UNC-ODU: Doherty Press Conference

UNC-ODU: Doherty Press Conference

NORFOLK, Va. – North Carolina basketball coach Matt Doherty was happy over his team's 67-59 victory at Old Dominion because of the many lessons he feels his team learned.

Here is some of what coach Doherty had to say after UNC's third victory in as many games.

Opening remarks

I think that's just a great, great win for our program and our young team, to come into Old Dominion, open up a new building for them, and three of their top players from North Carolina. It was a dangerous game, scared me to death. And I was just really proud of our guys, the way they played to come out of here with a win. I have a lot of respect for (ODU) coach (Blaine) Taylor and the job they do. And I would feel blessed had we won by one in triple overtime.

On his team handling being under duress, the environment…

I thought it was a great test. We started off a little slow and the mid part of the first half we hit our stride, and they made a run at us and we answered it and went into the half up (11). I thought that was a good emotional sign for us to be up at least 10 at halftime. And the second half they made a run at us and we answered that run and at the end of the game we made some foul shots, took care of the ball. And we made some mistakes and think that's good. I love to learn from a win than to learn from a loss. I'm really proud of our guys the way they played ion a hostile environment and came away with a quality win. Old Dominion is a quality team. They're going to beat a lot of people.

On ODU getting 24 offensive rebounds

It scares me. It's boxing out. It's effort. I thought that they were more energized going to the board, more aggressive getting to the boards than we were, and that's something that concerns me. We've been pretty good our first two games on the boards, despite our lack of size, our bulk. That's been an area of concern for me and I thought Old Dominion exposed it. We've got to compensate for our lack of size and bulk. We've got to bring great energy to the defensive boards every game and I don't think we did that today.

I do like our defense though. 29% field goal percentage defense and we shot 48 – not too good in the second half – but 48 percent for the game, made 84& of our foul shots but we made them when we needed to.

On the growing pains of the youngest team in the nation

I think Penn State is not the same team we played two years ago (in NCAA tournament), unfortunately. I like Jerry, but they lost last night to Penn, and people say we beat Penn State by 30, but Penn State is no the Penn State they were two years ago. And maybe we're not as good as people thought we were after that first game. I think we're good, but I don't think that was a true indication of where we are right now. I think we're a good team and hopefully going to get better.

On facing former coach and boss Roy Williams and Kansas Wednesday night in New York

I'm not afraid of the coach, I'm afraid of facing their players. If I was going against coach Williams I'd have an opportunity to post him up because he's a little smaller than me. I'm more concerned about Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Wayne Simeon, (Aaron) Miles. They're a great team, very experienced and explosive team. I'm more concerned about their players.

On some of the poor play (turnovers, fouls, few assists) in the second half

It's hard to say right now. I'll have to watch the film. I thought our execution in the first half was pretty good. Second half they were a little more aggressive. We didn't take good care of the ball. A charging call on Rashad (McCants). David Noel missed a layup. Sean (May) didn't deliver the ball the way I like for it to be delivered, I would have preferred a bounce pass. It would have been an easier catch and layup. So, I think we missed some opportunities that we hopefully will normally take advantage of.

On Jawad Williams' performance

I think Jawad played a good offensive game. I think Jawad played a good defensive game on (Ricardo) Marsh who I was really concerned about and was 4-16 (from the field). I would like Jawad to get more rebounds. He only had four rebounds and he's been doing a better job than that averaging 10 a game. That's the only area where I was concerned about Jawad tonight. Otherwise, he played a great game.

On Melvin Scott getting more minutes

I think Melvin, 18 more minutes than he's got so far this year. I think Jackie getting into foul trouble gave Melvin some more opportunities. And I just felt comfortable keeping Melvin in there. And that hopefully helps his confidence and makes him feel better about himself. Everyone's valuable to us. We have some depth at certain spots and everyone needs to be ready to play.


Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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