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On Will Graves' back injury:
"Will's going to have back issues for quite awhile. He's had four shots in the back, and he's got the vicious cycle again. His weight is up, so he can't condition and his back is hurting. But is his back hurting because his weight is up a little bit? So it's a little bit of both there. He's going to have those problems and he's just got to fight through it and lose some weight and keep working at that part of it every day. There's no question that he was a better basketball player at 239 last year than he is at 254 or whatever he is right now."
On the team's health:
"Ed banged his shoulder on Sunday, so he hasn't practiced the last two days. Today may be the first day he practices. He's been cleared and they've done all the tests and the whole bit, but he's probably just a little sore and didn't do anything in a contact way the last two days, but he will today…
"Everybody else is pretty good. John [Henson] had some plantar fasciitis and [we] had to get him some orthotics. Dexter Strickland has got some tendinitis. Travis [Wear] sprained his ankle a little bit on Sunday, but knock on wood, we're about as good as you can be at this time of year."
On who will start against Belmont Abbey:
"I haven't thought one second about who's going to start. My guess is that Marcus and Deon [Thompson] will, and after that, I don't have any idea."
On the NCAA's talk of possibly cutting one game a season:
"I haven't seen those proposals and I don't have any idea, so I'm really speaking off the cuff, so don't take it out of context… In my own opinion, I would not be against and in fact would favor starting practice Nov. 1 and not playing the first game until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Because I think our season is so long. I'm not against having some conditioning sessions or weight sessions or individual workouts. We've been going pretty doggone hard. Again, my freshmen's heads are spinning because of what we are trying to teach them, but their bodies have never gone through what they're doing right now.
"But I think the season is incredibly long. I would not be against shortening the season. I would love it if we were a one semester sport. I think that would be the best thing for our kids academically, but the fact of the matter is that it can't be. Losing a game, or taking a game out of your schedule – kids like to play more than they like to practice.
"Whether we like to admit it or not, if we lose a home basketball game, it effects field hockey, it effects baseball, it effects everything we do here because if we don't have a certain number of home games… Our business office, I scare them to death, because we're looking at a situation next year where we may only have 14 home games, and if I can't get a couple of things straightened out, then you're looking at this year we have 16 or 17 and I look at some people's schedules and they have 18, 19 or 20. The fact of the matter is that if we don't bring in a lot of money, we can't do those other things."
Does the team feel ready to start the season?
"Definitely. We've done a lot in the last two weeks that we've been practicing. [We're] continuing to get better every day just like we originally set out to do. Tomorrow is just going to be a good chance for us to see where we are."
On what to expect from this team:
"I think this team is just the normal Carolina team that you're used to seeing. It's a team that can run up and down, a team that's obviously extremely talented and a team that's just going to work hard. That's one thing that we've continued to stress in practice is just coming out with a great attitude and great intensity about how we're going to play. Coach always talks about a sense of urgency and really just getting in these guys' heads to come out every night and really give it your all and play as hard as you can."
Have you read Coach Williams' book?
"I have not. Didn't it just come out a couple of days ago?"