UNC-NCSU Locker Room Report

CHAPEL HILL, NC -- Orlando Melendez, Jawad Williams and Kris Lang addressed the media following the Tar Heels' loss to NC State, 77-59.

Orlando Melendez

You had a nice dunk. Is that a play that you've been waiting for at Carolina?

"I've done that before. It was good, but I hoped it would give us a lift. We kept trying, and they kept coming at us."

Does is feel strange to see a team in that uniform with so little confidence?

"This team has a lot of confidence. We work hard every day. We come out confident. If we don't have confidence, we might as well just stay in the locker room. This team has pride, and we work hard every day for this jersey. We go out there and do our best, but we are having a slump right now. It's just part of the game, but people are working hard every day."

Is it beating you down?

"It does. Nobody likes to lose. We play hard every day and every game to win. It beats us down, but we've got to come here tomorrow and keep working hard."

What were you thinking with Anthony Grundy coming with the ball and only you between him and the basket?

"It was just me and him. He got a couple of steps in front of me. I was just trying to hustle. There was no way I could take a charge. I saw him take off and try to dunk on me, and I just challenged him."

Jawad Williams

Do you feel like this team is getting anywhere? Do you ever just feel like a hampster running on a wheel?

"As long as we keep working, things have to happen for us. Everyone is down now, but it can't get any worse. We can only go up from here."

How is the team's confidence? It doesn't seem like you can have much at this point?

"Me personally, I have to keep the confidence level high, no matter what happens. If we don't, we might as well not go out there and play. For me, my confidence level never drops."

Were you surprised at how many of their fans were here?

"Yes, I was real surprised. They hit a bucket, and it seemed like our fans were cheering for them. Then you look around and there's a lot of red – almost as many red shirts as Carolina blue shirts. That was pretty surprising to me."

What's it been like with Matt. It seems like he's really intense. He's a lot different than Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge. Is it good for him to really push you guys while you are in this slump, or do you think it would be better for him to ease up?

"I think it's good. If he continues to push us, we can't do anything but get better. I think if he lays off of us, we might take the approach that we're going to slack off and get worse."

What was Matt's message to you guys after this game?

"Just keep working. We've got to hang in there and keep working hard every day."

I know you aren't local to this area, but there is a lot of animosity towards Carolina for winning so many games. Do you feel like teams think "Hey this is our year to get a shot in at Carolina!"?

"I think a lot of teams feel that way, but we can't lay down. We've got to fight back. This year, they are giving us all their punches. But next year – and at the end of this year – after we turn this around, a lot of teams will be surprised. Next year, I feel sorry for the teams that did this to us."

Kris Lang

What are your general thoughts on the game?

"It's frustrating for me, in particular. Being a senior and never having lost to State and then to lose to State at home this year. Especially it's rough when you see the fans and it seems like there are a lot of State fans out there – a lot of red.

"But as far as the game goes, I don't know what to say. Things are getting repetetive, and it's very frustrating. That's really all I can say. It's like beating a dead horse now."

What went through your mind when you hit the hook shot and Orlando touched the ball in the cylinder and you reacted? Was that frustration boiling over?

"That wasn't frustration at all. I was just upset at the fact that he didn't use his head. He wasn't being smart. The ball was clearly not out of the goal, and he did that. You have to be smarter than that, and Orlando knows that. He knew it as soon as he touched the ball. That's all that matters."

It seemed like they would run the clock down and take a shot and the ball would bounce around and they would come up with it. Why was that?

"Long rebounds. Long rebounds killed us. Granted, it's difficult to box out at the 3-point line, but it's something that needs to be done for us to win. Offensive rebounds have killed us recently, and they have been long. It's draining on us to play defense for 25-30 seconds, they put a shot up and miss it, and they get the rebound. That takes a lot out of you."

What happened when Jason got hurt in practice?

"He got knocked out. We were doing a box-out drill, and he dove on the floor with a bunch of other people, and he just got clocked really good. He tried to get up, and we saw blood on the floor. Then, the next thing we saw was him falling out again, trying to stand up and he just fell over."

Inside Carolina Top Stories