of contesting the shot when he did get it, but more importantly they made him work for it when he had the basketball.
On Gavin Grant's play:
When you can get on a little run like that I think you saw his confidence building every time he touched the basketball, but what he was saying was he got it out of the offense. In the first half he was rushing a little trying to create too much and in the second half and during that time he allowed it to come to him. They had rotations going and we were able to find them, but he still had to put it in the hole. He put it in the hole and he carried us for a few minutes there on that run.
On offensive adjustments in second half:
In the first half we were letting them dictate what we were doing on offense and we weren't being really aggressive with our cuts and our screens. In the second half we came out and took what we wanted instead of taking what they gave us.
On guarding smaller players:
I thought I just had to use my size to try to bother them on shots. On (Sean) Singletary we shouldn't have allowed step-backs in the first half and I thought if I could contest the shot, maybe get a piece of it, that would be enough to just bother his shot a little bit. He's a great player, he's going to get his at the end of the day, so I thought that was the case. The case with Laurynas (Mikalauskas) was I was trying to deny him the ball. I didn't want to (let him) touch it at all because he's pretty crafty with the ball, so I wanted to deny him so he couldn't get any shots off.
On second half:
First half I was kind of rushing and I took a couple of shots on the offense that I probably shouldn't have taken and it got me out of a rhythm. In the second half I just tried to calm down a little bit and let things come to me. I had no fatigue at all.
On offensive adjustments in second half:
We also thought we shot off some bad shots, a lot of shots out of our offense. I think we were top three in the ACC in field goal percentage this year, and that's what we run our offense on. Coach made it clear to us in the second half that we had to get out there and run the offense and take what we wanted and play just one stop at a time.
On nine points in a little over a minute:
It was just all our offense. It wasn't even designed for me, it was designed for anyone who was open. Once I made a cut they'd hit me for a lay-up and I was wide open for a three, so it was all on the offense. It wasn't even set up like that, it could have been anybody else.
On team morale through Coach Lowe:
We came here to win the tournament, we didn't come because we had to be in the tournament. We beat (North) Carolina this year, we beat Virginia Tech twice, and those are two teams that were at the top of the league. I thought throughout the year we were immature at times and that's why we lost a couple of games we shouldn't have lost, but guys like Brandon (Costner) and Ben (McCauley) and Courtney (Fells) are really maturing in front of our eyes and that's why we were able to win a lot of games.