Opening comments -
"Well, 62-54 is a little different game than you probably expected since they were 122-118 and we like a really fast pace also. But neither team could make a shot in the first half; they shot 22 percent, we shot 27 (percent). Fortunately for us, we were a little more patient in the second half, got a little bit better shots and made shots. I thought Marcus (Paige) was really good; I thought J.P. (Tokoto) was really good in the second half - he was 0-6 in the first half, second half he was 2-2 and five assists. But I think the guys that really gave us a lift were Luke (Davis), Desmond (Hubert) defensively, (and) Brice (Johnson) coming off the bench. I think those guys really gave us something.
"They took a three-point lead and Marcus gets a layup and cuts it to one and ... we went on a pretty good run then. Marcus and Brice, and Kennedy (Meeks) had a put-back in that stretch there too - those guys did a nice job. You've got to congratulate Holy Cross, they did some really good things, just neither team could make a shot in the first half. It was pretty ugly but at the end I liked what we did in the second half."
What can you say about Marcus's performance tonight?
"I thought it was really good except for I can't believe he was Academic All-ACC after that dumb pass by the bench, he was falling out of bounds and throws it to their guy for a layup. But I didn't have to say a word, he was sitting on the floor wondering, 'What in the world did I do that for?' But he was a big-time player for us tonight, he really was. He's our best shooter and the guys need to work harder to help him get open. But he made some big plays for us."
How much improvement have you seen out of him as a scorer?
"He was a scorer in high school, and I like scoring point guards. Ty Lawson was a scorer, Raymond Felton was a scorer - I think it gives them an extra dimension. Kendall Marshall was able to score, but he was such a passer and we had such threats with Harrison (Barnes) and (Tyler Zeller) and John (Henson) that Kendall didn't look for that. But Marcus is a good scorer. Marcus is a basketball player. He has tremendous savvy and he's good defensively. I've got to try and give him more breaks so he doesn't play 36 minutes in a game, though."
After they took that three-point lead, what got the run going for you?
"I think it was a steal - I don't think it was a missed shot - I think it was a steal that Marcus got and went down and laid it up, and then we did get a stop and Kennedy gets an offensive rebound. We didn't have many (rebounds) - I don't know what it ended up, 39-38, and they outrebounded us by five in the first half - so they were boxing us out and we weren't getting off the box out. We didn't have many second chance points, so that was a big play for us. I think, wasn't Kennedy's basket the first one that gave us the lead? Then Brice had some hoops in that stretch. But I think it was just being a little more patient on the offensive end and getting better movement."
With who you currently have available, is there anything specific this group needs to do better to maximize its potential?
"The first half last Friday night we were pretty close to maximizing our potential - we didn't turn it over, we ran, we guarded, we shot it and it went in - so we need to come closer to that performance. But I think right now it's just the mental part of it, everyone's got to figure out what they do well and do that, and what they do poorly stay away from that. ... We had some open shots in the first half but we shot them so quick - in the first three possessions we took two shots and a turnover and never made more than two passes in any of those three possessions, and that's not very good basketball."
How much of that first half offensively do you think was a byproduct of it being the second and these guys still getting used to each other?
"I'm sure that's part of it, but we've practiced 31 times. We've got to get more patience because you can't take the first quick shot. Our first basket was a layup but it was also the first time we passed it more than twice... "
Will you use Brice at the '5' more?
"Dudzinski stepped out twice in a row and shot threes and that was hard for Joel and Kennedy to get out there. Desmond has the ability to get out there, but Brice and James Michael might be our best scoring tandem of big guys and we were having problems scoring at that point. So it was a bit of both"