At some points during the game today I thought we were pretty doggone good. I thought we were really good defensively early, and then after that I got on to some of the guys during substitutions because I thought our intensity fell off quite a bit. Then I thought we were pretty doggone good late. We made three 3’s in a row and do those kinds of things. Always when the ball goes through the basket everything—as I’ve said a million times—everything looks better.
The only disappointing thing in the second half was the turnovers. Everybody is trying to hit a homerun; just make the easy play and don’t try to make something when it’s not there. So we instituted a rule that when you turned it over you had the opportunity to come over and sit down. That is the reason we made a few more substitutions there. Thirteen turnovers in the second half is way too many, but defensively I thought we did some good things. If you don’t put them on the foul line I would have really been happy. But, again we had some really good moments and six guys in double figures (points) and 10 guys in double figures minutes, so I like those kinds of things.Coming off the break you guys had a little more time than usual at home. Did you like the energy you got?
Yeah, we should have ‘cause we had so much time at home. We haven’t practiced—they were shocked because the first night, Christmas night, at seven o’clock I think it was. Or nine o’clock, I guess. They probably thought I was going to kill them, but I told them it wasn’t the sensible thing to do and we went fairly short. We tried to make sure nobody got banged up or sore because they hadn’t practiced. Then yesterday we practiced in the morning and came back and shot some last night. This coming week will be a really good week for us because it is the first time in quite a while really that we will be able to get some practice time. We had no practice time, hardly at all, before Kentucky and a week off this time. So next week will be extremely important for us.When Justin Jackson plays as well as he did, what does it add, not just to your offense but also his confidence?
Well, he should be confident. If he would stop making that look-away pass. Every time he looks it away he throws the sucker away. Look away, throw away—those things go together. I got mad at him because Marcus wanted him to shoot the ball, everybody wanted him to shoot it, and he didn’t shoot it so I screamed at him and told him to shoot the ball or come over and sit down. So the next two times he got it he shot it; I think that was good for him but it was also really good for our team. We need somebody to step up. And I’ve said all year I think he’s really going to be a good shooter, and I think those were big for his confidence today.With his 3-point shot, was it just a matter of it not dropping, or have you seen anything?
Technically there is nothing wrong with his shot. He’s just got to spin it a little bit more. I’ve never seen a great shooter that the ball didn’t spin really good. We talked to him about that. That’s about it technically. Just a little more confidence.His hesitancy, does that have to do with just being a freshmen and still trying to figure out where he fits in the pecking order?
It could be, but that gives him and out. I can’t change him into a sophomore so quit giving me an excuse. It didn’t affect Tyler Hansbrough when he was a freshman so it shouldn’t affect anyone unless you allow it to affect you. And we’ve played 12 games now—he should be more comfortable and yet agree with you that they are freshmen and you have to understand that. But I’m trying to push him through that because kids will sometimes keep using that as an excuse and I don’t want that. I think he’s really got a chance to be a really good player.