Haith breaks down the Noles

Head Coach Frank Haith is preparing his Hurricanes squad for another battle with a big rival, the Florida State Seminoles. Coach Haith spoke about the upcoming game and what his team needs to do to win. Read on to see what he had to say.

What do you think about tomorrow's game against the Seminoles?

"It's obviously a big game for us. We're coming back home to play. It's important that we get off to a good start in this ball game. They're a talented team and very athletic. Defensively they're outstanding. I think they've got one of the best guards in the league in Douglas. We've got to do a great job on him. They're extremely long and athletic in terms of their wings and their bigs. Alabi is starting to be a factor for them now that he's playing. He's 7-foot-1. Other than Hasheem Thabeet, we haven't played anyone with that type of length. It's going to be an extremely difficult game because you're talking about a team that's talented. They're right up there with the top two or three teams in our league in terms of talent."

For whatever reason, Florida State has been tough for Miami to beat the past couple of times. What is it about them that gives you guys so much trouble?

"Yeah. Absolutely. I don't know how many of those games have gone to overtime but they've very close games. Prior to them winning five in a row I think we won four in a row. It's just been one of those swings. Looking back on last season, we had two tough ballgames. The game here went down to the wire. The game there went into overtime. What they did down there, they got to the free throw line a lot. They got to the line I think like 40 times and we were not able to get to the free throw line. That was the difference in the game down there. We've got to be the aggressors and we can't allow them to be the aggressors. They're very talented. They're very athletic. They're very long. All the games we have played the last couple of times have been defensive struggles. I think the team that's able to execute offensively will have the best chance of winning."

What made you decide to start DeQuan Jones on the road against North Carolina?

"I felt like DeQuan was getting better and better. The things that DeQuan brings to the table are things that we need when we play big wings. Like the game tomorrow, Singleton, their freshman, is 6'9". We needed to get DeQuan ready to compete and that;s going to help us be better in this league. Danny Green and Wayne Ellington, just go down the list of teams we've played already, they all have big guards and big wings. DeQuan has good size and good athleticism to compete with those guys. The thing with DeQuan is him getting more comfortable with what we're doing and then you'll see his ability take off. I think that's what's been holding DeQuan back. It's understanding and getting comfortable where it becomes second nature. Now when it becomes second nature you'll see his ability come out and I think we saw a little bit of that the other night against North Carolina."

Guys on the team get excited when someone makes a big dunk or a big block like DeQuan did Saturday night. As a coach, what's your reaction to those big plays?

"I expect it. Those are the kind of plays that energize your team. Now I think DeQuan has got to take the next step and be consistent with his play and I really believe that he will. I think he's now going to continue to play the way we expected him to play this year."

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