UNC-FSU: Leonard Hamilton Quotes

The Seminoles head coach addressed the media following the game...

Opening Statement
"You have to give North Carolina a lot of credit. They played with a lot more emotion than we did today. They found a way to get to the foul line, did a little bit more aggressive offensively; and the discrepancy on the boards just tells you that they were really a lot more active on the glass than we were, especially during the beginning of the game. We were very fortunate to even be in the game when we were outplayed so poorly. I thought this showed that they were a little more mentally ready than we were today; and I guess, as a team, as a coach, even if you lose, you always want to feel that you've done all the things mentally and emotionally to find a way to get your team to play their very very best, because even though for whatever reason for the first time it's obvious to me that we have to grow and mature to understand the mental approach that you have to have on the road to play against teams of this caliber. We played a game of it so that in reality, the final score does not indicate how well North Carolina outplayed us today. And you have to give them credit because I thought they did a very good job in their preparation, taking some things away from us. We found a way to get close but as poorly as we played, I'm not really sure had we won the game that would have been the right thing - as well as they played I guess I might say."

On mental preparation:
"I think part of growing and developing a team is probably just as much mental and emotional as lifting weights and learning how to shoot freethrows and run plays; and even though we have matured to the point where we feel confident enough at home that we can play with the type of emotion, I think that the foundation you've got to lay when you're building a program is to having a clear understanding of how important games can be to certain teams and be able to match that mental approach that teams have. In the ACC the teams are so close that it appears the team with the best mental edge in that particular game sometimes will be the one that will be able to have that little something extra to put them over the edge, and I thought North Carolina had that today, and we didn't. And sometimes you hate to admit that as a coach, but I just thought that psychologically you could see it in their eyes and their body language. We wanted to win, and we wanted to play well, but a lot of times when you haven't been there and done that you have to be put in these positions where at least you are competitive to the point where you've got a chance to see what it's like and to feel the disappointment when you don't go out and get it done and then maybe that allows you to grow from the start so to speak. There's a book called The University of Hard Knocks, and I guess that's kind of what we're going through right now. We have to kind of learn as we go through. For us right now with where we are in terms of development with our program, we're kind of in virgin territory. Most of the time, we go on the road and people haven't given us this kind of respect. In many ways the fact that they were ready, and they were playing sound and doing the things that they had in the game plan is a compliment to our kids to how much progress we've made, but on the other hand if you want to be competitive and have some opportunities at the end of the year, you have to master that focus, and I don't think we did that today."

On Andrew Wilson:
"I think Andrew recognized the fact that we were struggling a little bit in different areas, and he's been working. He's had such a tough time at Florida State. He's had two years of injuries, and even though he's been playing he has not been in a condition enough to play an unlimited number of minutes. Today he played 27 minutes, and that's an awful lot for him, for a guy who's still struggling to get his condition. He hasn't been able to run, half the time he can't be in practice, and for him to be able to contribute I think is good for us. We just need to get all our guys hitting on the same cylinder at the same time."

What did you say to guys at halftime about rebounding in first half:
"We weren't rebounding at all. What can you say? It was clear."

On defensive adjustments at halftime:
"Let's just say this - we had the same game plan at the beginning of the game that we had at the end. We just didn't get the job done, and they did a better job of executing their game plan than we did ours. But most of it was I thought they were so much more mentally prepared than we were, not that our players didn't want to, don't get me wrong. It's just that for whatever reason we allowed them to have that edge that we didn't match."

On expectations/disappointment:
"Fortunately for me I've been through this enough that I have a clear understanding of where we are and what we have to do to get there. So I'm not frustrated because I understand. If I'm disappointed in anything, it's just that I want these youngsters to experience the success that I know is available to us if we can find a way to grasp those intangible things that we're struggling to get right. I know we're going to get there. I don't have any doubt in my mind. We're going to be a good basketball team. We're going to be a team of significance in the ACC."

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