UNC-FSU: Locker Room Report

TALLAHASSEE, FL--<I>Inside Carolina</i>'s Mike McCracken and J.B. Cissell caught up with Carolina basketball players in the locker room, following the Tar Heels' 69-48 win over FSU.

Melvin Scott

What was your impression of how the bench performed tonight?

It was definitely important. That's what teams are made of--guys that can come in off the bench to help if the guys in the game aren't shooting well. One thing about this team is that we feed off each other. We're young, but we feed off each other.

What were you trying to accomplish during the first few minutes after halftime?

We shot a very low percentage in the first half, and we just wanted to come out and get good looks and step up the defensive intensity in the second half.

How do you feel about your role on the team as the year is progressing?

I played the point last year, so I'm comfortable doing that now. I'll do whatever the team needs me to do--if they want me to post somebody up, I'll do that too. (laughing) I just want to take advantage of the opportunity that I have.

Do you feel like your experience last year is paying off this year?

Absolutely. Last year, I thought it was the worst experience of my life, but my mom always told me that the glass is always half FULL. I look on the bright side--it helped me for this stage. Now I'm helping the team at two positions, instead of one.

Jawad Williams

Were you more focused on getting looks in the second half?

We just executed our offense in the second half. We were getting good shots in the second half by finding the open man.

Was this the most physical game of this season?

So far, yes. They're a big, strong team that can run. They're probably the most athletic team we've played.

Does it feel good to come back and win somewhere that you lost last year?

It feels good--but winning feels good. We put the past behind us and now we're just focused on getting better every day.

Raymond Felton

When you saw Byron scoring a few baskets in a row, did that give the team a lift?

Oh definitely yes. We've got great guys coming off the bench. Byron Sanders works hard in practice. David Noel works hard in practice. They give it their all, and they came out and showed it on the court today.

How does it feel to get your first win in the ACC?

It's great – knowing that we were coming off two tough losses to Illinois and Kentucky – we came out and beat Vermont, and now we were able to beat Florida State, and they're great. Now we get to go home after a good win.

Did it surprise you that Todd Galloway was so fast?

Yes it did. I had heard about him but never played him before. He surprised me a couple of times when I was backing up on transition and he turned on his speed. He's a great player.

Did you try to come back at him after he went around you?

Not necessarily go back at him. I just wanted to work hard and try to make plays. I was just trying to play hard and win the game.

What happened to your knee when you went down and had to leave the court?

I bumped knees. He hit me on the side, right here (pointing to inside of knee). It was painful for a minute or so. I sucked it up and went back in the game. I very seldom go out of the game with injury. That's not me. You have to be tough towards this game.

Sean May

Did the poor shooting tonight bother you?

I knew it wasn't my night, kinda like the Vermont game, but I'm sure when I talk to my dad tonight he'll say "Hey, you won by 21, don't worry about it. Put this one behind you and get ready for Iona.

It's a great thing when I can play as bad as I did tonight and we win by 21.

How much has Byron improved?

Byron came on the floor and I stopped him at half court and I said "I've been waiting all year just for this--for you to come out here and not play scared, to just play."

He hit jump shots at the top of the key. He's improved so much with his footwork and his sense of the game, his hands, being in the right spot. It's amazing how much he and Damion have improved.

Byron Sanders

Did you feel more comfortable out on the floor tonight? It looked that way.

Yes, I did, because I was WIDE open.

How did it make you feel to be able to contribute those points tonight?

It felt good to help the team out. It makes me feel like practice is paying off. My feet hurt me really bad. I have bunions, but I keep practicing and working on my shot, without sitting out.

Was there a concerted effort to go to you?

No, I was just open, so I shot it.

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