“Well we’re excited about winning an ACC game on the road. For a while it was the Ky Bowman show, he was unbelievable. Fairly certain that I’m getting the right guy, but several years ago Larry Fedora called me and asked if I’d let a football guy play basketball and I said 'yes' and he said it was a guy from Havelock, N.C. that they recruited really, really hard. I told Larry he needs to do a daggum better job of recruiting. He was something. The last two games I think he’s been in single digits but I’ve watched three tapes and he’s gotten over 30 twice already this year. Needless to say he was alone in the first half, I think they made six threes and he made five of them.
“For us, we got off to a little bit of a better start getting the ball where we wanted to at the beginning of the second half. Just going back and forth, we couldn’t get any defensive stops. When it’s a three point game I think it was four straight times we got an offensive rebound and scored. Two of them tips by Theo (Pinson), one was an offensive rebound by Isaiah (Hicks) and he scored, then another offensive rebound and he got fouled. At half it was 22-22 (in rebounding) and I challenged our guys to do a better job rebounding, particularly on the offensive board, to give us some more chances. I thought that was a big stretch for us. We didn’t shoot the ball well. Look down there and see 6-14, would like to be better, especially if they’re going 12-27. The rebounding in the second half, we outrebounded them by 12 and it gave us a 10-point margin on second chance points. In the paint we ended up with just a six-point advantage there. Jimmy (Christian) has done a nice job with his club, he really has. They’re all young as they can be. Garland Owens was giving them a huge lift in the first half – they got three extra rebounds because of his hustle. Again, four guys in double figures is something we like. Theo coming off the bench gave us something again today and that was important to us.”
How much did you know about Bowman basketball wise? I know Larry originally told you about him.
“I didn’t know very much about him. At that point they were telling me they thought they had a great receiver, so I was going to do whatever they needed to help get the youngster. I’ve had some success, whether it’s Jesse Holley or whoever. I got his name… he was the MVP or Co-MVP of the East-West game or the Summer All-Star game, I remember that. I wondered at the time if that was the same youngster.”
As far as young backcourts go, is BC’s one of the tougher you’ve had to face? What do they do that makes them successful?
“They can score. They’re both athletic, quick, and can jump. Kenny Williams really thought he had (Jerome) Robinson covered one time and he pulled up and shot a three right in his face. Those two guys, they’re the leading scorers so we didn’t do a very good job of stopping their leading scorers. One of them with 33 and the other with 18, so they got 51. This is a big time league with 15 teams, I’m not going to say any guards are bad, half the teams I haven’t seen. Those two kids are really, really good.”
Robinson did not get heavily recruited in high school, how does a guy like that just go under the radar the way he seemed to in high school?
“I have no idea… He’s a sophomore now so he’s in the class with Kenny and Luke (Maye) and I know we lost several of the guys that we were recruiting early. I can’t tell you if he made an early decision to BC or not. If he made a late decision I’d really be mad.”
You mentioned what your guys were doing better offensively in the second half. What were the Eagles doing specifically?
“Well it wasn’t a very good defensive show. They shot 56 percent and we shot 55, so there wasn’t a lot of defense on either end. Coming off of the screens, we weren’t doing a very good job. To get over the screen your teammates have got to help you and give you a path. You can’t just keep going the same way and get caught up. If I go over the screen and get caught, the next time I’m going to try something different. That same play got us three times in a row and that shouldn’t happen. Other than that, they played really good offense. Robinson made two of them right in Kenny’s face… We weren’t sharp defensively, that’s the bottom line. We’ve played four games in eight or nine days and that’s an excuse. I’m not going to allow them to use it and we’ve got to be sharper defensively.”
You had some really strong moments defensively. How far away are you from being the defensive team that you want to be?
“We’ve been up and down more than I thought we would be. I thought we’d be more consistent. We haven’t done it on a consistent basis. I think the field goal percentage we’re giving up…. I think our defensive field goal percentage last year was pretty good and I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that right now. We lost Marcus Paige, who was defensive player of the year for us four years in a row, we lost Brice (Johnson), who blocked shots. We had five blocked shots today and committed 55 more mistakes trying to block shots. We’ve got to be more consistent.”
You had a noticeable size advantage in the frontcourt. Was that a focus for your team and how well do you think you exploited that?
“It was a little bit of a focus and I don’t think we did a very good job of it. We went small because we were having a tough time. In the last 10 or 12 minutes of the game we didn’t have Kennedy (Meeks) or Isaiah both in the game at the same time. We wanted to match them because they were hurting us. During that time period Isaiah’s big offensive rebounds were big for us. I think that the height and size inside - the rebounding was extremely important.”