Q: Have you had any delays in practice the last couple of days due to the weather?
A: No, in fact since classes were cancelled yesterday and the guys live only a couple hundred yards away, we moved up practice a little bit so they wouldn't be out walking around as late as they normally would. So we moved practice up a few hours, but had the same amount of practice. Today, it is the normal practice time so I will be certain everybody will be there.
Q: After the Miami game you said you were concerned about the empty seats at the beginning of the game. Is that a concern for you with 7 p.m. tip tomorrow night?
A: It is always a concern. Now those people did show up. When the game starts, there is a good player somewhere that is watching, that is the only reason it bothers me. Particularly this game though with the weather conditions as they are, who knows if people are going to be able to get here or not. That concerns you, because you look at games on television and that is the same thing prospects are looking at. If we truly want to get this to be an exciting place to play and get the excitement level up, we can't have empty seats.
Q: N.C. State has beaten UNC four times in a row, how important is it to change that trend?
A: I think it is important, but I don't think it is important just this year. It is important every year. We can't do anything about what has already been done. We can try and change it and that's what we will try to do. You can't change it overnight. If we win tomorrow, that means they will have beaten us four of the last five. So they can say it anyway they want to and I can't do anything about it. So we can just do something tomorrow night and try and get a run of our own started.
Q: What is your impressions of N.C. State this year?
A: I haven't seen very much of them, but what I have seen since Sunday I am impressed with their ability to spread you a little bit on the floor and run five guys through the post. Their ability to spread you on the floor and they have five guys who can shoot three-point shots. That gives them a tremendous amount of versatility that creates matchup problems on the floor. They try to guard you on the defensive end. In their game against Georgia Tech this past weekend, their movement with the basketball was just fantastic. They appear to be extremely unselfish.
Q: How are you feeling about the depth of the team these days?
A: You have to feel better about it because there is no draft. We can't bring anyone else in. The kids are trying, but it is a fact at Florida State their bench outscored us 29-2. That is harmful. Virginia's bench outscored us. I don't ever get in to saying that our bench has got outscore the other team's bench, but those are pretty phenomenal gaps there. We got Jackie Manuel and David Noel, I feel very comfortable with them. After that, I feel comfortable in certain situations with the other guys and in other situations I don't feel comfortable with them. We have given some other guys opportunities and sometimes they have done well and sometimes they haven't.
Q: Are you doing anything special with Sean May to get him over his recent shooting struggles?
A: We have been trying some things, but it is sort of like the yips in putting, the more you talk about it the worse it gets. We don't talk on the court about it for two hours and I don't share what we are doing with anybody else so that they send in their special remedies to me or anything like that. He just has to focus and concentrate and try and be more explosive. I think the next to last play of regulation in the Florida State game, he was so wide open it was almost a casual approach. If he had gone up and dunked the basketball, we would have won the game. But the one thing you have to understand is you can't change someone's personality but I think over time Sean will get that ball and dunk it. You are talking about a guy who, with the number of games he has played, is like at the end of his freshman year. You also have to give the Florida State youngster a lot of credit because he made a heck of a block.
Q: With the mask, have you picked up any nicknames?
A: I have heard all kinds of ones. Hannibal Lector. I have heard it all, but it doesn't matter to me as long as I go out and play.
Q: Are you still going to wear it and are you getting comfortable with it?
A: Yea, I'll still wear it for a couple of more weeks. I'm not sure yet. I am never going to get comfortable with it, but I'll just have to play through it.
Q: How big is this rivalry for you?
A: It is pretty big. Me and Julius Hodge have been best friends since the eighth grade. So I am going to go out there and try to win. We try not to talk during the season because he is always going to have something to say and I'll have something to say. So we talk after the season.
Q: How important is it for UNC to re-establish themselves in this series?
A: It is pretty important, but like I said it is just another game for me. I don't look at it as a big rivalry, I guess because I'm not from around here. It is just another big game.