Doherty comments on Hampton game

Tar Heel head coach Matt Doherty talks at his Thursday teleconference about tomorrow's season-opener against Hampton ...

On Hampton:
"Certainly they had a storybook ending to their season last year. They've lost a lot [from that team], yet they're a team that will come in here expecting to win. It's going to be a challenging game for us, especially our young guys. It's going to be interesting to see how we react."

On the health of the Carolina team:
"Jason Capel has practiced the last two days and seems to be okay. I'm sure his conditioning is a little suspect because he hadn't practiced in about two weeks. He will start. We'll try to monitor his hamstring and how it feels during the game. I'll talk to [trainer] Marc Davis and see what he feels about Jason. Right now, I'd rather be conservative with it.

"Brian Bersticker's shoulder is very sore, and I don't know if that will ever be 100 percent. Beside that, Neil Fingleton has some problems with his feet, and it's one of those things that could linger for the whole year. These are conditions that are going to have to be monitored on a daily basis. But I think every team has got their share of aches and pains."

On the point guard situation:
"Adam [Boone] is really getting better every day. We're really pushing him to be more aggressive and not be afraid to make mistakes. I think he's had a couple of good practices [this week]. Melvin [Scott] is going to back him up. That will be the rotation until something further develops. Melvin is going to get better every day. We're trying to get these young kids more comfortable and trying to free them up offensively to play more on instinct instead of worrying about trying to remember plays. I think giving them some freedom, on the offensive end especially, has helped them."

On Jason Capel's return to the lineup:
"I think he's a stabilizing influence on the floor. Jason is a leader. He knows the game very well and knows where everyone should be. During timeouts and deadball situations, I think most of the guys will look to him. He'll be quick to tell a point guard, 'Hey, let's run this play' or 'Look for this next time down.' He'll really be a stabilizing influence for Adam and Melvin."

On whether an early conference game this season (Dec. 2 versus Georgia Tech) affects the early, non-conference games and development of a rotation on the floor:
"It really doesn't [affect it too much]. You can't rush it, you can't force a situation like that. I'm not a big fan of those early-season conference games. I'm a Type-A personality - I like things in nice, neat boxes, with our conference games separate from our non-conference games. But things don't work like that. We've got to get better every game. Hopefully by the time we play Georgia Tech, we'll be better than we are today."

On the starting lineup:
"It will be Brian Morrison, Jawad Williams, Jason Capel, Kris Lang [and Boone]."

On the development of the freshmen:
"I was listening to Tom Izzo [Michigan State head coach] talk, and he talked about teaching. You really have to become a good teacher. It's a good experience for Tom, it's a good experience for me that I've got to slow down and not assume that [the young players] know anything. I've got to slow down, break things down and really teach. It's a neat challenge as a coach. I'm trying to simplify things and let the young kids be basketball players, then add to the offense and defense at a slower pace. These young kids have to go out there and play aggressively, they have to attack and they have to feel confidence."

On where the defense stands at this point:
"I thought that we were better in the second [exhibition] game than we were in the first game. In the first game, we got driven way too much. In the second game, we allowed too many drives. But I think we're learning and we're working hard on guarding the ball. Those teams we played [in the exhibition season] had some talent - you take the best players from some good college teams. Some of them played in the NBA. They had some good athletes. I think the exhibition season was great for us."

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