UNC-Md: Locker Room Report

GREENSBORO – North Carolina wasn't supposed to beat Maryland tonight in the quarterfinals of the 50th Annual Atlantic Cost Conference tournament, but the Tar Heels did.

The No. 7 seed Heels talked to the media about their 84-72 win over the No. 2 seeded Terrapins, UNC's 17th win in 31 games.


I just want to thank God, my parents, the fans, everybody that has supported us. And I want to give thanks to my teammates, they've worked hard out there and gave it their all to win. Great job to the coaching staff. Coach Doherty, well coached game. They came up with the plans and we executed them.

On going up against a senior like Steve Blake

It's a tough assignment, but you just have to come out there and play like you're playing any other player. He has all of my respect and is a great player, but you just have to come out and play just like it's any other person.

On the game plan, key points of the win

Just like coach Doherty said, we shot the ball well. We didn't take care of the ball well. We did a good job of shooting the ball and getting good shots. Our teammates have been doing a god job in practice, coach Doherty ahs been giving us shooting drills – my jump shot has gotten better since the first part of the season.

On if Maryland was overconfident coming in

No. They came out ready to play, wanting to win. They just wanted to win.

On when the final seconds ticked off the clock and crowd erupting

It was a wonderful feeling. It's great. You are all into it. You're excited, you're happy that you got the win, but you know you can't worry about it. You got to worry about the next game tomorrow night.


We went out and fought hard tonight, bottom line. Down low … we went out and fought hard, every possession and gave great effort. That's the main thing.

On what this win means after what he has been through in two years

It means a lot, but I can't hang my hat on this victory because I have a lot of things I want to accomplish for myself as well as this team, but it's a good feeling right now. I can't celebrate too much, got to be ready to play tomorrow.

On if Maryland came out overconfident

I don't they did at all. They knew we were going to come out and be hungry. We just did a good job tonight. There are still a lot of things we need to tighten up to be a better team, but as far as that, we just went out and played hard tonight.


On how they outrebounded Maryland by 10

We did? We just wanted to the ball, and we knew if we were going to win this game that we would have to do every little thing that mattered. The rebounding margin? I don't know what to say about that. They are bigger and stronger inside, but we just sued our quickness and speed to get around them to get to the offensive and defensive boards.

On not letting Maryland run their stuff on offense in the second half

We had guarded that stuff all week. We had a lot of time to prepare. We went over their stuff constantly, constantly. If we messed up on one little thing we were at the line running. So, we knew their stuff like the back of our hand. And we just wanted to come out and guard it, and we did a great job of it tonight.

On the satisfaction of the 52-point turnaround against Maryland

It feels real good. I mean, the revenge factor was sweet to be able to come back and beat them in a tournament like this that could determine the rest of our (immediate) future. And to get a big win like this after they beat is by 40 is real sweet.

On playing tomorrow

We won't have that much time to enjoy this win. Maybe until the end of the night, but we gotta get back to work and get ready to play tomorrow night.


On the improvement of the offense

We are more together, more passing up good shots because we need great shots. Knowing who the good shooters are, knowing where our best guys are .. and I think we are starting to realize things like that and becoming a mature team.

On the possibility of the semifinals being UNC, Duke, Wake and N.C. State

It doesn't get any better than that. Just to have these teams clashing at each other, that's just ACC basketball at its finest.

On who he'd rather play in the semis

I don't care who it is. I'm just happy for this game. I want to enjoy it for the rest of the night. When I wake up in the morning it's over with and time to focus on whoever wins (Duke-Virginia).

On how big the basket looked tonight

Crazy, it was crazy big, man. I don't even know, you said it. It was like an ocean out there, just throwing the ball in the ocean. I give credit to my teammates because without them I couldn't get those shots.

On getting 19 points off turnovers in the second half

They got a lot of points off our turnovers in the first half so we wanted to flip the script, we wanted to take care of the ball better in the second half and that's what we did. Maryland's a great transition team, and when you slow them down and run them, it's like them against them, so that' what we tried to do.

On the 52-point swing since the loss three weeks ago

Yeah, man. See what togetherness does for our organization.

On beating Duke and Maryland in five days, much like in late November, and possibly getting back to that point

We're beyond that point, because we were young. That was just pure athleticism in the beginning. Tonight we played unselfish, together, executed plays, played great team defense, helped each other. That's the kind of basketball we are capable of playing, but it took us this long to do it because we are such a young team.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He also covers the ACC for the Wilmington Star-News/Morning Star and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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