"I think the big, huge part of the game was the injuries and how short it left Brian’s club. I think we did some good things halfway through the first half and had a good spurt, but without Georges-Hunt and Stephens. Those guys have been so competitive all year, I think they just ran out of gas. That was at least if not the biggest, one of the biggest parts of the game. They just ran out of personnel. And yet I think this club really played extremely hard the second half and drilled us on the backboards in the second half. We got some good help in the first half and a pretty good run there with Joel [Berry II] off the bench - making his threes. I think that was big for us. Their big guys in the first half had eight of their 10 field goals. I don't know what they finished up with - 13 - so they got five in the second half, too. But I think, for us, we tried to do a better job on the big guys in the second half. We sort of meandered around there a little bit, but we got enough breaks, got enough layups and we got enough shots to go in the basket. I do believe the whole thing was that we just had more bodies than they did."
On getting 21 points off turnovers in the first half:
"I think that was the whole key to the whole game if it was not the injuries for Brian's club. It's a four or six-point game, then all of a sudden, it's an 18-point game because they turned it over a couple times – 3-4-5 times, in fact - and we were laying it up on the other end. One of them we ended making a three off of it. I think that little spurt for us offensively was the most important part of the game for us, particularly on the offensive side. Then when you add in the fact that they had their guys hurt, I think that was it.”
Was that spurt due to your guys being a little more active?
"We were active. We went to some scrambles. We got a 32 and 42 and both came up with turnovers. We came back with them and got another turnover. Then we tried to jam down a little quicker on the post and got a turnover there as well. It was a good spurt for us."
On the 11-0 run in the first half:
"I think it started with our steals on the other end. Nate [Britt] made a three during that time period also. We shot too many threes in the first half. We shot 11 threes and only shot two foul shots. That's not what we usually do, but they were going in."
On Joel Berry II helping outside shooting:
"Well it was a lift, but Joel's percentage was awful before tonight, too. If you tell me it's a trend, then I am as happy as I can be, but sometimes the ball goes in the basket for you. But 6-for-18 is not something to get excited about. Our women made 14 out of 26 and lost on Sunday. But we needed them to be going in for us during that time period."
Your team has generally struggled when Brice Johnson has struggled shooting the ball, but that wasn’t the case tonight.
“What did he end up? 1-for-9? Yeah. I don’t think I’ll get the same question at the conference call on Monday this week about how consistent he’s been. 1-for-6, 11-for-15, 1-for-9.”
Is it fair to say the team is finally getting healthy?
“Yes. I wasn’t going to play Theo [Pinson]. Yesterday was the first day he’s been in practice. It was the first day he’s played 5-on-5. I didn’t think that was fair, but I asked him, ‘Would it help you if you got a couple of minutes tonight?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And the Stilman [White] was able to go 5-on-5 this week and yesterday was the first time Luke [Davis] had. I’m standing there and I said, ‘Did Luke go 5-on-5 with us yesterday?’ It was a very short practice anyway. So we got Luke in there. Stilman has been doing some the last three or four days and I think Luke’s and Theo’s first day was yesterday, and then for sure it was Spencer [Dalton’s] first time.”
After you beat Georgia Tech last time, your team had a letdown against N.C. State. How do you prevent that from happening again on Saturday?
“If we have a letdown this time, guys, we don’t have a frickin’ heart. Come on… You’re playing Duke and they beat us last time. It’s the greatest rivalry in all of college basketball. If we get beat, it won’t be because of a letdown. And I’m telling you, when State beat us, it wasn’t because of a letdown. It was because State played a heck of a lot better than we did. We played poorly and they played much better than we did, but it was no letdown. And if we have a letdown Saturday… What have we done? We’re not even in the top four. So we won a basketball game and we’ve got a big game coming up.”
UNC-GT: Roy Williams Postgame
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