"Well the plan going in was, no question, that Reggie was going to be guarding Austin Rivers. He did a nice job at our place and Reggie has really come a long way with his defensive play. Last year his coaches talked about [how] we thought he could be a really good defender and in fact what he's developed into is a really good defender. When we lost Dexter Strickland we lost our best perimeter defender and we replaced him with Reggie who has become our best perimeter defender now. For us, we thought he would do the best job on Austin, even though Austin is tremendously difficult to guard. He's a full player. He can put it on the floor, he can shoot from deep, he can do all it all. PJ had him sometimes. Justin Watts gave us a four or five minute stretch in there where he was guarding him.
"Again, I'll go back and say it was about North Carolina's defense playing against Duke's offense, but Reggie did a really good job as did our post players, even though Miles and Mason [Plumlee], those guys in particular, scored in the second half. We talked about they didn't add up three at a time, they added up two at a time and our guys did a good job and stayed, for the most part, out of foul trouble. ‘Z' fouled out with 40 seconds to play or something like that. Reggie really did a nice job, but anytime you have something like that happen, you got to have the other miss some shots too."
On four Tar Heels being named to All-ACC teams, the number of players that had first team All-ACC caliber seasons and Kendall Marshall being named second-team All-ACC:
"The fact of the matter is probably eight or nine guys did [deserve to be first-team All-ACC]. Michael Snaer had as good a year as you can have. He had two game-winning shots at the buzzer. When you make those kinds of shots that is important. I thought Mike Scott was great… ended up great yesterday, 35 points and 11 rebounds I think.
"I'm extremely pleased that [Zeller, Henson, and Barnes] made [first-team All-ACC] and I'm extremely pleased that Kendall was the leading vote getter on the second-team. I love that, but you know Kendall Marshall is about one thing. Kendall Marshall is about his team winning. I had a talk with him this afternoon for just a couple of minutes. In this league there's a lot good teams, there's a lot of good players and there's a lot of guys that do ‘deserve', but it's only five, so everybody can't make it. I'm happy with those guys, very proud of them, very pleased for them and their families. Again, Kendall's going to be fine and he can handle that and, again, he's all about winning which is what everybody wants out of a point guard anyways."
Of the players who have had the top eight single-season assist totals in ACC history, only one (Kenny Anderson in 1990) made first team All-ACC. What do you think that says about how people value the assist?
"We had a little bit of discussion about this in the press conference last week. That surprises me. It really does, because people do value a guy who can pass the ball. Assists are something that is extremely important. I'm surprised by that stat. Some way, some how people may not appreciate it as much as coaches do and that's ok, they have their own prerogative – the people that vote. That is a surprising stat… we've had some pretty good point guards in this league. To lead the ACC in assists and still not be first-team All-ACC, that's a surprise."
On the All-ACC Defensive Team and John Henson being a unanimous selection:
"They are all good players that deserve that. Reggie Bullock has a chance to be one of those kinds of players. I would not have been surprised if Tyler Zeller had made it, because Tyler is just a fantastic defender for us, but John making it and being the lead vote getter… I think that is great for those guys too."
How do you motivate the team to continue to play with the same level of intensity they played with on Saturday night come the ACC Tournament?
"When you start the season you have short-term goals, things you're going to do in practice, you have long term goals, you have bigger goals. Winning the ACC regular season championship was one of our goals. Now we have the ACC Tournament coming up. That's one of our goals, so talk about that as much as you can.
"They have to get past the feeling that we had Saturday night. Again, it was a fantastic locker room, it was a fantastic feeling sitting on the bus coming back watching the replay on the bus a little bit, but you've got to put that behind you, because you've got to keep going and in college basketball you have another set of challenges up in front of you. We talked as a team about that, but today at practice we talked about getting better and that's what we'll talk about all week – trying to get better.
"Last year we didn't play very good basketball at the ACC Tournament. We felt so fat and happy, in my opinion, after we beat Duke and won the regular season last year when people didn't expect us to win it and we sort of took a breather at the ACC Tournament and didn't play as well. Had two great comebacks, but by Sunday we were dead tired and Duke was really very much motivated to kick our rear-ends and they did do that, so what we're talking about this week is trying to get better and see if we can go in with the same kind of motivation this weekend as we had last weekend."
When you get a big lead, like on Saturday, how do you try and balance staying aggressive while also running some clock?
"Well I wanted us to stay aggressive, regardless of [the score]. If you're up 10 I want to be up 20, if you're up 20 I want to be up 30. I want to erase any hope, but Duke is so good, more than likely they're going to have some hope and I told the kids in the locker room they had been down 20 before this year in the second half and came back and won.
"Then when it gets down in there, the time, the score, the situation, which, to me, is inside the eight minute mark or, really, inside the four minute mark, then you're playing two opponents. The guys in the other shirts and you also got to play against the clock, so you've got to make smart decisions… I think we probably got too tentative at one point. Kendall goes through and misses a layup; Reggie drives in and just loses the ball. You don't expect those kinds of things to happen, but it is a basketball game. I like staying as aggressive as we possibly can."
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