UNC-WFU Post-game: Matt Doherty

CHAPEL HILL, NC -- UNC head basketball coach Matt Doherty addressed the media, following the Tar Heels' 84-62 defeat to the visiting Demon Decons on Saturday evening.

Matt Doherty

Opening Remarks:

"It's tough to stand here after getting beat like that. I give a lot of credit to skip and Wake Forest. They came in and really outplayed us. I thought they played extremely hard, they are very quick, and I need to to a better job. I need to do a better job with this team.

"I don't think we executed. They did some things that we've seen, but they did it better than the others, and we didn't react very well to it. The turnovers really hurt us when they got them going. Box-outs broke down.

"Josh Howard, he's really long, quick, and I thought he had a great game. I thought Lepore gave them great minutes off the bench.

"We didn't shoot it well, we didn't handle it well, and it was certainly a frustrating game because I thought we were poised to give a better effort than we did today."

After several steps forward, is this a step back today?

"At least, a step back. It was very frustrating. Wake Forest is a good team, but I thought we'd have a better showing than we did. It was very disappointing that we didn't.

"The thing we have to do is learn from it and get it behind us as quickly as possible, because the pace of the play [picks up]. I'm not talking about on the court. I'm talking about all of a sudden, Wednesday, we play at Maryland. We have to learn from it, get better in practice, and be ready to play. It doesn't get any easier for us."

What's the situation with Kris Lang's health?

"He's well enough to play. I have no excuses. Guys went out there and played, and we didn't get it done. Anybody who puts on a uniform ought to be able to go out there and play."

Did anything in particular set you off when you threw the clipboard, or was it just that you'd seen enough?

"It was build-up. I was really frustrated with our execution. We've worked a lot on execution, and again things they did, we have seen, so it was nothing new. They just do it better than other people have done it.

"I was frustrated because we weren't getting to the right spots, and that's poise. That's some experience. I can stand a lot of things, but when you're not concentrating or giving great effort – and I'm not saying they weren't giving great effort. The concentration and execution was frustrating to me."

You will see a lot of the same things on Wednesday against Maryland that you saw tonight, won't you?

"It doesn't get any easier, so, hopefully we can learn from it. I think it was an eye-opening experience for our freshmen. League play is different. There's better coaching, better players, your scouted better, it's more intense, and I think it was an eye-opening experience for our freshmen. Hopefull, they'll learn from it because it doesn't get any easier."

Is Josh Howard the key to that press, since he's such a long guy? Does he make it more difficult?

"Yes, it was hard. I think having him up front at 6-6 with long arms and his quickness causes problems. He cuts down your vision as a point guard. You're more focused on him than where your looks are, so he does an excellent job at the front of that press."

Can you talk about what you want from your point guard and your struggle and frustration to find that?

"I would have liked for Melvin to play better, but it doesn't surprise me. We've played Georgia Tech, and we're into league play again. He struggled, but I thought Adam played very well. I don't blame it on the point guard. If anybody [deserves blame], it's me. I need to do a better job coaching the guys in execution. There is no blame on the point guards. There is no blame on anybody but me.

"I'm in charge of execution. I'm in charge of things like that. If the ball doesn't go down and we execute our plays – that happens. That's just performance, but today, I don't think we were as sharp. I think Wake Forest took the fight to us, and I have a very hard time saying that, because one thing I want to be is aggressive and tough. I don't think we were, and that's something that I keep. Why were we tough and aggressive against someone else and not today?

"They took it at us at the beginning and put us on our heels, and it took a while for us to react to it."

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