|Inside Carolina audio is available to IC premium subscribers. To listen, you'll need an updated version of Windows Media Player - click here to download the software.|
"We're obviously pleased about the outcome. I thought we played pretty well in good stretches. Yesterday in practice may have been as good a practice as we've had all year long. I thought we were good defensively today. We didn't come out the way we wanted. The [thing] I put up on the board was get the ball into the inside by dribble or pass and the first four possessions, we had three outside shots. So we've got get a little better focus. But those guys settled down, and we got the ball inside. We shared the ball. We brought five guys in and didn't bring them in as a unit but brought all five in, and I thought those guys really helped moving the basketball, getting the tempo we wanted. It was hard, they were trying to control tempo a little bit, and it was hard to speed them up. But I thought Larry was really good defensively. I think he sort of sent the tempo with a lot of those turnovers, even the first play of the second half, getting a turnover on the inbounds play. We didn't follow that one up by hitting our free throws.
"We're getting better defensively. We had some lapses. But I also think we're getting better offensively, moving the ball and sharing the ball. It helped to have eight guys in double figures. But I've always said strong teams can make substitutions and that will help you. That's what our guys did tonight. The guys that came off the bench added something to it. That was important to us."
On the bench's performance:
"I think that when you make substitutions, you want some positive things to happen. I think our guys did that. Of course it looks better when the ball goes in the basket. We've had two straight games where it does that. But I think those guys are working on the defensive end, too."
On the progression of Leslie McDonald:
"Well, he's shot the ball well recently. And every time he shoots the ball I think it's going in. His first shot was not a good one. You should never shoot the ball the first possession you get. I put him in, he's on defense, he runs down and shoots it and misses. You've got to get your sea-legs under you. But he was 4-6 tonight. He's shooting the ball well. I think he's always going to shoot well. He works on his shot. He's getting better at it, and we need that…. Leslie's getting better defensively, too, and he needs to do that. Right now the gap between him and Dexter defensively is in Dexter's favor, but he's got to narrow that gap."
On preparations for ACC play:
"I don't know that any coach would ever say they feel ready. But this is a good time period for us. We have five days where we're going to go two-a-day at least two of those five days. We're not in class yet. I'm hopeful that will be something that really helps us."
On closing out the nonconference schedule and preparing for ACC play:
"Basically the team, we're just gelling as a team right now. We're learning each other's tendencies. We're trying to build on the things we're trying to work on so we can go through this ACC play. We're just gelling as a team. That's one of the things coach likes about us right now."
On feeling pride about playing well off the bench:
"We're basically coming off the bench bringing energy, adding on to the things that aren't going on when we're not out there. But we're gelling as a team as we're out there moving the ball, just showing the first squad it's easy to move the ball and get scores. We're just playing as a team out there, and it's going good."
On Coach Williams's confidence in the bench players:
"Coach loves when we run the floor, so we run the floor. We're defending, doing what he tells us to do. We just bring energy, and that's what he wants us to bring—just play as a team, get rebounds, push the ball in transition, defend. We've been doing that."
On finding consistency on offense:
"For me, it's just putting up shots. I'm working on my own all the time before practice, after practice, getting a lot of shots up. I'm just trying to get that consistency, working on my form, making sure everything is perfect from the last shot."
On coming off the bench:
"Me coming off the bench, being able to see everything from another perspective, coming off the bench gives me great confidence. Being able to see the other guys before I step out on the court helps me out. The second group is just ready trying to bring the same intensity like the first group did."
On his personal confidence:
"That was my main focus in the off season. Last year I really didn't have any confidence in my shot. For me to prosper and make a contribution to this team, I had to have confidence in my shot. And to be confident, you have to work on your shot. So I've been working on my shot in-in and in-out, and that's where I get my confidence from."
On the team's balanced play:
"My teammates do a great job of finishing. So as a point guard, my duty is to get them the best opportunities I can to score. Everybody was finishing shots today. So we did well."
On getting the ball to players in scoring position:
"That's definitely something I take pride in. I know with Leslie, he's a great catch-and-shoot, so I need to drive and get him in position so he can catch and shoot it. Justin Knox, he likes to post up as close as he can to the basket. Things like that. I just need to know the personnel on my team and know where to get it to them."
On his progress so far:
"I feel great, mainly defensively. I feel like I've made a lot of strides. That was something I wanted to focus on coming into the season. Offensively, I hit a little bump in the road, about a three or four game stretch where I was pushing a little bit. But I feel like I'm at my best right now."
On the lessons he's learned on defense:
"Defensively, it's just concepts, mostly. It's a change, an adjustment from high school. You can't take plays off at the college level."
On the team's defensive focus:
"A big part of our offense should come from defense—just getting stops, getting steals. And we had a ton of steals tonight. We had fast break dunks and stuff like that. John had a couple, Dexter, Tyler had some. Once we realize we can score off our defense, I think the team is going to take off."
On two-a-days the next week:
"Nobody's here. Campus is dead. All our friends are gone. So the only thing we have is practicing with each other. When we're in our apartments or our dorm rooms by ourselves, it's pretty much boring. So getting in the gym is a big thing for us. It's necessary for us, I think. It's going to be beneficial for us."
On the team's confidence going into ACC play:
"I think this team has a ton of confidence right now, as we should. We had a good road win in Madison Square Garden against Rutgers. We won tonight by about 40 or 50 and did all the little things we should have done. So right now our morale is where it should be."