Postgame Quotes, UNC vs. Belmont
Congratulate Rick and his club; they really did some nice things. I did a poor job coaching. It's on me. I've always had the philosophy that if the other team scores to take the lead and there's more than seven seconds, we don't call a timeout - we attack right then - because we've got the ball in the open court. I wanted Marcus to go get the ball but I haven't practiced it enough. We didn't execute at that point and that's my fault. I was proud of the way they came back against a very good team, but we dug ourselves in a hole by mistakes and missed free throws. We made a really, really nice comeback but I didn't do my job down the stretch and at the same time that acts like it's just North Carolina - you've got to congratulate Belmont. J.J. Mann scored 11 of the last 13, three of them were threes that were deep threes, but just congratulate him. He made plays; we didn't get out there and guard him like I hoped to. He's a really good shooter, scored 11 points in the last 2:35. You have to congratulate him. Rick is a really good friend and a really good coach and I'm happy for him but I love those kids in my locker and their coach let them down today. That's about it.
On the free throw shooting
Three times in practice so far, we've asked everybody to shoot 200 free throws and everybody on our team shot over 70% last time we did that. James Michael (McAdoo) was 81%, JP (Tokoto) was 84%, but it didn't go in for us today. It was a big part of the game, there's no question, but I still let my team down at the end.
On Belmont's three point shooting
They really don't (shoot a lot of threes). When you look at their stat sheet, they made five threes a game, in their first three games they made 15 threes. I mean, that's five threes, we've made four. Against Indiana State they did a great job coming back and attacking the basket, but today they came out and made a couple of them early and that gave them confidence. We knew they were capable of shooting threes, there's no question, but still you've got to go by the first three games: they made five. But they made five today in the first 30 seconds it seemed like to me, and they really got confidence there.
On Paige and McAdoo playing most of the game
I don't like that but, you know, I started to make substitution and one of the coaches said 'Coach, we don't play again until next Friday, why save them?' There's no question if you have back-to-back games with one day in between, but I asked during one of the timeouts - we took a 30 second timeout, I said do you want to take a 30 second timeout or a full timeout to get more rest and coaches said they were fine.
Belmont Head Coach Rick Byrd
First, I think that I need to say the reason that this is such a big win for Belmont University, to our players and to me is because of what a phenomenal tradition of basketball that the University of North Carolina has. They aren't great victories unless you beat great programs, so it's an awfully big win for our kids and it's a big win for the school. Hopefully going forward it will make us a better team, but it's a big moment right now for us, and I hope that those of you who are local get why it is [a big win] - it's because this program is so great.
On the play of senior forward J.J. Mann
J.J. is a great shooter. He's a great shooter. Great players start missing putts every now and then. He just hadn't gotten into a rhythm. I'm telling you, I'm stupid enough to let him shoot all year long just because I've seen him make so many shots. We chart everything. We chart things live and he shoots 75% from the three-point line in our shooting drills, so he's just going to keep shooting. One things for sure: he's just so darn cocky that he was never going to quit thinking it was going to go in, and sometimes shooters do. Sometimes they're fragile and you just know that they don't have a chance. I never thought that about him. He made a couple big ones so we made the last play a play for him.
On his team's response to North Carolina's run in the second half
We've seen this in all three of our games. We've been behind in the second half...eight at Lipscomb, 13 at Richmond and we cut it to three twice. We were behind 16 at halftime to Indiana State and then we were down eight [against North Carolina] at the last media timeout...about eight points or somewhere in there. I don't think there was any questioning the character, the heart, the want-to and really the confidence in these guys. What we've got to do better is simply adjust to other people's defensive adjustments and make better decisions and not go on these scoring droughts. They did some good things defensively and we just fell apart. We lost our poise. On top of that, all the extra possessions that they were getting on their end...I don't know whether it was good that they were missing free throws. I almost started wishing that they would make them so they wouldn't get the rebound and score more points that way.
James Michael McAdoo, Junior, Forward
On the loss to Belmont
They're a great team. We definitely knew what we were getting into when we were coming into this game. They're a great shooting team that wasn't really going to make that many mistakes. We definitely saw that. It wasn't a big surprise. I think we adjusted to it well in the second half, tried some different things, and then they just made plays at the end. No. 24 [J.J. Mann] made a tough shot.
On the final turnover
We were trying to have some clock management, and they just came down with a quick turnover. We were definitely thinking that first, we would get a shot up, and second, hopefully get an offensive rebound. Neither of those things happened. They were able to just put a good shot up."
On defending Belmont
They're a good team. We just made a lot of mistakes, and they capitalized on those. Good teams are able to do that.
On the North Carolina lineup
You can read into that. We're not going to because we've got who we've got out there. At the end of the day, we've all been practicing together for who knows how long, so we knew who we were going to have out there in the second half to get a stop and make the lineup adjustments.
Marcus Paige, Sophomore, Guard
On the loss to Belmont
We turned the ball over, and they hit some big shots. We knew they could shoot threes, and they hit some, and we turned it over down the stretch. There's really nothing else you can say to explain that.
On defending Belmont
They're tough because they space the floor out. They set a lot of those high-ball screens to shoot threes, and they really starting making them in the last five minutes of the game. They came up with some big shots. No. 23 [Craig Bradshaw] hit one in the corner, and then Mann hit a couple. He was 5-14 from three, so it's not like he was lighting us up, but he made the big ones when it counted.