Locker Room Report: Wolfpack Players

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Abdul-Malik Abu and Trevor Lacey met with the media following the loss to Virginia.

Abdul-Malik Abu

“It was pretty hard to trying to get my head toward the right things. I just wanted to go out and play basketball. I didn’t want to grieve too much during the game. I wanted to stay steadfast and keep pursuing the win.”

“I mean, I wouldn’t say we were best friends, but he was one of the people you see that would make an impact on your life right away with his happiness, his joy and his support for me before I got to State. Then when I got to State, he was always excited to see me. He was always ready to spread good and positive vibes. He ran many charities, and overall he was just a world-class person.”

“A collection of all the people I met in the Raleigh area made me feel like home, and he happened to be one of them.”

“It puts everything into perspective, like life and basketball. You just can’t take anything for granted. Every time we go out there and play hard, it’s a celebration of life. We’re using the gifts and talents God gave us.”

“That was probably the least difficult part for me. I just wanted to get focused, and I wanted to come out and try to win for the people who lost their lives.”

“I do that anyway, but I had a little more intentions toward it tonight.”

“I try not to look at the crowd too much, but it means a lot especially for the family. I’m on a bigger stage than some of those that are grieving harder than me, and I want to speak for them and say thank you and we appreciate the support. I want to give my prayers out to his family, his really close friends, his relatives that watched him as a child grow into a man. It’s hard. He had his wedding not too long ago, and now his parents are going to bury him. It really puts life into perspective.”

“They’re poised. You’re going to get the same team every possession. Consistency is what inevitably led to them winning. I honestly feel our team as a whole played a good game. Everybody showed passion. Everyone showed effort. A couple shots fall here and there, and I think we come out with the win. This was just one of the days where the shot doesn’t fall your way, but you know we’re happy to play the game, and we’re happy to be here.”

“Our best offense is our defense, and when we can actually get stops, rebound and get out in transition, good things usually happen, so I felt like today we showed we can defend with the best of them, and now we just have to keep growing and closing out games.”

“It was just coming out here and wanting it. We had really great practices leading up to this game. Everybody’s legs were fresh. Everybody was ready to make an impact and try and get the upset, but we fell short today.”

“I wouldn’t say we’re frustrated. It just puts us back in the right direction. We just need to keep playing hard, and one of these games, when we get down to the wire, it’s going to go in our favor, so we’re not really frustrated. We just keep pursuing the future and never giving up because we believe we’re one of the best teams in the country still.”

“Virginia is one of the best defensive teams in the country. I wouldn’t say that that was anticipated and that we weren’t going to shoot as well, but we missed a lot of shots close to the rim, myself included. If those shots fall, and if a couple of the threes we had good looks at fall, I think that’s a very different game, but that’s how it goes. You’ve got to move on.”

“You feel the same pressure from day one. You just go out there and win for the people that support us every day. We want to make the tournament. That’s our goal, and every game is the same. You have to go out there and try and win no matter what the circumstances are.”

Trevor Lacey

“I was trying to dribble and get a bucket, but I got to the rim and couldn’t finish.”

“We’ve just got to finish. We’ve seen it for ourselves that we’re right there.”

“I feel like I let my team down. I make a contested three-pointer, but I can’t make a wide-open layup. We fought hard, and we defended well. I’m not going to say that it came down to that play, but that play stands out. Who knows what would have happened in overtime? We could have stopped them or they could have went down and scored, but that play’s going to hurt.”

“Every game is important. To lose like that is just tough for us, but we know where we are. We were right there all night.”

“We feel like we play well. We’re not a team that wants to play in the 40’s and 50’s, but the way they play and the way they slow it down, they execute it well, so that’s how we had to round it out and try to pull off the win, but unfortunately, we didn’t finish down the stretch.”

“The best shot against Virginia is early in the shot clock. Their defense gets better in late-clock situations, so it’s better to take shots quick if they’re open and available.”

“It wasn’t like Virginia clearly dominated all night. We learned it, but all of our games are about finishing our plan fast, and that’s what we have to do.”

“He’s good. They’re all good defenders, but I feel like it’s their health more than anything. When you know you’ve got guys behind you, you’re not afraid to pressure the ball and get beat because you know you have four guys behind you that will help you out.”

“All wins are important. We’re not going to single out Virginia, but as far as our resume and our RPI, that would have been a good win for us, but we want to win every game.”

“Why would we give up? That’s not smart. We might as well hang up our stuff and just go home if we’re not going to keep dreaming and believing we can make the tournament.”

“We’ve got to give them credit. They take away some of the things that we’re comfortable doing and what we like to do, and they forced us into late-clock situations, and they’re one of the best teams when it comes to late-clock.”

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