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"I grabbed Al [Skinner] after the game and told him it was a great win for them. It was very disappointing for us, to say the least. I really believe they are the type of team who set the tempo in the first half by outworking us. They were tougher and outrebounded us. They had 13 offensive rebounds in the first half and then in the second half, we could never really get over the hump. All of a sudden it is a 13 or 14-point game.
"We had a nice comeback because our kids are always going to continue trying, but we could not get over the hump again. Needless to say it hurts and it is frustrating. It's hard to see we shot 29 percent in the second half and it is hard to beat anybody like that. I thought [Rakim] Sanders and [Tyrese] Rice were both sensational for them in the first half. We just could never get over the hump. We did not get them to turn the ball over very much. Then we had some guys, including myself, who did not have as good as a day as we thought we would."
On Boston College controlling the tempo early:
"They made shots in the first half. That was the biggest thing. They shot 44 percent and I thought they made 80 percent of their shots. They made seven threes in the first half. The other thing is we did not do a very good job of attacking. Again, I think we have to be more physical. We have to be tougher, mentally and physically, but we had some opportunities.
"Even the last play of the first half, I thought we did what we were supposed to do. We even had two fouls to give and we were trying to get a double-team, their guy comes off a screen and the guy that should be there is not there. We could foul and they would not even get a shot off or if we get a turnover, we could get a shot ourselves. We missed a layup, a follow dunk, and another wide-open layup because they sprint back and do what their supposed to do. It is not characteristic for our team to play the way we did today. Hopefully, it will not be characteristic for us to play like that again."
On rebounding from this loss:
…we go to practice and we have to bounce back. That's part of life. Nobody is incapable of losing. We are human too. We are allowed to lose and do things of that nature. Come back tomorrow, practice, and bounce back, become a better team.
Do you have any expectations about what practice will be like?
I know there is going to be a lot of competition, a lot of defensive stuff. I felt like tonight they definitely outmanned us. They were very physical in the beginning of the game. They jumped on us, they had all guns firing. They were dominating the boards, they were hitting shots. They played the game they wanted to play. Give them a lot of props; they did a very good job on doing what they wanted to do. We just didn't execute the way we wanted to.
This was one of those frustrating nights where it seemed like you had so many chances, and when you just felt like you were going to be able to get it back where you wanted to be a shot wouldn't go down, a free throw wouldn't go down.
We shot a low percentage in the second half. I heard it was under 30 percent or something like that. We had a lot of chances; we just couldn't knock down the shots that we wanted to. Hopefully, next time that happens--if it comes down to that situation--we will execute better and hopefully we will do the things we need to do so it doesn't come down to that situation.
When you talked about how they outgunned you and came out firing, how do you think this team played tonight? Not them, you--how did Carolina play?
I think we didn't play our game. We didn't focus on the things we needed to focus on, mainly boxing them out and limiting them to one shot--one bad shot. They were getting open shots. Our traps weren't good; they were splitting the traps, getting it to the open man, finding open guys, knocking down three's and getting second and third shots. That is something that we emphasize, and we didn't focus on doing that.
What do you attribute Boston College jumping out to a 15-point lead to? Did you look up at the scoreboard, and were you surprised when they were up by that much?
Yes, definitely. I think I was on the bench at the time. I was a little frustrated because of the fact that I was in foul trouble all game. I got an extra foul where I don't know where it came from. Supposedly, they said my number instead of somebody else's number when I wasn't in the play, but we didn't say anything at the time when it happened so they couldn't go back and change it. I was with four fouls, I was on the bench when I looked up and we were down. I realized you need to get things going now; if we don't get it going it is going to be too late.
Are you shocked or surprised at all by this?
Definitely. I think it is shocking to everybody. Just as much as you guys are shocked, we are just as shocked as well. We didn't think we were going to lose, especially our first season-opener, our first conference opening game. They came out and played a great game. I give them all the respect in the world. Tyrese Rice, Rakim Sanders, (Corey) Raji, also there big man (Josh) Southern until he fouled out. They all played a great game, executed their flex offense. They got a lot of easy buckets out of that. They got a lot of easy buckets off of offensive rebounds, and they shot the ball well.
When you all went into exam break, the focus was on academics. You didn't practice together a whole lot. You played some teams that weren't up to the same caliber as Boston College. Do you feel like you all got into a comfort zone and were too relaxed for this game?
I don't think that has anything to do with it to be honest with you. That was in the past. That exam break was over. We are here now; we should be ready to play. There is no excuses. We need to be more focused than we were tonight.
Did anything seem out of sync, out of rhythm out there?
Yeah. Shots weren't falling. You look at a lot of guys who usually make some shots. Obviously, my free throws weren't the best, but it happens.
Did you sense this team starting to hurry on offense once the lead was up to 15 points?
Yeah, I think it's natural for any team, especially with us we hurried. It happens when you are down; it is just natural to get in a rush.
What were they doing on the offensive boards to have so much success?
They just got rebounds. They are all in tight, and they went to the boards harder than we did. I guess you could say we didn't box out good enough. I don't really know; I haven't watched the tape yet, but they went to the boards.
Do you feel like you all came out less intense than you should have been? You've had the exam break.
Yeah, but that's not an excuse. We can say that, but we haven't been going to class; we have been here playing basketball. That should be our number one priority. I'm not going to say it's not, but I would say right now that they just came out and played better than we did tonight.
Talk about those free throws down the stretch. You missed a few of them in those last two minutes. How tough was it to miss those free throws when you are normally such a good shooter?
You summed it up right there--I missed some shots. Normally I make those, but it happens.
For a regular season loss, does this feel different, like more of a post-season game?
Yeah, it's frustrating. It's our first ACC game, and we come out here and we didn't play the way we wanted to.
What do you expect from the practices in the next few days?
To concentrate on the things we didn't do and what coach wants us to do, probably a lot of defense.
Do you think you might see some practices without rims?
What exactly do those involve? Is he trying to make a point there?
Yeah. The point is he wants us to play defense better, and he is making a statement by taking all the rims off and having practice. I wouldn't put anything past him. He does it a lot.
Was there a point in this game where it felt a lot different than all these other games leading up to this one where you guys had been rolling?
Yeah, it just seems like when we got on the run they came back and made a shot, but we just didn't play the game that we wanted to tonight.
On the loss:
That's a tough loss. I mean, it's an ACC play where everything counts, basically. This is the second phase of the season. It does feel like a bigger loss than maybe like pre-conference or games like that.
When you say the defense hasn't been as good as you want the last three games, why has it fallen off? Before then it was OK. What is not there now?
We're just not rotating right now. Like somebody drives baseline, we are not rotating to help right there, maybe because we are too hugged up on our man or worried about our own man. That is probably the main thing we are doing that is not clicking right now.
Tyrese said just watching other teams play against you it didn't look like other teams would even challenge you and they wanted to do that. Did you think they came up and wanted to get in your face?
Yeah, they brought it to us first. They bumped us first if we were going to the basket or something like that. This is probably the toughest team we have played the whole season. No team has ever come to us and just tried to rough us up and things like that, so that is the main thing that really helped them a lot because they were really tough. They were much tougher than us tonight.
Was there one moment that you thought, "We have to make this shot, we have to get this stop"?
Probably when we were down 14, like we had to get stops. That's what I was thinking, 'We had to get stops.' That's what I was telling everybody. We got a couple of stops, but some of the shot just didn't fall--also our free throws.
Do you think there is a bit of a silver lining here though, now that the talk of the unbeaten season and winning that way is out of the question. You can kind of just go back to playing normal basketball?
Yeah, I guess, but we really didn't pay attention to that at all anyway. We try to keep it out of our minds, but right now we have nothing to worry about, nothing to lose now. Just go out there and play hard.
Everything is inside the three-point line with them when they run their offense. What problems does that create on defense?
It creates a lot because in the lane there is so much traffic (that) it's easy to get screened, which happened today. They set a lot of good screens and Rakim (Sanders) was knocking down shot, Tyrese (Rice) was knocking down shots, and there was one other player, a freshman, he was knocking down a lot of shots. It's just tough to play (against that) offense.
Is there anything you can do to create more space in there? Not at all because that's how they run it. They have everything packed into the lane so it is kind of tough to play against that.
What do you expect from the next few practices after this game?
Probably a bunch of defense and a bunch of rebounding drills. We need to get tougher the next couple of days before our next game against Charleston and Sunday against Wake Forest--a bunch of toughness drills.
On keeping the tempo in their favor:
"There's no question that we kind of kept it at our pace, at least, as far as I'm concerned, on the offensive end in what we wanted to do. Our offense dictates the way we want to play and the guys were really patient. I can't say this often enough: I just wanted to make sure that we go out and play the way we wanted to play.
"The other thing is that I think we were prepared, especially in the first half. I thought we were very prepared for whatever pressure they brought. We only had two turnovers in the first half, and I thought that was key in the sense that the guys understood what it is and what we needed to do."
On the Eagles' performance:
"First of all, we have overall better ball handlers this year. That and then obviously another year... I think our guys were very embarrassed by their performance down here last year. The guys that did play, they were disappointed in themselves. Not saying that they should have beaten North Carolina, but that they should have represented themselves a little bit better."
On what it means for Boston College beating the nation's top-ranked team:
"For the program, it's one league win right now, that's all it is. I think our program has done okay, so it's not like we haven't had any success in the past. This is a league win, this is league play; we've got 15 more games to go and it may be no more significant than that.
"Maybe at the end of the season, maybe it has some significance, but right now...I hope we don't do this, but if we lose the next 14, what good is this win? I mean it's a win. It's a win in the league, it's a great win for us and anytime you can win on the road you have got to be extremely happy, and we are about that."