“It was a great win for us. You take out three or four little sections we played really well. We didn’t get to the shooters one stretch there in the second half - they were 11 for 14 starting out the half - and after that we played a little better defensively. We kept going offensively, that kept us in the game because second half we shot 57 percent. In the second half we got the ball inside better to Kennedy (Meeks) and Isaiah (Hicks). Kenny made a three for us, Justin made a three, but Kennedy and Isaiah kept doing things for us inside.
"They’re really a difficult team to play. They play a zone that’s more unusual so you practice it ... Put it this way, Saturday we played a game, so Sunday we have a short practice and that’s the only time we spent trying to get ready for Syracuse’s zone. And it’s very difficult, they do a great job with it and they have size. When they shoot the ball well -- I would probably guess that’s the highest percentage they’ve shot in any of their losses... I know it sounds unusual but last year they led the ACC in steals, and this year coming into today I think they were second behind us, but we play a much faster tempo so we should have more steals.
"Feel very good about it. I really wanted (win No.) 17 for this group. The only worry I had is that I was afraid other people were saying something to the team about 800 (wins), and I never mentioned it, not one single time. I was afraid that if somebody else was, it might make them feel even a little more stressed. That was the worry that I had. But we did some nice things, ended up winning. It was a fantastic night and the stuff at the end with the former players was special...”
What did you like about the way Kennedy responded from the last night to tonight?
I told him yesterday in our short practice that he should be healthy because he only played 13 minutes Saturday. So he had plenty of energy. And I thought it was an energy level thing for him. He was big on the offensive backboards, he had six and turned (five) of those into baskets. ... Kennedy did some really good things.
When you look at the other coaches that have hit 800 wins, does that make it more special?
“It's pretty simple, 200 is more impressive than 100, so when you get to 800 not a lot of guys have done that. So I’m human, I’ve got some feelings about those kind of things, and that was nice, but I hope that I get a few more, I really do. When I look back, whenever it is that I stop, I’ll feel good about that, but the statements the Jacque Vaughn’s, and the Raef LaFrentz’s and the Danny Green’s and the Marcus Paige’s that they made, I’ll remember those statements a lot more than I will the numbers.”