UNC-FSU: Locker Room Report

Postgame comments from David Noel, Rashad McCants, Jackie Manuel and Sean May.


On the importance of the win -

It was a big win for us. We needed this win really bad. It pushes us up in the ACC and also just gives us another win.

Were you guys thinking of the last game with FSU as they narrowed down the lead tonight?

Yeah, we thought about it a little bit, but we knew we had to put it behind us and play ball. And once we did that we were able to build the lead back up a bit.

What enabled this game to finish different than the last FSU meeting?

I think it was the fact that we were at home. Our crowd really helped us out a lot when they were making their runs. The fans got into it and we pulled it out.

On the team's free throw shooting -

I have no idea. I really don't think guys were concentrating. Guys knew we needed it at the end so I think they stepped up and really concentrated and knocked them down.

How can this team find consistency at this stage of the season?

We're going into that stretch where we have to find consistency. And we're going to have to dig deep and find a way -- some way, some how -- to find it.

On playing 5 games in 15 days to end the regular season -

It is a lot of basketball. We're going through a tough stretch here and we're just going to have to buckle down and hopefully Coach will let us get our legs back in practice. We'll do that and just come out and play basketball.

What does this team need to do to finish off teams?

For us, it's going to be our defense. We're going to have to play defense for 40 minutes. When we're able to make them do the things we want them to do, we build our lead, get turnovers and get into a run like we want to play.


On FSU, and other teams', second half surges against UNC -

Teams go on runs. Even the best teams can't withstand other team's runs. Teams are going to make runs and you just have to hold strong.

On stripping the ball from Tim Pickett down the stretch -

Another one of those plays stopping him from shooting threes and pressuring him like he doesn't like to be pressured. Coach always tells us 'Guard somebody like you don't like to be guarded.' I just wanted to get in his face and make him feel uncomfortable.

Talk about how well you've been playing in recent games ...

It's really not about me. If I play well and we lose, then I'm playing for no reason. I want us to win. I think I've been playing pretty well to help my team be in a situation to win.

On the back-and-forth talking on the court with Pickett -

Pickett's a good guy. I like him a lot. He loves to compete. It isn't jawing in a bad way. I like to play against him.


How do you feel about where this team is now?

I talked to one of the coaches yesterday and I was telling him that we need to grow up. We've got guys on our team still learning, with the freshmen and sophomores. We've got to grow up, though, and find a way to be consistent.

On the key to finishing the season strong -

We've got to win some games on the road. We can't think about the past - how we've done on the road before - we've got to put that out of our minds and go out there and play hard.

How close were you to having flashbacks to the loss to FSU earlier in the year?

Real close. What happened in Tallahassee, I was hurt for like two weeks and I didn't want to have that feeling again. I told him, 'Coach, I'm ready to go back in' ...

And what was the biggest difference this time around?

Free throws. We made free throws. When we needed to, we knocked down free throws.

Was there a point where you think the team realized they had to stop another FSU come-from-behind win?

At first, everybody didn't think too much of it but when they cut it to ten, I think everyone realized we didn't want this to happen again and somebody had to step up.

What was the turning point tonight down the stretch?

Rashad hitting the three and getting the steal. That was the turning point for us.


On the win -

We beat a good team tonight. The ACC is tough on any given night and we fought off a tough team tonight.

It seems like the wins lately have been more of a team effort ...

Everyone's really figuring out their roles and what Coach wants from them. Today, Rashad shot the ball well, Raymond did a good job on the boards and scoring, Jawad and I were both in double figures and Melvin knocked down some big shots. So, everyone is starting to find their roles and as long as we keep doing that, we'll be all right.

On the difficulties this season winning on the road -

We can't worry about what we've done in the past. We've got to look forward to winning at UVa and winning at State. We're playing pretty good basketball and are starting to really click.

On playing at Virginia next -

This is my first year playing at UVa. It's a real tough environment. They're playing really well at home and it's going to be a tough game. We can't go in there expecting them to roll over. We've just got to go and play like we know we're capable of playing.

Inside Carolina Top Stories