We just came off of a tough ballgame up at Maryland. I thought our kids really fought well, fought back in the first half. We didn't defend the way that we wanted to in the second half and couldn't get the win.
Can you talk about the impact that Tracy Smith has had in his four years under you?
Tracy has grown basically every year. His freshman year he really didn't play a lot, but then when he finally got his opportunity we saw how much of a factor he could be for this ballclub and this university. He continued to get better every year.
He's our go-to guy. He had somewhat of a setback with his knee but he's had a very good career here and has really worked his way up to being where he is today.
What have you seen from Ryan Harrow in conference play?
I see him growing in terms of getting better at learning how to run the team and get guys shots.
He's been accustomed to just coming down and taking shots any time and basically every time when he was in high school because he had to carry his team. I think he's making that adjustment now to realize he has teammates capable of helping him and he doesn't have to put as much pressure on himself so I think that's an adjustment for him.
It's tough for guys used to having the ball in their hands, but he's certainly getting better at that. He still looks to score but he's understanding the other aspects of it.
I see him also just getting better... recognizing situations. When we talk about how to run certain things, he remembers where to get the ball in the right position. This is a tough jump for a point guard, and he's in there a lot of minutes.
I think he's doing well. Obviously there are going to be ups-and-downs because he's a freshman, but I'm very pleased with his progress.
His shooting percentage is not all that high. What are you seeing there?
I think it's a couple of things. I think he's adjusting to defenses. The players on this level are just better than the kids he played against in high school, which is normal, and he's playing in the ACC.
Sometimes with a player that has been accustomed to being able to shoot it anytime he wanted to, now to get on this level... I would say in high school, the best player, if he's taking most of the shots, he might take four bad shots out of his 16 in a high school game. Now, if you do that here and you don't take good shots you're not going to shoot a good percentage.
I think it's a combination of knowing which shots to take and then making the adjustment to this level. It's a tough adjustment. Guys are bigger when you go inside now. Ryan could get to the basket against anyone in high school and just float it over the big guys, but now guys are bigger.
He's making that adjustment.
What particular problems does a player like John Henson pose for you?
It's his ability to impact the game from both ends. He can impact it from the defensive end as well as anyone in the country, I think, with his shotblocking ability, his intimidation down there.
He can also affect it by running the floor offensively, because he gets down the floor. With both of those, he can cause you some problems. Especially from an offensive standpoint if you're trying to establish something and he's there altering shots.
He makes you play the right way. If you want to beat them you have to be smart and play the right way. You have to be able to attack him. You can't shoot over him, he's going to get it so you have to use that against him in some way.
He can impact the game on both ends of the floor.
Is there any advice you will offer your players this week in going against him?
It's hard, especially if he's taller than you and he's got the length, it's hard to just try to avoid him. You can't avoid him.
Shotblockers you can't avoid and try get it over... you'll have more success if you try to go right at them and force them to make a good play and maybe you get a foul.
We have to be smart too... if it's not there, you don't force it.
Do you have an update on Richard Howell?
Yeah, he's actually going to meet with the doctor. He's got a break in class so he's going to meet with the doctor.
I talked to doc last night and it wasn't good last night. It was a little more serious than we thought it was. He tried to stand up one time and got dizzy, had to sit back down. Doc talked to him a little bit and asked him a few questions to see where he was.
We're going to wait. He's got a break in his class so he's going to see doc.
Has he been diagnosed with a concussion?
No, it's not a concussion.
Do you think he will play Wednesday?
I'm hoping so. I'm expecting. He talked about going back in the game last night, but they wouldn't let him go back in. I don't know if he could have, but he talked about it.