UNC-Clemson: Doherty Press Conference

Opening statement:

That was a heck of a college basketball game. You guys (the media) get in free, and eat all the free food, but I think if you paid for it, you wouldn't feel cheated. I was really proud. I'm sure Coach Shyatt is proud of his guys. It's a shame somebody had to lose that game.

But I was really proud of our guys. They hung in. They got out to a great start, and Clemson answered, and we hung in there and had to go through Raymond getting sick and Rashad getting into foul trouble, and we hung in. We played with great emotion and great energy, and that's what we talked about. The crowd gave us great support—17,000 plus—so it was a great college basketball game. With a team like this, to go through what we've gone through, with injury and things like that, I'm really proud of our guys. I really think we learned from the Miami game. We handled that same situation, up three with 20 seconds to go, and we got a great win. I'm really, really happy.

On Rashad McCants's late offensive outburst:

Well, to me every possession was crucial, but at that point…we're sitting there wondering, "When do we put him in." We decided at the eight-minute mark, and it ended up probably more around the seven-minute mark. He's a big time player, and he hits big time shots. He's done it all year. He made huge, huge plays, and that was critical.

On concerns Felton's sudden illness and importance to the team:

When I saw him (Felton) turn the corner and come back to the bench, I had as big a grin on as anybody, because he's so vital to this team. He made shots like we've talked about him making shots, and he finally had a break-out game shooting the three. But there was a time he came out of a time out, and he just said something—I forget exactly what he said—but basically he said, "Hey, let's keep it up. Let's pick it up." And he's all over the place, getting loose balls and making passes. He's a high energy kid.

On Damion Grant's contribution off the bench:

Damion's been great. He made a comment to me in the locker room, basically he said, "If I play like that, I don't have to practice, right?" And I told him I'll make a deal. If you play like that, you don't have to practice. [Laughs.] But he's not been going up and down in practice, but he gets some adrenaline going, and he makes a difference. Guys can't turn and go through people. He's big and strong and has a presence, and offensively he's getting more and more comfortable catching the ball and going to the basket. He made a big foul shot. So he's been great.

On the team's youth and its effect on awareness of "The Streak":

I don't know. You'd have to ask the guys about that. I think that when you're on the floor playing the game, you're not thinking about a whole lot. You're hopefully just playing in the here and now. You're not worrying about the play before, you're not worrying about history, you're not worrying about postgame news conferences, you're worrying about concentrating hopefully on what I'm saying out there. We're not sitting out there talking about streaks, standing in the huddle talking about streaks. No way (they're thinking about that.) I promise you it's no big deal. The streak is a product of us playing better than them 40 minutes a game over the last 49 years. Heck of a phenomenon. But our kids—it wasn't talked about a whole lot this week.

On the fan support for Tuesday's game:

I felt that with our young team last year, our fans never booed one time. As a matter of fact, they applauded after our losses to Maryland and Virginia. I think that in a way a lot of our die-hard fans see the excitement of the unexpected. They see the excitement of a youthful team, growing through mistakes. In an odd way, I think they enjoyed last year, and I think they enjoy this year. I think our fans love basketball, they love our players, and first and foremost, they want to see great effort and see a great team. And if they see that night in and night out, then they're pleased. They know the results will come.

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