Part I (8:26)
Part II (9:03)
Part III (7:56)
What have you seen from your team in response to the loss at NC State?
I looked at the tape and showed them about ten-and-a-half minutes of the game yesterday afternoon. We didn't practice on Sunday, and I did not see them at all Sunday. So that was probably better for both groups. So yesterday's practice is the first time I've been with them. It was a great teaching practice. They were very attentive to what we were trying to do. That part was good, but I expected them to be that way. We'll have to see how they respond the second day. I really believe that they'll play exceptionally hard Wednesday night. I believe they'll have great passion Wednesday night. Whether that will translate into a successful night in the win-loss column, I don't know. But I do believe it will be successful, because they'll see how much more fun it is to play with that passion.
On getting on his players after a loss or picking them up -
You do have to make that decision. It's something that you struggle a little more with a young team. You have to remember we still have 11 freshmen and sophomores on our squad. So that is still something that you look at. But this time of the season, you're not as concerned about it as you would be earlier about it affecting their confidence. It wasn't one of those things where you run sprints until somebody throws up. I think it's more a fact of showing them what we failed to do that enabled State to make some points; what we failed to do to enable State to run the offense they wanted to run; and then I think it's also important for everybody – our players, our fans – to know that State played very well. You might say they only won two or three conference games, but it made no difference, they played very well. On game day is when it makes a difference – when you're playing. I think that everybody says, ‘Boy, you guys were so good last year over at Durham.' It was ugly. We were down 13-2 and we don't even know which basket is ours. But we fought and keep plugging along and plugging along, and we finally started making a few shots, and they started missing some shots. When you get right down to it, that's what the game of basketball is. Saturday that team in the red and white made a heck of a lot shots than we did, but I'm not trying to oversimplify it.
On how much of State's offensive success was due to a poor defensive effort -
Thirteen field goals in the second half and you can look at four of them and say, ‘We're we all over them.' I mean they made it through our fingers. I think it was a little bit of a mixture, you've got to congratulate them for making some big shots. Two years ago at State, [Rashad] McCants made some shots I couldn't believe he got off. When you can make those shots, that's really something special. Last year at Duke, J.J. [Redick] made a lot of shots where he was really guarded. He started the game 3-for-3, and two of those he was falling out of bounds sideways. They made some of those, and we didn't make any of those. Herb [Sendek's] kids could not have guarded Rashad any better, and they went in. But when you allow some wide open ones, or you're supposed to be switching and you leave the 6-10 guy wide open at the basket, that's just lack of concentration. More than anything I get mad about lack of concentration or lack of effort. So for us to go out there and try to take them out of their offense, just watch the first play of the game. They threw the ball anyway they wanted to throw it. Then they threw it to a wide open guy for a layup. We hadn't stopped a blessed pass yet, and that's the first play of the game.
Have you seen one guy step up and take a leadership role, and how important is that down the stretch?
No, I have not seen one particular person stand up. Tyler [Hansbrough] does it by example. Even when I'm mad at everybody, it's hard to fault him, because he plays so hard. But he still makes mistakes. You back off you're big guy and he sets a screen, and now you realize it, so you go rushing up there and jump up in the air, and Engin [Atsur] makes a bounce pass to [Ben] McCauley for a dunk with one second left on the shot clock. So his concentration was off because he was late. If he was there early, they never would have made the play. But he leads by example. It remains to be seen who else is stepping up, but sometimes we may put too much in that. What it boils down to is everybody has got to accept responsibility. It's not like the Tour de France, where Lance Armstrong has got to do everything. Those other guys do a lot, too. That's the way it is in basketball. When they do that it makes my job easier. But I've had some pretty good teams where that never happened. The last two teams I had at Kansas…one of those teams went to the Final Four, and after the game I said, ‘Our best leader was Aaron Myles, and he was a freshman.' The next year, Nick Collison took everybody by their shirt and said, ‘I'm going back to the Final Four, and you either better go with me or get the blankety-blank out of the way.' As a coach, you sit back and say, ‘Hey, that's pretty nice.' Again, nobody really stepped up in 2005 and said I'm the leader. But Sean [May] was one, and Rashad was, and Raymond [Felton] was, and Jackie [Manuel] was. I've always thought there is too much to do about who is the leader. And I've always thought there was too much to do about who is the ‘go-to-guy,' because if I think he's the ‘go-to-guy,' then that other coach does too.
What do you tell the freshman about the setting at Duke?
He's got to experience it. I'm not that demonstrative or that good at giving them a graphic photo. His teammates are going to do a good job of that. Yesterday in practice I did go around to each guy and say, ‘He's been at Cameron, he's been at Cameron, etc.' It's usually a lot worse than you thought or not near what you thought. I don't think you ever really figure it out. Last year they have us 13-2, and I mean that crowd is going absolutely bananas. And then, one thing happened, they started missing shots and we started making shots, and it's 23-22 a little bit later. We're going to spend more time trying to guard the screen on the ball than we are about people with painted faces; I do know that.