It's nice to win a basketball game. Granted, it's an exhibition game, but I like the way our kids played. I like the way we came out, got a lead. It was a good test; that's a good team. EA Sports came back and took the lead. They had a nine-point lead. Our guys didn't get rattled and went into the half with a seven-point lead.
Everyone contributed, but we got sloppy at the end. It was good for us so it gives us a chance to work on some things--press offense and organization. We made some substitutions. Sean wasn't supposed to play more than 24 minutes. We were right under at 23.
I'm happy that we won, that everyone contributed. We had a good crowd.
You had 28 assists on 39 baskets. What does that say about how this team passes the ball?
That's great team basketball, unselfish play, hitting the open man. I thought we made some good plays and not just Raymond. He has the ball a lot, but I thought Jawad and Rashad made some nice passes. David Noel can really pass, and so can Sean May.
Some of those passes where Jawad hit Sean and cut to the basket and got it back, that's fun basketball. I think that's Carolina basketball.
How important was Sean, especially in the scoring run where you took the lead--and how is he feeling?
He's feeling well. I said last time that his bad knee was his good knee, and his good knee had some soreness. He's banged up. He's got a hip flexor. Everyone's banged up because they've been going hard at each other in practice. It's good to finally go after somebody else.
Rashad lead the team in shots, but again he made more than 50%.
I thought he took a couple of bad shots in the first half. In the second half, maybe one quick one. We put him in the post a couple of times. He's pretty good there, so I think Rashad is really understanding, listening, and he's been very coach-able. He didn't gripe about not starting. It's no problem. He came off the bench, had a great attitude, came in, and had a good game. I like that he had five offesive rebounds. I had been on him a little--and Jawad--to get to the offensive boards. Jawad had nine, two offensive.
What accounts for the huge swing in margin from last year?
You will have to decide if this EA team is as good as last year's team, but our guys are pretty good. We have pretty good players. Granted, they are young so they will make mistakes, but with good speed and quickness we can get out and pressure people and cause some turnovers. They had 18 turnovers, we had 11 steals, so we created some easy baskets, and we have some talent.
A few times, things break down and guys make plays. I'm lucky as a coach to have that. First half shot clock is winding down, we are getting nothing, Raymond comes up with a loose ball and hits Rashad for a three-point play with one second on the shot clock. I have some talented players. Hopefully, we can build on this.
Was Jackie hurt?
He had a groin pull. He didn't practice yesterday. In the first half, he said "I'm done." Fortunately, we have some depth. Melvin did a really good job, along with Rashad.
Was tonight indicative of your substitution patterns?
It depends. I want to see who reacts well in the games. I think that Damion and Byron, I want to see if they can give Sean some good minutes. Can they come in and give Sean a break, and who is ahead of the other guy? We'll wait to see what happens on the film.
I thought Byron did some good things. Damion is capable of doing some good things. I told him to play hard for two-minute spurts. I think the back-up to Sean is the question right now. Everyone else has a back-up: Jon for Raymond, Melvin for Jackie, Rashad for Will, David Noel for Jawad.