UNC-Duke: Doherty's post-game press conference

DURHAM, NC -- University of North Carolina head basketball coach Matt Doherty addressed the media, following the regular-season finale against the Duke Blue Devils.

Matt Doherty

Opening Remarks:

"It's always tough to play Duke, especially if they come off a loss. Jason Williams had a fitting end to his great career here at Duke. They have a great team. They have a great team. It's going to be rough to play them a third time. Nobody wants to play them more than twice in a year. We have to play them a third time, and it's going to be hard because they are such a talented team.

"Turnovers killed us. It's been an issue all year long, and Duke brings that out in you because they are so good defensively. We had 10 in the first half, 15 in the second. That led to them having 72 shots to our 47, so it's like giving them the ball 25 times before the game starts, saying 'Here's 25 possessions, now let's play.' Against a team like that, you can't do that."

Is there anything that you can take from this game that will help in Charlotte?

"We have to watch the film. It's tough to say. We need to watch the film. I thought they did a good job of taking the ball out of Kris's hands. He didn't get many field goal attempts. Jason had a good game. Jawad played fairly well from a scoring standpoint. Kris Lang was only 3-7, with three rebounds. We need to get more production from him. That's either us getting him the ball better or occupying him in a different manner. We just have to watch the film.

"Watching the film from the last game, again, it's turnovers. Taking care of the basketball is easier said than done because they are so quick and they put pressure on the ball. That occupies your point guard and, as a result, you don't see the passing lanes so much. That makes it rough."

Could you talk about the game that Capel had?

"He is playing well and shooting the ball well. He's a senior and should step up in this environment, and he did. Hopefully, we can get another good game out of him, and everyone else needs to step up on Friday. Again, it's taking care of the basketball, and it's easier said than done.

"You guys sit there and watch it and ask 'Why can't you pass it from point A to point B?' and you have to give credit to Duke's defense. They really put great pressure on you and they deny the passes. Then you have guys that can anticipate so well, like Dunleavy. They take away your vision and then they make you drive, and they are so quick at reacting that it causes a lot of problems."

As much emotion and momentum and everything they had going, there was a point in the second half with about 14 minutes to go where you guys could have cut it to 10. Can you make them believe on Friday that they have a chance to beat this team?

"It's my job to make sure we believe; otherwise, we shouldn't get on the bus to go down to Charlotte. I remember that point, and I think it was a turnover that led to a dunk by Dahntay Jones. Is that the play? Those are back-breaking plays where we have to take advantage of those situations, and we didn't. Again, a lot of credit goes to their defense."

It looked like the intensity might have spilled over a couple of times. Did you worry about it getting out of hand?

"No. Coach Krzyzewski is going to take care of his guys. His guys aren't stupid, and I hope my guys aren't stupid either. We're not going to get into a fist fight out there. Yeah, we're competitive. They are competitive, and it's going to happen in a heated rivalry like that, but it's not going to get out of hand. They have good kids, and we have good kids."

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