We obviously lost to a great team today that, to be quite honest with you, seems to get better every time we play them. I think it's on the defensive end where they're getting better. They've always been able to score and they make scoring look so easy. Defensively, I thought their interior defense was great. They made Terrell, who had a great night, obviously really work for everything. But they keep getting better. We just lost to a great team. I was proud of my team. We competed, we tried hard. We really tried hard. I don't think we ever really quit. We didn't run back a few times and we were lazy a few times on defense. But besides that I thought we really tried hard. I was proud of the effort.
Their length gives us problems. I was disappointed we couldn't score on [James Michael] McAdoo. I thought we could score on him. He's not seven foot. And our guys were just out of it. Post guys were just out of it. [Ashton] Pankey's the only one that really played. Alex [Len] played not very well. James [Padgett] was out of it all day. Couldn't get those two guys to run back on defense. Key of the game. So, yeah, it was tough. We couldn't get anything around the basket. We spread them a little bit in the second half and we were able to get to the rim off the drive with our guards. But give their big guys credits. Our guys just weren't very good; big guys.
Nick's foul trouble
Obviously we didn't score. We only made one free throw when he was out. It was a big part. Nick's the one guy that's out there, Sean [Mosley] does the same, that tries to get us in our offense, tries to do things. Nick was a little bit too aggressive tonight, I thought, with the ball. But, it hurt us. Because we were right there. We were right there. We didn't finish the half good. I don't think we made a field goal in the final five minutes or something like that. You can't have stretches like that against a great team. But, it definitely hurt.
Reflection now that season is likely over
It was a great run for us. I think we matured during the season and that's the only thing you can ask for. New coach, new coaching staff, new system and everything. I think all the guys responded in a positive way. And I think we gave our all today and that shows a lot.
If plan of attack changed when Henson exited
No. No. It didn't change. We were hoping we could score a little bit more inside without him in there. But, we obviously couldn't. [James Michael] McAdoo was pretty good. He was the number two player coming out of high school and he got to play today and he showed why he was number two. I thought they scored a little bit easier with him on the floor, to be quite honest with you.
Lessons of these games
Personally, just trying to become a better teammate. I mean, I've been saying it this past week. That was my main focus. As a team, we just wanted to make it to the postseason. We learned so much this year. We're a young team and I was really happy with our team this past week.
On how Carolina stopped their comeback
Well they're pretty good. That's what happened. They make scoring look real easy. It just takes one little turnover and they can hit a three and you miss a shot and they hit another three and it goes from nine to 16. So, you can't stop it. You're over there, you need like 19 timeouts to have a chance to beat Carolina, this year for our team. And we don't have 19 timeouts. So, a couple possessions where we weren't very good. We cut it to seven. We didn't run back and they made us pay. They're committed to running that direction. I mean, totally committed. So I think it was more about them than it was about us during that stretch.
On whether his team deserves a postseason bid
Well, I don't know. We had to fight so hard just to do what we did to this point. We need the weekend just to sit back and talk about it. We'll see. We had a winning record. If you'd have told me that in December I didn't think there was any chance. We're squeezing by Mount St. Mary's and Radford. And then we lose our point guard halfway through the league. For these kids to do what they did, I'm really proud of them. So, I don't know if we deserve it but there's a lot of teams that play in the postseason that don't deserve it, whether it's football or basketball. So we'll see.
On getting inside
I think you have to. At halftime we just kept talking about driving the ball we shared the ball a little bit better. And I think we'll watch the film and guys will see that when they drove and there's guys open we're trying to shoot over a seven-footer. But seven-footers who come in to help and trying to block, you should be getting an offensive rebound or a basket. That's what they do. It was just a lot of little things that's really hard for us to do, we have to get better at over the summer. Some of the guys we have coming in next year will help us do that too. It wasn't for the lack of effort or trying to listen to the coach. The guys really tried. They're just a heck of a team out there.
On the Tar Heels' defense
We just couldn't make any shots. North Carolina was doing a great job defensively.
On coming within seven
It was pretty frustrating. We battled hard throughout the whole game. We got within seven but then they put the lead back up so it was pretty frustrating.
On how quickly Carolina responded to their rally
I think it was on both sides. All of the suddenly they start hitting shots and we start slacking on defense. Can't happen. So, if they make the shots you gotta get stops in that moment. You gotta keep going at them and make them tired. If you let up a little bit and you play North Carolina, they get coached by a great coach, they got all the talent in the world. So it's hard for us to get back.
Problems in the frontcourt
Well Henson got out injured very quickly and I think Zeller took a lot. Well, he didn't go off like he did the other night; he didn't shoot as much free throws. But especially running the court; they were really fast running the court for their height. So that's why we let up in the beginning. So we were already down. We were already fighting back from where we started.
On how quickly Carolina responded to their rally
Yeah, I don't know. They're just a great talented team. There's a lot of things they can do that other teams can't do. They're a great running team. That's what makes them so good.
On his mindset heading into the game
I go in with the same mindset every game. Just trying to be aggressive. Pick or choose when I want to attack or not. I just think as a team as a whole there were shots today that didn't fall for us.
On frontcourt issues
They have so much length and athleticism, it's kinda hard. Especially with our team. We have basically one seven-footer. You know, me and Padgett we're pretty athletic, if I say so myself. They're a great team. They're so strong and physical and stuff. You know this is my first year playing again. So it's good getting used to play with guys like that and now I have a year under my belt so I know what it takes next year to play in the ACC.
On whether the gameplan changed when Henson went down
Our gameplan didn't change much. I thought Henson going down would actually help us out a lot but it seemed like they came back even stronger than ever. You know, McAdoo played great today off the bench. It seemed like that helped them. Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the win today.
They made shots and shots we usually make didn't fall today. Shots were going in and out. We had great looks but it just wasn't falling for us today.