UNC-WFU: Matt Doherty

WINSTON-SALEM--UNC head basketball coach Matt Doherty addressed the media following his Tar Heels' 75-60 loss to the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons.

Opening Remarks:

It's frustrating to give such great effort and come up short. I was proud of our guys, because they really played hard and put us into position against a great team. To come up short hurts.

How much did the foul trouble--with the short bench anyway--mess up your rotation?

It was key. They shoot almost three times as many foul shots as we do. My best players are on the bench, so, yeah, it plays a big part in it. Again, they get 24 foul shots; we shoot nine. We foul 23 times and they foul 12, so I think that was a big part of the game. That was frustrating.

With the loss tonight, can you now talk about the importance of the Duke game and staying out of the play-in game?

I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about this game. Tomorrow I will start worrying about the next game. I'm just proud of our kids, of the effort they gave tonight, to put us in position to have a chance to win. You've got to give Wake Forest credit too. Their defense is very good, and they've got a great player in Josh Howard, who I thought was very good in the second half.

Do you have any idea about [the status] of Byron Sanders?

One person I want to talk about, especially, is Jawad Williams. I thought Jawad was fantastic tonight, not only on the offensive end, but his defense. I thought he did a really good job guarding Danelius who is a terrific player.

Byron's ankle, right now, is a bad sprain, and we'll see if he's able to practice Friday.

When you had a seven-minute drought without a field goal, what did you see, and did you like your shots?

I didn't think we got great shots, but I thought--we were trying to draw fouls too. That was part of our game plan to try to spread it a little bit and drive. I thought we had some advantages being smaller, but, hopefully, quicker at some positions. We did try to drive it and draw contact. We didn't get any baskets or to the foul line and that was frustrating.

Did you expect Josh Howard to have the first half he did when you looked at the stat sheet?

Correction: This quote was corrected to say "I thought Josh had a lot going on..."

I thought Jackie did a good job on him. I thought Josh [Howard] had a lot going on in his mind--last home game and he's worried about family, winning. There's a lot going on, and then he settled down and had a really good second half.

You were close in the second half when Rashad and Jawad picked up their fourth fouls in a three-minute stretch. Was that the key to that stretch right there?

Yeah, I think so. Two of my best players get their fourth fouls on them. And then Rashad getting his fifth hurt. I don't think we got enough shots for Rashad in the first half. He was three of four, or something like that, and I thought we needed to go to him more. We tried to, but it's tough when he's not in the game.

Raymond Felton has had very few games where he's had that many shots and shot that low of a percentage, and turned the ball over that much--what went into that?

I think Raymond is one of the most competitive kids that I've had the pleasure of coaching, and he wants to win so badly that I think sometimes--I tell him to try to 'hit singles instead of hitting home runs.' I think he sometimes is just so consumed with winning that he needs to maybe down shift a little bit at times. That is experience. That's a young man who will learn how to deal with those situations the more he is in them.

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