Does seeing a crowd like that make you realize the tradition of Carolina basketball?
It makes you realize a whole lot. Once you walk out there, they give you a standing ovation and it's like chills running up and down your spine and even though it's the NIT they come out and support us like this. You might as well go out and play your hardest and give the fans what they came to see.
Did this have an NIT atmosphere?
No, it just had a Carolina basketball atmosphere. That's all we can ask for. Our fans have been great all year and we're just going to try and continue to win for them.
Talk about your defensive matchup with their center, Uche Nsonwu-Amadi?
Oh, man. He's a big dude and he's physically strong. He was holding me off with one hand and things like that, but we did a good job doubling on him – Jawad helped me out a little bit. We did a great job getting the ball out of his hands and making his teammates create.
What's it mean to have a 20-win season if you win Wednesday?
It'd mean a whole lot for us. It'd be the biggest turnaround in Carolina history to go from 20 losses to 20 wins. To do that, we've got to continue to work hard and just hopefully get to 20.
Have you seen Melvin Scott's confidence level rise of late?
Oh, yeah, most definitely. Melvin has given us a big boost. I think he's given us the biggest boost because a lot of teams don't really look at Melvin as a threat, but he can come off and hit 20 points one night – he's a great offensive-minded person. When you've got a guy like that shooting like he is, that helps your team out.
On the crowd tonight-
Like I said before, and I emphasize every time, the fans are great. Much love to them.
Every time you get an assist it seems to energize you more than a basket …
Oh, definitely. I'm more excited when one of my teammates scores than when I score. It's not all about me scoring – I don't look to score like I did in high school. We've got great scorers on the team, I just try to penetrate and get open shots for my teammates.
Did you notice anything different about the way you were seeing the floor?
Just seeing the court, I see the play happening before it's even happened. So I just put the pass there and my teammate's there on point.
Do you feel you put forth one of your best games tonight?
I'd say it's one of my best. I'm not saying it's the best, but it's one of the best.
Where do you go from here?
Try to win the NIT. Try to come out and play a great game against Georgetown. Try to get a great win.
The team seems to playing it's best team ball now …
Just everybody being together and everybody being patient. Everybody's just looking out for everybody to get another teammate a great shot. It's all about unity and it's all about playing together. We've just got to take it into next year, work hard in the offseason and try to get better.
Offensively, what's been the reason for the improvement the last several weeks?
We're doing a great job of moving the ball and hitting the open man. We passed up some good shots to get a great shot and that's really helping us.
Has moving the ball been a point of emphasis the last two or three weeks?
Yeah, it really has. We can't just settle for a good shot. We have to try and get somebody wide open and get a great shot.
What's involved with the alley-oop you've run with Raymond so many times of late?
For me personally it's just hoping that Ray sees me, and nine times out of ten he will see me. We usually talk about it at the beginning of the game. If the situation comes, don't throw me a bounce pass. Sometimes it's eye contact and sometimes it's just Ray knowing where I am on the court.
What did you do to try and minimize the damage from their big guys?
We doubled the post. Whenever Uche caught it, I'd try to double team.
Do you feel they weren't expecting that double team?
I think it [disrupted them]. It forced the big men to make decisions they're not used to making.
When they made that run in the second half, you all bounced back strong …
We knew ourselves it was just a matter of time until we started making some shots. We did and we built our lead back up.
Talk about the crowd tonight …
It was just a bunch of new faces who were excited to be here and we fed off their energy tonight.
You know anything about Georgetown?
I've watched them play. They've got pretty athletic guys in the post. Mike Sweetney is one of the best post players I've seen. We've just got to go out and play hard.
On Raymond Felton.
I've got the best point guard in the country on my team.
Expect a similar crowd on Wednesday?
Definitely, we hope it's more. We hope it's packed to capacity.
You've had a connection with the fans all year …
Same thing every time. Nothing different. Go out, crowd's behind me, I'm with the crowd and they support the team.
Have they played a big role in you winning these first two NIT games?
Yeah, they play a big key role. They gave us momentum and confidence and motivation.
The offense seemed to click right away, what's been the difference of late?
Passing, cutting – running some set plays here and there. We hit big shots and there's nothing I team can do when you're having good offense.
But what changed from earlier in the season on offense?
Coach defined roles more. People who needed to get shots and guys who need to get guys open to get shots. It works for us and everybody has an understanding.