UNC-Duke: Locker Room Report

DURHAM – North Carolina came close but didn't quite complete the task against No. 9 Duke mainly because the Tar Heels weren't sharp enough from the free throw line and once again had another lengthy offensive drought in an 83-74 loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night

Here is a look at what some of the Tar Heels had to say about their 10th defeat in 21 games and sixth Atlantic Coast Conference loss in eight contests.

Jawad Williams

On playing well but still having lost five straight games

I'm going out and playing hard every night. That's all I can do. I try to lead by example. Try to do the small things. The ball just didn't bounce our way tonight. Eventually it will.

On what changed after UNC owned a 58-53 lead and Duke went on a 13-3 run over 6:22

We rushed a few shots and they hit some big shots. Duhon hit a 3 behind a ball screen. He was 23, 25 feet away, there's nothing you can do about that to contest it. They hit some really big shots.

On being down about losing the game and having so many chances

I think we have a chance to win every game. We went out there and played hard and we left it all out there on the court tonight. The ball just didn't bounce our way. But when it does, you can expect it to stay in our court.

On the offensive preparation for the game and overall organization offensively

We didn't run many sets, the only thing we did was spread it and drive on them. We figured we could get them in foul trouble and hit the open man and hit open shots and we did.

On Duke's veterans (Chris Duhon and Dahntay Jones) leading Duke to the victory

They did a good job of stepping up and hitting shots when their team needed baskets. They are experienced guys and they played like it tonight.

On Carolina's offensive funk in which they were outscored 13-3 over a from the midway point of the second half on

It does happen a lot. I think we got some good looks, but they just didn't fall.

Rashad McCants

On his back injury

I couldn't elevate, couldn't jump high because it hurts to do. But I ain't going to use that as an excuse.

On if the physical foul after the rebound was a frustration play


Raymond Felton

On how the Heels played in the first half, in which they led 43-38 at halftime

They made some runs, and we came out and answered every time. Either we got a wide open layup from a cut, somebody driving to the basket got fouled, or I knocked down a 3-point shot, Dave (Noel) knocked down a 3-point shot or somebody (else) hit a jump shot. We always had answers for their runs, but they just kept going with it and going with it.

On the team's improvement despite the five-game losing streak

Yes we've lost five games in a row, but we fought hard in those games except for maybe the Georgia Tech. I think we could have fought better in that game but that's behind us. I think all of the other games we fought hard and we gave it our all and we just didn't come through with the win. So we just have to come out Friday and be ready to work hard in practice and come out Saturday at home to try tog et a win.

On if the Heels got tight down the stretch

I don't think we got tight, it's just that we were trying to enjoy ourselves and not get so intense into the game and smile a little bit and play hard and play together. You know you have to be serious on the court but you have to crack a smile every now and then just to let yourself know you are enjoying yourself.

On the physical play of the game

I got banged up a couple of times. I thought maybe (Duke's) Dahntay (Jones) was trying to hurt me a little bit, he gave me a couple of hard fouls. But you know that's all in the game. I got upset a little bit about that but I said I got to keep my head in the game, keep working hard and keep playing hard for my teammates.

On the atmosphere at Duke

The atmosphere here is crazy. This is what I expected, it's what I have heard about and I think I handled it well. I mainly blocked the crowd out and focused on the game.

On if he feels at times like he must carry the team

I don't necessarily put the team on my shoulders but I just try to be the leader on the court and make things happen. If it's me pulling up for a shot, or me driving to the basket, or me penetrating and kicking to one of my teammates, whatever it is I'll do to help the team.

David Noel

On being from Durham and playing at Duke finally

I was in my own world, and it was like, I could see the crowd jumping up and down but I really couldn't here anything, and I was just in that moment, just realizing my dream that I'm finally here.

On the first half dunk on the fast break

Rashad got the outlet and I just filled the other lane and he passed it to me. I thought (Duke's) Daniel Ewing was going to step in and take a charge but he just ran throw, so I just jumped. I didn't even see (Duke's) Casey (Sanders), but, he jumped and I got him. Not to brag about it (laughter), but you know.

On if he remembers former UNC great Jerry Stackhouse's dunk at Cameron in 1995

Yeah I do, woe, yeah, I do (laughter).

On if they (TV) shows his dunk now after they show the Stackhouse dunk

Oh man, that's fine with me. I'd love that.

On Jawad Williams as the team's leader

He's been great. Jawad knew he had to step up and be a leader, and he's been taking the team under his wing and protecting everybody and getting everybody going. He's been awesome.

On if the last two games have surprised even his expectations

I didn't surprise myself. I knew I had it in me, and my coaches have given me the chance because they believed in me and had confidence in me. Coach Doherty told me to just relax and that's what I am doing.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He also covers the ACC for the Wilmington Star-News/Morning Star and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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