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On the differences of UNC and Illinois as opposed to last April:
"The teams are so different. When we played them last year, David Noel scored one basket. That's the only scoring we have returning and no one else on our team scored a basket in that game. With their club, they lost Deron, Luther, Roger, Smith. They do have Augustine back, who I've enjoyed watching throughout his great career. But he only played nine minutes himself. Basically what it boils down to is Dee [Brown] played more minutes in that game than anyone else on my team, and probably their team either."
On Illinois coach Bruce Weber's comments that UNC is scrambling more:
"Early in the year I've always done a lot of searching to find out what is good for our team. If we're still scrambling late in the year, then we must good at it. In the second half of the Santa Barbara game, we didn't run one scramble in the second half because we did such a poor job of it in the first half. We're such a young team, we're trying to find where we are going to be good and try to emphasize that more than anything else."
On Wes Miller:
"Wes is a gym rat, who is always working on his game and working on his body. He's probably worked harder than anybody I've coached in a long, long time. I think he's quicker this year than he was last year and it's helping him on the defensive end of the floor – keeping the ball in front of him. He's always had the ability to shoot the basketball. It's something that we saw a great deal of last year in our practices and some of it during the games, too. Wes has really done a nice job working as hard as he possibly can."
What is this team best at?
"I don't know. We're still trying to search ourselves. I've said that I think this is going to be a good defensive team, and I do believe that. We haven't run the ball nearly as well as I want us to run it. We haven't scrambled as well – particularly the other night – as I want to do those things like that. Three games I don't think are enough for me to know."
On David Noel's experience serving as a calming influence to the underclassmen:
"I don't ever care for showing deference to veterans on the court. Out there, everybody is the same. It's just who has the best shot, and that guy should have it regardless of what class he is. Where you factor the security blanket helping you is during tough times in practices when I going wacko on them can keep them focused on what they're supposed to doing. They can pull them together. In the first game, we're dribbling the ball off our feet, throwing it behind our ears and doing everything we possibly can to look like a junior high team, and David makes our first two baskets and kind of calms everything down a little bit. Even though David's stats aren't like Raymond's, Sean's, Rashad's, Marvin's, or anything like that; he is being the steadying influence. If he can continue to do that in these big games coming up – both non-conference and in the conference – he will be that security blanket that we need."