This was a loss tonight, but it wasn't one where you didn't perform, was it?
I think it is one of the things where in the long run it's going to help us because we are going to get them back in the ACC Tournament. We owe them big-time. With them sweeping us in the ACC, the way we played tonight, I think we have a chance to beat them.
What did they do to tighten on you defensively in the second half?
It was nothing they did differently. They just had [Chris] Duhon chasing me everywhere. It was nothing that he did to make me miss shots; it was just that the ball didn't go in for me. He is a great defender but--
You don't think they gave him any more help?
I think they did give him a lot more help, especially when I started to drive more. Help was there and there were a lot of little ticky-tack fouls that the ref didn't call. Other than that, they played pretty good.
Did you come in with the plan to beat them on the boards tonight? You all had some success there.
It was a goal of ours to kill them on the boards. I think we did a great job of doing that the first half--same thing in the second
What happened on the last possession?
We were down three. I don't know how much time was on the clock when I got the ball, but I know they sent like three guys at me. I was pushing it up the court; I was about to pull up for a three and I just got hounded. There was no call, but they got the ball.
Were you thinking about the rivalry before the game started?
It's a big rivalry and I knew it was going to be a great game. Each team came in to win. We thought we would win, and they thought they would win. We came out on the short end of the stick, but I think we played a great game.
When do you think the season turned for this team, so you can now make a run in March?
I think it started once we beat Wake on the road. We showed people that we can play on the road and win on the road. After that, everything started to click. We had a bad loss at Virginia after that, but we also had some big wins--we beat [NC] State at State. We beat Florida State. We beat some great teams. We are going to take this as a positive.
We are upset that we lost the big rivalry against Duke. They are a great team, but we are upset that we lost. At the same time, we have to take this as a positive and go into the ACC Tournament to make a bang there.
How much do you want a third shot at Duke?
I definitely want a third shot, but I'm not trying to say that we want revenge. They are a great team. They are the top team in the conference, and, of course, you want a chance to play the top team again.
How is your hip?
I've got a bad bruise on my hip.
How bad does it hurt to lose this game?
It hurts just because it's Duke. We were talking in the shower. The rest of our games are over here and then there's Duke/Carolina. If you lose that, it just hurts. It's like you're bleeding and you can't stop the pain. We have to learn. They swept us this year in conference. Hopefully, we get to face them again and we can come out on top.
I sure this loss is disappointing, but at the same time, Duke usually puts a run on a team, and you guys never let them make that big run?
I think you can tell that this team has grown a little bit. In the past, we might have let them get 15 points up, but we did a great job of competing tonight. I think everybody who watched the game knows that. It was a great basketball game; it was well-coached on both ends. They just came up [on top]. We were right there at the end with a chance to win and we fell short.
It looked like Duke really made you work for your shots tonight.
I don't think either team shot the ball all that well, but we did a good job of just competing. That's what it's about. People don't understand--they think it's easy to go out there and give everything you've got and come into the locker room empty handed. I feel like someone just slapped me in front of my Mom. It just hurts. We have a lot to learn.
What makes this team ready to make a run in March?
I just think that, since the beginning of the year, we are starting to play Coach's way. The closer we get to that, the closer we'll be to his teams that he had at Kansas. We're right there. We just have to learn from our mistakes because we are still a young team. We still have things to learn.