Listen to Audio (15:01)
"It's an exciting time getting ready to start conference play. As I said after the game the other day, we all realize you have to raise your level of play, your level of intensity, your level of concentration. Everything has to go up. It's been an unusual stretch for us with all of these home games and we have another one. But getting into conference play I think our guys will be excited and hopefully we'll play that way and hopefully it will show."
Do you have an update on James Michael McAdoo's status?
"Did not practice today. It would be a game-time decision, and I would think doubtful."
When you talk about improving defensively, what are the areas that concern you the most?
"I can't really say one thing. It really just is the whole ball of wax. It's the whole philosophy. It's every principle. It's something as simple as retreating in the direction of the pass. Kendall, the other day, did a great job about three or four times and then he didn't do it at all. So I think it's probably more attention to the details. There's no question everybody that plays college basketball has to work extremely hard to cover the basketball, to stop the drive, to stop the penetrating dribble. The 3-point line makes you think about having an offense of just dribble and pitch to the 3-point shooter, so you've got to be able to control the dribble penetration. That's the one I'd say more than anything."
Is effort an issue there?
"Oh no. I've come in here disappointed in some of our games and the way we played, but I haven't been that disappointed with our effort. It's more of a concentration thing and disciplined approach to things. I compare a lot of things to golf, but when you're playing golf and you have one thought that you've got to try to change on your swing, but then in the middle of the round, you're thinking, ‘My God, I'm already five-over, I better make it,' you forget about that. Or maybe sometimes you say, ‘My gosh, I'm three-under, what am I doing now?'"
Is there a date in mind on when you need to make a decision on Leslie?
"No… When he got going, his rehab has been sensational, it's been off the charts. He's been ahead of every expectation… He practiced in 5-on-5 stuff on Tuesday a pretty good bit of practice. And Wednesday had some soreness so we held him out. Today he went through a lot of practice and we'll see how it feels tomorrow… I think I said this early: Human nature, you want to say, ‘Why would you give up a whole year, just to play half a year?' So that's been in the back of my mind since the start. So that's something we want to see. And to me … [a decision] is not going to be very long from now. In my opinion, why would you wait until February to bring a guy back? That wouldn't be very wise, in my opinion."
On McDonald's play in practice:
"First day, he didn't miss a shot. He was off the charts. And today, he didn't make a shot. He said they fouled him all the time. So mentally, he's there. When he misses, it's somebody else's fault."
Listen to Audio (7:40)
On his decision to come back late during his freshman year from injury:
"My thought was, because I was a freshman -- and this is kind of bold, which I don't usually do -- but I'd always said, ‘If I'm not out of here in four years, then there's something wrong. I should be going into business, or I should be doing something else anyway.' That was kind of my mindset. I knew that I could gain experience, I could get better. But I also didn't want to go to grad school, so I figured that four years was enough for me."
On preparing for ACC play:
This is our one chance – we're always talking about chances to get rings or championships. You have to play 16 games to be able to get that championship, so this is the beginning of it. You have to be able to go out and play. Even if it's the last team in your conference and it's the last game of the year, you still have to go out and play like it's the first game of the year. Every game you have to be ready to play and intense. You can't really lose any in conference and expect to be able to win it."