UNC-Binghamton Postgame: Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty

Opening remarks:

"I was talking to the team before the game about Binghamton, reminding them that they are a good team a lot like Davidson and Hampton and just because they are 3-5 that we can't take them lightly, and Jason reminded me that I said that I'd take a one-point win. I didn't realize that my players listen as well as they do. I should have said a 25-point win.

"I give Binghamton a lot of credit. They are talented. They've got size, they've got athleticism, they've got good shooters, and Al Walker is a great coach. We were fortunate to come away [with a win]. We started off great, and then our execution slipped a little bit.

"I think human nature is that when you get a lead—especially against an opponent that you don't know as well—you think it's going to be easy. I warned them that it wasn't going to be easy, and we had turnovers that led to shots. The defense wasn't set, and they took some long jumpers, and when there are long jumpers, there are long rebounds; it's hard to box out when the ball goes back to the top of the key.

"Kris took two bags of IV at halftime. I'm surprised he was able to play in the second half. Obviously, he wasn't himself because he had a couple of easy shots that he missed. He felt a little light-headed and had a bad case of the chills. Hopefully, he'll be ready by Friday.

"On the Neil Fingleton front, Neil has in fact decided to transfer. He's got one more final tomorrow. I'm sorry to see him go. I like Neil a great deal. I think Neil will be an excellent player, and I still believe Neil has a chance to play in the NBA if he continues to work hard. We wish him well, and he'll always be a part of the North Carolina family. We never like to see people leave, but Neil feels like he'll be more comfortable up in the Northeast."

Can you talk about the plays that Kris made at the end?

"I think his sense of urgency was unbelievable. Again, here's a guy who probably should be in bed, and he blocked that shot and dove on that loose ball. That's the kind of kids that I have. We're 2-4, but we're fighting for our lives. We've got great leadership with Kris and Jason. I thought that Jason did a great job of holding the team together in the second half, just gutsy efforts. It wasn't pretty.

"I don't usually quote Allen Iverson, but I quoted him after the game. They beat Cleveland after losing seven games in a row. Here's the defending Eastern Conference Champions, and they beat Cleveland by three, and he said, 'I'll take an ugly win.' We didn't play great, but a lot of credit goes to Binghamton and Al Walker's team."

Capel hit the three. Do you think that shows he has confidence, and are you glad he took that shot?

"No question. As that ball was being swung to him, I knew he was going to shoot it. We were running the same play for Kris, and Jason's man helped on Kris. That was a good read by Melvin. Jason Capel, I told him yesterday, 'I've got the shooting stats from the first day of practice, and you are first or second in 3-point field goal percentage, foul-shooting, and two-point field-goal percentage in our shooting drills.' He's like 84% from the foul line, 70's from two-point field goals, and high 70's on 3-point percentages. I said, 'You're a great shooter. You're the best shooter on our team.'

"Our whole team has been shooting well in drills. Now, it's a matter of being patient and getting good shots. That was a great shot. He was wide open, and I felt [he would make it]."


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