Feb. 21, 2011
– Opening Statement
This is obviously an important game for our team. I am pleased with the effort of our big guys last night which has been a thing that we have been trying to get more production out of our bigs and I thought they did a good job last night. We played a good first half. Second half, we just didn’t stick to our game plan and obviously Duke is a very good basketball team. Again, important game for us Wednesday when we play Virginia.
On the importance of Iman Shumpert
Well, he leads us in every category so he has been extremely important. We rely very heavily on him. We have always known that he is a big-time defender, but he is rebounding the ball even better than I expected.
On the absence of Brian Oliver
He is a threat offensively, he has had some big three-point shooting games for us. But also, he is a physical presence around the basket and where we have missed him the most is on the boards actually. I didn’t think I would say that but since he has been out people really have been hitting us on the boards. In last night’s game in particular, we gave them 16 second-chance points. In addition to losing the threat that he presents offensively, just his physical presence, boxing out and not mind mixing it up has been the thing that has really stood out and I wouldn’t have told you that before he got hurt.
On a best case timetable for Oliver’s return
Best case I would imagine would be Saturday. He is going to be reexamined tomorrow, they will make a decision whether they will take out the wires that they have in there. The break apparently is in a very delicate spot. If he is healed properly, they could splint him and have him come back out. So best case could be Saturday.
On Duke’s Nolan Smith and Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaneys having big games against Shumpert
I think both of those guys are first-team [all conference] type players. Nolan [Smith] might be the player of the year. [Malcolm] Delaney got off to a great start shooting the ball and rode it from there. I think also our offensive has been hurting us defensively. People have been able to take advantage because we are not shooting the ball well, and when you don’t shoot the ball well and you miss some of the threes and some of the perimeter shots that we have been missing, because we are a predominately perimeter oriented offensive team, it comes out with a long rebound and people get out in transition and it is tough to get set. No question that Iman I think is better than the numbers that those guys posted but at the same time I’m not sure it is all on him, I think it is more having to do with our offense as well hurting our defense in transition.
On how tough Sunday night games are as a road team
We got back, I want to say I got home about 1:15-1:30 so the kids probably got to the dorm around 12:45. It’s tough no question, I’m not a fan of it either. It’s the agreement we have and there’s nothing really I can do about it.
On Daniel Miller’s five blocks against Duke
Earlier in the year he had some games where he played with that type of force around the basket, in particular the Carolina game is one game that really pops into my mind. Last night he kind of reemerged if you will. It is something he is capable of doing and it is something that we absolutely need him to do game in and game out. He needs to be more consistent in terms of protecting the rim and boxing out and rebounding the ball. I think when I look at the loss of Brian Oliver, the initial thing when you look at it is that we are probably going to miss him from an offensive perspective but I didn’t realize we were going to miss him as much as we have on the boards. I think a guy like Daniel also misses having another guy who has physical presence around the rim and keep people off the glass. We got some good play out of Lance [Storrs] last night, we got good play from Nate Hicks and Daniel was pretty energized last night.