UNC-WF: Locker Room Report

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina's Sean May, Raymond Felton, David Noel and Jawad Williams answered questions following their loss to Wake Forest.


On the final UNC play in the 3rd OT --

We messed up in the very last play. We had called a play and miscommunication. Jawad was supposed to set a down screen for Rashad, but Rasheed set a flair screen for Jawad. Neither one really screened and the play was messed up. Ray tried to make a play, lost it and fouled Eric [Williams].

We have to learn how to win. That's what Coach preached to us at the end of the game. The team's young and we've just got to learn from this.

How tough was it watching the final minutes from the bench?

I felt Melvin [at the end of the 2nd OT] had a good look on the last one and it rolled in and out. Rashad had a couple of shots he missed, Jackie had a layup that could have tied it ... but for me it was really frustrating because I knew I shouldn't have been over there [on the bench]. Had I played smarter, had I played better, we wouldn't have been in this situation. Like I told Ray a few minutes ago, I take the blame for this and I apologize for letting my team down. We've just got to learn from it and I'm sure everything is going to be all right, but it hurts.

If there was one of those fouls you could take back ...

Both of those charges ... especially the one in the first half. One time Chris Paul jumped into me and they called a foul ... that was -- that. It wasn't like I was out there beating up guys. Can't remember the last time I fouled out of a game.

Do you think fatigue played a factor in the loss?

That late in the game, that many overtimes, you're not worried about being tired. You've got to gut it out. They were tired, we were tired and you could tell. Passes going everywhere, free throws ... Levy had four and missed all four ... we had about eight. I think this team's in great condition and we'll just continue to get better.


It was a loss, but a great game ...

Yeah, it was a great game, but I'm still disappointed and it was a game we should have won. Missed some free throws down the stretch, some bad plays down the stretch ...couple turnovers when we were up four and lost the lead. So many small things we should have done to win that game. It's over with now and we've just got to look past it. The guys are still upset, Coach is upset - we're all upset. Got to put this behind us, take a couple days off and get ready for the next game.

How does your ankle feel now?

It's sore, but I'm all right. I'll be ready to play in the next game. Me and Paul got caught up and I rolled my ankle.

On dealing with the loss--

I was just trying to focus on this game and get this win before we did go on our break. It'd have felt much better going home right now knowing we just won a big game. But now I've got to ride home mad, upset and I really don't want to talk to anybody. That's really the feeling I have right now. I don't want to talk to anybody. Just want to drive home, get in my bed and go to sleep.

On the advantage Eric Williams gave Wake --

Extremely big body, hard to get around. When he gets the ball in the post you know he's going to score or get a foul. We tried to double down and help Sean out a little bit. Eric's just a good player.

Looking forward to playing in Winston-Salem later this year?

Definitely. We're going to look forward to playing against them again. It'll be another great game.

What do you learn from a game like this?

It was a learning experience and a typical [tough] ACC game from the opening tipoff. It was a game you've just got to experience - it was wonderful, but we got the bad end of it..


On making a three in the third OT and what followed --

It was a big three, but at the same time we had to go down and play defense and we didn't make the stops that we needed to make.

I'm not sure [what happened] ... they made big shots down the stretch and they had some key rebounds and things like that. And we missed some shots. That's what it's all about - making shots down the stretch and we didn't do that tonight.

What's your impression of Wake Forest tonight?

They're a great team -- they were a great team coming in. Coach always tells us 'Respect everyone, fear no one' and we didn't fear them at all ... we felt we could come in here and get a great win on our home court, but it didn't work out that way.

You ever been in a game like this?

That was a first for me and it was a great experience. I just wish we could have come out on top, but unfortunately we didn't. We're just going to take this one, put it behind us, and try to move on.

Sean mentioned that Coach Williams said this team needs to learn how to win ...

A lot of games that we've won have been somewhat blowouts, and the ones that we have been close with have been against mediocre teams with not as much talent. But going up against a team like Wake, we need to learn to put them away because they're a great team, they're going to come at you with everything they've got, and once we get in a position to put them away, we need to do it.

The struggles at the free throw line - any ideas on why?

I can't explain it. We shoot almost 300 free throws a day in practice and coach always tells everybody to shoot more free throws. It's just something we need to continue to work on and get better at it every day.


Is there anything you can take away from this loss?

It shows us what we need to work on. I don't see any positives. We lost the game. I'm not going to say after a Carolina loss 'Well, we hung with them.' I'm not going to say that. Carolina lost.

Playing the ACC opener this early, you've still got a few weeks before the conference season really gets going ...

By then, hopefully we'll find our toughness and stick these games out.

Their size, especially when Sean went to the bench, gave you guys a lot of trouble --

It's not something we're not used to. We play against big guys all the time.

On Eric Williams --

He is a little bit quicker [this year], but our big thing was to try and run around him and make them throw it over the top.

Did exhaustion play a factor in the end?

Not really. It was all about being mentally tough enough to win that game. We had a few lapses where they got a rebound or scored a basket and it cost us.

How can the team bounce back from this and come back strong after the break?

Come closer together.We'll continue to work hard every day in practice and come closer together and get ready for the next game.

Does anyone take the intiative in a close game like this and lead the team?

There's not one person, but the coach is always our leader.

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