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What have you seen different from N.C. State since they've put the three freshman in the lineup?
"I don't know exactly when they did that, but what I've seen from them since we've played them, I see a much more confident team. A team that looks like they've got a better smile, a better movement about them, more upbeat. I watched Sunday's game, and from the last oh six minutes of the first half and the first five or six minutes of the second half they were really good, and they continued to be okay until that last three or four minutes. And then Maryland the home team just made some plays."
You've spoke of Tyler's consistency. Where has he improved the most this season?
"I could say defensively. He was never really bad defensively, but he's really been doing some nice things defensively. He had one of the best defensive grades in the game this weekend that we've had in a long, long time. And he's been very consistent with his defensive effort, and execution of what we want to do. He's put the ball in the basket. It's a long year for him. Heck he's never played this long. He's like one of the freshman. I worry about him hitting the wall also. He's just such a phenomenal youngster that it's just such a joy to be around him. He's so easy to coach, so easy to help take care of. A lot of times I feel like that I do earn my money, or earn Wanda's money, if they were all like Tyler Zeller I'd do it for free."
On the team's shooting woes:
"We practiced yesterday. We took the rims down. Not one player missed the whole back board the whole freaking practice. I felt really good about it. If you can't make them you might as well just take the rims down. We're practicing, that's what we're doing. I think that I've said all year long I think we're a good shooting team, we just haven't showed it as consistently as I would like, but I did think about taking the rims off just to see what they would do.
"In my dreams we make every dadgum shot, so if you take the rims down you make every single shot, and no one can say anything about it. We're getting good shots. We're just not making them right now, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make the next one. That's the way I look at it, and that things are going to even out. When they even out we're going to make a bunch of them."
Tyler, you've been on teams that have beaten N.C. State five times even though you've might not have played in all those games. When you look at this rivalry, why has UNC dominated it here recently?
"We've had some great teams. It's one of those things that N.C. State's a great team I think we've just got lucky in a few games, and have just been able to pull them out at the end. We've been in a lot of great games with them, and I think we've just been lucky at the end."
What's it been like for you playing this season? Coach said he's been worried about you and the freshman hitting the wall. Has it felt different?
"For me it's great, because I don't have to sit on the sideline in a suit. So far it's been great for me, and I think everybody else we've kind of grown all season. We've gotten better. We obviously have a ways to go. We've just got to continue to improve, and get as good as possible."
On what it's like playing at N.C. State:
"It's a great atmosphere to play in. It's a difficult atmosphere to play in, but it's one of those things, I look forward to it. I love going into hostile crowds, and playing. It'll be interesting to see what their student section has to say."
On playing against Tracy Smith:
"Tracy Smith's a fantastic player. He can do so many different things. He can go right, left, turn-around jumper, so he's one of those players you can't just track off one of his moves, because he's got so many. You just got to make it as challenging as possible for him, and try to limit his opportunities."
What's been the most difficult thing for you to adjust to now that you've been starting about nine games or so?
"Consistency. You know going out there playing anywhere from 32, 33 minutes a game, playing at a high level, competing, and playing defense as hard as I can every single play. That's the biggest thing about the college level, just playing consistent day in and day out."
On UNC-N.C. State rivalry:
First time I heard about it was from my teammates. They say you hear a lot about Duke and Carolina, but N.C. State and Carolina is just as big. They talk about how hype the games are at N.C. State. I'm excited. I'm just looking forward to playing in the game."
Ryan Harrow didn't play in the last game. Is State at all a different team when he is on the floor?
"I'm sure they are. I think he's their second leading scorer. He's a great scoring guard. He's having a pretty good year. He's definitely going to be a difference maker. I'm looking forward to playing against him."