UNC-Iona: Locker Room Report

NEW YORK – The North Carolina Tar Heels lost a game and perhaps its most important player in the first round of the 50th Holiday Festival on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Here is what some of the players had to say after UNC's 65-56 loss to Iona, which was Carolina's third loss in 10 games.

Sean May

On how long his left foot has been in pain

It has been painful since right after the Kentucky game in practice. They said it was a sore foot, but lately I have been acting like a guy with a stress fracture. But the X-rays I had a few weeks ago came out negative, and I was going to have them today but they didn't have any equipment here. Dr. Taft has told me it was liable to break at any time, and it's just part of it.

On when he knew it was liable to break at any time

I had it looked at last night and that's when he told me. It's been real painful up to yesterday. And I told him it's been bothering me since the Florida State game. I was struggling walking around the house.

On the last week

During the (Florida State) game I didn't feel it much, but after the game I couldn't walk. And today during the game I was limping up and down and I really couldn't do anything except I just tried to be out there because we were missing Jawad and Melvin, and I felt I had to play. It just came down wrong and just popped.

On if it is a relief because now he knows

Yeah. He (Doherty) told me today during shoot around that its hard dealing with any time knowing your foot might break, it's gonna happen. So it's a relief that its' voer and now I am going to try to get back as soon as possible.

Rashad McCants

On Iona's zone, which held UNC to no field goals over an 8:52 stretch of the first half

Their zone really slowed us down. For a while we really didn't have an answer.

On why UNC struggled against a zone

I don't know. I just think we need to practice against it more and more.

On if he's the number one option

I don't think we have a number one option. It's an offense and whoever gets the opportunity, that's how it goes.

On how it seemed like everything that could go wrong tonight did go wrong

In the beginning of the game I had a bad feeling about the game as far as us being focused and the whole environment. They were a short scrappy team who is really well coached. We didn't play well at all, definitely not.

On now having to play without Sean for a lengthy stretch

It's gonna be something that we just have to work through it. He's a big part of our team, a bigger part than you guys even know. And, I think our big men are going to have to step up and I think they will."

Will Johnson

On the prospect of the younger guys like Byron Sanders and Damion Grant getting more minutes

I feel confident in those guys. We're just going to have to step it up. Everybody's got to pull their weight a little more now. It's a tough situation to be in, but I think we have a tough group of guys. I feel good about how we're going to bounce back.

On why UNC struggles against zone defenses

I think zone's sometimes lull you into making you feel you have passes when you don't. It's kind of tricky; you have to be aggressive and patient at the same time.

On if they were lethargic tonight, especially after how five players took so long to get to New York on Thursday

Right, maybe, but we don't want to use that as an excuse. We did look lethargic at times and I don't know the answer for that.

On where they go from here

The main thing we have to do is bounce back. That's all we can do now. Learn from the way we played today which wasn't well, and get back on track. That's the only attitude we can take.

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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