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"It's extremely disappointing, to say the least. But it's been that kind of year. We've played a stretch recently where, in the first half, I'm pleased with our effort, pleased with our concentration. We're up 10 but we missed five, six shots from two feet ... I said at halftime to the kids that we can play so much better. And they come out and score the first seven points of the second half. We didn't get picked up one, we didn't box out one. And then it goes back and forth for a while, but the bottom line is we just couldn't make shots. In the first half, they shoot 34 [percent] and we shoot 36 [percent]. In the second half, we shoot 30 [percent] and they shoot 50 [percent].
"Down the stretch we tried to stay in front of the guy and tried to really make sure it's only one shot. They seemed to make their shots and we missed ours on the other end. The first half, our defense was stronger. We got some off of turnovers and scored a couple times, but we didn't score a single point off turnovers in the second half. It's very frustrating. We've got wonderful kids, it's just been the kind of year that I'd never imagined, hope I never have to go through it again. But it's what it is, and congratulate Georgia Tech. I think that will help them."
On the team's potential NIT bid:
"If somebody's going to invite me to play, I'm going to go play. Period, the end. Are we worthy enough to be invited? That I don't know. Those people that make the decisions get to make that decision. Maybe they won't even invite us. If somebody invites me to go play, we're going to go play."
On Tyler Zeller's performance:
"Well, there's no question I think he would be better if he hadn't missed 16 games one year and 11 the next or something like that. Of course, I think he would be better because the more you play, you improve, you get involved and those things ... I looked down at the stat sheet and they had him for two turnovers today. One of those turnovers is not his. The ball was thrown at his shoes. He can't catch with his feet.
"But [Zeller] did some good things today. He's worked hard in practice, he's done some nice things in practice. I think the last 10 days and two weeks - you'll have to get the answer from him, but I think he's felt more comfortable in practice in the last 10 days and two weeks than he has all year."
On being in the locker room after the loss:
"If you have ever coached and you feel like you have given your team everything you can and it still hasn't worked out, what are you supposed to say? I've got good kids; I've got kids I trust. I just didn't do as good a job with this group this year as I needed to do. This was the most inadequate I have ever felt as a coach. We may not be worthy of being invited anywhere else to play (the NIT) and if we don't, we have got to live with that."
How to get back in a rhythm after being injured:
"Last year was kind of a blessing when I was hurt because I worked hard and put on 20 pounds and that helped for this year. It takes time to work with your teammates and get all of the detail things back. It's a lot of timing issues."
On how Georgia Tech came back:
"They hit us hard to start the second half and it put us back on our heels. It was back and forth after that but they made the plays."
On what he learned from the season:
"I don't know if there will be a sense of relief, but I will use it as motivation for next year. I need to find something and turn it around and make it a positive. It has been frustrating but I just try to help the team out any way I can."
On UNC playing with passion:
"You're not always going to be guaranteed to win just by playing hard out there, but there's no question there's a huge difference between a North Carolina team that's not competing out there and a North Carolina team that is. It's just one of those things that will help you. But we've got to do a little better job of executing and being focused and having better concentration."
On the season:
"It's definitely tough going from national champions to an NIT bid and not even making the NCAA tournament the next year. The standards at Carolina are something we haven't lived up to this year. It's not something that's easy to swallow. You kind of feel sorry about the way your team performed."
On approaching the N.I.T.:
"We just want to try to find a bright spot in our season. To maybe go to the NIT and play well – and who knows? Maybe find ourselves in New York, and possibly winning the whole thing … it would be a bright spot, and there hasn't really been too many of those."
On the struggles down the stretch:
"If I had to say something, I would probably say in certain situations Coach will call a set play and guys, I feel, are so caught up into carrying the play out that they're not really letting their basketball instincts take over."
Do you want to play in the N.I.T.?
"Of course I do. Why wouldn't I? We're trying to play as far as we can go."
On turning pro:
"I haven't thought about it at all. When the season's over with, I'm going to have a meeting with Coach Williams and my parents and go from there."
PAUL HEWITT & PLAYERS
On his team's adjustments at halftime:
"Start guarding. Just doing a better job on the ball. Obviously, we want to pressure up a little bit. Didn't want to open the court that much - that's why we didn't press as much until the end. I just think it was a case of us not being in our stance and not really digging in."
On the matchup with Maryland after a loss in College Park earlier this season:
"Good memory you bring back. We just want to get settled down after this game. This is an important game for us. When we get back to the hotel we will start thinking and talking about Maryland."
On the team's offensive rebounding:
"We looked a little stunned. And we talked about that. Their best offense is transition and second shots, and first half we didn't do a good job in either one of those areas. Second half we did it and gave ourselves a chance."