UNC-Illinois: Doherty Press Conference

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – North Carolina basketball coach Matt Doherty certainly wasn't happy about the outcome of tonight's 92-65 loss at Illinois, but he wasn't about to acknowledge the roof is caving in either.

To Doherty this was just one game, and a learning experience at that. Here is what Doherty had to say after Carolina's first loss in six games.

Opening remarks

I give a lot of credit to Bill Self and his team, his staff. They played an excellent ballgame. They did a better job coaching than I did, and his team executed better than my team. We came out with a great start, but it is a 40-minute game. But they played excellent basketball – for 34 minutes, they played a lot better than we did. There will be days like this. I'm proud of my team. I'm proud of where we are right now. I'm disappointed about the way we played and the way we performed, but I'm proud of these guys and what we've accomplished in six short games. We'll bounce back. We have to we have tough game on Saturday against Kentucky.

On giving up a lot of points in the paint.

Bill does a good job with the hi-low stuff," Doherty said. "Their strength is one of the things that we were concerned about. They have four or five guys that are big strong post players and they did a good job going hi-low and we didn't deny the ball in reversal and put as much pressure on the ball as we would like and that hurt. They executed it better than we did guard it.

On allowing Sean Harrington to shoot 6-8 and UI 10-12 from 3-point range

We just can't let him shoot open jumpers. You look at the stats, he took nine shots, eight are 3s. Coming into the game all of his shots were 3s except one. They did a good job of running him off screens and we didn't do a good job of chasing him. And, then when we did trap they seemed to find him. When there were penetrations they seemed to swing it to him and he caught it in rhythm.

On if there was a letdown after winning the Preseason NIT

That would be easy to say, but I don't think so if you look at the way we came out. We didn't look like we had any letdown. We came out playing great basketball. I just think we took some bad shots and turned the ball over and that gave them a chance to go against an unset defense. Our defense is good when it's set (laugh), but if you're giving them an opportunity to have 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s, they are going to get good shots and they did. And I thought that was a big part of it.

On if they ran more set plays tonight then against Kansas

We ran more set plays than we did against Kansas. How much more I don't know.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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