UNC-Duke: Doherty post-game press conference

Matt Doherty addresses the media following the UNC-Duke season ending game.

CHARLOTTE - North Carolina basketball coach Matt Doherty met with the media after his team's season ended with a 60-48 loss to arch rival Duke in the Quarterfinals of the 49th Annual ACC Tournament.

UNC finishes the season with its worst record ever at 8-20. It is also the earliest season-finale since being bumped by Duke on March 4 of in the Semifinals of the 1966 ACC Tournament.

Opening remarks

"First of all I just want to thank the seniors, especially these two guys (Kris Lang and Jason Capel). You might think I'm crazy, but it's been a great year. We came in that locker room and it hit me that this group will never be together again. I've had people ask me 'Aren't you looking forward to the end of the season"' I'm not. These kids are great kids, great character, they never point fingers. They trusted, they believed, they listened and they led."

On tonight's game

"We though we were going to win tonight. We played as hard as we could. There were a lot of good chances during the year for our guys to quit and point fingers and never did. I want to keep coaching these guys and I thought we were going to keep playing, but we came up against a great team and they made plays down the stretch. Turnovers got us again. They had 17 more shots at the basket than we did."

On the slow offensive approach

"It was a flashback of how this game was played. These guys aren't old enough, but I remember it. I remember a game at Duke when it was 7-0 at halftime. You don't want to have to play this way, but it was our best chance to win. Our games previously showed that we struggled with the tempo and the pressure. This week our team dedicated to changing our style of play. These guys listened, believed and trusted; and they just about pulled it off. I thought before we played Duke last week we needed to do this, but we couldn't do it in two days. We had too quick a turnaround before last time we played. After the regular season, we had a longer break.

On the plan

"Our coaching staff had come up with some things to do and we met for a whole night and next morning. I talked to Jason about it first and he said 'Let's do it; I'm with you.' We put in some new plays and again they believed it."

Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.

Inside Carolina Top Stories