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Post-Game Quotes (GAME 3)

Nov. 22, 2017

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Opening statement
“I thought it was a good team win, especially being a guard down and only having one true point guard against a team that was going to press. They come in and press the majority of the game. Once again, we hung our hat on the defensive end. We held them to 38 percent from the field and 11 percent from three so we did a nice job on defense. I thought Brandon Alston played really well, Jose [Alvarado] was really good. I thought our guys did a good job when Jose had to go out of the game due to foul trouble. I thought AD [Gueye] gave us good minutes. You can see guys are getting better and that’s the important part. It’s been good to see the progress that some of guys have had. I thought Curtis [Haywood II] had his best game yet, as did Brandon. I think Evan Cole and Moises are getting better so a lot of positives to take away from this game.”

On AD Gueye’s strong performance
“He had a great statline tonight: 13, seven and five assists and he’s gotten better. From where he was last year to where he is now, he’s gotten better, there’s no denying it. There’s areas where he’s got to finish around the hoop a little better, but I mean he hit two threes, he rebounded, he’s gotta get stronger in some areas when finishing the play. But there’s no denying that from where he was last year to where he is now, it’s night and day.”

On the ball movement
“We had 18 assists on 26 made field goals. Our goal is to have 60 percent of our made field goals assisted every time we play so we’ve done a good job of moving the ball as always and we didn’t let it stick. We even did a nice job when we broke the press. We’re going to have to play in a little bit of a grind right now. Even though I want to play with pace, cutting and everything, we’re going to have to grind it out and hang our hat on the defensive end until we get our full complement of guys back. Once we get it back, we’ll have a little bit better pace but in the short-term here, we’re going to have to grind it out and find ways to win.”

On keeping the focus forward with the number of guys out
“I’ve told our guys, this is my ninth year as a head coach. From my first year in college basketball, we won a national championship, to here. For 40 years of my life, I don’t know if there’s ever been a year that I’ve been alive or even in a basketball season where it’s just been smooth sailing. There’s always stuff. There’s just stuff and that’s just part of it. I always look at the beginning of the year and you’re in the middle of the ocean in a ship and you’re trying to get to land. Rarely do you navigate those waters without storms or rocky waves and we’re just in a little bit of a storm right now. But as I told our guys, there is no excuse. We’ve got to find a way to get it done and stay focused on the task at hand.”

On Brandon Alston’s improvement and career-night
“He’s gotten better. Where he was at the beginning of the summer to where he is now, he’s not the same player. He’s gotten a lot better. He’s by far, aside from Josh Okogie and maybe even surpasses Josh Okogie, in terms of being a gym rat. He’s in the gym all the time. All the time. Working on his game individually. So, the proof is in the pudding the way he works at it. He’s a good player for us, he obviously helped us today.”


Opening statement:
“It was a fun game for our guys. We kept fighting. We’ve just got to get better – to be a little more disciplined offensively. I thought we had too many turnovers against the zone. You’re never supposed to have 16 turnovers against the zone, but we did tonight. We couldn’t make shots. The zone really affected us with their length. I want to give credit to Josh [Pastner] and his team for playing really well tonight.”

On the defensive effort:
“That’s what we like to hold our hats on. We’re getting better rebounding. Tonight, the turnovers hurt us. We gave them some easy buckets. We gave them and-1’s and that’s our rule: we don’t give up and-1’s. I thought we gave about five or six of them up and that means we weren’t playing as tough as we needed to tonight.”

On Jordan Jackson’s absence:
“He’s hurt. He’s missed the last two games. We have two guards hurt, Lew Stallworth and Jordan Jackson.”

On offensive rebounding:
“I was pleased with everything but the turnovers and the soft fouls. Like I told our guys, last year we were good offensively. We weren’t very good defensively and rebounding and I think we’re improving in that this year. That’s a big focal point for us.”

On tonight’s takeaways:
“The fight. I love the fight. I don’t want to go beat them down. Coming to play an ACC team is good for our guys. We’ve played a pretty good schedule. I feel like an NBA team. This is a seven-day road trip right here. But that’s fun. I want to challenge our guys in the preseason, so that when league play comes, we’ve been tested. Just keep fighting. We’ve got to get better at taking care of the ball and executing a little better offensively.”

On fighting to the end:
“We are going to fight all the way to the end. If they sub, they sub. If they leave their starters in … We play one way. We trap and we press. That’s just the way we play. We never get back and just ‘half-court.’ I didn’t want people to think that because they were subbing, we were trapping. We were doing that the whole game. That’s just the way we play. We play one way and that’s attacking.”


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