Listen to Audio (16:32)
On PJ Hairston's foot following the Miami game:
"The injury report this morning said he came out OK and wanted to see if he could even do more in practice today."
On how to fix Hairston's shooting slump:
"If I knew that, I wouldn't wait until right now to fix it. He's been in a shooting slump since 2003 the way I look at it. Seems like its been that long to me. Early in the year he was big for us in games making three's. But they haven't been going in.
"To me, shooting is like putting. The more you talk about it, the more worries you cause. If an individual has some structural and technique problems in his shot you address those and try to get him to understand that that's the biggest part of the problem. With PJ, I don't see that...
"The first thing you have to do is make sure the quality of the shot is good. If the quality of the shot is good, then you've got to live with it."
Coach, your team last year won five ACC games in which they were
down by ten points in the second half. This team has trailed by eight
or more in the second half in three of the last four games and have
won each of those games. Are you starting to see some similarities?
Are they starting to adopt that mentality of not giving up?
"I do see the similarities in our toughness in that the game is not over yet and lets not feel sorry for ourselves. I think that has a direct relationship to either coming back or not coming back. I think our kids have continued to try to do the right thing to be tough enough, to be willing to make a play, to working a little bit harder on the defensive end, to boxing out a little bit better, to running a little bit more. I like the toughness aspect of it. I'd like to say we've done it every game, but bottom-line is we've lost four games so we haven't done it every game."
Do you think Harrison's ankle still bothers him in any way?
"Yeah. I do. I really do. I think an ankle sprain tends to linger. We've tried have more substitutions for him in practice, held him out of a practice one day except for shooting and dummy offense. He's doing a really good job of getting extra treatment and trying to take care of it itself, but those kind of things tend to last for a long time."
Do you worry about overconfidence with regard to winning 55
straight at home against Clemson?
"No. I never talk about. It is a non-factor. It has absolutely nothing to do with this game. I don't talk about it. You know how the kids know? It is because people write something about it. I just don't think it is a factor.
"When I was at Kansas, we won 15 games in a row at Kansas State. Winning that first one didn't help us win the last one. To answer your question, no. That is not going to get my team to be overconfident."
What are your thoughts on the UNC faculties hope that athletics can
reflect the following three principals: Institutional openness,
educational responsibility, and mission consistency?
"I agree. Why would you not want those things? I think I would have to really look into it with a lot more depth to get something out of that. The University of North Carolina has been a flagship for doing things the right way for a long, long time and we here at the University of North Carolina want that to happen and continue it. Whether you're a faculty member teaching an academic subject or you're the head basketball coach. "
Listen to Audio (7:32)
Does the streak against Clemson ever come up amongst the team?
"No it doesn't mean a whole lot to us. I think we had a nice little 31 game (home) winning streak before Duke came in and we thought we could keep that going too. Streaks are meant to be broken and we just have to go out there and play as hard as we can."
How does the ankle feel?
"Much better. Probably about 90 percent. It's not really as sore as it used to be. I can play in practice and not have to limp off at the end and have Chris (Hirth) bring me ice. After the game on Wednesday it didn't feel bad at all and I was able to go out and practice yesterday."
PJ.. Hairston's going through a prolonged shooting slump. Have you
talked to him about that at all? What ways have you used to break out
of a slump like that?
"When I went through my slump last year the biggest thing I did was just stay in the gym. P.J. is a little different than me. He has a lot of confidence in his shot, so that is something we really don't worry about. We're sure he is going to come out of that.
"He's continuing to get better. Making sure his shooting form is more consistent. Sometimes he fades and kicks his foot out, so we are trying to correct that to help his shooting percentage."
With regards to Clemson and the streak, can you ever tell when a
team is really trying to get a win and get that monkey off their
"Yeah I could tell when we went down their last year. They were definitely pretty fired up to play us. I know they are going to come in here with a lot of energy as well, so to combat that we have to prepare today and have that mental focus going into the game, because in ACC play you got to play hard the whole game no matter how big a lead you have as seen by last night."
How much attention do you pay to other ACC games?
"In the beginning of the season, not too much because I think teams are still getting used to ACC play and trying to find their identity as a team. Now I think you have to watch it closely because one game here and one game there you can tell players tendencies.
"For example, Terrell Stoglin last year was kind of up and down throughout ACC play, but then the last two or three games before he came to our place he was hot and I think he put up 29 or 30 against us. So I definitely thing you have to watch it more closely towards the end of ACC play."