“Well it’s been a lot of fun watching this basketball team at certain times this year. It was not fun tonight. It was frustrating as I can ever remember if I’m being honest with you. We won. We made some free throws down the stretch and made some shots. I really think they executed their stuff better than we executed our stuff on both ends of the court. I gave them some time off and made practices shorter so they could get a lot of studying done and work done for exams. That’s no excuse, but now we’re going to make all A’s because we didn’t do much preparation for the game. I’m excited for what our grade point average is going to be.”
You had the lineup with Luke (Maye), Stilman (White), and the three freshmen and you get a 10-0 run early in the first half…
“Kennedy (Meeks) and Isaiah (Hicks) did absolutely nothing, Kenny Williams fouled a guy 85-feet from the basket and then Nate throws it away, so we had to get somebody in there. Those five subs, four subs, kept us in the game early. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut your question off, but we sucked. Now my wife’s going to be mad at me.”
Roy, you expressed frustration at Indiana last week. Are they similar issues?
“No. I think up there they just manhandled us. We just did some not very intelligent things. I’ve loved coaching this team. Sometimes we’ve been really sharp, really into it. I think we thought it was going to be easy. We played them here last year and got off to a great start and beat them pretty easily. In my opinion we weren’t ready to play. I mean, they doubled us in the post, we practiced on that, we’ve seen it since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen it from a couple of other teams. We had five turnovers in the first four minutes.”
What do you think about Stilman being on the bench that long and then being called upon and performing like that?
“I told Stilman the other day that he’s done some nice things for us in practice. He really has done a great job of running the scout team or whatever, I don’t think these guys have given themselves a name. I think he gave us a big lift. He stepped up to the free throw line and made some big free throws. Justin (Jackson)’s three-point shots were needless to say huge for us. We had 10 guys play over 10 minutes.”
What did you think of Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge?
“Gibbs we know because he’s such a great shooter. He’s hard to guard because he steps at you as hard as he can that you think he’s driving, then he steps back and hits that shot. Aldridge is a tough matchup for us because he can make the three, and he did some nice things on us on the inside. He got Isaiah with four fouls and he got Luke with four fouls. He scored over Justin at one point near the end. They’re the highest scoring duo in the country and we helped their average a great deal tonight playing so poorly. Give them some credit, they had to make some shots. I would have loved to kid Jack about that three that he banked in in the first half. Every other shot he took I thought was going in, I thought that one was not; it did.”
Why is Justin Jackson a more effective 3-point shooter now than he was a year ago?
“I have no idea. If I did, he wouldn’t have gone 0-3 in the last game.”
How much do you attribute the disjointedness to Joel not playing, or is it those other things you’re talking about?
“I say all the time: you know who had to play tonight? North Carolina. Regardless of who was available. If we use that as an excuse, then we’re not being tough enough mentally and physically as we should be. I’d love to have Joel in the game, he’s at least been one of our top two players, if not our best player, and it hurts not having him in there. Nate (Britt) had a tough night shooting the ball, but he had six assists, but also three turnovers. Kennedy had three, Kenny had three, Justin had three, Nate had three. You know guys, this is the way they play, this is their game. There’s 351 Division 1 teams; they’re 320th on turnovers forced. I mean we’re throwing the ball through the guy’s legs. Nate threw a ball to Isaiah that missed his foot and went right out of bounds.”
What did you see from Luke Maye during that stretch?
“The first half he made a couple shots. They called him for a charge that I didn’t think was right. He did some good things to help us late. I got frustrated because we weren’t doing the job defensively.”