"We're excited to still be playing, there is no question about that. It was a nice effort for us offensively particularly in the second half to shoot 61 percent. The problem is we let them shoot 54 percent, too. We put them on the free throw line way too many times with little ticky-tack fouls as they were laying it up, but to get through with James Michael only playing 14 minutes, because he was in constant foul trouble. One of those fouls I really want to look at because it was a weird-looking play.
"But anyway, you've got to play without fouling. We work all the time to not foul. But to have James Michael only play 14 minutes was big for us. Reggie was big in the second half. He only had two field goals at half and, needless to say, P.J. was big early because he was all of our offense.
"We're extremely concerned right now. His hand is torn up and they're stitching it up in the training room right now. We have no idea, I have no idea, won't have any idea. I told you everything I know. It doesn't look good. They're stitching it up and I wouldn't watch it. It was split in the webbing between his fingers but he and I agreed that we weren't going to watch while they stitched it up. But Reggie, Marcus, Dexter, their ratios were great and Reggie's baskets in the second half were big. We would have made 100 percent of our free throws if Marcus hadn't missed one."
What do you like most about the small lineup? Is it the spacing and the ability to have four ball handlers on the floor?
"I think that's part of it, but I do believe we're able to create turnovers, which helps us get out on the break as well. We don't rebound the ball as well but it balances out, we don't have a shot blocker. They shot 54 percent the second half but they had 18 turnovers, that we turned into 27 points so smaller is quicker and it hurts us on the board but we can spread the floor. When we were doing it like we were and we outscored them 17-5 we had great space and go moved it and moved it and we got great shots."
If P.J. can't go tomorrow have you thought he's
been such a big part of this lineup have you thought about how
you might address that?
"I really haven't. We could play Marcus at power forward, possibly, but the conventional wisdom would say you have to go big because you can't teach Reggie the out of bounds plays from the 4-spot between now and tomorrow at 3pm, it's already so ridiculous that it's midnight and we have to be back at 3. The nine o'clock game started at 9:40 again."
What did you tell Michael Snaer after the game?
"I told him he was a heck of a player, I enjoyed watching him play, and I told him that maybe that doesn't make him feel good right now, but maybe he could appreciate it later because I'm a huge fan of his. They were 8 0 on games decided by four points or less and he was directly responsible for winning four of those and he's a security blanket on the other ones. But I just think he's a heck of a player."
James Michael was playing in foul trouble, how
were you able to compensate for that?
"During that time period he was out, Jackson, Desmond, Brice, those guys had to ?ll in for him, but we had movement and got some easy shots. The problem is on the defensive end we gave them easy shots but during that time period we had some great shots.
Give us a sense of how tricky it is when you come out at
Halftime and James Michael gets his third foul and Snaer hits a three.
"I was upset because we didn't close out on Michael Snaer, and he made three or four shots and we weren't challenging him. And in that time out I said I thought we were going to guard people. I liked our composure, P.J. makes the three right after that time out, Reggie made a tough three from the far corner so we just kept playing but it wasn't a very comfortable feeling to say the least."
Six days ago you're playing Duke and for Carolina,
that was a disappointing outcome. Was there anything in
particular that you worked on after that or focused on this week
that led to what we saw today? This is a 20-point win against a
strong Florida State team. What was the difference?
"We worked on everything. The biggest problem was Duke was great. The Carolina fans think it was just about us, Curry made a three with Reggie all over him. His hands were spaced apart wide enough for the ball to go through and Seth made one as he was falling down on his rear end. You have to give them credit. We panicked and took quick shots and talked about that, but basically we tried to work on everything the week of practice, tried to work on better spacing in our offense, better poise, doing a better job on the defensive end of the ?oor, too, so it really was everything.
"I told them I want us to learn from that game, hurt from that game, never forget how bad it was but we've got to move on, next play, next game."
Maryland has all of the size that they theoretically
could challenge your small lineup and yet they used four
guards to beat Duke today at times. Does that make it more
complicated for a quick turn around?
"It does and the most complicated thing we have right now is what is going to happen to P.J. and I have no idea. Other than that still North Carolina is going to play Maryland and we've got to ?gure out a way to play. Last year we got John Henson hurt in the ?rst game the tournament and Kendall getting hurt later got all the attention in the NCAA Tournament, but we were harmed by Henson getting hurt in the ACC Tournament, and we never could come back from that. And last year James Michael stepped up for John and played great in the ACC Tournament, so if we can't have P.J., we've got to have somebody step up and play great."