Opening Remarks -
I'd like to congratulate Maryland; I thought Gary's team in the first half, 9-16 from the 3-point line, killed us. We cut it from 16 down to four, but turned it over twice in a row and gave them two open shots. We got back in it in the second half and cut it down to five a couple of times. We just kept getting into a stretch where we kept turning the ball over, and they shot exceptionally well in the second half; they shot almost 60 percent in the second half. First half we really gave them too many open looks, and in the second half we really didn't get back to stop their break. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us, that's for sure, and they shouldn't.
Can you comment on the play of Greivis Vasquez?
I just think he's such an emotional player. He's so important to the team. He gives them talent, he gives them emotion, and he gives them cockiness. He had 11 assists, so he's making things happen. 6-11 from the three point line, and with Eric [Hayes], it's just awfully nice to have experienced guards. We tried to make Eric put the ball on the ground, because he's such a great shooter, but he still went 4-5 from the 3-point line, so we didn't do a really good job of that either.
How frustrating was the defensive effort?
It's very frustrating. At times it is effort, and at times it's just execution. It's not a big play in the game, but near the end of the game Dexter [Strickland] dribbled the ball to the right side and John Henson went down to screen for David Wear, and Sean Mosely didn't allow himself to be screened, deflected the ball and went in for the dunk. It is execution and getting in the right spots.
At 2-6 in the conference, how tough a spot are you in right now?
In 21 years as head coach, I've never been in this spot. Somehow I've got to help the kids get out of this. It's uncomfortable, and it's not good.
How disappointing was it to come out and play like that?
It's as disappointing as it gets, about as disappointing as it looks.
They had 16 fast break points in the second half. How were they able to get on the run like that?
We weren't doing a good job of getting back. We had all five guys looking at the ball, and it wasn't a priority for us to get back. That's the way we played out there, and it wasn't a big deal for everyone to sprint back on defense, and it killed us.
At 2-6, how stunned are you with what's happened?
Bottom line is that we've got games to play. We've got to come out and get ready for the next game. Thinking about 2-6 isn't going to help us get any games back.
Can you comment on how the team played today?
Any time we come out and play like that it's a surprise. But we've got to be focused from the jump, make some runs, and stay focused.
In the second half, after cutting down their lead, what went wrong?
We just had consecutive turnovers that just got things going their way. They played a great game, and it's just a matter of executing.
What do you guys need to do to begin to turn things around?
Get some wins. Pretty point blank.
They had 16 fast break points in the second half. Why was that?
We just didn't get back on defense. It's simple; we just got to get back and have defensive balance and do what we're supposed to do on offense.
What was the message in here after the game?
We're not going to quit. We get knocked down and we got to get back up.
What's the reason this team is struggling so unlike UNC teams in the past?
We just don't score the ball. We're just not doing what we did in the past years. We don't do it on the defensive end, we don't score points, and we don't make stops.
Defensively, how much of it was you guys and how much of it was what they were doing?
It was both. They shot above 50 percent, and that's pretty darn good for a game. But if you give people open looks and don't get a hand in their face... I think it was a little bit of both.
How do you guys get back on defense better?
We've just got to get back. We can't leave our point guard back there in 3-on-1. If we score the ball, it lets us get back, but if you have turnovers and have guys running ahead, it's hard to get back. We just need to not turn the ball over and score.
Was what the team went through to get here with the weather a factor?
Not a factor. I'm pretty sure those guys had things to go through just as much as we did, so you can't put that in as a factor.
Does it feel like this season is slipping away?
Well, yeah. We're 2-6 in the league, but we can't just sit around moping. We've got Duke on Wednesday, so we've got to go back to Chapel Hill and prepare for that. We've got to come out and fight again.