UNC-UVA: Locker Room Report

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The North Carolina Tar Heels nearly overcame a 20-point first-half deficit on Saturday but fell short, losing 79-72 to Virginia before a sellout crowd of 8,392.

Here is what some of the Tar Heels had to say about their fifth loss in their last nine games and fifth loss overall in 14 contests.

Rashad McCants

On if he felt like the team needed to go to him more in the second half

No, not at all. It's just part of their defense that I didn't see the ball that much. I tried to get to the offensive boards as much as possible. But, shots didn't go down for us in the first half and we just had to come back.

On the team getting more quality looks in the second half

Coach Doherty changed up our game plan a little bit. In the second half they were playing more of a matchup zone and I got more in the middle to try to attack the zone.

On whether he though certain shots would fall

Most of my shots I think are down. The ball doesn't always go in when you want it to, so that happens.

On if the near comeback is encouraging

It's definitely encouraging because we could have hung our heads, but we came back and we fought back, and we fought, and we fought, and we just didn't end up on the winning end.

On What Doherty said at halftime

That we just gotta keep fighting. Bring it back. Don't lay our heads down.

Jackie Manuel

On what their intent was in the second half

We just wanted to come out and play hard and try to get back in the game basically.

On if it was getting frustrating sticking in the zone while UVa was having success in the first half

That was our gameplan and we were going to stick to it, and we made the change in the second half. They just made some shots they hadn't been making and that was it.

On if it more difficult to box out when in the zone

In the zone you have to quickly find the man and also quickly be able to find the ball, so, that's kind of tough to box out in the zone. But I think we did a good job today.

On why they got more good looks in the second half than the first

We just pushed the ball to hit the open man and knocked some shots down.

On walking out with their heads held high

Yeah. I think we came out in the second half and played hard and got back into the game. We did a lot better and learned some things.

Damion Grant

On the situation with his knees

My practices have been modified where I don't run as much or put as much stress on my knees that at the same time I still do conditioning in the tank and work on individual stuff in practice.

On if he looked to the scorer's table expecting to be subbed for during dead balls


On the roles that he and Byron Sanders have

I know that when Byron goes in he works hard, and that's one thing I like about him is that he's a great teammate. Every time he comes out of the game I am like ‘Way to go Byron, good job, keep working hard out there.' I'm comfortable when Byron's out there and am confident in his game. When I go in I gotta try to do my part, pick up the slack with rebounding and block shots.

On making a significant contribution today

I just try to go out there and play my part and do nothing big and try to go over my head or anything. I just go out there and try to rebound, block shots and just play my role.

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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