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How disappointing is this loss to you?
Very disappointing, but they wanted it more than [we did]. We didn't come out with energy, intensity, we weren't focused, and we didn't play together as a team like we should have. It just seemed like they wanted it more than [we did], and some days you don't have it.
After [this many] games it looks like this team would have this intensity and know what it takes.
We should know, but some games you don't have your best game. We didn't play our best game, and I think they played very well… They shot a high percentage in the second half, 76 percent. You don't see that very often. I guess that's defense, our lack of defense. We didn't put a hand up on the shots we wanted to. We didn't box them out; they outrebounded us. They just capitalized on a lot of mistakes that we made. I just think if we had played better defense it would have been a different game.
Tell us about Courtney Fells and the shots he was making for them today.
He came out big for them. He hit a lot of three-pointers for them. Normally, from our scouting report, he hasn't hit many of those in the previous games. He's more of a driver/slasher, very athletic. Tonight he came out, did what he was supposed to do, helped his team out, hit a lot of big three's.
You all weren't able to get out and run. What do you think that was attributed to?
We just made a lot of simple, easy mistakes--turn the ball over, throw it out of bounds to guys like 10 feet away from us. We had a 23 percent loss-of-ball in the first half. I don't know what it was in the second half, but [our] turning the ball over and [their] outrebounding us didn't help us any. Our defense--we should have picked it up on defense, and we didn't in the second half.
How much of a dagger was that at the end of the first half when Gavin Grant went all the way down and got a basket at the end of the first half?
It was a big dagger because Coach, he emphasized that in practice--don't let anybody drive the full length of the court and get a lay-up. He was upset and disappointed and so was our team. We knew that we shouldn't have let that happen. We should never allow that to happen. Somebody should help, or we should make him do something different. There is no way he should get a lay-up at the end of the half. It hurt us, but we were supposed to come out and adjust in the second half. Coach told us what adjustments we needed to make, but we didn't make them.
What did they do defensively to keep--you were able to get inside on occasion with your dribble penetration, but otherwise a lot of the shots you normally get inside the three-point area weren't really there today.
Yeah, when we got inside they were doubling and tripling. That was a tough thing we had to deal with. And then we weren't hitting too many outside shots or trying to get in the lane too much. That was the main thing we try to do.
Talk about the intensity. It didn't seem like you matched their intensity today.
I don't think we did because they came out strong. They got the crowd into it. That was the main thing that got them the win because they had the crowd into it the whole game--hit big shots. The crowd just pushed them through to the win.
How quickly do you put this behind you and get ready for Duke?
We put it behind us like right now--get ready for Duke. We go to practice, probably practice tomorrow and get ready for Duke.
What do you guys have to do better?
Just come out stronger at the beginning of the game and just come out with more intensity, just get big stops. There were a couple of points in the game if we had stops we probably would have won the game. There are things we have to work on.
Coach Williams said that he didn't think that you all played with passion out there in a game like this, and he was mystified by that. Can you answer that?
I don't know. I thought I played with intensity. In the beginning I could tell they had more intensity than [we did]. We were playing with intensity, but they were playing with more intensity.
Can you tell us what exactly happened on that technical?
Things were physical, and I was trying to get away from my man so I could get back on defense. I guess he had the ball or something like that. I guess the ref thought I took a swing or something like that. I'm not going to disagree or agree with him. It was late in the game and things like that. I didn't mean anything intentional or anything like that. That's just what happened.
Do you think you guys overlooked NC State in looking ahead against Duke?
No, I don't think we did. You can't overlook anybody in the ACC. It just shows you we are a tough conference.
How quickly do you put this one behind you?
It's not like that--nah. You have to take a lot of things from that game. We are definitely going to look at the game and things like that.
How tough was it not having Reyshawn Terry out there throughout the game?
He got in foul trouble and we are deep so you can't really use that as an excuse.
It looked like State went into a spread [offense] out there and you didn't really have an answer for that.
I think they probably wanted to slow the tempo down and going to a spread, penetrate, use the clock. It worked for them so--