Frank Haith Q&A

Frank Haith is in his second season as the head coach of the men's basketball team. Haith and the Hurricanes are 6-3 in ACC play with a 14-8 overall record. Tonight, they host #16 N.C. State (18-4, 7-2) at 7:00 p.m.

What was the difference in the team winning the last three games after a two-game losing streak, which could have sent things in a negative direction?

"We lost to Boston College and I thought we played pretty well. We didn't play great down the stretch. There was a quick turnaround in going to Virginia and obviously we didn't play well in that game--they played pretty good. We came back and played extremely hard to give ourselves a chance in those games. We are playing together and now we are getting some more production from other guys. I think the guys understand how we need to play in order to be successful."

Have your guards Anthony Harris, Guillermo Diaz, and Robert Hite improved on their defense?

"Well, somewhat. I think they still can be better. In terms of defensive rebounding, I think that is where we have seen improvement from those guys. Rob Hite is our leading rebounder in ACC play. We play a lot of zone and they have done a good job of keeping people out of the paint. One of the main things we do is count uncontested shots. We have done a good job of getting a hand in a face on a shot."

What has been the difference in Hite's game this season?

"I think he has been consistent. I think he had some games last year where that was a key. I think he has been extemely consistent this year, if not our most consistent player in his play and his leadership. Rob has just been outstanding."

What is the difference with your team since the first time you played N.C. State on Dec. 18?

"I think we are a better team. It was Anthony Harris's first game back. I don't know if we were playing that great then, but we had our chances in that game. We didn't play that poorly, we just weren't as fluid offensively and they made a ton of shots. They were playing with a high level of confidence at that time."

Thoughts on playing four ranked teams in a row beginning with N.C. State?

"We are worried about N.C. State right now. It is a great league. It is what it is. Right now we are focused on N.C. State and I haven't looked past that, but I know night in and night out we are going to play great teams."

Which of the four freshman is the furthest along in their development?

"With freshmen, I think it comes and goes throughout the year. Right now, Denis Clemente and Brian Asbury are definitely playing more than Jimmy Graham and Adrian Thomas. But all four of them have had their moments."

In college basketball, if you win games your team will be rewarded. Is that a good feeling to know that you control your destiny?

"Without question. We control our destiny right now, we just have to win games. If you win games you put yourself in a good position to play in the postseason. Right now we have two home games this week with the one on Wednesday against probably the second best team in this league. They are awefully good because they are experience, they know how to win, and they know their system. It is going to be a tough test for us. With college basketball there are great opportunities and this is a great opportunity for us."

Teams that finish 9-7 in the ACC historically make the NCAA Tournament, is that something you talk to the kids about?

"I don't think we do that. We have been on such a game-by-game focus and I think that's where we are at right now. That has been good with our guys understanding let's just worry about N.C. State."

How important is it to have the great home atmosphere in the game?

"There is no question if we have a great turnout it is going to have an impact with the energy in the building. Our kids really get excited when we have a nice crowd. Our student body has been tremendous. I think they have been awesome. They bring the energy to the building and I anticipate having a good turnout for the game. It should be a great game and a great event. I think our kids are excited about the opportunity."

Christopher Stock is the Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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