courtesy of Jack Alden
|Related pages||"I gave them a little motivation, because I said,
'Here's the choices: Play your rear-ends off and go to New York
and play a couple of games, or stay with me alone for nine straight
"I think they wanted to play well. In the first half we were a little quick shooting the basketball; didn't need to take some of the shots we took. They were really hot, and we weren't doing a good job getting a hand up on the shooter. It wasn't just the guy guarding the shooter. He wasn't getting any help from the other people. The big guys weren't stepping out and showing themselves on the curl screens, and the guards could have denied a little bit better. But they made some big-time shots. The Joseph youngster was really something in the first half. In the second half, he made his first one, so he was 10 for 12, but then he finished 11 for 18, so he was one for six the rest of the way. Midway through the second half our defense got going and our break got going, and it was just a lot of fun then.
"I was a little disappointed. Whoever the 13th guy is, I get frustrated when they're turning the sucker over and not making easy shots. I want to play six through ten, whoever that is, because I want to play them minutes to get better. But we didn't get the play off the bench tonight that I wanted to get, or that we got the other night. Bryant has really shot the ball really well this season, but he was oh for five. He did get involved a little bit on the defensive end of the floor. Had a couple of blocks. Moulaye and Jeff Graves never got into the flow of things, running the sets or finishing the secondary breaks. Still, those guys got some valuable minutes, and hopefully it will translate later on into them improving.
"At one point, maybe it was the second TV timeout, I told a couple of 'em, 'We've taken three bad shots. Keith took the same shot a couple of other guys took, but he's really feeling it right now.' Paul Pierce scored 15 in a row for us one time, and every shot he took I didn't necessarily like, but I knew he thought it was going in. Keith got into the rhythm, so he took some shots, and should have. The second half he did a better job of taking the ball to the basket. But he was sensational and got us off to a good start. Kirk was 10 for 17. That's more shots than he usually gets in a couple of games, but I want him to take shots. Wayne and Nick were really active inside, and we needed to get the basketball inside. When we did that, good things happened.
"We were getting stops. I think they missed like seven shots in a row at one stretch, and during that time we were laying it up at the other end, and that really broke the basketball game open. Again, if you're doing a job defensively, you can get your break going. It's a lot of fun to play that way, and I'd like for those guys other than that top five to take care of the basketball a little better and make shots. But we're getting them minutes, so that will help us.
"A few years ago we played Florida State when coach Robinson was the head coach there, and it's not pleasant for me. It won't be pleasant having to answer all the questions that we'll have to answer (re: Matt Doherty vs Roy Williams). I'm going to try to focus on the game, and I'm sure Matt will try to do the same. I wanted this team to go to New York, and if we play North Carolina like it's scheduled right now, we've got to play 'em whether I like it or not. But if I had my choices, I would choose not to play them until it was Final Four time. Then I'd be excited to play anybody at that point."
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