UNC-Duke: Locker Room Report

[NOTE - Raymond Felton was unavailable for comment because of the three stitches in his cheek that he had just received.]


Can you describe this experience?

It's a great experience, but just let's us know that we can start our season all over in Greensboro. For now we're just going to enjoy it and build on it.

The team's play today was reminiscent of the way this team played at the start of the season …

It was one of those games you can't help but get up for. Duke-Carolina, record out the window. You've got to go out and play hard.

Do you think this team's confidence wavered at all during the year and is back now?

I wouldn't say that – I just think we had tough times when the ball didn't go our way and we lost some close wins and we finally pulled on out.

Rashad McCants also played like he did in the early games …

Just him stepping up in big games. He did a great job tonight and Raymond almost had a triple-double. They just showed what great players they can be.

After last season and this season's ups and downs, does it feel rewarding to get a win like this?

Yeah, it feels real good. We went through the worst season ever in Carolina history so it feels good to get a big win like this.

Could you describe the intensity of the game out there?

You can't describe it with words. We traded baskets on almost every possession, finally got one stop and that is what won us the game.

What did you see during the incident after Felton went down?

It's Duke-Carolina. You knew something like that was going to happen. Somebody was running off at the mouth and next thing you know tempers are flaring and people are in each other's faces. The refs and some of the players did a great job keeping it to basketball.

So you weren't surprised?

I'm not surprised at all. I was kind of expecting it eventually – it was a rough game out there and somebody was going to get hurt and something was going to happen and not everyone was going to like it.

What did you think of Dahntay Jones' three right after the buzzer sounded?

I heard a buzzer but the shot went off and you never know. So I turned around and when it went in I wasn't sure if I should celebrate or drop to my knees and cry. I turned around and I saw the crowd coming on. It was a good feeling that it didn't count. They reviewed it and it didn't count so it felt good.


On hitting two big free throws late-

They say in order to shoot well on free throws you've got to practice a lot, so that's what we've been doing. And that came into effect tonight.

Were you nervous going to the line?

No, because I had confidence in myself. I knew I could make them. In a situation like that, percentages go out the window. I knew I was shooting close to 40% [on free throws this season], but I didn't really care about that. All I knew was that I could make two free throws and that was my time to make them.

What can this type of game do for you guys?

[Give us] tremendous confidence. We just have to continue to build and work on the little things – the things we messed up on the last time we played [whoever we will play in Greensboro] and fix them. If we can do that, I think we can run the table in the ACC Tournament.

How do you feel about the possibility of playing Duke again?

It's going to be great. The possibility is great and more than likely we will play them. If that's the case, we're going to go out and play as hard as we can again and hopefully get an outcome like we did today.

What is it about this rivalry that two of the team's best performances of the year have been against Duke?

It's just something we feed off of. In an atmosphere like this, you always want to go out and play your best. I've been trying to do that since I got here and it's just been that the Duke games have been better than others.

When you decided to play basketball at UNC instead of football, was this the type of experience you had in mind?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's about all I had in mind. Playing in Duke-Carolina, in Cameron and in Chapel Hill. It doesn't get any better than this.

Talk about what you saw and what you were thinking when Raymond went down with the cut on his face?

I really didn't know what to think, but as I saw him laying there and he moved, I saw blood and said ‘Oh, man.' After that, we were trying to get him off the floor and we saw his face. Once we got him off the floor a lot of unnecessary things happened. We just tried to keep everything under control and go out there and win the basketball game.

Were you surprised something like that happened?

Somewhat, because Carolina and Duke have classy players. For something like that to happen, it was crazy but you can expect it because the rivalry is so deep and rich that you want to go out hard. It shocked me a little bit, but at the same time it didn't that much.

Do you think you guys fed off that incident?

Yeah, when Raymond went down we said ‘We've got to pick it up.' And when he came back in he gave us a big boost and we hit five straight. He gave us a big boost and we fed off of that.

There were a couple of times after he came back that he just looked like he was locked in …

I saw that as soon as he checked back in. He came in, looked at me and then looked at Dahntay and just shook his head. I knew then that he was locked and ready to go.


How's it feel to be able to celebrate a win like this?

I don't really like to celebrate too much after games because you keep playing. So celebration is not for me because we have to turnaround and play on Friday anyway.

Saw you up on the scorer's table after the game, was that celebrating?

More of a relief, not really a celebration. Monkey off our back, happy to see the crowd happy.

How did it feel, after the ups and downs of the season, to see the crowd rushing the court after a big win?

It's a good feeling – good feeling.

You said recently that you weren't wild at the idea of playing in the NIT. Is that still the case?

Yeah. I'm not too wild about it, but if it's something we've got to do then it's something we've got to do.

This looked like the same Rashad McCants we saw earlier in the season, any reason for the return?

Just had to realize that I had to come in and play for my team and play aggressive.

On the incident after Felton suffered the cut to his face-

I think it was just a little misunderstanding. Me and Coach K were the peacemakers in the whole situation, so we got it resolved.

You and Coach K?

Yeah, me and Coach K, man.

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