Tuesday Player Quotes (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The North Carolina players met with the media at the Smith Center on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the coming game at Duke. Read and listen to what they had to say ...

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Part I (5:19)
Part II (4:30)

Can you gauge the mood of this team after the loss at NC State?

"We're hungry. After any loss you want to bounce back and have that game to take the losing feeling away. ... After a loss, especially a loss like that, you want to play your next game immediately. I'm extremely excited to be playing tomorrow."

Any memorable run-ins with Duke fans around town?

"I've had a guy put a Duke bumper stick on my truck. It really made me mad. ... I pulled it off, immediately."

When did this happen?

"I was at the movies and when I came out there was a Duke sticker on my truck and I didn't notice it until I got back. I was ... It wasn't even that big. It was a white sticker with the Duke symbol on it. I was so upset."



How's your foot?

"It felt great on Saturday when I was in there, but I felt it a little bit at practice yesterday so I might get held out of a few drills today. But for the most part it felt good."

Do you notice any change in practice leading up to a Duke game?

"It's more intense - you can definitely tell that, especially coming after a loss. Guys are out there competing, they don't want to upset coach, they want to get better as a team, Duke's a big-time rivalry game that everyone will be watching - you want to be on top of your game."



Coach said it'd probably be an ugly game tomorrow - do you agree?

"I could see where it could become an ugly game. I don't think the Duke-Carolina rivalry game has ever been clean. It'll definitely be a gritty game, one where you have to grind it out."

Did you notice any increased intensity yesterday at practice?

"Yeah, yesterday at practice I caught a couple elbows, a couple more pushes. As long as this team is fired up and we channel the energy the right way ... "

You had one of your best games last year at Duke ...

"I don't know - I was definitely really fired up for that game, I'll tell you that, being my first one at Cameron, on their senior night. I was definitely juiced up for that game. I'm ready to bring that same intensity and make that same impact tomorrow."

Having always been a Tar Heel fan, how did it work with Duke recruiting you?

"That was a funny thing ... coming into my recruitment, my parents and I were trying to keep my options open and didn't want to overlook other options and best fits just because we were Carolina fans. But it ended up working out for the best and our best fit was Carolina and being my favorite school - it just worked out that way."



What are you expecting Wednesday night?

"I just need to play my game. I've heard everything is crazy out there, the biggest game of the year, so I'm hoping to just go in and get the win and get out of there ... I just can't wait for tomorrow."

Have the veterans talked to you about how Duke plays defense and how you'll need to be strong with it?

"Yeah, Q told me a little about it at practice yesterday. They grab you, foul you. He just said you just have to be stronger with it than most games because they will grab you and they will foul you and the refs might not see it."

Have you tried to emulate that in practice?

"With Q, when we were going through drills, he'd grab me, hold my arms and stuff like that so I'd get used to it a little bit."

There was a chance you and Kevin Durant could have ended up at UNC. How did that all play out?

"I don't know ... We were supposed to commit the same day. I ended up committing and he said he committed, but Coach wouldn't take him yet because of his grades."



Since you've been a part of several games at Duke, have you talked to the freshmen about what to expect?

"It hasn't been addressed yet, and the thing about the Duke-Carolina game ... when you commit to play at Carolina, or even when you get your first recruiting letter in the mail, the first game that comes to your mind is the Duke-Carolina mind. Everyone that comes here has that game in the back of their mind. It is a big game, but the main thing is to do what you do for every game, and do what we practice. I don't think anybody could not be ready to play - so make sure you're not too excited or too jacked up."



You've seen it in the stands, so do you know what to expect tomorrow night?

"I just expect it to be really intense, the crowd will be into it and it'll be loud all game ... it's going to be a real intense atmosphere."

Have you given any thoughts to the Cameron Crazies coming after you?

"I'm not the type of person who gets rattled by that type of stuff. They can go after me all they want because they can't get in my head."

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