UNC-GT Postgame: Locker Room Report

CHAPEL HILL, NC--Following the University of North Carolina Tar Heels' 83-77 victory over the visiting Ga. Tech. Yellow Jackets, Brian Morrison, Jackie Manuel, Jawad Williams, and Melvin Scott talk about the win with <i>Inside Carolina</i>'s J.B. Cissell.

Brian Morrison

What can you guys learn from this game?

"I think we'll learn a lot from this game, defensively. I think we'll get better. Also, we need to take better care of the ball. Sometimes, we didn't take care of the ball very well out there."

On that first-half dunk, were there any thoughts of just laying it in?

"I just went in and was going to try to dunk it. I knew I was going to get fouled. It just so happened that I put it on him."

On some of those 3-pointers, it looked like you were 25 or 26 feet out there.

"I don't think Coach liked that too much, but it went in. I just felt it. I was out there, just letting it go."

It looked like a few times you were demading the ball. Is that the case.

"Yeah, I wanted that ball. Yeah."

Jackie Manuel

Jason Capel has said al along, "We're young, so give us time, and we'll be a better team." You showed that tonight.

"That's all we need is time. We're young, and we're going to make a lot of mistakes. All we need is time."

When you got fouled and you got hurt, you had just missed two free throws. You could have gone to the sideline and let someone else take those shots. Why didn't you do that?

"I think I'm a mentally tough person. It was a challenge for me. It was a challenge, and I just took it."

You guys got offense from all over tonight, and that was a difference. What do you think?

"Not every night Kris and Cape are going to score 20-30 points per game. We need everybody to step in and help out."

Brian Morrison caught fire there a little bit, didn't he?

"Brian did catch fire. He was hot."

He got up pretty good on that one dunk there too, didn't he?

"He surprised me. Over the summer, everybody was like, 'Brian, where's your hops? You came in here and you were jumping.' I guess they're coming back now."

On photo day this year, he was missing some dunks. I thought maybe he lost a step.

"He didn't lose it. He was just waiting to bring it out, and he did tonight."

Each game you guys have looked more comfortable, and tonight you finally looked like you were just out there playing basketball without pressing too hard.

"That comes with time. As the season goes on, we're going to be more comfortable out there."

What did Coach Doherty say to you when he pulled you over prior to the free throws?

"There's a place called Pahokee (Puh-HO-kee) Rec. in West Palm Beach where I'm from. We had a talk earlier in the week, and he told me to just play like I do in Pahokee Rec. It's the name of a town, but that's what they call the gym."

Jawad Williams

I see some teeth there. What's with the big grin.

"Yeah, it's a great feeling. We got our first win as a Carolina basketball player, and it feels really good."

Its seemed like when you got that lay-up you exploded a little, offfensively. Did that get you going and give you confidence?

"My goal tonight was to not put all the pressure on myself but come out as a good team player and have a spark off the bench, and I think I did a good job of that tonight."

You had five assists tonight. That's a lot for a guy at your position.

"I don't always have to score. When you pass the ball, it opens things up, and that's what I did tonight. They saw that I was distributing the ball, and they starting going to those players that I was passing to, and then they left me alone. That gave me a chance to do what I can do."

You three freshmen were in the last few minutes together with Jason and Kris—and you pulled it out. How does this affect your confidence at a group?

"It gives us a lot of confidence because now we know that Coach Doherty trusts us in the clutch. That's why he got us here. He really believes in us, and that helped us a lot."

Do you see this as a turning-point game for yourself?

"Yeah. I'm a lot more relaxed out there now. I know what I can do, I know what I have to do, and I know what I will do to help this team."

Brian kind of exploded out there. What have you seen from him?

"When B-Mo gets in a zone, he doesn't miss. He has days in practice where he might score 20 straight. He hit one of those zones tonight, and it helped us a lot."

He took a few from w-a-a-a-y out there tonight.

"B-Mo can't find the 3-point line. He just shoots it when he catches. As long as it goes in, we don't care."

What did you think when he went up for the dunk?

"I thought it was a lob. I thought he was going to throw it back up to me. I was nice enough to give it to him (laughing), but he dunked it, and it surprised me."

I haven't see that from him this year. Where did that come from?

"Our crowd helped us a lot. They kept the noise going. B-Mo's adrenaline kicked in, and he took off."

What did you think about the crowd? They were into the game pretty good tonight.

"That was great. It really helped us a lot, knowing that those fans that came out tonight to support us even though we were 0-3. It really gave us a lot. We felt like we owed them something, so we gave them the win."

Melvin Scott

You hit a big 3-point shot. What was going through your head?

"I knew I had a good look. I saw my surroundings. I knew the ball was coming to me, and I was like, 'Melvin, be ready. You know you've got to take this shot, so be ready and confident."

Was it a bank shot? Did you call that?

"It was a bank shot. I called that one—'Please, God.' That's all I called that one, and it went in, so we were back in man defense."

Did any of the guys rag you about that?

"Yeah, they were like, 'What was that?' and I was like, 'It was a prayer.'"

You guys have had some bad bounces. Maybe you were due.

"Yeah, I was due for a good bounce. We've been shooting terribly, and it's just a matter of time. We're good shooters, but sometimes you get in a shooter's slump. We just didn't expect to start the season in a slump. But the shot I made, hey we're due some bounces."

How did it make you feel to be out there with Jason and Kris in crunch time?

"It felt good. This is what we've been talking about all summer. We established good friendships, and before we even played a game, we were like, 'We're going to be playing together, and everybody's going to be screaming for us.' We kind of forshadowed it, and tonight our dreams came true. I know it's going to help our confidence, and I think we're ready."

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