"On Saturday, not saying our bench needs to score 35 points or anything but when they come in, they have to help us, they have to rebound and they have to defend and they have to set screens; and yes, if they can score, there's no question we would like that as well. But guys coming off the bench have to give us something positive. And our bench that everyone thought was going to be the deepest team since the rocks cooled, needless to say, has gotten thinner and thinner and thinner.
"So those guys are extremely important to us. James Michael [McAdoo], the last, I don't know, three or four games, he's played better and we need him to continue on that upswing and get even more positive with his contributions."
Every freshman will go through trials and tribulations. Was there anything in particular that McAdoo has had to overcome, and is he doing that?
"Well, I think he's had to overcome just what you said, the trials and tribulations of being a freshman. Some people come in and all of a sudden things are very good, but most of them come in and they struggle. There are very few Tyler Hansbrough's that come in and average 18 as a freshman kind of thing.
James Michael went from playing a very small, private school league in high school to playing at top level of Division I basketball. And the size and speed, quickness, strength of everybody that he was playing with, or against, was a Shock for him. He's just been a normal freshman going through those time periods. I don't think he ever lost confidence, but I think that they go through a time period where they questioned themselves and their ability, the food they are eating and the coaching and everything else. I think that he's been such a positive attitude kid that he himself had to go through some of those."
I wanted to ask you about declining attendance in the ACC; it's been slowly going down for six or seven years. To what do you attribute that and wondering if you think that conference expansion has any role in it?
"Well, I just saw an article or ad about it on Friday, because our attendance is doing really, really well. Our people here in the ticket office have made some good moves, nice little promotional things that have been good, and our attendance has been fantastic. I mean, we had a stretch of nine straight home games, and some of those not against marquis teams. We still had fantastic crowds.
"So No.1, our situation is a little different because I don't think ours is down. And you may have the numbers in front, and you may say, no, Roy, you're wrong. I don't have that information. But I was ecstatic with our attendance here in the day period when students were gone and that kind of thing.
"But to get to your question, I really don't have a good answer except that there is just so many other things to do nowadays. And one of my best friends, a guy who was the best man at my wedding, I said, "Do you want to come to a game?" He said, "No." He says, "The number is 14." "What do you mean, 14?" He says, "It's 14 steps from my recliner to my bedroom. There's so many games on TV, you know, I enjoy sitting right there."
"But I think there's so many games on TV that I think that dilution itself has made those ratings go down possibly from what they were in the past, and I also think that people think, gosh, boy, I'd like to see that game but it's a three hour drive and I can watch it on TV and I won't be worn out the next day, and that's part of it.
"But the biggest thing, I think there's just so many other things to do, whether it's conference realignment or dilution or whatever, who knows. But I think that I would not pick that as primary."
Wanted to see if I can get a quick injury update on P.J. Hairston, and how do you think Harrison Barnes made it out Saturday with his ankle?
"Okay, we have not practiced since Saturday's game. P.J. is going to be evaluated by the doctors today and see if they release him for any light activity. And if they do, we'll let him have light activity. And if they don't, we won't.
"Harrison, his ankle is stronger and he still has a little swelling in it, but I think it was even better after the Virginia game than it was after the Duke game."
So it sounds like you don't expect P.J. to play Wednesday night.
"I told you everything I know."
I know you've had years with injuries, but were all the injuries ever with players that play the same position?
"You know, I've coached so long, I did have that one year. I had one year at Kansas that we had four guys that were going to be primarily our, quote, No.4 man or quote, power forward or whatever. We had three of them go down. And that's what we have had this time. I mean, Leslie and Dexter were going to have great competition for that starting two spot, so we lost Leslie in the summer and Reggie is having great competition with Dexter and getting quality minutes. And Dexter slides up to the one and then Dexter goes down and that means Reggie slides in there. So then we have P.J. as the first sub at that spot who also comes in as the first sub at the three and then goes down.
"So it's only happened once, and it's very difficult to handle, there's no question about it. So many people thought our depth was going to be fantastic in every area and it's not quite what we had hoped it would be. Dexter's loss is even more telling because that took away our starting two man and also our backup point guard. But it's not something I'm enjoying going through, I can tell you."
Again, not knowing what P.J.'s situation is in the short term, but how much can Harrison help by sliding over and playing that two position?
"Well, he did that some during the game Saturday because when we bring J. Watts, and Harrison did slide up to the two and guarded the two man on the other team. Right now, what we had to do on Saturday was Reggie and Harrison were the starters on the wing and when I brought in Justin Watts, he may come in for Harrison. And Harrison, when he comes back, he would come in for Reggie, and when Reggie would come back in, he would come back in for J. Watts. So those three guys would rotate between the two position."
Is there a huge difference between being a two man and being the three man?
"Not a huge difference. There's not a huge difference for us for the two, three, or the difference between the four and five. When you cross that line from four to three is when it is really a big difference. But the reason I've always been so positive about what J. Watts has tried to do about playing the four spot some and the three man some; but to guard on the defensive end of the floor is the biggest difference. The guy who has the best feet is going to guard the quickest guy of the two- or three-man on the other team. "And then one thing Dexter allowed us to do, also, is we were to put him on maybe not just the quickest of the two threes on the other team, but maybe just on the quickest player because Dexter sometimes would guard the one man on the other team. So losing that has hurt us, as well."