Can you talk about the defense you put on Tech tonight?
"It was our best defense of the year as a team. We really put it together. We responded well to the challenge they brought to us.
How big was it to jump on them early?
It was real big. Last year we lost to Georgia Tech and it was a big loss. We didn't want them to come in and take another one from us at home. So we just wanted to set the tone early."
Was it UNC's best 40-minute effort?
"By far. We played real well and jumped on them from the start."
Talk about the physical nature of the game:
"That's ACC basketball. It's going to tough every night and you have to fight hard every night."
Can you talk about the Terps?
"We've got a game we've got to go in there and win, because last year we lost by 40. We're going to take that as a challenge and try and go up there and take one from them at their home."
This was a 40-minute effort, but were their some lapses?
"We definitely had some lapses. We had a lot of mental turnovers, you know, just little things. We got tired and fatigued, at one point, and started making silly mistakes. But overall, I think we played a good game. We played fairly well for 40 minutes. I think it's the best we've played all year.
You picked up a lot of momentum from this for Maryland?
"Definitely. A couple of our guys didn't have the game that they wanted to, but you know, by missing Jawad. He's thinking he's got a broken nose, which I hope he doesn't. Missing one of the top scorers on our team…we missed him, but guys stepped up like David [Noel], Jackie [Manuel], and all those guys stepped up."
Can you talk about how you picked up the slack on scoring tonight?
"That's something that when I have to do it, then I just have to do it. I just come out and try to execute the offense and get my teammates the ball, keep them happy and get them into the game. All our guys just stepped up."
Can you talk about the team's defense tonight?
"If we want to be known for something it has got to be our defense. We have to play like that the rest of the way out. For us to beat good teams we have to play good defense. We beat a real good team tonight because we played hard on the defensive end."
How does your ankle feel and when did it start bothering you?
"The ankle feels alright. I tweaked it a little bit, but I started getting cramps in the back of my calf and that is why I was limping out there. The ankle wasn't holding me back any but my calves were hurting a little bit."
How physical was it out there?
"It was real physical. I don't think that anything is too seriously wrong with Jawad. He got hurt, Muhammad was banged up, Ray got banged up; it was real physical in there. I think that is part of the ACC. A lot of times people say that the ACC is kind of soft, but it is hard in there."
Was this the most complete game that the team has put together this year?
"Yeah, I would say so. I think that on all aspects of the game we kind of had a complete game tonight, especially on the defensive end. Offensively we were flowing a little bit but defensively we really got after it. I think that this is going to be one of our best games of the year."
Is that what Coach Williams wants, the defense to create the offense?
"Yeah. As you could see out there, we had a lot of fast breaks because of our defense. Rashad McCants, a guy that had been criticized for not really playing defense a lot, really got after it tonightand frustrated B.J. Elder early in the game. That really helped us down the stretch."
Can you talk about your next game at Maryland?
"Maryland is a tough place to play. I didn't play there last year but the atmosphere was incredible. This team has got to really focus the next two days and get really prepared. We can't be satisfied with what we did tonight. We have to be ready to go tomorrow and Wednesday."
At what point did you sense that Raymond was going to have a good offensive night?
"When they started pressing. I don't even see the point of running the press breaker with Raymond out there. He is a one-man press breaker. If you get it to him he is going to make something happen. I think that he had one turnover tonight in the press breaker and he came to us and said my fault. He came back the next play and got a lay-up. Raymond has incredible talent and he is going to be one of the greatest players to ever play here when he is done."
What did you learn about this team tonight?
"I think that this says a lot about our team, when one of our best players, if not the best player, in Jawad Williams. goes down. He is having an incredible year and in the last two games he got knocked out against UNC-Wilmington and then he got hit again and had to have stitches against Miami. Then tonight, maybe he broke his nose, I don't know what he did but hopefully it is not too serious. For this team to come together tonight when he was out of the game shows a lot of maturity about this team."