UNC-Maryland: Locker Room Report


On playing a team like Maryland without Sean May -

We've just got to do the best we can with good big guys – like Randle and Holden [tonight] and Watson and Brown [at UVa]. Guys like that are going to be tough in this league and we've just got to manage to fight through it. …

The team's in this league are pretty tough and without Sean it's going to be a rocky game, but we've got big men to back up Sean and Damion and Byron did a great job out there in helping us out.

Do you talk to him often to see how he's doing?

Yeah, every day. He's getting better and better every day, bulking up on the weights, staying in shape and hopefully he'll be ready soon.

What's his mental state like?

He's frustrated. He wants to be out there with us and doesn't like to lose just like everybody else.

You took 24 shots tonight – was this a case of seeing a need to take charge to get your team back in the game?

Definitely not. I was playing within my game and I just got more shots off in this game. My percentage probably went down, but I thought it was a team effort.

Maryland started five seniors – do you feel that played a major factor tonight?

Definitely. They knew how to hold us down and create their own shots, run their offense and play good defense and get the ball out real fast.

Big rivalry game at State on Sunday …

It's going to be a big game, but every game in the ACC is a big game for us. We just have got to prepare and get ready to play.


Right now we're in a learning stage – a learning process – we just have to regroup.

What do you take away from this game?

Just learning transition defense and facing strong games. When we're not shooting well, get it inside, draw fouls and hit free throws.

So transition defense was the biggest problem tonight?

Yeah, definitely, they got a lot of transition buckets.

How about dealing with their size – what can you do better as a team?

They attack the boards – they're very big. We just got to box out, hit ‘em hard and go after the boards.

Has it been difficult for the team to deal with playing without Sean May?

That's no excuse. We have to go out and play, box out and play by the basics each and every minute of the game.

Maryland had a number of big runs tonight ..

They made big runs throughout the game. We answered some of them, but they kept pouring it on – they're so big and strong, and they finish strong.

What accounted for those runs?

Just transition. They got a lot of baskets in transition and a lot of baskets down low – and hit a lot of open shots. When we turn the ball over or they get a rebound, the odds are against us because they're pushing it at us and we're not set defensively, so I think they got great looks. We didn't shoot that well from the field, but they hit a lot of big shots.

Do you feel you missed an opportunity tonight to get a home ACC win?

Yeah. I credit my team, we played hard, but they just ran us and we didn't play good transition defense. We'll get ‘em again …

Was this a good experience for the freshmen?

The young guys played tremendous. They've just got to take from this game a positive attitude and just learn. We'll go watch film tomorrow and learn from this game.


The team struggled offensively …

Some shots weren't open – they played great defense on us – but there were times I still think we should have drove to the basket and scored or kicked it out for open three point shots. I think we tried to force a lot of shots in the paint.

What lessons does this team take away from tonight?

Just execute at the end of the game and try to take good shots. Just try to get everybody involve, penetrate and try to make things happen instead of just going all the way to the basket and throw up shots over the big guys. Try to pump fake, get fouled or kick it out for open shots. Those are some things we'll try to work on in practice.

What did Coach Doherty tell you after the game?

He just said he liked how we fought at the end and showed great heart – and to be ready to practice on Friday and get ready for NC State on Sunday.


What did Maryland do to win this game convincingly?

Besides making some plays, they had some deep threes, got the ball inside and used their strength.

How do you think the team fared against Maryland's size advantage?

It was tough, but we did a good job of helping each other at times. And there were times when our guards helped us too much and it cost us outside shots.

The Terps took 24 second-half free throws and your team only took two -

We can say ‘drive the ball more,' but Maryland did a really good job of packing the man-to-man inside the lane.

Maryland went on several big runs, and opponents have done this to you guys this season – is it inexperience or lack of execution?

We're not making shots – that's the biggest thing. We didn't make shots at crucial points of the game. There are stretches where it feels like we hit everything, but we've got to hit shots in the key situations.

Was it difficult going up against Tahj Holden's big 6-10 frame?

No, not really. I've been through it before – it's nothing I haven't seen before. All I can do is use my strength to my advantage.

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