UNC-Duke: Locker Room Report

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Rashad McCants, Sean May and David Noel answer questions after the Tar Heels lost to Duke in overtime ...


What can you take away from this loss?

I think we're the best team in the country - hands down - if we can be more focused and just listen to what coach says, we can be more successful than we are now.

Is that all you think it'll take to get over the hump?

It takes time. More practice. Execution, things like that, that takes time. Duke, as good as they are, had a lot of defensive breakdowns, but they fix their mistakes quicker than we do and that's what makes them so good. I think, with us, we have so much talent that everybody needs to look themselves in the mirror and just ask themselves what I can do for this team to win - what can I provide - and sacrifice everything I can for this team.

On the importance of this game -

I really think that we needed this game as a springboard for going into the second half of the ACC season, but I think it still is even though we lost, because we know we should have won. It was just like the first ACC game we played. I think it'll give us a whole 'nother level of confidence. As many breakdowns as we had, the film is going to show us that as bad as we played, we're still pretty good. Like I said before, if we can control those mistakes ...

We played hard. I think everybody gave it their all. They're going to be breakdowns in overtime and those are things we can fix and control.

Coach Williams said twice that he thought this was the best game he's ever seen you play. Your thoughts?

I think I played the best defensive game I've ever played. I figured that out when Daniel Ewing told me, 'Dang, you're really playing great defensve on me right now.' That was my challenge, to show Coach Williams that from here on out I'm going to give it my all for you.


On losing -

This team in the past, it's been a habit for them. And that's not something we can let happen this year. Losing hurts, and everybody is disappointed about what happened tonight, but we've got to be able to bounce back Saturday.

At what point can you get to where you make winning a habit?

When you're consistent. Consistent with everything you do on every play. Before this team can be great, we need to be consistently good. We're good in spurts. We're good one game and just another team the next. For us to be among the top 10 in the country, we need to be consistently good.

Rashad said he felt you're the best team in the country when do what you're supposed to do.

Right, when we listen to coach ... coach knows what he's talking about. He's taken some teams that aren't that talented to the Final Four. Coach knows what he's doing. If this team buys into what he's saying, we'll be in the position that we need to be in. That's where we've got to start - start listening to coach. And Coach is a great man because he takes all the blame. He's in that locker room, he's hurt right now because he's trying to find a way for this team to play the way he knows we should be playing. And it's about time we start being accountable for our own mistakes.

Up seven with the ball, what went wrong?

Duke just played great D, we turned the ball over and didn't make some shots. Duke is known for their defensive pressure, but I felt we did a good job of attacking them and attacking the boards. We did a good job of overall play today and just didn't get it done in the end.

How do you bounce back in less than two days to beat Wake Forest?

You get rest and don't think about it. Just try to think about what's going to happen against Wake. If you dwell on this, well Wake's already got an edge on you. They're at home and if you're think about what happened last game then they've got two points on you. We've got to put this behind us - we'll get another chance to face them and that's what's great about this league. We'll face them again on their place and hopefully if we play well in the ACC Tournament we'll have another chance to face them. We've just got to keep rolling and not worry about this one.


Talk about your emotions and where this team is mentally now?

Right now, I don't know about everybody else, but I'm down. I'm drained emotionally and physically. Not to get the win is making it even worse.

What happened on Duhon's driving layup?

We tried to pressure and Deng bumped Raymond and got him off his track and I didn't do a real good job of helping and stopping the penetration and he drove all the way to the basket and made an acrobatic lay-in around Jawad. ... I was there and I didn't stop him, so that's all on me.

We you a bit tight early?

A little bit, but not much. Excited, but not really tight. We just made a lot of turnovers in the beginning and that didn't help us out.

Can you talk about their success scoring inside?

We just tried to front a little but more, but we knew we couldn't leave their guys open for three ... that's just one of those things we had to fight through.

You talk about how down and drained you are, how can you fight through that in time for Wake Forest on Saturday?

I don't know. Some time of way. God willing - ask him to lift our spirits. I don't know. After a game like this I don't see there's any way for me to get back up.

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