UNC-UK: Matt Doherty

CHAPEL HILL, NC--Tar Heel head basketball coach Matt Doherty spoke to the media following Carolina's 98-81 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.

Opening Remarks:

I'm disappointed in our defense in the second half. In the first four minutes, they scored like 13 points. Estill had 20 in the second half. Our FG% defense at 60 percent--we've talked about our defense, we've heard about our defense, but we certainly didn't play defense in this game.

As much foul trouble as we were in, with them shooting 52 percent against us in the first half, up three, I thought we were in good shape, but we didn't come out with the energy in the second half that I had hoped. It's one of those questions, "Why?" I don't know. That's a tough one. Is it fatigue? Is it exams? Who knows? That's one of the questions, if you had an answer every coach would love it, because you don't know. That was disappointing. Then we had to play catch-up against a very good team.

I thought [Marquis] Estill was great in the second half. [Gerald] Fitch controlled the whole game.

We did a great job on the offensive boards, but as evidence of a lack of energy, we only had three in the second half. We had 14 offensive rebounds; we wanted to get 18. We had 11 at the half. We had too many turnovers in the first half. We ended up with only 15--second half wasn't bad. We shot a good percentage, but our defense was non-existent.

Did they do anything specific, or were you more concerned with their defensive energy?

I think it was defensive energy. Obviously, they probably made more of a conscious effort to go inside to Estill in the second half. With our foul trouble, maybe we weren't as aggressive. I don't know--maybe that was it. Estill--they have a couple things we don't have, things that Illinois did to hurt us. They have talented big guys that can score. We were letting Estill get the ball too close to the basket.

When Raymond went out, did that make it easier for them to attack your defense?

Jon [Holmes] did a good job when he came in. I thought Melvin got beat once or twice by Fitch, and then there were just defensive break-downs. We'd start to "show" on ball screens, then guys forgot and Fitch turned the corner and got a lay-up. We didn't help on some penetration. Just basic, fundamental break-downs. We can't accept that. Yes, we're a young team and all that, but we have to play 40 minutes against teams like Kentucky. We have to play 40 minutes, I don't care who we are playing

How do you approach the long break, following two straight losses?

Work. Work. Work.

How will you balance that with exams and everything else going on?

We are not going to practice tomorrow. We'll have some shooting sessions, I think Monday and Tuesday, and we practice Wednesday.


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