Media Day: Player Interviews

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The 2010-11 edition of the North Carolina Tar Heels met with reporters for the first time this year at Thursday's Media Day at the basketball program's practice facility.

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On Justin Knox:
"We'd never seen him play. He came in and he fit in just fine with us. ... He's got a nice back-to-the-basket game, which kind of surprised me. I think he's going to be in there in the thick of things just like me, so it's going to be fun."

On where he expects to play this season:
"I'm going to be down probably at the 4-spot. It'll be fun. I'm a little more natural down there and I can use my height and length to my advantage."


Is there enough depth in the post for this team to succeed?
"Yes, definitely. John and I thought we were going to be by ourselves before Justin came. Justin's a big body – he can play, he can shoot and he can do a lot of different things, so I feel like he's going to be a great contributor."

How much can this team progress from last year?
"I feel like last year, as long as it's a learning experience, we can grow on it. I feel like we can turn it around a lot this year. We definitely have the talent and the ability, but we've just got to put it togher."


What did you focus on this offseason?
"I worked on everything this summer, honestly. Last year wasn't fun at all for anybody – fans, coaches, players. But with so much negatively, you just try to find a silver lining in it, and for me it was just getting in the gym and making a promise to myself that I wasn't going to go through that again."

On going home for the second session of summer school:
"Yes, it was definitely a good break, especially to have some one-on-one time with my dad. I don't get to see him that much during the course of the season because he's busy and always traveling. He has a new level of [responsibilities] now that he's a head coach, so yes, I had a good time."


On Harrison Barnes
"Well, you can see that he obviously works on his game. After pickup, he stays there for another hour or an hour-and-a-half, just doing dribbling drills and shooting drills. You can see that he has an NBA body and NBA moves. You guys will be able to see it, but you can tell that he wants to get better."

On playing more at the 2-spot:
"I love that spot. I never played point guard before last year, so going to back to my natural position is good. Me playing the two takes pressure off Kendall [Marshall] and it takes pressure off Larry, so it's good."


On Will Graves:
"I was a little surprised and a little saddened. Life goes on, but I was a little heartbroken. Will is my biddy, so I was a little down, but at the same time, you can be down in life but you've got to move on."

On the three true freshmen:
"They came to our college this year. We still had that high school mentality last year and they've changed that mentality from high school to college already, so I'm very impressed with what they've done."


On his new role at UNC:
"It's pretty exciting because I realize the great opportunity I have because of the North Carolina program, its traditions and the fact that most of our games are on TV, so it's going to be pretty much a prime-time event every time we step on the court. And also the fact that it's my last year, so I'm pretty much going to go all out."

On how everything has played out:
"I guess everything happens for a reason. With the Wear twins and that leaving a hole in the frontcourt, there came an opportunity for me and I'm pretty grateful it happened."

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