J.P. Tokoto
J.P. Tokoto
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Postgame Quotes
Release: 02/04/2014
Postgame Quotes • February 4, 2014
North Carolina, 75 Maryland, 63

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

Opening Statement
"Well the game was really a lot of fun the first four or five minutes and after that it got to be a lot like work. The first four or five minutes were really a lot of fun. You have to congratulate Maryland because they kept playing basketball. They didn't think the game was over and they kept playing and they cut it to three several times in the first half. Marcus was sensational in the second half except for one turnover and one near turnover that he had there at the end. He's usually a heck of a lot smarter than he was today, but he played his tail off and made some big shots for us. I thought Brice [Johnson] really came through. He had his best practice of his entire life yesterday. I hope that translates into some good play the rest of the season. He was really important to us. A lot of the time we'll go small and have two post players in there. It was harder for Kennedy [Meeks] and Joel (James). We had a tough time with Charlie Mitchell with him rebounding the ball. The second half we did some good things. They kept coming at us and we kept answering, and I thought that was a real key to the game because they never got frustrated and we kept answering their runs."

On Marcus Paige
"I think he's a tough competitor. He also had some stats tonight where he was great in the first half and slowed down in the second half. I asked him two times if he needed a break and I didn't take him out of the game in the second half. There were a lot of timeouts so I hope that was good. He's really a tough competitor."

On if the team has gained confidence over four-game win streak
"There's no question we are a lot more confident than at that point you would have think we would have dropped it to you guys [the media], but you don't look that impressive as a basketball team to be honest with you. I guess I should include myself in that group too. I think they are more confident. I think they've bought in to the sense of urgency that we've been preaching all year long. I think we are getting a little better defensively. James Michael [McAdoo] is really playing hard. I don't think James Michael had a game tonight that was anything like his effort showed. His effort has been really important to us the last five or six games. We still have some work to do on the free throw line. Somebody asked me if I was really pleased at the press conference the other day and what did I tell you? ‘No!' It's a daily thing. Some days I make a lot of putts and some days I don't make many. For us just answering their charges, answering their pushes was the biggest point."

On having a third scoring option
"It really is [important]. Well it's important in different ways too. At halftime I jumped on them and I told them, ‘those guys that came into the game didn't give us anything. And when put you in the game as a substitute you have to give us something positive.' Whether it's defense or rebounding or scoring, it makes no difference. I didn't think we got much of a lift. Jackson [Simmons] did some good things and Brice scored a couple. I think he was 4-4 at half. We didn't get much from the other guys."

UNC Player Quotes

Marcus Paige, So., G.

On his mentality during the game
"I just try to stay aggressive and take open looks. I guess my mentality does change a little bit as the game goes on, as the team maybe makes a run or if I feel like we need a basket. I have no problem trying to step up and be that guy. Still, in the first half I need to try to do that a little more. I guess in the second half I kind of come alive."

On the fast start of the game
"The first four minutes was crazy. That was the most energized I've ever been in a game. And obviously you know they're a good team, they're going to make a run so it's just the up and flow of the game. But that kind of helped us get through the first half then the defense really picked it up through the rest of the game."

On the past four ACC wins
"We've definitely hit a stride. Our defensive intensity has increased, and it's a lot different than it was the first couple of ACC games. That's what allowed us to be successful, so if we keep that up I think we're going to reel off a couple more wins hopefully."

James Michael McAdoo, Jr., F.

On how Brice Johnson and other big players contribute
"I think our games, not just our games but a lot of the big guys, when we're out there we just compliment each other as far as the different lineups that you see. Definitely when we've got smaller guys on us, we've definitely got a good sense of where the other guy is on the court. Ever since Brice [Johnson] got here I've noticed that we play very well together and just be able to find each other a get an easy shot."

On the team's fast performance in the beginning of the game
"Yeah, definitely just trying to do that for 40 minutes, but realize that it doesn't necessarily have to be like a fast start we just have to play how we want to play and that's how we would like to play the whole game. It doesn't always happen but it's definitely something that helps us when we see what we're capable of doing. It definitely gives us that cushion as far as NC State and then today just getting that little cushion where we can afford to make mistakes."

Brice Johnson, So., F

On the confidence of the team
"We're very confident. We know that we can be really good when we play with a sense of urgency like we did in the first five minutes of the game when you see everybody's running around and having a good time, stealing the ball with a 13-0 run, and we play that every night, we can keep this streak going."

On the improvement in his shots
"I've just been doing the same things. Just trying to work on my shot with Coach [Hubert] Davis and all the other games, it just wasn't going in. But this game it was going in, so I was very happy about that. I was sick of seeing the ball going in and out of the rim and not going in there, so it went in there today, and I was very happy to see that."

Leslie McDonald, Sr., G

On the sense of confidence and the four-game winning streak
"I mean we're just rolling. Coach put in a new offensive lineup, and we're just running. He knows, he knows what's best for the team, and you see it out on the floor, we have a whole bunch of weapons as far as [James Michael] McAdoo, myself, Marcus [Paige], J.P. [Tokoto] on the glass, and Kennedy [Meeks] in the low post, so we have a whole bunch of weapons, and we're just trying to convert that sense of urgency that he's always been talking about and just putting it out on the court."

On Nate Britt's performance
"I mean, you can just tell Nate [Britt] is a tough kid. He's had adversity, but you can tell that he's still fighting through it and he's not backing down. You can tell he's a hard-nosed kid. When the pressure is on him, he's not going to be the type of dude that is going to steer away from it. He's going to go towards it, battle it, and defeat it. And that's the type of players we need on this team."

On the tough upcoming four games
"We have just been preparing in practice. We take it one step at a time. It goes back to the basics. Just in practice, we've had a whole new demeanor in practice. Giving our all in practice and going hard against each other, battling, so that when we do play games, we're comfortable playing in that type of environment and playing hard all the time."

On the higher intensity in practice
"We had the mind frame of that we had to be more competitive. That's not talk. You can't just teach somebody to be competitive. You've got to have that will inside you. We compete all the time in practice. We get after each other. We've been doing it all the time, but it's just a little bit more. Giving it a little bit more because if I push myself harder and compete, then it's going to push the person that's guarding me or that I have to guard."

Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon

Opening Statement
"I'm probably going to state the obvious we had a bad start, and we couldn't afford a bad start, and we had one. They made it seemed like every shot at the beginning. They got good looks, but after that I thought we really tried hard. I thought we competed. I thought we did a lot of things well. [Marcus] Paige was just too good. He just made shot after shot whenever we'd get it close. He hadn't been playing that way for them lately, and he stepped up and played well. I was proud of our guys. We never stopped competing. We had a chance to cut it four there and just couldn't get it done, so credit them. We've just got to figure out a way to shoot more free throws and quit fouling so much. It's just been a problem of ours, and hopefully that will get better as the season goes on."

On competing in the game
"Even when we were down at the first timeout when it was 11-0, it was like we're fine, just got to wake up and start playing a little bit better. I felt like we could come back just because the way they've shot the ball this year. I felt like you could come back, and we did that. We just didn't finish the half. We had foul trouble. We had unbelievable foul trouble all night, and you're just trying to patchwork it, just trying to get through the half. We called timeout, and it was 32-25 and we called a timeout. We turn it over trying to run a set. So things like that. To win you can't start a game that way, and you can't finish a half that way to be successful. With that said, we competed, we executed, we took care of the ball in the second half, shot a better percentage. It was the first time on the road against a good opponent in a hostile environment that we really competed till the end, and really till the two-and-a-half minute mark we still had a chance."

On Maryland's foul trouble
"I don't know. They're pretty athletic. Carolina's pretty fast, so it's kind of hard to simulate that. I thought we got better as the game went on, but sometimes it's life on the road too. "

On Maryland's performance
"I thought we were good. We just weren't very good with the ball. At the start of the game, we weren't very good with the ball, and to finish the half we weren't very good with the ball. It's really that simple. They had 15 points in transition. Our defense was pretty good tonight. I know they missed a lot of free throws for us, but our defense was pretty good, our rebounding was OK. We gave up 11. It seemed like every offensive rebound was big when we got it. We're getting better. I know you're never happy with a loss, but we've come a long ways in the last two-and-a-half weeks. A pretty talented team we played against tonight."


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