Opening Remarks -
"Needless to say it was a great first half for us. They had a lot of shots they normally make that didn't go in for them today. Our defense had something to do with it, but it wasn't as it would appear when you look at 17 percent for them, because you know they're going to make more shots than that. We were very fortunate from that standpoint.
"A couple of things that were pleasing to me ... Ty sprained his ankle and got re-taped. I told him he wasn't any better looking than last year, but I really thought he was a lot tougher and he showed that in the second half. Q had a good game, did some good things for us, and hopefully that'll give him some confidence. One of the other things I said at halftime was the guys who came off the bench really gave us something. I think when you're put in the game you should be doing your darndest to do something positive -- and everyone who came in did that. Will Graves is just sick - missed practice Thursday and Friday both. Q didn't practice Thursday, came back to practice Friday and said he felt better.
"I am a little disappointed with the way we played in the second half, they shoot 58 percent, we can't have that - yet it's hard to maintain the way we played in the first half and things tend to balance out."
Can you talk about Danny Green's all-around performance?
"Danny's done some good things - I still get frustrated when he doesn't close out and lets a guy drive right by him and the guy scores on Marcus and everybody says 'That guy scored on Marcus,' but the only reason he did was because Marcus had to help out Danny. ... But Danny's played really doggone well for us all year, doing some really good things. He didn't shoot the ball well today, but his activity on the offensive boards ... but as I said the other day, I feel like I have six starters - Danny's playing really, really good basketball for us. I had a tape session with he and Deon together yesterday and we talked about the defensive end of the floor more than anything else."
How good is your team?
"I still don't know. If we play defense like we did in the first half ... When we play defense and we're really swarming, doing the things we're supposed to do, listen to the scouting report, we're pretty doggone good. But it's just two games into the conference season and we'll find out in the next three weeks."
How much was this their shots falling or you guys playing good D?
"I think we played real good defense in the first half. Obviously, shots don't fall, but I thought we played good defensively."
How'd it feel to impose your will defensively and knock them out in the first half?
"It was great. We played real good in the first half. That's the one we'd like to play the whole game."
Did you realize you had 25 straight points and they missed 18 straight shots?
"No, Coach really tells us not to look at the score. But you see the score once in a while and know when things are going our way."
Was the first half the result of practicing without rims the other day?
"Yeah, I think it was. Coach really emphasizes that. He calls it 'The Pit' - the practice gym with no rims. That had an influence on us."
Were you surprised at how big a lead you had late in the first half?
"Honestly, you can say you're surprised, but when you look at how we played and the pressure we put on NC State, then you start to understand why it really shouldn't be that surprising. The things we did, the things we made them do - that should equate to the lead we had."
How does it feel to beat a rival by this much?
"It's a great feeling. I'm sure Coach told you the thing about not ordering food because he said he wanted to beat State so bad he'd rather beat them than eat so he didn't order food for after the game ..."
No, he didn't mention that - what's the story with that?
"Everybody orders food for after the game and he said he didn't because he said he'd rather beat State than eat. And so he didn't order any food."
What was the response the last two days after Coach said after Wednesday night that the team had to raise its level of play?
"The whole team picked it up in practice. We know what we have to do to get better - it's on the defensive end. We did that tonight and it worked out for us."
It was going to be hard to continue in the second 20 minutes what you did in the first half ...
"We played so well in the first half, it was hard to match that in the second half. We still stayed focus, didn't let them get back - we just want to continue to get better."
How different was the halftime speech from Coach today as opposed to recent games?
"Halftime, usually the game is a lot closer. Usually we don't come out as well in the first half - we've been a second half team. Usually he's either ripping us apart or telling us the things we have to do a lot better. The first half we played really well so there was not much he could really say."
When you're playing that well defensively, do you see a helpless look in the other team's eye?
"At times, yeah, when you've got teams on their heels. They start backing up instead of attacking. That's what they did. At one point we had them running their half-court set from all the way at halfcourt."
Could you describe the feelings you have playing such good defense after so much emphasis by Coach?
"We came back in the gym after we played Asheville and we decided we've got to step it up defensively if we're going to be where we need to be as a team. So we came in, worked hard, and that's our emphasis right now - to continue to get better on the defensive end of the floor."
Is the first-half defense showing the potential for this team defensively?
"Definitely. I think we can even get better. That's the great thing about it - we haven't reached our defensive potential yet. We're going to continue to work at it and hopefully get even better."