UNC-NC A&T: Matt Doherty

CHAPEL HILL, NC--UNC head coach Matt Doherty addressed the media following his Tar Heels' 93-57 victory over NC A&T.

Opening Remarks:

I'm glad to have a game where we can play everybody and have some fun. I'm sorry that it happened to be Curtis Hunter. I have a lot of respect for Curtis, being a former teammate. But our kids played pretty well. Our kid played really well tonight, and I like to think we would have beaten a lot of people.

I just was really excited about our unselfishness. We had 31 assists on 34 baskets. I've never seen a number like that. I thought that was really impressive. From Raymond Felton, to Jonathan Miller and his assist. I wanted Jonathan to get a shot up and score, yet he gave the pass to Damien Price for the bank shot.

I was impressed with how we maintained our focus on the offensive and defensive ends, from the beginning of the game to the end, because sometimes those games can get a little sloppy. Our kids, I thought, were pretty sharp.

Again, [I liked] our unselfishness. I put Raymond back in at the end. He only had five points. I'd like to see him get to double figures. I wanted Jackie to get to double figures. But those guys were just content to play. Raymond went back in the game, and he wouldn't shoot. In the first half, he was talking about assists.

On top of that, I thought our crowd was really good--especially for a non-league game, bad weather, to get 14,000-plus here, I was really thankful for that.

When Raymond is tossing the ball around like that, can you almost see guys fighting to get on the wing to get on the receiving end?

I almost came out of my seat one time to fill the lane. I said at one point in time during the game that unselfishness is contagious. Jawad may have started it. He had that dunk attempt in the first half. He was about the top of the key extended, in front of their bench, and he threw it to Raymond. I thought that was unselfish, and Raymond threw it back to him for a lob dunk. I just love that. It's a trademark of Carolina basketball. I think Coach Smith would be excited to see the number of assists we had.

Could you have gotten to the alley-oop?

Me? No. On a seven-foot goal. At home, I've got one of those baskets that go from seven to ten feet. Once in a while, I let my frustrations out and I pin Tucker's shot to the backboard. I ask Hattie to stand under the basket and I dunk it. [Laughing from the media] No--I'm just kidding. You guys can relate, huh? Yeah, that'll be on the Internet. That'll be on the Internet.

What is your philosophy and how do you feel about--Raymond had 11 assists in the game. This single game record is 17. You could have left him in the game, and he could have broken that record tonight. What is your feeling about that situation?

I don't ever want to try to humiliate an opponent. I don't think Raymond would want to get that record, just because he's out--I think he would want to get it in the flow of a good game. If a guy is close to a record or has a chance to get double figures, or do something like a triple-double. One year, with Brendan [Haywood] and Jason Capel, I kept them in a little extra. I told Jason that he had a minute to get another rebound, but I don't want to put him in there until the end of the game because I think that's abusing and disrespecting the game and your opponent.

This game doesn't move you up in the ACC standings, but can it improve confidence in the way you play?

I think it's a feel-good game. I think our kids feel good. It's a fun game. It's a game where I think some of our players should have confidence. I thought Damion Grant played well. He's got to come away with a little more confidence. I think, probably after Byron hit that turn-around jumper. I joked with him and said 'You're probably upset that I don't call that play more often.' David Noel, eight rebounds. Sure, guys should feel good about themselves. Hopefully, that does help, going into the stretch here. We have a tough, tough stretch.

What is it like, when your team is rolling like that, and it's a Carolina guy on the other end, coaching the other team?

It's hard. At the end, I wanted to maybe run a play. We were talking as a staff, to run a play, maybe to get Jonathan Miller a shot, but I didn't want to stand up and yell the play across. And Curtis is down there, and I don't want to rub it in--whether it's Curtis or anybody. I've been on the other side of that as an assistant coach, and it's not fun. You have to respect the game, and you have to respect your opponent.

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