Matt Doherty talks about McCants

Tar Heel head coach Matt Doherty sat courtside as Carolina signee Rashad McCants led New Hampton to a 75-71 win over the UNC JV squad Saturday afternoon at the Smith Center.

Matt Doherty

What are your thoughts about Rashad's strength?

"He's definitely strong – a powerful kid. Obviously, he's a very good athlete, but he would be a good basketball player, even if he didn't have that body – if you could see the passes he makes. He's unselfish. He tried to draw two charges. All those little things, I'm really excited about."

He seems to have a high basketball IQ.

"No question. He knows where the next pass should go. I think he's a winner. He does things you appreciate, as a coach. He has an understanding of space, where people are, where people should be."

What do you think about Rashad's attitude?

"I think Jamie [Arsenault] has done a really good job in helping him grow and develop. It was tough for him to move from Erwin High School, as it would be tough for anybody, but I think that really accelerated his maturation process. Now he's talking about things like leadership, which is exciting as a coach to have an incoming freshman who is concerned about leadership and the intangibles of the game."

He is listed as a guard in recruiting reports, but can he play at the three in college?

"I think he's a wing man. He's really comfortable down in the post. You see him get the ball down there, and he understands where people are. He uses his body, he's got quick feet, he gets fouled a lot around the basket, so I think he'll be really versatile. He can lead the break, post up, he can do a lot of things."

Were you surprised by the crowd turn-out? They were obviously here to see Rashad.

"Yes and no. We joked that it was the largest crowd for a JV game in the history of Carolina basketball. It may not be, but it was great to see, and it shows the kind of support we have here in North Carolina."

Do you think he can handle all the hype that will come next year? People are anointing he and Raymond.

"I try to deflect that a lot. He still will be a freshman. He's going to make mistakes. He's going to have to have some room to grow. There's going to be a lot of pressure on those guys, and if I can help deflect that pressure, I will. Don't look for these guys to save the program. They've got to have some time to grow and make mistakes."

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