Well, we won. It was an ugly game at times; it got a little out of hand with the technicals. It helped Joel (Berry) get some points. Last night I felt like junk and he felt like junk, and I was hoping he would be able to play better than I could coach. He got two IV's today--I got two IV's today--and he was able to play. And he was able to play better than I coached. We need him to get healthy so we can get some things out of him.
You thought Kennedy (Meeks played effectively) early, and you have Justin Jackson shooting (well) from three-point range.
After that, I wasn't pleased with much of the other stuff. Seventeen turnovers--11 turnovers in the second half--was frustrating.
King's guys, 10, 11, and 12--(Micah) Seaborn, (Je'lon) Hornbeak, and (Justin) Robinson--those are the three guys we talked about, and at halftime they were the only three guys who had scored, so we hadn't done a very good job defensively on them.
They missed some shots in the second half, and we did a great job rebounding it. But you look down (at the box score) and North Carolina has four points on fast breaks, and they've got 14. That's not very pleasant. Some of us didn't feel well, but we got through it with a 'W.' We have to start playing a heck of a lot better now because it's a different ballgame now.
Did you get a chance to talk to King after the game? He was pretty emotional in here.
He's a great guy, great kid--he's still a kid to me because I'm so old. I remember recruiting him 100 years ago and thought he was one of the toughest kids I'd ever been around. We've had some good heart-to-heart talks. My first year back here (at UNC) he was in town, Hubert Davis was in town, and they came and played pickup with our guys almost every day. Practice started and they set the tone for my entire 14 years here.
He's a competitive rascal, and what they did last year--they beat Notre Dame, they beat UCLA, they beat USC. They had more road wins than anybody (else) in college basketball last year. It's just the way the system is set up that they didn't make the tournament, but they have won 38 games up until this point, counting last year.
I'm extremely proud of him; he's a great, great guy. He got a little frustrated with the officials. That took a great deal away from what I had hoped would be a great experience for him.
You talked about Kennedy early. How much does he set the tone when he comes out with eight points in the first few minutes?
Well, we need to get the ball inside; it opens it up for the guys to shoot it better from the outside. Then Justin started making some. Then we started taking bad shots. Again, the frustrating thing to me was all the turnovers, and just keep the ball in front of you. It's not nuclear science; just keep the ball in front of you. If you do that you will help your defense. We do need Kennedy to come out like that. He was 7-12 and probably missed two or three in close that he can make a lot of times. I like 17 points and 12 rebounds. That's important to us.