UNC-NCSU: Matt Doherty

CHAPEL HILL, NC--UNC basketball coach Matt Doherty spoke to the media, following his Tar Heels' heart-breaking 75-67 loss to Rival NC State.

Opening Remarks:

I'm proud of our guys--I really am--after the game we had on Saturday, for them to invest the energy, the emotion to come into a game like this and play as hard as they did. I was proud of them. I'm disappointed we came up short. A lot of guys in there are hurting right now--should be hurting. Again, I'm proud of them.

Turnovers, foul shots, I think, tell the story. [NC] State made them all; we missed a bunch, and that's frustrating, but it was a great college basketball game. NC State played very well, made big shots. That's basically it.

After a game like this, do you point that out to the guys or do they know?

They know. You guys will ask them. They'll know. Foul shooting is a delicate thing. You practice them a lot, you practice them a little. I've had coaches--Coach Smith tells me, Doug Moe, they had the best foul shooting team in the NBA when he was with the [Denver] Nuggets and never practiced. You go from, so you make it a big deal in practice to not making it a big deal. We have to improve in that area. That's bit us in the tail a few times, but I'd rather harp on our kids' effort and the energy they invested.

I think a lot of people wondered how they would react, how we would react after the game up in College Park, and I'm proud of the way we reacted.

Raymond struggled the first half, had a nice second half, almost pulled them through for stretches.

No one wants to win more than Raymond. I think he wanted to win the game so much that he's trying to hit home runs every time he had the ball, instead of trying to hit singles. We talked about that at halftime, and I think he settled down. Then, he cramped up late. David Noel cramped up late. But he wanted to win so badly that I think that caused him to make a few mistakes in the first half. Then he settled down and had a great second half.

If Carolina had won this game, the storyline of the game might have been defense. How did you feel about the defense, overall?

I thought our defense was very good. They shot 41.8 [percent] and had 19 turnovers. I thought our defense was good. They scored 75 points, 13 in overtime. I thought our defense was very good. I was proud of our defense. I think you have to ask them their opinion, but I think we played aggressively without giving up any back door layups. Then they hit some tough shots, and Hodge can make some tough shots.

After leading late in regulation, how did you and the team approach the overtime?

I think they were a little disappointed--and I was concerned--to start the overtime. I thought they were a little down. I was trying to tell them, 'Hey! It's all right. We'll win this. Let's go.' I was concerned about that. I think, I kind of lose track. Did Sherrill hit a big three in overtime? That was a big shot, obviously.

On your last possession of regulation, you have Raymond shooting and Jackie shooting a three. What were you looking for there?

Well, at the end, I didn't want to call time-out with eight seconds to go and let them set their defense. I like Raymond with the basketball against an unset defense, so we want to push it and try to get a good look. You call time-out, they set their defense. That's something where I have to look at the tape or what the options were. That's something we talk about and work on. We didn't get the shot off we would have liked. I think any coach, in that situation, doesn't call a time-out. I would be glad if I was the other coach. I call time-out defensively in that situation, to set the defense.


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