UNC-CofC Postgame: Locker Room Report

CHARLOTTE, NC – Following the University of North Carolina's fifth basketball loss on the season, a 66-60 defeat at the hands of the College of Charleston Cougars, <I>Inside Carolina</I>'s J.B. Cissell entered a somber Tar Heel locker room to get thoughts from the players.

Jason Capel

Were you surprised that they out-rebounded you?

"I don't know what the number was, but they beat us on the boards, clearly."

How were they able to keep you off the boards so well?

"They boxed out."

Where do you go from here?

"We play tomorrow night. That's where we go from here. We play tomorrow night."

As the senior leader on this team, what do you have to do?

"Get my teammates ready to play tomorrow night."

Kris Lang

A few years ago, this was an upset. What about tonight?

"I don't know. They are a good team, and they came in and played well and won the game."

Is it frustrating to keep losing games to these mid-major teams?

"It's very frustrating losing any game, no matter who they are, but it's also frustrating to know that I can't contribute as much as I can [when I'm healthy] to the team right now. I just want to get healthy. I feel like I could be a bigger help than I have been."

At what point does getting better in losses become unacceptable?

"It's do or die. We have to win these games, plain and simple. There's no secret to it. We have just got to win games."

How healthy are you – 70 percent, 80 percent?

"I couldn't really tell you. I've never had a knee injury before, but it's weak, that's all. I can't react as quickly or push off."

To what degree did that contribute to the fact that they got a lot of second-chance baskets?

"I feel like it had a lot to do with it. I couldn't push off like I normally do, and I couldn't hold my box-out as strong. I couldn't react as quickly. It's tough to know that I can't contribute as much as normal to my team, because they rely on me."

Will Johnson

Coach Doherty has been talking about buying into the team emotionally and that there is a risk that you might not be rewarded.

"That's the tough thing about athletics – you give it everything you've got and sometimes it's not good enough to win. That's the risk you take as an athlete. I feel like we're giving good effort and committing ourselves. It's frustrating to lose."

What does the team have to do to regroup for tomorrow night?

"We have to forget about this game. St. Joseph's is a very good opponent. It will be a good test for us, to test our mental toughness. We have to put this game out of our mind and focus on what we've been focusing on – boxing out a little better and giving a good effort – and we'll be all right."

What does this team have to do to continue to improve – not just tomorrow night – to get over the hump?

"We just have to keep playing with each other and getting more comfortable with each other on the court. Our offensive execution can still improve, and that will help us knock down shots. When you are expecting the ball in certain places, everyone will become more comfortable with their shots. Playing together and improving our execution will help our confidence."

How do you keep confidence through the losses?

"It's hard. It's difficult. I think we're searching for that right now, but I think we have tough guys on this team. We are going to find it – hopefully sooner than later."

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