Miami Coach Jim Larrañaga
Yesterday we had a handout for the players to read and review and then I sent that same handout in a text message to everybody and on the handout was seven things we needed to do on defense and seven things we needed to do on offense as part of the game plan. When you face a team as good as North Carolina is at running the floor and getting layups and open shots early in their possession, the first thing you have to do is get back and set your defense. And you saw how good they are at that in the first four minutes because we were down, I don’t know, was it 11-2? So we did not have zone in the game plan, like Ja’Quan said, but there are times teams will slow down and play a little bit more patiently against the zone. So my coaching staff decided to at least try to slow them down in the zone for a few possessions, but when it worked we decided we would stick with it to see how they attacked. Obviously our defense, holding them to I believe 22 points in the first half, is probably the best half of defense we’ve played all season. The point I’m trying to make is if you don’t get back on Carolina they’re going to score at will and from a defensive standpoint, everything we did in the zone was what the game plan called for but it was planned to be out of our man-to-man. Also, we had seven things we needed to do offensively and we did every one from the 16-minute mark on in the first half. I told the team afterwards that I think we’ve played three and only three really complete games since the ACC season started and that was NC State, Notre Dame and today. Some of the other games we played very well for a half, or three quarters of a game, but today I was very, very pleased with the effort and execution.
On Bruce Brown…
He’s just a loveable kid. If you get to know Bruce he’s fun to be around, he’s a great teammate and a great friend. High social, smiles all the time, practices hard every day, wants to get better, worked on his game, plays defense. I mean everything you would want from a player, Bruce Brown delivers. It’s a game, it really is and with a player like him, he looks at it as fun.
On moving forward…
It’s really just one game on a Saturday in front of a great crowd. Didn’t you think the crowd was really
into it, and enjoyed it, and made it exciting? And when the crowd is really into it, it does create an energy in the building that players thrive on. That’s why home court advantage is so important. What time do we play on Wednesday? 8 o’clock? I don’t want to tell the guys to tell the students who have night class to cut, but maybe they can come for second half. We would really like to see that kind of turnout because this is their school, we are their program and I hope they’ll take great pride in it. If they can energize us to win games like this, then where we are right now as a team and a program can be elevated to a much higher place. We are already selling out all of our season tickets, it’s the second year in a row. But for us to grow and to develop the tradition it’s really about the students and the community staying behind the team and keep supporting us so we can get better and better. I know those guys, they have great respect for that kind of support. They know we haven’t always had that. You know we haven’t always had that.
Roy Williams, North Carolina Head Coach
“There’s not a lot to say, it was a big time kicking of our rear ends is what it was. They were much more aggressive: Aggressive going after the boards, aggressive going after loose balls. When I say aggressive, that’s not intended to mean any way dirty. They were quicker to every loose ball. The first two or three minutes we thought it was going to be easy and then they hit us right in the mouth and did that for about 40 minutes.”
On Bruce Brown…
“He was tremendous. We couldn’t keep him from getting to the basket and when we backed off of him, he made his threes.”
On if they expected Miami to play zone…
“Yeah. I thought they’d play man and zone both, but they had so much success with the zone because we were doing a terrible job of getting the ball on the inside, and when we did shoot it, we didn’t make it. I think we made a three early and then I don’t think we made one the rest of the half. The bigs did a terrible job of getting inside and the guards did a poor job of getting it into them.”
On if his team was rushing their shots…
“I feel like we rushed every shot after the first three to four possessions and that’s because we never had a chance to get the ball inside, because as I said, the big guys weren’t moving and when they were open, they weren’t doing a good job to get the ball inside. Just because somebody plays zone doesn’t mean you have to throw up a 3-pointer every time or wait until the late clock.”